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Spring 2012 Rock Chips

Spring 2012 Rock Chips

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A quarterly newsletter published by the Energy Resources Conservation Board/Alberta Geological Survey
A quarterly newsletter published by the Energy Resources Conservation Board/Alberta Geological Survey

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Published by: Alberta Geological Survey on May 25, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Bulletin 65, The Northern Alberta Kimberlite Province:The First 20 Years
ERCB/AGS announces publication of Bulletin 65,
The Northern Alberta Kimberlite Province: The First 20 Years.
In December 2011, AGS published a bulletinthat documents the discovery of kimberlite- bearing rocks in northern Alberta between
1990 and 2010. This bulletin describes the
history of kimberlite discovery in northernAlberta, their age and composition, thegeological setting in which they occur, as
well as their diamond content.
To date, 51 kimberlite bodies have been
identied in three areas of northern Alberta:
the Mountain Lake area, the Buffalo
Head Hills, and the Birch Mountains. The
kimberlites were emplaced during short
intervals of violent volcanism. The origin
of the volcanic rocks in each of thesekimberlite bodies varies, and, as a result,each area contains different concentrations of diamonds, with the highest diamond contentoccurring in an 88- to 81-million-year-old
kimberlite from the Buffalo Head Hills.
Younger kimberlite rocks from the BuffaloHead Hills, together with different types of volcanic rocks in the Mountain Lake andBirch Mountains areas, have lower diamond
Despite its variable diamond content, thenorthern Alberta kimberlite province provides an excellent opportunity to studysome of the best-preserved, near-surface
kimberlite bodies in the world. Information
 presented in Bulletin 65 enables explorersto evaluate diamondiferous kimberlitein northern Alberta and elsewhere in the
Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It also provides
information regarding the bedrock geology of northernAlberta and enables the Alberta government to better 
manage this potential provincial resource. Lastly,
Bulletin 65 provides a summary for all Albertans about
the diamond potential of their province.
If you would like a hard copy of this report, please
contact Crystal Thomson at Crystal.Thomson@ercb.ca.
Limited copies are available. You can also download the
free PDF from
Rock Chips
is published four times a year by the Alberta Geological Survey in the spring,summer, fall and winter.Individual articles, statistics and other information in this publication may bereproduced or quoted as long as the ERCB/AGSis credited.Past and present issues of 
Rock Chips
may beviewed on the AGS website at
 AGS reports are available for download for freefrom our website at
.Energy Resources Conservation Board Alberta Geological Survey#402, 4999 - 98th AvenueEdmonton, AlbertaCanada T6B 2X3Tel: (780) 422-1927Fax: (780) 422-1918E-mail: AGS-Info@ercb.caClients in the Calgary area may view AGSpublications atEnergy Resources Conservation BoardLibrarySuite 1000, 250 – 5 Street SWCalgary, Alberta T2P 0R4Tel: (403) 297-8242
Story Contact Information
The following AGS staff members may be contacted
for further information on their articles or citations.
Bulletin 65, The Northern Alberta KimberliteProvince: The First 20 Years
 Nigel Atkinson (780) 427-9924
AGS Workshop Draws Experts from AcrossNorth America
 Nigel Atkinson (780) 427-9924
Committee of Provincial and Territorial...Tour
Mark Fenton (780) 427-1764Staff may also be contacted via e-mail by entering
the author’s rst name.last name@ercb.ca
Comments and suggestions for Rock Chips may be
sent to Maryanne Protz at maryanne.protz@ercb.ca
ERCB/AGS GeomodellingWorkshop Draws Expertsfrom Across North America
To take advantage of the recent advances that have beenmade in the collection of airborne geophysical data andits integration in three-dimensional geological modelsand hydrological studies, ERCB/AGS hosted a geological
modelling workshop in Edmonton in January 2012.
AGS staff was joined by scientists from AlbertaEnvironment and Water, the Geological Survey of Canada, the United States Geological Survey and theManitoba, Illinois and Minnesota geological surveys, as
well as representatives from the private sector.
The workshop focused on developing geologicalframeworks for assessing the near-surface hydrogeologyof a number of regions in North America, including
Alberta. Two major themes were examined. The rst
explored opportunities and challenges associatedwith the acquisition, calibration and application of 
airborne geophysical surveys. The second examined
the importance of developing high-quality, three-dimensional geological models and how these models
can be best applied to hydrogeological studies.
Collectively, the expertise shared at this workshop will
 benet AGS staff members as they move forward on
the Provincial Groundwater Inventory Program (http://
html), which will provide maps and reports to improveunderstanding of Alberta’s groundwater resources for 
 public, industry, and regulatory use.
“Numerous provincial, state and federal agencies areusing innovative approaches to produce more accurategeological models that are needed for groundwater 
resource management,” said Dr. Nigel Atkinson, leader of the Quaternary Geology section. “The willingness
of nationally and internationally recognized scientiststo come to Alberta to share their experience andknowledge speaks to an acknowledgement of the work that has already been completed in the province, aswell as the widespread interest being generated by the
ongoing work at ERCB/AGS.”
An Open File Report containing the abstracts of thework presented at this workshop will be available on the
AGS website within the next few months.
2 Rock Chips Spring 2012
Committee of Provincial and Territorial Geologists InauguralMedalist Lecture Tour or a Talk Around Alberta
Each year, the Committee of Provincial andTerritorial Geologists (CPTG) awards the Provincialand Territorial Geologists Medal to recognize a
geologist’s major contributions to geoscienticresearch. In 2010, the CPTG honoured our ownDr. Mark Fenton with this award.
As part of this award, in 2011, the CPTG launched
its inaugural lecture tour. This tour gives medalists
the opportunity to present their work and network 
with staff at other geological surveys. As the current
medalist, Mark was pleased to visit the BritishColumbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest
Territories, and Yukon surveys.
Mark’s presentation, entitled
Compilation of 
Surcial Geology Map of Alberta: Approach and Technology
, comprised two parts. Part one focused
on the project’s status and results, the map legend,the problems with compiling 70 years’ worth of  published maps, and the ‘geo-sleuthing’ needed to
locate older surcial map data.The second part illustrated how surcial mappinghas evolved at AGS during the last two years. It
has moved away from the traditional multistepapproach to a single-step process in which the
geologist creates the nal map within ArcGIS. This
method uses various data types, including imageryfrom light detection and ranging (LiDAR), digital
airphotos, Landsat 7, and SPOT-5. The geologistscheck their interpretations against eld data usingruggedized computers and tablets for real-time eld
navigation, data recording, and heads-up stereo
During each survey visit, Mark gained other geologists’ perspectives on operational
environments and approaches for similar tasks.
This knowledge sharing will assist everyone inconsidering new methods and technologies to
improve efciency.
While visiting the Yukon survey, its outreachgeologist requested Mark give two ‘geochats’ to
high school students. These chats informed students
about geology as a career and the opportunities
for summer employment. Mark said his opening
statement that “geology offers a chance to be paid to
 be outdoors” always grabbed the students’ attention.
 Other highlights of Mark’s tour included enjoyinghis most memorable meal at a West Indianrestaurant in Whitehorse and seeing the coolestsnow castle at the Snowking Winter Festival inYellowknife (at a balmy -36°
Mark thanks all of the geologists who hosted him at
each of the surveys he visited.
Rock Chips Spring 2012 3

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