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The geology of Amco Lake, Burnet Creek and Wreck Lake Coppermine River area, N.W.T. Sheng, Cheng-Chun 1958

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THE GEOLOGY OF AMCO LAKE, BURNET CREEK AND WRECK LAKE COPPERMINE RIVER AREA, N.W.T.  by CHENG-CHUN SHENG B«,Sc, U n i v e r s i t y of Peking, China, 19h7  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE  i n the Department of GEOLOGY  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April,  1958  i  ABSTRACT  Two separate areas which are located i n the southern portion of the Coppermine River area were surveyed by the author during the summer of 1957 • The area under i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s underlain by the upper part of the Epworth Series and the lower part of the Coppermine River S e r i e s .  Because of  the l a c k of f o s s i l s i n these s e r i e s , they are presumed to be of l a t e Precambrian age.  The upper part of Epworth Series i s represented by dolomite and i n t e r -  bedded q u a r t z i t e .  The lower part of the Coppermine River Series i s  represented  by a series of basalt flows which are t y p i c a l t h o l e i i t e s , and interbedded sandstone i n i t s upper p a r t . A monzonite dyke crosses the basalt flows and sandstone at a high angle and i s p a r a l l e l to the main b a s a l t i c dyke swarm seen i n the Takiyuak Lake area. The common s t r u c t u r a l feature i s a series of tension f a u l t s trending from N10°E to Nl»5°E and N10°W to N20°VJ,  This i s believed to have originated  by the compressive force from the north induced by the Caledonian movement* The ore minerals, mainly c h a l c o c i t e , occur i n quartz-carbonate i n feeder dykes and flow tops of b a s a l t . a l l y found i n the fractures  veins  Flakes of native copper are occasion-  of the basalt flows*  In p r e s e n t i n g the  thesis i n partial  fulfilment of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h it  this  freely  available  agree t h a t for  Columbia, I agree t h a t  the Library  s h a l l make  f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y .  permission f o rextensive  I further  copying o f t h i s  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d b y t h e Head o f my  D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e .  I t i s understood  that  copying or publication of t h i s thesis  gain  s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n  for  Department o f  ifeology  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a . A p r i l , 1958  Columbia,  financial  permission.  SHENG, c h e n g - c h u n  Date  thesis  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page ABSTRACT  i  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS  ii  TABLES  iii  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  iv  CHAPTER I General Introduction  1  Previous Work . . . . . . .  . . .  7  General Geology  8  CHAPTER II Stratigraphy General Statement Epworth Series Lower Coppermine River Series Monzonite Dyke CHAPTER I I I  10 10 10 11 Il;  Petrography . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sedimentary Rocks Volcanic Rocks . . . . . . . . Monzonite dyke  16 16 21  CHAPTER IV Structural Geology  3U  CHAPTER V Economic Geology. •  37  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure Feeder dyke of the basalt Inequagranular mosaic of coarse dolomite lense included i n f i n e grain dolomite Quartzite composed of grains of quartz showing inclusions due to secondary growth . . . . . . .  