Interactive App or Map 013

Author(s) Date 2023-03-02

2021-2023 survey:

Between 2021 and 2023, as part of the Alberta Minerals Strategy and Action Plan, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) / Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) carried out the largest high-quality regional airborne magnetic and gravity survey in Canadian history, and one of the largest worldwide.

Geophysical data for nearly 800 000 line kilometres (lkm) (732 422 lkm newly acquired and 66 539 lkm purchased) of magnetic and ~134 000 lkm of gravity are now available for free download and viewing. These new surveys provide much higher resolution and accuracy than legacy coverage, which was commonly archaic and sparse, and they fill a large data gap in northern Alberta for which no public-domain aeromagnetic data previously existed.

The new aeromagnetic data, with a 200 m terrain clearance, flight lines spaced at 800 m, and tie lines at 2 500 m, cover 31 NTS map sheets over the entire northern Alberta Plains between the latitudes of 54°N and 60°N, for a total of 573 682 lkm. The Canadian Shield (the Shield) in northeastern Alberta was covered by a high-resolution magnetic survey with a 400 m line spacing and tie lines 2 500 m apart, and a 100 m terrain clearance, for a total of 52 205 lkm.

The flight-line orientation was chosen to run across the dominant anomaly grain in each anomaly domain. With low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, the Rocky Mountains, parts of the Foothills, and some adjacent Plains areas were omitted from these surveys for operational and safety reasons (such as dangerous wind patterns), as was the restricted airspace over the Cold Lake airbase.

In several areas, commercially available aeromagnetic data of recent enough vintage and flown with parameters adequate for our purpose were purchased and integrated in our regional survey.  Aeromagnetic data from recent Athabasca Basin surveys, flown under another program, have also been incorporated.

Gravity surveys were performed over selected areas of inferred prime mineral potential, such as the “kimberlite corridor” in north-central Alberta and the Hay River fault zone in NW Alberta.

The southern Alberta Plains between the Montana border and 51°N (4 NTS sheets – survey still in progress as of Mar-2023) were covered with magnetic data flown at 800 m line spacing and tie lines at 2 500 m, with a 200 m terrain clearance, totaling 106 535 lkm. This dataset will be released upon processing.


2021 survey (GAP and Shield areas):

An initial aeromagnetic survey totalling 91 775 line kilometres (lkm) was carried out in early 2021 in two blocks in northern Alberta by EON Geosciences Inc. on behalf of the Alberta Energy Regulator. The first block was a high sensitivity aeromagnetic survey (800 m spacing and 2 500 m tie lines) in north-central Alberta over an area with no previous regional aeromagnetic data (the “GAP”). The second block was a high-resolution aeromagnetic survey (HR, 400 m spacing and 2 500 m tie lines) over the entire Alberta portion of the Canadian Shield in northeastern Alberta.