GEM-2 Research Activities


Ancient faults and their controls on mineralization in northern BC and southern Yukon
(led by GSC in collaboration with YGS and BCGS): Detailed mapping of key crustal blocks and their bounding structures within the central Canadian Cordillera to better understand controls on mineralization. Modernizing the tectonic framework will help focus exploration and lead to additional discoveries, especially in areas where significant recent investment in infrastructure makes exploitation of smaller mineral deposits feasible.

Characterization of volcanic and intrusive rocks across the BC-Yukon border 
(led by GSC in collaboration with YGS and BCGS): This activity focuses on the integration of plutonic and volcanic frameworks in areas where the potential for additional copper-porphyry deposit discoveries remains high, such as in the northern Cordillera (e.g., Iskut River area). A volcano-plutonic framework will be developed and used to test crustal scale controls on the mineralization of prospective magmatic belts, providing an integrated, predictive model for the investigated copper-porphyry districts.

Geological framework of ancient oceanic crust in NW BC and SW Yukon 
(led by GSC in collaboration with YGS and BCGS): This activity will develop a new regional geologic framework for the southern Yukon and northern British Columbia. This framework will address the nature of and boundaries between Cache Creek and Stikine terranes, the distribution of their base-metal prospectivity, the history of associated sedimentary basins and the geological history that brought the various tectonic elements together.


Shield to Selwyn geo-transect: studying the evolution of sedimentary rocks of the northern mainland NWT to improve exploration success
(Collaborators: NTGS; Laurentian University; McGill University; University of Alberta): This activity will initiate the first regional integrated effort to place Proterozoic to Cenozoic strata of Mackenzie Platform, Selwyn Basin, and adjacent regions into a fully modern tectono-stratigraphic and metallogenic framework. Four sub-activities cover basin evolution during major stratigraphic intervals, two focus on bedrock mapping and structural evolution, and another deal with the region’s thermal history. 


Predictive surficial geology mapping derived from LANDSAT 7, Wecho River map area, NWT 
(in collaboration with the Geological Survey of the NWT, GNWT Environment and Natural Resources, and GNWT Department of Transport): This activity aims to provide a better understanding of the nature and distribution of surficial geology and glacial history of the southern Mackenzie Corridor. This work contributes to effective mineral exploration useful in drift prospecting for a variety of commodities including diamonds, precious and base metals, and supports informed decision making for resource development and land use.


Geologic and metallogenic framework of the South Rae Craton, southeast NWT 
(led by the GSC in collaboration with NTGO): Results of the Geo-mapping Frontiers project in the largely unexplored part of the South Rae Province demonstrated the region has previously unrecognized mineral potential for Ni-Cu-PGE, diamond and uranium mineralization and dramatically more complex geology than previously appreciated. This GEM-2 activity will upgrade the bedrock and Quaternary geologic framework in this poorly exposed area through framework and transects mapping in NWT as well as focused studies in NWT, Nunavut and Saskatchewan.

Geology and Mineral Potential of the Chantrey-Thelon Area 
(led by GSC in collaboration with CNGO): Following on Geo-mapping Frontiers reconnaissance geophysical, geochemical and geochronological results, fieldwork to upgrade mapping in the largely unexplored Chantrey-Thelon region will be focused on areas with newly recognized diamond, Cu-Ni-PGE and VMS (Cu-Zn-Au-Ag) resource potential.

Geological mapping and mineral potential of the Tehery-Wager area, south-central Nunavut
(led by GSC in collaboration with CNGO): A multidisciplinary approach, combining targeted bedrock and surficial mapping with stream sediment sampling, will be used to advance our understanding of the geological framework and mineral potential of the Tehery-Wager area, a poorly known region of the Rae craton with newly recognized potential for base- and precious-metal mineralization (Ag, Cu, Bi, Au) resulting from reconnaissance work undertaken under the Geo-mapping Frontiers project.

Integrated Geoscience of the Northwest Passage: Boothia Peninsula-Somerset Island Activity
(led by GSC in collaboration with C-NGO): This Activity includes bedrock mapping supported by geophysical, geochronological and geochemical datasets with targeted surficial studies across Boothia Peninsula and Somerset Island, a frontier region where knowledge stems from 1963 and 1986 mapping without benefit of aeromagnetic constraints or modern U-Pb geochronology.  This activity will significantly upgrade the outdated geoscience framework of this area, expand the impact of the mainland GEM 2 Rae Thelon Activity findings, and provide relevant data and knowledge to this isolated region of Nunavut that, because of global warming and the resulting increased shipping, will increasingly be exposed to matters related to resource assessment and economic development.

