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TitlePreliminary 3D modelling and structural interpretation of southeastern Athabasca Basin
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorLi, Z; Bethune, K M; Chi, G; Bosman, S A; Card, C D
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 7426, 2013, 21 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS74A/13; 74G/01; 74G/08; 74H/03; 74H/04; 74H/05; 74H/06; 74H/07; 74H/10; 74H/11; 74H/12; 74H/13; 74H/14; 74H/15; 74I/03; 74I/04
AreaKey Lake; Millennium; McArthur River
Lat/Long WENS-106.5000 -104.5000 58.2500 56.7500
Subjectsstructural geology; stratigraphy; magmatism; igneous rocks; mineral deposits; mineral occurrences; uranium; unconformities; structural features; structural interpretations; structural analyses; mineral exploration; uranium deposits; mineralization; basement geology; Athabasca Basin; Athabasca Group; Proterozoic; Precambrian
Illustrationsphotomicrographs; location maps; cross-sections; images; rose diagrams
ProgramTargeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI-4) Uranium Ore Systems
Released2013 07 03
AbstractThe southeastern portion of the Athabasca basin hosts the largest high-grade unconformity-related uranium deposits in the world, including the McArthur River and Key Lake deposits. As a first step of an effort to reconstruct and model the fluid flow related to uranium mineralization, a 3D model of the sub-Athabasca unconformity and basin stratigraphy has been constructed using publicly available geological, geophysical and drill-hole data. Several cross-sections have been built and integrated into the 3D model to constrain the spatial configuration of Athabasca Group units. Faults have been identified using an iterative approach where potential fault lineaments were identified using the basement geophysical signature then confirmed by the presence of spatial relationships to offsets of the unconformity surface. Using this approach, three dominant sets of faults, inferred to be subvertical, have been identified in the study area: northeast trending, north-northwest trending and northwest trending. In the 3D model, the unconformity surface shows an approximately northeasttrending zone of elevated topography where elevations change abruptly (SE to NW) from about -100 m to +200 m (referenced to mean sea level). This topographic ridge of the unconformity surface is associated with the Phoenix - McArthur River deposits trend. A preliminary cross-section illustrates that this topographic high may be controlled by northeast-trending reverse faults that have uplifted the basement. Regional clay anomalies in the Athabasca Group and the majority of deposits and prospects are also broadly coincident with this feature. Future work will be focussed on increasing resolution of the model in this and other key areas to gain a better understanding of the geometry and kinematics of regional plus local structures and their control on fluid flow and uranium mineralization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Interim report documenting the spatial relationships between faults and the eastern Athabasca Basin uranium ore deposits. Observations are based on a preliminary 3D model that permits visualization of the various geological units and structural features (faults) that controlled formation of the ore deposits.

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