Page  1 & 2  LU  3  16  I;  18  iii  Sandstone composed of o o l i t i c chamosite, chalcedonic quartz and iron ore Basalt shows subophitic texture Basalt shows microporphitic texture Basalt contains microphenocrysts of augite Basalt contains o l i v i n e . . . . . . . . . Araygdaloidal basalt Veinlet of quart-feldspar aggregates i n b a s a l t . . . . . . . Chalcocite i n an amygdule . . . . . . . . . Chalcocite i n an amygdule  Figure  Page  5> 6 7 8 9 10 & 11 12 13 li+  19 22 22 23 2L 26 hO hP 1(1  Table  Page  I  f>  II  30  III  32  TABLES  Strikes of the g l a c i a l atriations 2V of pyroxene and the composition of plagioclase of the basalt c o l l e c t e d from Amco Lake and Burnet Creek area. 2V of pyroxene and the composition of plagioclase of the basalt c o l l e c t e d from Wreck Lake area •  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  The writer i s deeply indebted t o Prof, K.C. McTaggart, Prof. W.H. White f o r t h e i r encouragement i n discussing  and c r i t i c i z i n g various  geolo-  g i c a l problems concerned; to Dr. J . V . Ross for his kind leadership i n laboratory work.  I.  CHAPTER  I  General Introduction;. The Coppermine R i v e r area i s bounded on the north by the A r c t i c Ocean and l i e s w i t h i n the A r c t i c C i r c l e between "latitudes 67 degrees west and i s approximately 7,000 square miles i n extent., The part under i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s l o c a t e d i n the southern p o r t i o n of t h i s area, w i t h i n the region of the Coppermine Mountains which trend N70°W from the west side of the b i g bend of the Coppermine R i v e r .  Two separate  p a r t s of the area were surveyed by the author during the summer of 1957. One part i s l o c a t e d near Amco Lake,, and has an area of about £U square m i l e s , while the other part l i e s about 9 miles west of Lake Amco, and has an area of approximately 30 square miles., (Map 1 and 2). At present, access t o the Coppermine Mountains d i s t r i c t i s best obtained by an a i r c r a f t chartered from Yellowknife... Numerous l a k e s w i t h i n the region provide n a t u r a l ports f o r landing a i r c r a f t .  During May of each  year, i c e on t h e l a r g e r lakes remains t h i c k enough f o r landing a i r c r a f t equipped w i t h skis.. A f t e r the l£th of J u l y , when most lakes are f r e e from i c e , aeroplanes which are provided w i t h pontoons can e a s i l y f i n d places t o land.. Normally on the 15th day of J u l y the ground i s almost f r e e from snow. Along the south-facing c l i f f s t h i c k b e l t s and patches of snow p e r s i s t throughout the summer and are s t i l l present i n September when c o l d w i n t r y weather r e t u r n s . The weather during the summer i s f a i r *  The temperature i s moderate  from J u l y t o August w i t h frequent showers and few heavy rains.,  2  Prospecting conditions i n summer are, on the whole, good, but the time is short and prospecting can only be carried on effectively from the beginning of July to the end of August,. The Coppermine River area lies within the Arctic barren lands,. The vegetation of the upland consists of grasses, sedges and low arctic annuals.  Trees, mainly tamarac and spruce only grow along the banks of the  Coppermine River and other larger rivers© Animals, i n general, are not plentiful in this part of the barren lands... Grayish-brown colored squirrels were frequently encountered on the drift covered plain.. Other animals which may be seen occasionally are caribou,, wolves, red foxes and wolverines j grizzly bears are rarely seen.. Seagulls, ptarmigans and wild duck are relatively abundant in the area..  Geese and swans were occasionally observed on the larger lakes and  during August, swallows were seen,. Mosquitoes and black f l i e s are most numerous during late July and August and constitute a serious nuisance to humans* The only permanent settlement in the area is the Eskimo village of Coppermine.  Eskimos, probably from Coppermine, were occasionally seen,  during the summer, hunting and fishing along the shores of larger lakes* In general, the area has low r e l i e f with elevations varying from 5*00 to 700 feet.  The low dips of basalt flows are responsible for the  typically f l a t monotonous topography.  