Provenance of the East Arm Basin

Provenance of the East Arm Basin

lake and cliffs


The project aims to more thoroughly establish the stratigraphic timing and provenance of the various units in the Paleoproterozoic East Arm basin of Great Slave Lake, with particular attention to the basal Wilson Island and Union Island groups. Recognized 5-element vein styles of polymetallic mineralization will also be addressed through detailed petrological, fluid inclusion and isotope studies. The results of the study will allow a more holistic examination of the relationship of the East Arm basin and neighbouring geologic domains.

geology map


Mainland north and south of Great Slave Lake and between McDonald Lake and Taltheilei Narrows in the east and Outpost Islands in the west.

green weathering rocks


Establishing the timing and evolution of the basin provides the context for assessing the metallogenic evolution of the various metallic mineralization styles preserved in the region and the relationship of the East Arm basin and neighbouring domains of the Canadian Shield.

Rock cliff, person, lake


The project will be accomplished through strategic bedrock mapping and by dating key volcanic horizons and assessing the provenance (source, age, and nature) of the sedimentary rocks using the U-Pb zircon technique. Polymetallic mineralization will be investigated in the field and laboratory to assess the nature of the parental fluids that deposited the metals. Results can then be compared to similar polymetallic mineralization preserved near Great Bear Lake that was mined between the 1930’s and 1980’s.

Float plane, lake, outcrop, field gear


The project began by investigating a unique granular iron formation sedimentary rocks that occur in the Taltheilei Narrows area in 2013. Two weeks of field investigations and sampling were undertaken in 2014. In 2015, we plan between two and four weeks of further field investigations.

People, lack, rock hammer

Partners and Support

NTGS Participants:
Luke Ootes, Edith Martel, Hendrik Falck
Dr. Larry Heaman, University of Alberta
Dr. Thomas Chacko, University of Alberta
Dr. Robert Creaser, University of Alberta
Dr. Murray Gingras, University of Alberta
Dr. Ernesto Pecoits, University of Alberta
Dr. Barry Shaulis, University of Alberta
Alex Sheen, University of Alberta
Madisen Janzen, University of Alberta
Dr. Andrey Bekker, University of California at Riverside
Dr. Jacob Hanley, Saint Mary’s University


rock formation


East Arm basin; Great Slave Lake; Wilson Island Group; Union Island Group; Great Slave Supergroup; Et-Then Group; U-Pb zircon crystallization ages; U-Pb detrital zircon ages; detrital zircon Hf and O isotopes; metallic mineralization; Ni-Co-Ag-Cu-U mineralization; fluid inclusions; stable and radiogenic isotopes