Detailed geological mapping

Safety is the first consideration in finding a site for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. Detailed geological mapping (also known as detailed outcrop mapping) is one of a series of technical studies that help identify a safe and secure location for the repository.



    Why this study is done

    The purpose of detailed outcrop mapping is to further advance our understanding of the bedrock geology in the areas being studied. These mapping investigations help refine our understanding of the rock type. We study the structural character of the bedrock, especially the size, type and location of fractures. We also look at the rock’s physical characteristics, such as colour and texture.

    Detailed outcrop mapping also helps us better understand the distribution and thickness of overburden, which is made up of looser materials like clay, sand or gravel overlying the bedrock. We also document the accessibility of the areas studied.

    The results of detailed geological mapping, combined with data collected from earlier studies such as airborne geophysical surveys, observation of general geological features, and desktop studies, will help inform decisions about future studies.

    How this study is done

    The scope, locations and access for detailed outcrop mapping activities are planned and conducted in collaboration with people in the area who have an interest in the land. Geoscience specialists complete the detailed outcrop mapping over a period of two to three months. They investigate as many locations of exposed bedrock as possible. They travel throughout the identified study areas using all-terrain and four-wheel drive vehicles, boats/canoes, and aircraft.

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