The flows dip gently to the north with  a series; of characteristic south-facing c l i f f s that have heavy talus at their base,. The Coppermine River dominates the drainage system of the region,. It starts somewhere near the east or northeast of Point Lake and flows northwards toward the Arctic Ocean for about four to five hundred miles and enters  3  C o r o n a t i o n G u l f n e a r t h e town o f Coppermine.  At t h i s p o i n t , i t s v a l l e y -  opens out f r o m a gorge t r a c t i n t o an a l l u v i a l f l a t .  From P o i n t L a k e , t h e  r i v e r t a k e s a n o r t h e r l y c o u r s e as f a r as t h e west end o f September Mount a i n s j - h e r e i t bends t o t h e e a s t between Coppermine M o u n t a i n s a n d September Mountains.  The n o r t h e r l y c o u r s e of t h e r i v e r i s resumed downstream f r o m  t h e s o u t h e a s t end o f Coppermine Mountains*. The c o u r s e o f t h e r i v e r on the e a s t s i d e o f Coppermine M o u n t a i n s and f r o m t h i s p o i n t downstream t o Coppermine i s more o r l e s s p a r a l l e l t o t h e g e n e r a l d i r e c t i o n o f one s e t of f r a c t u r e s i n t h e r o c k of the Coppermine R i v e r Series..  T h i s stream c u t s a c r o s s t h e s t r i k e o f t h e r o c k s and t a k e s a  z i g - z a g c o u r s e down t h e d i p d i r e c t i o n of t h e r o c k t o w a r d s t h e north..  Thus,  t h e p a t t e r n o f t h e r i v e r c o u r s e seems t o be t h e r e s u l t of t h e i n i t i a l , s l o p e of t h e l a n d and may be c l a s s i f i e d a s a consequent stream.. The numerous t r i b u t a r y c r e e k s w h i c h e n t e r t h e Coppermine R i v e r a r e i n t e r m i t t e n t i n n a t u r e , b e i n g s p i l l - w a y s d u r i n g the summer, when t h e snow m e l t s on t h e r e l a t i v e l y h i g h g r o u n d . Numerous l a k e s o f a l l shapes and s i z e s a r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f t h i s area.. Most o f them a r e s h a l l o w and t h e i r s h o r e s a r e g e n e r a l l y f l a t and l o w . W i l l o w L a k e , Amco Lake and Wreck Lake a r e t h e l a r g e s t i n t h e a r e a .  Wreck Lake  i s f a i r l y deep ( o v e r 100 f e e t ) i n r e l a t i o n t o i t s s i z e , and i t s s h o r e i s g e n e r a l l y rocky..  This lake i s b e l i e v e d t o l i e i n a t e n s i o n a l f a u l t .  A s e r i e s o f N70°W t r e n d i n g r i d g e s r i s i n g 1,000 f e e t above t h e r i v e r l e v e l i s known as Coppermine M o u n t a i n s . T h i s h i g h g r o u n d i s bounded, on t h e s o u t h w e s t , b y a narrow b e l t o f l o w ground a c r o s s w h i c h t h e Coppermine R i v e r f l o w s between September M o u n t a i n s and Coppermine M o u n t a i n s . t h e north,, t h e h i g h ground i s merged i n t o a g e n t l y r o l l i n g  plain.  To  k  The area was e x t e n s i v e l y g l a c i a t e d during the Pleistocene Epoch and g l a c i a l d r i f t covers much of the area*  The maximum thickness of d r i f t  encountered i n e x p l o r a t i o n d r i l l i n g was about 30 f e e t * E r r a t i c s are w i d e l y s c a t t e r e d through the area.. Large g l a c i a l , e r r a t i c s of carbonate rocks up t o 15 f e e t i n diameter i n places l i e on the dip slopes of the d i p slopes of the b a s a l t f l o w s * S t r a i g h t p a r a l l e l s t r i a t i o n s on the surface of b a s a l t flows were observed i n many places.  The s t r i a t i o n s have an average s t r i k e of Nl4.0°S and  are w e l l preserved under the t h i n cover of d r i f t . .  I n a few p l a c e s , s t r i a -  t i o n s which narrow out toward northwest over a short distance ( 1 t o 2 f e e t ) were observed.  They are probably formed by the s c o r i n g a c t i o n of rock  fragments which were c a r r i e d along by the moving i c e sheet.  