The area of mountain pine beetle infestation in central British Columbia has areas of highly prospective bedrock geology, but exploration has been limited due to thick cover of surficial deposits. Knowledge of the glacial history, specifically the ice flow history and dominant transport direction is vital to interpret geochemical surveys. Significant knowledge gaps exist in the glacial history of the QUEST area and thus pose a significant hindrance on exploration. This project was designed to address these knowledge gaps by providing a Quaternary framework and both regional and detailed till based geochemical surveys.
The project stimulated exploration in beetle kill affected areas by the release of new surficial geology and geochemical survey data and provided a framework for companies to interpret their own datasets. The project also provided invaluable training for at least two M.Sc. students and numerous undergraduates. This ambitious project occured over three years and provided:
- The regional glacial geologic framework for NTS 93 G, H (west half), and J from the central portion of the Quest area.
- A map of approximate drift cover for areas within NTS 93 G, H (west half), and J based on existing terrain, soils, and surficial geology mapping as well as forestry-related terrain mapping.
- Terrain mapping of six 1:50,000 scale sheets
- Till geochemical (trace, minor and major elements by aqua regia-ICP and INAA) and gold grain counts and heavy mineral separates of these new sheets,
- Detailed geochemical surveys down ice of two geophysical anomalies from the recently completed geophysical surveys.