GEM-2 Grant Recipients (Geoscience)

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2017 - 18 Single Year Grants

Grant recipients are listed in alphabetical order.

Physical Rock Property Compilation – Boothia Peninsula – Somerset Island, Laying the Foundation for Geophysical Data Modelling and Interpretation

Proponent: Brock University

Project Leader: Dr. Hernan Ugalde

GEM region of interest: Rae

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

 

Objectives:  The objective of this Project is to measure magnetic susceptibility, gamma spectrometry, conductivity, and NVIR spectrometry data on 1200 samples collected during the 2017 field season.  This GEM-2 Grant proposal is supporting the GEM-2 Boothia Peninsula – Somerset Island project that provided modern geoscience for the underexplored, politically important Northwest Passage region, where knowledge stems from 1963 and 1986-92 without prior benefit of aeromagnetic constraints or modern geochronology. Data acquired, including new regional aeromagnetic data, will collectively elucidate the extent, age and character of crustal domains; establish the location, timing and impacts of sites of rifting and collision; assess mineral resources attributed to, and affected by, these complex interactions; and collectively lay the foundation for sustainable economic development across the North.  To date, the aeromagnetic data has been utilized to trace the extent of geological units under glacial till and Paleozoic cover.

Benefits to Canada:  This project utilizes geological field and state-of-the-art analytical techniques that will significantly advance and modernize the geological knowledge of Canada’s North, including the metallogeny of economically relevant rock units. Because the proposed Project takes place at established and high-capacity laboratory facilities in Canada, there is a great potential for high-impact products that can contribute new information to bedrock mapping programs in the GEM-2 regions of interest.

Tectonometamorphic evolution of the Core Zone, South-East Churchill Province, Québec

Proponent: Université Laval

Project Leader: Dr. Carl Guilmette

GEM region of interest: Hudson-Ungava

GEM priority theme(s):  Metallogeny of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:   The objective of this project is to use geochronology to better constrain metamorphism in that segment of the Tasiuyak gneiss that is undisturbed by the Abloviak shear zone.  This work is part of the Proponent’s more extensive Tectocore project that is focused on assessing the extent, intensity and timing of tectonometamorphism in the various domains that comprise Quebec’s Nunavik area (i.e. New Quebec Orogen [NQO], Torngat Orogen [TO] and the Archean Core Zone [CZ] gneiss block).

Benefits to Canada:  This project, coupled with the results of the Proponent’s significantly more extensive Tecotocore initiative, supports the development of a modern geological knowledge framework for this relatively poorly studied part of Labrador/Quebec, which in turn could draw the attention of the scientific and industrial communities to the Hudson-Ungava region.

Using Ca and Mg Isotopes to Track Fluid Flow in the Lake Mesoproterozoic Borden Basin, Baffin

Proponent: McGill University

Project Leader: Dr. Galen Halverson 

GEM region of interest: Baffin

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to use Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) isotopes to understand the history of fluid flow through late Mesoproterozoic carbonate platforms of the Bylot Supergroup.

Benefits to Canada:  The new data generated as part of this project will be integrated with existing databases from late Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of northern Baffin Island and used to develop a more thorough model of the depositional and alteration history of an economically important sedimentary basin.

Mineralogy, Macro, Trace, and Rare Earth Element Analysis of Selected Precambrian through Tertiary Bylot and Baffin Island Strata

Proponent: Memorial University of Newfoundland

Project Leader: Dr. Elliott Burden

GEM region of interest: Baffin

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Thermochronology and low temperature thermal history of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to construct a large geographically extensive collection of rock lithology and chemical data for some Cretaceous and Tertiary strata of the eastern Arctic.

Benefits to Canada: This data will provide a better understanding of the structure, regional bedrock stratigraphy and resource potential of Cretaceous and Tertiary strata of the eastern Arctic, which may be useful in the development of more informed mineral exploration strategies on Baffin Island.  Parks Canada can use the project data to better interpret the basic geology and structure of the Bylot Island National Park, and add to the ecotourism potential of the region.

Dating Metamorphism in the Tantato Domain using Lu-Hf Gamet Geochronology

Proponent: University of British Columbia Okanagan

Project Leader: Dr. Kyle Larson

GEM region of interest: Rae

GEM priority theme(s): Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives: The objective of this Project is to use Lutetium-Hafnium [Lu-Hf] age dating to derive new constraints on the timing of metamorphism for rocks on either side of a large, poorly understood shear zone in the Tantato Domain of Northern Saskatchewan.

Benefits to Canada: The area that will be examined in northern Saskatchewan is part of a Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) priority research area.  This project will help elucidate some of the targets specified by GEM and contribute to a better understanding of the geological history and potential metallogenic significance of northern Saskatchewan’s Tantato Domain.

