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TitleGlacial history and drift prospecting in the Canadian Cordillera: recent developments
AuthorPlouffe, A; Ferbey, T; Levson, V M; Bond, J D
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7261, 2012, 51 pages, (Open Access)
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is related to Plouffe, A; Ferbey, T; Levson, V M; Bond, J; (2012). Glacial history and drift prospecting in the Canadian Cordillera: recent developments, Prospectors and Developers Association Convention (PDAC), abstracts volume
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Yukon
NTS95C; 95D; 95E; 105; 115; 116B/01; 116B/02; 116B/03; 116B/04; 82F/03; 82E/13; 82L/04; 82L/05; 82L/12; 82M/04; 82M/05; 92H/07; 92H/15; 92H/16; 92I; 92L; 92O/05; 92O/12; 92P; 93B/04; 93B/05; 93C/01; 93C/08; 93C/09; 93C/16; 93E/14; 93E/15; 93F; 93H/04; 93H/05; 93J/05; 93J/06; 93J/11; 93J/12; 93J/13; 93J/14; 93K; 93L/01; 93L/03; 93L/09; 93L/16; 93M/01; 93M/02; 93M/07; 93M/08; 93N; 93O/04; 94G; 94I/09; 94I/10; 94I/11; 94I/12; 94I/13; 94I/14; 94I/15; 94I/16; 104B/11
AreaCanadian Cordillera; Tintina Trench; Grew Creek; Anvil; Faro; Finlayson Lake; Kudz Ze Kayah; Glenlyon; Clear Lake; Dawson; Selwyn; Anniv; Newman Peninsula; Babine Lake; Kamloops; Bonaparte Lake
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -124.0000 64.2500 60.0000
Lat/Long WENS-128.0000 -116.0000 60.0000 49.0000
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; drift prospecting; ice flow; ice movement directions; dispersal patterns; glacial deposits; tills; mineral potential; glacial landforms; gold; silver; lead; zinc; copper; Cordilleran Ice Sheet; Iron Mask Batholith; Faro Mine; Clear Lake SEDEX deposit; Wolf prospect; Lone Star property; Gibraltar Mine; Highland Valley Mine; Bell Mine; Huckleberry Mine; indicator minerals; Quaternary
Illustrationslocation maps; cross-sections; photographs
ProgramIntrusion/Porphyry Ore Systems, Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4)
Released2012 11 29
For more than 20 years, provincial, territorial and federal geological surveys have implemented surficial geology mapping and glacial sediment (till) sampling surveys within the Canadian Cordillera to evaluate the mineral potential of regions covered by glacial sediments using drift prospecting methods. The chemical composition of the till samples were assessed for anomalous element enrichments which were traced back to the bedrock source in the up-ice flow direction. Several mineral exploration targets have been identified by these surveys and followed-up by mineral exploration companies. The success of these surveys and subsequent follow-up relies on reconstructed ice-flow histories based on mapping of glacial sediments and ice-flow indicators varying from landform (e.g. drumlins) to outcrop (e.g. striations) scales. During the last glacial maximum (LGM), the Canadian Cordillera was covered by the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) which was thick enough to flow across high summits in both the Rocky and Coast mountains. The CIS left a clear foot print on the landscape including glacial landforms and thick successions of glacial sediments. The position of ice source regions and ice-divides changed during the last glaciation such that ice-flow directions at LGM were different than in early and late glacial times. However, northwest Yukon did not receive sufficient precipitation for extensive glacial ice build-up.
Recent developments and current research in the application of this drift prospecting methodology include: 1) the recognition of multiple ice-flow directions (including flow reversals) and associated glacial dispersal patterns, 2) the study of indicator minerals in sediments which could be traced to fertile mineralized bedrock sources, 3) recognition of mineral-rich dispersal trains in areas of thick till (> 30 m thick), and 4) the implementation of surficial sediment sampling strategies for the unglaciated landscape of northwest Yukon.