The s t r i k e s of  s t r i a t i o n s recorded i n the f i e l d are given i n Table I . Eskers were observed on the d r i f t p l a i n south of Burnet Creek and along the shore of some of the lakes.. They are more o r l e s s winding and long, narrow, steep-sided r i d g e s , having a height of 10 t o 30 f e e t and a width of 20 t o 80 f e e t .  Sand and g r a v e l are the c h i e f constituents.. I t i s  b e l i e v e d that the eskers were formed i n tunnels at the base of the g l a c i e r which had a considerable thickness and was r e l a t i v e l y f r e e from cracks. Many lakes i n the area are the result of g l a c i a t i o n and may be classified genetically 1*-  i n t o two types:  K e t t l e lakes l y i n g w i t h i n the d r i f t p l a i n *  The k e t t l e holes  may have r e s u l t e d from the operation of one of the f o l l o w i n g processes' (Flint,  19U7,  P.  1U8):-  (a)  The l a r g e s t and most conspicuous k e t t l e s r e s u l t from the melting of r e l a t i v e l y t h i c k p r o j e c t i n g i c e masses.  (b)  The melting of b u r i e d i c e masses.  Table  I  Observations i n the area of Burnet Creek and Amco Lake Number of L o c a t i o n 1*3 7 19 20 21 2k  25  30  iiO lilt 52 58 61 73 75 78 9 12  31 35 39  hS U8  58 62 6k 76 108  True S t r i k e  N- 85° W N 20° ¥ N 20° ¥ N 35° W N 35° ¥ N 20° ¥ N 20 ¥ N k0 ¥ N 25 ¥ N U0 ¥ N 30 ¥ N 50 ¥ N 65 ¥ N 50 ¥ N 50 ¥. N 15 w N 50 ¥ N 55 w N 1I5O W N 35 W N 50 o ¥ N 65 •N 65„W N 35°¥ N 60 ° ¥ N U5°W N ii5°¥ N 75 ¥ 0  o  0  0  o  o  G  o  Ol  0  0  0  0  Observations i n the area of Wreck Lake Number of Location 29  kS  3 8 11  25  True S t r i k e N N N N  38° ¥  35° W  15° 15° N 2li° N 25°  ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥  6  (c)  The melting of i c e masses which were f l o a t e d or dropped into the drift*,  Amco Lake seems to be a kettle lake formed by the f i r s t process* 2*  Small and shallow lakes were formed by the plucking action of  g l a c i a l i c e on the bed-rock. 1> i s known that there were three continental i c e centres i n North America: the Keewatin centre located i n the area between Northern Alberta and and the west side of Hudson's Bay; the P a t r i c i a n centre located on the height of land north of Lake Superior and the Labrador centre located east of Hudson's Bay. The d i r e c t i o n s of s t r i a t i o n s . shown on the Table I, together with the shape of the s t r i a t i o n s indicate that the dominant movement of i c e has apparently been from the southeast to the northwest.  By construction of the  directions of striations,, i t would seem that the g l a c i a t i o n i n this area  was  r e l a t e d to the Keewatin centre. In the area mapped, the l a c k of a t h i c k cover of vegetation leaves the rocks exposed to processes of d i r e c t mechanical, disintegration and xreathering.  chemical  D i s i n t e g r a t i o n of rock by f r o s t action appears to be the major  process i n forming the majority of the south-facing steep c l i f f s of the basalt flows* The e f f i c i e n c y of the f r o s t action i s shown by the h i g h l y shattered condition of most of the exposed bed-rock and by the large amounts of angular blocks and fragments occurring at the base of the south-facing c l i f f s * .  The  presence of columnar j o i n t s i n the basalt flows tend to f a c i l i t a t e this action.. Frost heaving i s much i n evidence on the dip slopes of the flows and blocks as large as 10 feet i n diameter may be seen heaved from 5 to 10 feet from t h e i r o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n *  7  L o c a l l y , i n p a r t s of the Coppermine R i v e r area, a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c feature of f r o s t - h e a v i n g i n g l a c i a l d r i f t i s the production of c i r c l e s t r u c t u r e s which have flat-bottomed, shallow, depressed centres rimmed by low narrow r i d g e s .  