Non-profit puts British Columbia geological data into the public domain

Airborne Survey

by Greg Klein | January 26, 2016

A deeper understanding—literally—of some 6,700 square kilometres of northwestern British Columbia has come available not only to professionals but also to the public. Land use planners and local communities, as well as geologists and geophysicists, can benefit from a newly released Geoscience B.C. airborne magnetic survey, the non-profit announced January 26 at Mineral Exploration Roundup. The data’s on display via the organization’s proprietary online viewer.

The website combines new data with previously compiled info concerning geology, geochemistry, tenure and known mineral occurrences.

The first survey of its type since the 1960s, the mag was flown last autumn at 250-metre line spacing for a total of 30,000 line kilometres, the equivalent of about three-quarters of the earth’s circumference. By comparison, the 1960s effort used two-kilometre spacing.

The mag comprises part of a $2.41-million project that will complement a 2014 survey and include a planned 2016 survey that will be potentially the largest in the organization’s 10-year history.

“Once completed this survey will contribute to a mosaic of geophysics, geochemistry and geology with few equals in the world in terms of scale and free public accessibility,” said Bruce Madu, Geoscience B.C.’s VP of minerals and mining.

But the info provides more of a path than a destination. “Many interpretations of this data are possible and will be made for many, many years to come,” he added. “This is a contribution that’s multi-generational.”

In an accompanying statement, Nanwakolas Council president Dallas Smith said, “It is very important for First Nations communities to include reliable geoscience data when considering investment and land use decisions in their territories. This survey data will contribute to the decision-making process in a meaningful way.”

Funded by the province and industry, Geoscience B.C. gathers earth science info in partnership with natives, other communities, the resource sector, universities and governments.