Multivariate Analysis of Till Composition in the Hudson Bay Lowland:  Implications for drift Prospecting

Proponent: University of Waterloo

Project Leader: Dr. Martin Ross

GEM region of interest: Hudson-Ungava

GEM priority theme(s): Glacial history and drift prospecting of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives: The objective of this Project is to develop a geochemical classification of glacial sediment (till) from northeastern Manitoba to improve understanding of their composition from a mineral exploration point of view and to assess the potential for a buried Precambrian inlier with economic potential.

Benefits to Canada: The project will provide new geosciences knowledge about an underexplored region within the Hudson-Ungava area, advancing the understanding of glacial history in northern Canada.  Results will support ongoing mineral exploration and/or attract new investments.  Additionally, this project will train highly qualified personnel ready to contribute to the Canadian geosciences workforce.

2017 - 19 Multi-Year Grants

Grant recipients are listed in alphabetical order.

Grant recipients are listed in alphabetical order.

Tectonothermal Evolution of the Nain and Hopedale Blocks

Proponent: Cape Breton University

Project Leader: Dr. Deanne van Rooyen

GEM region of interest: Hudson-Ungava

GEM priority theme(s):  Thermochronology and low temperature thermal history of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of the project is to investigate the Archean to Paleoproterozoic tectonothermal and metamorphic evolution of the Hopedale and Saglek blocks as exposed in Labrador and adjacent Northern Quebec as well as their recent exhumation and denudation history.

Benefits to Canada:  This project addresses a gap in the knowledge about the tectonothermal and crustal evolution of the North Atlantic Craton with respect to metamorphism during collisional orogenesis. The data and interpretations generated in this project will improve the geodynamic framework for studying the evolution of the Hudson-Ungava area and northern Canada, and provide critical constraints used to correlate areas of Labrador and Nunatsiavut with similar ones Greenland.  By supporting student projects that involve training in field mapping, metamorphic petrology, geochronology and thermochronology, the project serves to further develop and enhance Canadian geoscience capacity.

Cambro-Ordovician Stratigraphy in the Epicratonic Basin of NWT

Proponent: Laurentian University

Project Leader: Dr. Elizabeth Turner

GEM region of interest: Mackenzie

GEM priority theme(s):  Metallogeny of northern Canada; Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of the project is to undertake the last component of a major, multi-year project that will yield a complete transect (>500 km) of Cambiran-Ordovician strata from the epicratonic basin in the Selwyn basin (continental margin).

Benefits to Canada:  Project results will lead to a better understanding of the geological history of an extensive past of northwestern Canada that spans almost 15% of the Phanerozoic.  An increased understanding of the economic base metal potential of the study area has the potential to enhance exploration activity, which could stimulate the local economy by providing employment opportunities and result in greater northern revenue generation.  The project will also sustain and further develop Canadian research expertise and strengthen Canada’s position as a global leader in the discipline of geoscience.

Evaluating the Source of Copper in the Storm Deposit, Somerset Island (NU)

Proponent: Laurentian University

Project Leader: Dr. Elizabeth Turner

GEM region of interest: Rae

GEM priority theme(s):  Metallogeny of northern Canada; Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to determine whether the Aston Formation experience the type of subsurface water-rock interaction necessary to have been a viable copper source for the Storm Cu showing on Somerset Island.

Benefits to Canada:  Consistent with a key GEM objective, the project will provide basic geoscience knowledge about a relatively poorly studied geographic area in Canada’s Arctic island archipelago, which contains a group of impressive coper showings.  The project will also facilitate the training of highly qualified personnel equipping them with the knowledge, approaches and skills to make valuable contributions to Canadian geology.

Jurassic Sedimentation along the Yukon-Tanana-Slide Mountain Terrane Suture Zone: Regional Exhumation During Porphyry Mineralization

Proponent: Memorial University

Project Leader: Dr. Luke Beranek

GEM region of interest: Cordillera

GEM priority theme(s): Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:   The purpose of this project is to test the hypothesis that the Faro Peak formation resulted from the rapid exhumation of porphyry-bearing intrusions in central Yukon, analogous to recently published ideas for equivalent rocks of the Whitehorse trough situated farther to the west.

Benefits to Canada: The project utilizes state-of-the-art analytical techniques that will significantly advance and modernize the geological knowledge of Canada’s North, including the origin of sutures and economically relevance rock units.  Because the proposed laboratory work takes place at an established and high-capacity facility in Canada, there is a great potential for high-impact products that can contribute new information to bedrock mapping programs in the GEM-2 regions of interest.  The project will also sustain and further develop Canadian geoscientific expertise in through the training of a graduate-level student.

Structural and Thermal Evolution of the Klondike Gold Fields, Yukon Territory

Proponent: University of British Columbia

Project Leader: Dr. Murray M. Allan 

GEM region of interest: Cordillera

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Thermochronology and low temperature thermal history of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to develop a tectono-structural framework for the prolific Klondike gold fields. 

