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TitleQuaternary geology of the Babine porphyry copper district: implications for geochemical exploration
AuthorLevson, V M
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences 38, 4, 2001 p. 733-749, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93K/13; 93N/04; 93N/05
AreaBabine Lake; Dust Creek
Lat/Long WENS-126.5000 -126.0000 55.5000 54.7500
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; stratigraphy; geochemistry; glacial deposits; glaciolacustrine deposits; glaciofluvial deposits; glacial landforms; tills; ice flow; deglaciation; Holocene; till geochemistry; physiography; geochemical analyses; geochemical surveys; mineral exploration; Wisconsinan Glacial Stage; Quaternary
Illustrationssketch maps; aerial photographs; stratigraphic sections
ProgramNechako NATMAP Project
AbstractThe Quaternary stratigraphy of the Babine Lake region is characterized by a Late Wisconsinan succession of advance-phase glaciolacustrine sediments, glaciofluvial deposits, and till. Pollen data from a rare new interglacial site suggest a colder than present Middle Wisconsinan climate. Ice flow during the last glaciation was dominantly southeasterly, but in the Babine Range a regional, westerly ice-flow event occurred. Evidence for westerly flow diminishes eastward of Babine Lake, suggesting that the valley was near the eastward limit of an interior ice divide. Deglacial sediments include ice-marginal debris-flow, glaciofluvial, and glaciolacustrine sediments. Raised-delta elevations indicate that Glacial Lake Babine extended nearly 150 m above present lake level to 850 m asl, and higher, earlier phases may have existed locally. A variety of Holocene deposits cap the Quaternary succession. Glaciation has important implications for exploration in this copper-producing area. Southeasterly glacial dispersal patterns dominate, despite a regionally complex ice-flow history. Highly anomalous concentrations of copper occur in tills down-ice of most known bedrock copper occurrences, and a number of similarly anomalous till sites with no known copper sources have been identified in drift-covered areas. Exploration problems due to the thick and complex surficial cover can be overcome by selective sampling of basal tills, the composition of which clearly reflects the presence of buried mineral deposits. The effectiveness of till geochemistry as a method for locating buried mineralization in the region will be enhanced by careful selection of sample media and by a clear understanding of the glacial history.

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