The major objective of this project, which is partially funded under the Canada-Alberta Partnership Agreement on Mineral Development (MDA), was to determine the regional variations in the texture, indicator minerals and geochemistry of till in northern Alberta, to assist exploration by industry for diamondiferous kimberlite and lamproite, gold placers, and other minerals.
The results of the indicator mineral sampling done as one component of this project have been discussed in Dufresne et al. (1994) and Dufresne et al. (1996). This discussion is not repeated here. However, three geographic trends, of anomalous values, are indicated, based on the number and quality of eclogitic and other indicator minerals. These include: (1) a southwesterly trend from just north of the town site of Peace River to Grande Prairie (Peace River Trend); (2) a southerly trend from the lower Wabasca River to the Loon River (Wabasca River Trend); and (3) a two-lobed southwesterly trend in the Fort McMurray area (Fort MacKay Trend).
A combination of atomic absorption and neutron activation techniques were used to determine the concentrations of the following elements, discussed in section 3: antimony, arsenic, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, lead, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silver, sodium, thorium, uranium, vanadium, zinc, and zirconium. The lab samples consisted of the <0.063 mm fraction separated from the field samples. Most samples were till, although a few were from other sediment types. The concentration of each element does not vary uniformly throughout the region, there are some local anomalies. The most striking facet of the areal distribution of the elements is that many show the highest values from till samples that were collected above, or down the direction of glacial flow from, the subcrop of the Shaftesbury formation. Also, high values for certain elements were found in samples from the clear hills - Naylor Hills region.