The expansion of i c e which r e s u l t e d from the f r e e z i n g of water  w i t h i n the d r i f t squeezed the d r i f t upward, and thus the loose d r i f t accumul a t e d around the centre of expansion t o make the observed form*  These  c i r c u l a r s t r u c t u r e s are d i f f e r e n t from stone r i n g s (Thoronbury, 19$h P«88) f  i n that the material, remains unsorted...  Previous Work I n 1769,  the Hudson's Bay Company a t F o r t C h u r c h i l l sent Samuel  Hearne to explore the Coppermine R i v e r where n a t i v e copper had been r e p o r t e d but there are no accurate d e s c r i p t i o n s of deposits dating from that e x p e d i t i o n or evidence t o prove the economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s reported by Hearne, In 1828,  S i r John F r a n k l i n and other members of h i s e x p e d i t i o n  v i s i t e d the area and r e p o r t e d the occurrence of natuve copper i n the v i c i n i t y of the Coppermine River and Bathurst Inlet,.  Later, i n 1911  and 1912,  the  geology along the Coppermine R i v e r and i n the v i c i n i t y of Dismal Lake was mapped by George M,  Douglas, L i o n e l Douglas and August Sandberg,  The f i r s t s c i e n t i f i c e x p e d i t i o n i n t o the area was sent by the Dominion government i n 1913,  The g e o l o g i c a l s e c t i o n , under the d i r e c t i o n of  Dr. J . I . O'Neil,: surveyed the c o a s t - l i n e west of the Kent Peninsula and i n v e s t i g a t e d occurrences of n a t i v e copper on the i s l a n d s and mainland, i n the v i c i n i t y of Bathurst I n l e t . In August, 1929,  a g e o l o g i c a l p a r t y under Thomas Creighton, using  two l a r g e a i r c r a f t , f l e w from Baker Lake to Bathurst I n l e t .  They were the  8  the f i r s t t o t r a v e r s e t h i s area by aeroplane.  From 1929 t o 1 9 3 0 , two mining  e x p l o r a t i o n companies sent prospectors and g e o l o g i s t s to t h i s region and the r e s u l t s of t h i s survey were reported by G i l b e r t and Duncan (1931 )•-. In the p e r i o d 19U3-1951, Dr. CP.. Jenney c a r r i e d out g e o l o g i c a l reconnaissance and d e t a i l e d examination of mineral showings i n the area. I n the recent years, the i n t e n s i t y of g e o l o g i c a l e x p l o r a t i o n i n the area has been increased.  During the summer of 1956-1957, Canadian mining  companies, n o t a b l y I n t e r n a t i o n a l N i c k l e Co. and P i c k l e Crow Gold Mines L t d . , sent prospectors and g e o l o g i s t s t o the region,, Modern geophysical methods, and diamond d r i l l i n g were used f o r l o c a t i n g ore bodies. General Geology Knowledge of the geology of the Coppermine R i v e r area i s based c h i e f l y on the work of Dr. C.P. Jenney who surveyed the c e n t r a l p o r t i o n of the D i s t r i c t of Mackenzie during the summers of 19U3-1951* The oldest rock formation i n the d i s t r i c t i s the T e s p h i e r p i g r a n i t e . I t i s a coarse-grained, gray t o pink r o c k *  Sediments, unconformably o v e r l y i n g  the g r a n i t e , c o n s i s t of sandstone and q u a r t z i t e of the Lower Epworth S e r i e s which are i n t u r n disconformably o v e r l a i n by the Coppermine R i v e r S e r i e s , the lower member of which c o n s i s t  of b a s a l t flows that are estimated b y Jenney  t o be up t o 13,000 f e e t i n t o t a l t h i c k n e s s * This s e r i e s of b a s a l t flows are described i n d e t a i l i n t h i s paper.  The upper member of the Coppermine R i v e r  Series c o n s i s t s of sandstone, shale and limestone which are intruded by a s e r i e s of s i l l s of b a s a l t i c composition, Monzonite and a c i d i c dikes have been found i n places t o cut the Lower Coppermine R i v e r S e r i e s * Because of the absence of f o s s i l s i n these r o c k s , they are assumed  9  to be of late Precambrian age. Palaeozoic dolomites and limestone l i e unconformably above the youngest members of the Coppermine River Series,,.  