The QUEST-Northwest Project includes a continuation of a series of large-scale reanalysis initiatives that have been sponsored by Geoscience BC since 2007. Recognized as a cost-effective means of updating information collected during older government funded regional geochemical surveys, these programs have significantly improved the BC geochemical database by providing a wide range of new analytical information at improved detection levels plus greater data compatibility with analytical methods currently being employed.
The original regional geochemical survey targeted for this project was conducted in 1987 and included parts of the Sumdum and Telegraph Creek map areas (NTS 104F and G). In co-operation with the BC Geological Survey (BCGS) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), samples saved from the survey work were retrieved from storage facilities in Ottawa. A total of 1414 drainage-sediment and quality-control samples were subsequently delivered to Becquerel Laboratories Inc. (Mississauga, ONT) and analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) for 35 elements. Due to a deficiency of available material, 17 samples were not able to be included in the reanalysis work. Weighed and encapsulated samples were packaged for irradiation along with internal standards and international reference materials. Samples and standards were irradiated together with neutron flux monitors in a two-megawatt pool type reactor. After a seven-day decay period, samples were measured with a high-resolution germanium detector. Typical counting times were 500 seconds.
New INAA results generated by the QUEST-Northwest Project have been provided in the Microsoft(r) Excel (XLS) file GBC REPORT 2012-06.XLS. The data has been carefully checked for analytical quality using blind duplicate samples and control reference material. When determined to be complete and accurate, the reanalysis data were merged with sample site location information acquired from the original survey publications. Detailed information on data structure, abbreviations and field observation codes has been provided in Appendix A. In addition, code definitions have been included as a tab in the XLS file.