|Abstract||The relative paucity of near-surface, baseline geoscience information is considered a practical limitation to petroleum and mineral exploration, infrastructure development, and the drafting and
evaluation of Environmental Assessments in the Northwest Territories. The Seismic Shothole Drillers' Log Database and GIS project seeks to address aspects of this knowledge gap through the collection and digital enabling of seismic shothole drillers'
logs; a formerly unrecognized source of useful geoscience information. An initial version of the shothole database and GIS (transcribed from an old file card archive) was published as GSC Open File 5465 in 2007, and contained 76,000 records.
Concurrent, and subsequent to this original project, work was undertaken to secure participation by Industry and the retrieval of as much of the recent and archival drillers log records as existed. Nearing completion, this Version 2 database contains
~300,000 records distributed throughout the NWT and northern Yukon, representing contributions of data from 14 different companies, along with approval for release of data from >70 joint venture partners and/or their present-day derivative companies.
Drillers' logs contain often rudimentary information on sediment types and thicknesses, underlying bedrock, and an array of different descriptors and adjectives that permit greater inferences to be drawn. The logs can also contain information on
permafrost conditions, the presence of ice, and such oddities as gas pockets and seeps. While regarded as having questionable merit on their own, the integration of the shothole data into a GIS, along with other regional datasets, has permitted
several key stratigraphic and thematic layers to be interpreted, including: drift isopach, potential granular aggregate, geohazards, permafrost and ground ice occurrences, and muskeg thickness. Included as part of the original OF 5465 GIS, these
layers are being recompiled as part of the planned Version 2 database release. Additional GIS layers that depict the extent and distribution of massive ground ice layers, estimates of permafrost thicknesses, the nature and distribution of different
till facies, subcrop bedrock types, surficial geology characterizations, and an integrated assessment of litholog-based potential granular aggregate deposits and commonly associated morpho-stratigraphic surficial geology map units (i.e.,
glaciofluvial deposits), highlight the relevance and application of this data to exploration and development activities, remote predictive mapping, and scientific inquiry.
Having established a functional database and GIS structure, plans are
currently underway to evolve the database into an online format, whereby it can serve as a depository for all future seismic activity in the territories. Work is also now being expanded to integrate drillers log records with shallow geophysics
techniques (GPR and resistivity logging) as a means of evaluating the litholog records themselves, and permitting a broader regional assessment of near-surface geology in areas of active seismic exploration.