Nunavut, Ottawa team up to continue geo-survey

Project uses tool to measure earth’s magnetic field, identify magnetite


An aerial survey, using something called a “magnetometer,” is currently under way for geological mapping between Iqaluit and Pangnirtung, according to a recent statement from the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office.

The survey is part of a longstanding project to map the properties of bedrock across the North, said Warner Miles, spokesperson for Natural Resource Canada, on Aug. 15.

“The main reason we’re flying this one, this summer, is to support a bedrock mapping project that will take place next summer,” Miles said.

The survey began inland Aug. 6 and will identify the mineral magnetite — an iron oxide — by measuring changes in the earth’s magnetic field, Miles said. Types of rocks can then be inferred, he added.

“It’s not a diagnostic test, but it’s very indicative of the types of rocks that are there.”

NRCan consulted with different groups on Baffin Island in order to avoid disturbing migratory birds in Cumberland Sound, Miles said.

“We were told there would be people on the land in the coastal areas until September 1, so we’ll fly coastal regions after that.”

The survey should be done before the scheduled Nov. 1 end date, but if early winter weather or magnetic storms disrupt work, Miles said the survey may be suspended until March.

“We have all kinds of plans, flying across the north and in Nunavut but those will be decided by February (2015).”

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