Table of Formations; (Jenney, 1951) Palaeozoic Dolomite and limestone Late Precambrian Quartz-carbonate veins Monzonite and acid dikes Coppermine River Series  Up  S i l l s , sandstone, scales and limestone.  Lo  Basalt flows with minor interbedded sandstone and quartzite.  1  -Dis c onf ormityEpworth Series  Dolomite, minor limestone and quartzite Conglomerate Sandstone and quartzite Unconformity Tesphierpi granite  For more than a century, occurrence of copper i n the Coppermine River area has been known.. Plates of native copper which are as large as 2 feet in diameter are found in fractures which cut the basalt and as surface float..  The chalcocite, bornite and minor amounts of chalcopyrite are the  common minerals found in the area..  10  CHAPTER I I STRATIGRAPHY  General Statement The oldest rock i n the Coppermine area i s the T e s p h i e r p i g r a n i t e but i t i s not exposed i n the area under i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  The Epworth S e r i e s  o v e r l i e s unconformably the T e s p h i e r p i g r a n i t e and i s subdivided i n t o two parts;: a lower part and an upper p a r t . The lower part i s composed of sandstone and q u a r t z i t e whereas the upper part i s represented mainly by dolomite and minor amounts of limestone and q u a r t z i t e ; the lower p a r t being separated from the upper part by a conglomerate bed.. Only the uppermost part of the Epworth S e r i e s , which i s close t o the b a s a l t of the Coppermine R i v e r S e r i e s , and which i s represented by dolomite interbedded w i t h q u a r t z i t e was i n v e s t i gated by the w r i t e r . The Coppermine R i v e r S e r i e s which disconformably o v e r l i e s the Epworth S e r i e s , i s a l s o subdivided i n t o a lower and an upper part., The lower part i s composed of b a s a l t flows w i t h minor interbedded sandstone and quartz i t e i n i t s uppermost s e c t i o n .  The upper p a r t i s composed predominantly of  red sandstone, shale w i t h minor amounts of dark c o l o r e d limestone, and s i l l s of b a s a l t composition. A monzonite dyke cut across the upper part of the Lower Coppermine Series i n the area under i n v e s t i g a t i o n .  Epworth S e r i e s The upper part of the Epworth Series c o n s i s t s l a r g e l y of dolomite and i s 3,800 t o i;,900 f e e t t h i c k (jenney, 1951).  The s e r i e s crops out along  11.  the north side of Dismal Lake.  The contact between the dolomite and the  overlying b a s a l t i s found at a l o c a l i t y about 12 miles east of Wreck Lake* From t h i s l o c a l i t y the dolomite swings t o the south of the September Mountains. In general, the dolomite i s grayish-whitej the weathered surface i s white or yellowish-white and i s r e a d i l y seen e s p e c i a l l y on the southfacing c l i f f s .  Some beds show dark-coloured s t r e a k s . Most of the dolomite  i s f r e e of c l a s t i c m a t e r i a l and i s f i n e l y c r y s t a l l i n e having a compact uniform t e x t u r e and smooth conchoidal fractures.. The average dip of the dolomite beds i s 7-10 degrees t o the north and the s t r i k e N60°W.  The rock i s w e l l bedded, i n d i v i d u a l beds ranging from  about 18 f e e t t o about 5 f e e t t h i c k .  Towards the top, the thin-bedded  character of the rock i s quite pronounced.  J o i n t s i n the rock are w e l l -  developed and g e n e r a l l y show a columnar p a t t e r n . Rectangular blocks of l a r g e s i z e are common along the base of the south-facing c l i f f s of the rock. The contact between the dolomite and o v e r l y i n g b a s a l t i s f a i r l y c l e a r and more o r l e s s l i n e a r or plane.. No f e a t u r e s of thermal metamorphism are present along the dolomite bed close t o the b a s a l t . A 3-foot bed of q u a r t z i t e , s u p e r f i c i a l l y resembling dolomite, occurs as an i n t e r c a l a t i o n i n dolomite about 50 f e e t below the dolomite-basalt contact.  