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TitleMineralogy of mudstone, bocanne, and klinker deposits, Smoking Hills (Ingniryuat), Northwest Territories, Canada
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorPercival, J BORCID logo; Bilot, I; McLoughlin-Coleman, TORCID logo; Grasby, S EORCID logo; Polivchuk, M JORCID logo
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 8804, 2021, 26 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedNRCan photo(s) in this publication
File formatreadme
File formatpdf; rtf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS97C/05; 97C/12; 97C/13; 107D/09; 107D/16
AreaIngniryuat; Smoking Hills
Lat/Long WENS-127.2500 -126.5000 70.0000 69.4167
Subjectsmineralogy; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; mineralogical analyses; x-ray diffraction analyses; scanning electron microscope analyses; sample preparation; whole rock analyses; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; mudstones; minerals; sulphate; jarosite; gypsum; quartz; muscovite; illite; heulandite; mineralization; Smoking Hills Formation; Mason River Formation
Illustrationsspectra; location maps; satellite images; photographs; photomicrographs; plots; bar graphs; profiles
ProgramGEM-GeoNorth: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals GEM Program Coordination
ProgramScience Laboratory Network
Released2021 07 15
AbstractCombusting mudstones in the Smoking Hills area, Northwest Territories, were reported by European Arctic explorers in the early part of the 19th century. These sites emit hot sulphuric gases due to auto-combustion of pyrite-rich zones. The acidic gases react with the surrounding mudstones to precipitate brightly coloured mineral deposits. In this study, samples were collected from active burning sites (bocanne), inactive sites (klinker) and unaltered mudstones to characterize their mineralogy. The active sites are comprised of variable amounts of discrete sulphate minerals from seven different mineral groups, whereas the inactive sites are characterized mainly by jarosite, gypsum and quartz. The mudstone mineralogy shows most samples contain variable amounts of quartz, muscovite/illite, heulandite and jarosite and a host of other minerals in minor to trace amounts. Understanding the mineralogy of these sites provides new insights on formation of high-temperature acid minerals.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
In the early part of the 19th century, explorers reported 'smoking hills' in the Canadian Arctic. This study documents the complex mineralogy of naturally-burning mudstone (bocanne) in Cretaceous age rocks located along the east side of Cape Bathurst, adjacent to Franklin Bay. The burning is due to oxidation and combustion of pyrite, producing sulphurous gases that react with the mudstone to precipitate variably coloured sulphate-bearing minerals. The samples contain at least nine different sulphate minerals. Inactive vent sites, called klinker, are weathered remnants of bocannes and characterized by simpler mineralogy, nominally comprised of jarosite, gypsum and alunite. This study provides evidence for the stability of some of the sulphate minerals in this arctic desert environment.

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