Benefits to Canada:  This project is expected to contribute cutting-edge, multidisciplinary geoscience to a region of special historic and current economic significance.  Results will enhance the geoscientific knowledge base for the Yukon Cordillera and promote mineral exploration and development in northern Canada.  Given that a key pillar of the Yukon economy is reliant on natural resource development, a greater scientific understanding of the Territory’s mineral endowment will contribute to effective policy/land-use decisions.

Kinematic Evolution of the Tantato Domain, Southeast Rae Craton, Northern Saskatchewan

Proponent: University of British Columbia

Project Leader: Dr. Kyle Larson 

GEM region of interest: Rae

GEM priority theme(s): Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to examine the internal structure of the Tantato domain in order to better understand the structural framework of the region, which may help to target future exploration for magnetic nickel-copper deposits.

Benefits to Canada:  Consistent with GEM Program objectives, the proposed research will lead to a better understanding of the geological processes involved with the development of the Rae craton and the evolution of the Archean crust across Canada’s North, including defining critical new geologic constraints necessary to assess previous contradicting geologic models for the development of the Tantato domain.  Better definition of the kinematic framework for rocks along the southeast margin of the Rae carton will help assess the potential of the area to host economic mineral deposits.  At the present time, magmatic nickel-copper showing have mainly been identified in rocks of the Upper Deck sub-domain, and it is hoped that a new structural understanding of the region will help assess the

potential for the occurrence of economic deposits in the Lower Deck sub-domain.

Low Temperature Thermochronology of Pearya, Northern Ellesmere Island:  Resolving the Architecture of the Canadian Arctic Margin

Proponent: University of Ottawa

Project Leader: Dr. David Schneider

GEM region of interest: Western Arctic

GEM priority theme(s): Evolution of Canada’s northern sedimentary basins; Thermochronology and low temperature thermal history of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective of this project is to conduct a low-temperature thermochronology investigation of the Pearya Terrane of northern Ellesmere Island to test existing models of circum-Arctic and regional basin evolution of the Canadian northern margin.  The Pearya Terrane is recognized as the only exotic terrane along the Canadian Arctic margin, and its enigmatic affinities obscure circum-Arctic paleogeographic reconstructions.  Given the potentially large volumes of economic resources contained within the Arctic Basin, insight on regional tectonic evolution and basin development is a necessity for future exploration.  

Benefits to Canada:  The research endeavours to continue to upgrade Canada’s capacity in advanced thermochronological methods and technologies that directly contribute to the development of integrated models of basin dynamics.  Exploration for, and development of, hydrocarbon-bearing strata along the Arctic Canada margin will have a positive economic impact on Canada.  The study area has been identified as having excelling oil and gas potential, and the proposed research will directly quantify major hydrocarbon exploration uncertainties while advancing the ways in which thermochronology is applied to geological investigation in Arctic frontier regions.

Geological Framework of the Northern Rae Province on Eastern Devon and Southeastern Ellesmere Islands

Proponent: University of Western

Project Leader: Dr. Gordon Osinski

GEM region of interest: Rae

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Thermochronology and low temperature thermal history of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives: The objective of this project is to establish a modern lithotectonic framework for the northing margin of the Rae Province and its relationship to terranes in the south and east.  In addition, ground-truth observations will supplement the advancement of remote-predictive mapping techniques for crystalline basement rocks in the Arctic.

Benefits to Canada:  The successful application of remote predictive mapping and algorithms by the project will further demonstrate “proof of concept,” which should enable Canadian satellite companies to expand the market for their products.  The provision of key new geochronological and geochemical data should support the development of a modern litho-tectonic framework interpretation for the northern margin of the Rae Province, which should facilitate correlation with the main Rae Province in the south and mineral resources-rich terranes in the east (i.e. Greenland).  By supporting student projects, the project facilitates the training of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in GIS, field data collection and high Arctic geological mapping, and a range of geological analytical methods.

Barometry and Metal Fertility of Plutons in Relation to Major Fault Displacements, Northern Cordillera

Proponent: University of Victoria

Project Leader: Professor Dante Canil

GEM region of interest: Cordillera

GEM priority theme(s): Metallogeny of northern Canada; Tectonothermal evolution of northern Canada; Crustal architecture of northern Canada

Objectives:  The objective is to provide information on the depth of exposure of the crust, and displacements along many key fault structures in Cache Creek and neighbouring terranes of northwestern BC for inclusion in current tectonic models.

Benefits to Canada:  The project directly supports GEM’s priority objectives i.e. collect, acquire and analyze data by using and developing innovative multidisciplinary regional geo-mapping methods, as it applies to energy and minerals exploration; and produce high quality innovative science products and ideas and develop geological models and regional geoscience frameworks.  Project research will lead to an overall understanding of the metallogeny in relation to the tectonic development and crustal fabric of the northern Canadian Cordillera, which has the potential to attract increased investment6 and result in greater exploration success.  The project also supports the further education and training on Canada’s next generation of geoscientists in field mapping and geochronology/geobarometry.