Geoscience and Exploration

Activities of the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 09:00 to 09:19 Theatre 1


L.J. Ham (Presenting)
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

S. Zhang
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

S. Basso
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

C. Gilbert
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

H.M. Steenkamp
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

T. Tremblay
Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office

The Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office (CNGO), established in 1999, operates as a tripartite government office being co-funded and co-managed by three partners – Natural Resources Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Government of Nunavut. The CNGO is Nunavut’s de-facto geological survey with the mandate to provide accessible geoscience information and expertise to support sustainable and responsible development of Nunavut’s natural resources (mineral and energy resources), and to develop and promote geoscience education, training, and capacity building.
Most of CNGO’s research involves collaboration with university and government partners. Recent work has concentrated on 1) geological research (mapping) for responsible natural resource development; 2) mapping for climate change and permafrost; 3) mapping for infrastructure; and 4) data dissemination and capacity building. Thematic studies include detailed research (e.g., Paleozoic stratigraphy) to understand Nunavut’s geology. Research for infrastructure needs includes permafrost and aggregate studies and energy-related research involves petroleum and uranium studies. Data dissemination – publication of maps, reports and datasets through publicly accessible websites – and community communication efforts ensure the timely release of research results. The CNGO disseminates its geoscience data through many avenues, including the annual Summary of Activities initiated in 2012.
A new project over a large area of northwestern Baffin region is a multi-faceted collaborative research project involving CNGO and several Canadian universities (Laurentian, UQAM, McGill). The project’s mandate is to fill in some of the remaining gaps in geoscience knowledge. In 2018, bedrock and surficial geology mapping on the southern part of the study area followed on a geophysical survey; the northern part will be studied in 2019. A Strategic Partnership Grant from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada allowed collaborative research projects for graduate students. These thematic research projects were focused on the tectonic history of the area; the possible record of Earth’s early lifeforms in old sedimentary rocks; the thickness of beds and presence of fossils in younger sedimentary rocks; and the glacial history of the region.
Bedrock mapping focused on the Wager shear zone on the northwestern coast of Hudson Bay is currently the subject of a M.Sc. thesis. The Western Hudson Bay compilation project along the western coast of Hudson Bay from the Manitoba border to Rankin Inlet is compiling all existing aggregate, mineral potential, surficial geology, land cover, and permafrost data for this area. The western Kitikmeot region contains several areas with well-exposed sedimentary rocks. These rocks were part of a collaborative study between Laurentian and the CNGO to understand better the geological history of the land, and to explore for economic commodities such as uranium and carving stone.
Understanding ice-flow direction and important geomorphological processes is critical for interpreting the geochemistry and mineralogy of surficial sediments. Surficial interpretation studies continued over Southampton Island and Foxe Peninsula. Lake sediment data from Baffin Island is being reanalysed, using updated analytical techniques. A continuing project using the RV Nuliaiuk is gathering information to support infrastructure development in the city of Iqaluit by characterizing the seabed morphology, sediments, and marine geohazards.