Western Arctic

Stratigraphy of Banks, Brock, Borden and Mackenzie King islands: Sverdrup Basin Petroleum Systems and Mineral Potential 
(through collaboration with NTGO): This multidisciplinary activity will enable scientists to fill gaps in framework geoscience knowledge along the margins of the Arctic Ocean and improve the correlation of the geology from onshore areas into the offshore.  Activities include the installation of teleseismic devices to better understand deep crustal structure, as well as the petroleum potential of Sverdrup Basin, and diamond potential of Banks Island.

Impact of a volcanic event on mineral and hydrocarbon potential in the northeastern islands of the Canadian High Arctic
The large igneous province in the northeastern part of the Canadian Arctic Islands has the potential for iron-oxide copper-gold, Pb-Zn or Ni-Cu-PGE mineral deposits. Field-based mapping studies will yield insights into the mineral potential of the area, as well as the mechanism of Arctic Ocean basin opening, which will have implications for petroleum systems within the region.


Completing the regional bedrock mapping of the southern half of Baffin Island 
(led by GSC in collaboration with CNGO, Government of Nunavut,   Nunavut Arctic College (NAC), Carleton University and Oxford University): Integrated multidisciplinary activity, combining targeted bedrock mapping with lake and stream sediment sampling  in the Sylvia Grinnell Lake – Clearwater Fiord area between Iqaluit and Pangnirtung that will provide regional syntheses and cross-sectional profiles encapsulating new knowledge of the bedrock geology and sedimentary basins, including potential terrane boundaries and zones of mineralization (diamonds, Ni, Cu, Fe, PGEs, Pb and Zn) and carving stone.

Stratigraphic and Tectonic Framework for the Baffin Bay Petroleum Systems
This activity includes the compilation, reprocessing and interpretation of modern and legacy seismic and other geophysical and geological data that will provide the input for a collaborative regional model of the Baffin Bay offshore and adjacent landmasses.


Core Zone: Tectonic Framework and Mineral Potential of Northern Quebec and Labrador 
(led by GSC in collaboration with MRNQ, GSNL, Queen’s University and University of Waterloo) Working collaboratively from a GSC camp, GEM-2 work will focus on the bedrock mapping and mineral potential of the Core Zone and its bounding terranes, including the Pallatin Suite, the De Pas batholith, and the Labrador Trough. Working in the area near Kujjuaq, field activities will help to focus the search for metals such as copper, zinc, gold and rare earth elements in the area.

Surficial mapping & geochemistry 
Working collaboratively with the MRNQ and the Geological Survey of Newfoundland & Labrador Department, GEM-2 activities will focus on improved knowledge of the surficial geology and geochemistry, glacial history, and mineral potential of the Core Zone and its bounding supracrustal terranes in Quebec and Labrador. 

Integrated regional stratigraphy of petroleum basins in Hudson-Ungava 
(through collaboration with CNGO, MGS and OGS) - The integrated regional stratigraphic framework is the natural continuation of GEM-1 work where specific local frameworks were constructed. The fine-scale correlations of these frameworks (Ontario, Manitoba, offshore Hudson Bay, onshore Foxe basin, offshore Hudson Strait) is only possible through the use of a multidisciplinary approach that will combine detailed biostratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, sedimentology, petrophysics and geophysics.

Identification and characterization of hydrocarbon source rocks in Hudson Bay and Strait 
(through collaboration with CNGO, MGS and OGS) An understanding of the source rock nature, the critical component of the hydrocarbon systems of the Hudson Bay / Strait and Foxe Basin will be addressed through various geochemical research activities. The burial and thermal evolution of the source rocks to evaluate their capacity of having generated oil will be constrained through refinement of geothermochronology.

RADARSAT analyses of potential oil slicks in Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin 
(through collaboration with CCMEO) - Natural oil slicks have specific radar physical and temporal characters that help to distinguish them from anthropogenic cases. Extensive analyses of multi-year (3 years) RADARSAT images over Hudson Bay and Foxe basins have led to the recognition of 41 potential oil slicks on surface water. Continued analyses of these specific areas should be done for a few more years in order to evaluate their persistence through time, a strong indicator of potential natural seeping hydrocarbons. Moreover, multi-year acquisition and analyses of images from the Hudson Strait has to be done. The preliminary interpretation of the RADARSAT data in Hudson Strait will provide insights to plan new seafloor bathymetry acquisition.