|Titre||The Proterozoic Dessert Lake Red Bed Basin, target for uranium exploration - an update|
|Auteur||Bleeker, W; LeCheminant, A N|
|Source||Commission géologique du Canada, Dossier public 7140, 2012, 1 feuille, https://doi.org/10.4095/291404|
|Éditeur||Ressources naturelles Canada|
|Media||en ligne; numérique|
|Province||Territoires du Nord-Ouest|
|SNRC||85F/09; 85F/10; 85F/15; 85F/16; 85J|
|Lat/Long OENS||-117.0000 -114.0000 63.0000 61.5000|
|Sujets||levés géophysiques; levés sismiques; levés de reflexion sismiques; couches rouges; bassins; bassins sédimentaires; analyse du bassin; géométrie du bassin; grès; uranium; gîtes minéralogiques; lithologie;
Province des esclaves; Province de l'Ours; Craton de Slave ; Zone de Great Bear Magmatic ; géophysique; géologie structurale; géologie économique; Protérozoïque|
|Illustrations||location maps; cross-sections; photographs; plots; histograms; profiles|
Bibliothèque de Ressources naturelles Canada - Ottawa (Sciences de la Terre)
|Programme||Uranium, GEM : La géocartographie de l'énergie et des minéraux|
|Diffusé||2012 07 04|
|Résumé||(disponible en anglais seulement)|
The Dessert Lake red beds comprise a largely concealed sedimentary basin outlier of Proterozoic sandstones to the west of Great Slave Lake (Bleeker and
LeCheminant, 2007). These sandstones are intruded by Mackenzie age diabase and thus older than 1270 Ma. They overlie and geophysically mask Archean to Paleoproterozoic basement rocks of the southwesternmost Slave craton and adjacent Great Bear
Magmatic Zone. Only one outcrop of these sandstones is known, on the western shore of Great Slave Lake, the rest of the basin outlier being concealed underneath thin but geophysically transparent Paleozoic platform rocks. Although much remains to be
learned about this weakly tilted but otherwise undeformed sandstone sequence, it likely represents an erosional remnant of a much more extensive Proterozoic red sandstone cover that may have been present across much of the western Canadian Shield.
Closest analogues and possibly direct correlatives are the Athabasca Basin to the southeast and the Hornby Bay Basin to the north.
Given these likely correlations, and its proximity to Yellowknife, the shores of Great Slave Lake, and the main
highway (NWT Highway 3) between Fort Providence and Rae-Edzo, the basin remnant is of some interest to uranium exploration companies. In recent years, much of the basin was staked and a number of exploratory holes were drilled. Several important
questions remained however:
1) What is the age of this red bed sequence?
2) How thick is this basin remnant, and is the basal unconformity within reach of drilling and exploration?
3) How far does this basin remnant extend to the west?
And finally, does this basin extend far enough west to have been imaged on the regional seismic reflection line of LITHOPROBE's SNORCLE Transect (e.g., Cook et al., 1999).
Having identified the eastern edge of this basin with some confidence,
including the one outcrop on Great Slave Lake, our initial hypothesis was that the red bed sequence may correspond with a shallow subhorizontal reflector on the SNORCLE reflection profile. Re-investigation of drill core cuttings from several old oil
and gas exploration drill holes in the area now rule out this possibility: cuttings at the bottom of several drill holes in proximity to Highway 3 show Paleozoic platformal rocks directly overlying a variety of granitoid rocks. From this we can
conclude two things:
1) The Dessert Lake red bed basin wedges out (faulted?) somewhere to the east of Highway 3.
And 2) consequently, the major subhorizontal reflector on the SNORCLE seismic profile (at ~2-3 km depth), between Rae-Edzo and Fort
Providence, cannot be the basal unconformity of these red beds. Given that it forms a marked, laterally persistent reflector in apparently transparent granitoid basement, we now interpret this major reflector as a large diabase sill of either Hottah
(ca. 780 Ma) or Mackenzie (ca. 1270 Ma) age. If the red beds continue to the west, they likely do so, discontinuously, along a northwesterly trend parallel to the North Arm of Great Slave Lake.