The thickness of the q u a r t z i t e i s quite uniform along the s t r i k e .  Lower Coppermine R i v e r S e r i e s Basalt The b a s a l t flows u n d e r l i e Copper Mountains and September Mountains and they can be t r a c e d northwesterly f o r over one hundred m i l e s . Southeast of  12  September Mountains they swing t o the northeast and appear to t h i n out as., they approach the A r c t i c coast near longitude l l ! * (Jenney, 1 9 5 1 ) * 0  S i m i l a r rock  has been reported i n Bathurst I n l e t about 2 0 0 miles t o the east of Copper Mountains (Jenney, 1 9 5 1 ) .  On the northern part of V i c t o r i a I s l a n d (Washburn)  and a l s o about ij.0 miles southeast of Copper Mountains i n the v i c i n i t y of Takiyuak Lake (j.V. Ross, 1 9 5 7 ) , flows of b a s a l t have been found. The rocks as a whole are f i n e - g r a i n e d and gray i n c o l o r . top of some flows they e x h i b i t a reddish-brown  On the  c o l o r which i s due to o x i d a t i o n  and i s g r a d u a l l y diminished downward.. The tops of flows are c h a r a c t e r i z e d by large e l l i p s o i d a l amygdules and v e s i c u l e s . to have no p r e f e r r e d o r i e n t a t i o n .  The long a x i s of the v e s i c u l e s seem  The main minerals of the amygdules are  dark green epidote, quartz and c a l c i t e , whereas f e l d s p a r and z e o l i t e s are present i n minor amounts.. Generally, the lower part of the b a s a l t flows i s reddish brown and i s f i n e - g r a i n e d i n t e x t u r e . S l i g h t l y coarse-grained v a r i e t i e s are encountered i n various parts of some flows.. Lath-shaped c r y s t a l s of p l a g i o c l a s e and short, small p r i s m a t i c c r y s t a l s of pyroxene form most of the rock.  I r r e g u l a r grains of n a t i v e copper are present i n some p l a c e s .  The flow b r e c c i a , found i n only one flow i n the Wreck Lake area, i s composed of angular t o subrounded reddish-brown rock fragments of b a s a l t i c composition.. Most of the fragments are s i l i c i f i e d .  Quartz i s the predominent  m a t e r i a l f i l l i n g the i n t e r s t i c e s between the fragments.  ?he subrounded f r a g -  ments i n the b r e c c i a seem t o be the r e s u l t of abrasion during the moving of flows.. The flows i n the area under i n v e s t i g a t i o n are a s e r i e s of superimposed flows of b a s a l t , ranging i n thickness from 2 0 t o 5 0 f e e t .  In some  places, flows over 1 0 0 f e e t t h i c k have been reported i n t h i s s e r i e s . thickness of an i n d i v i d u a l flow v a r i e s along the s t r i k e .  The  Flows outcrop as  13  south-facing steep c l i f f s , topped by a gentle dip slope toward the north* In  general, the flows trend N50°w and dip about 7° t o 10° north. At Bathurst I n l e t , the basalt flows of the Coppermine River Series  overlie Boulburn quartzites and Kanuyak formation which i n turn o v e r l i e the Epworth dolomites (O'Neil, 192k) •• However, i n the area under investigation the basalt f l o w s . d i r e c t l y overlie the Epworth dolomite i n apparent disconformity. As shown i n the r e g i o n a l geological map of the Coppermine River area (Dr.. J.V.. Ross, unpublished map) between Coppermine Mountains and Takiyuak Lake, there are north trending dyke swarms which cut i n the metamorphosed shelf sediments of Exmouth Lake Group.  These dyke swarm probably the  major feeders f o r the flows occurring in, the Takiyuak Lake and the Lower Coppermine River Series.. In Amco Lake and Burnet Creek area, several dykes crop out; these dykes may also belong t o the same group of the dyke swarm above.  The best  example of the dyke was observed on a south-facing c l i f f of a flow i n the Amco Lake area.  As shown i n Figure 1, the dyke consists of dark gray  angular fragments of basalt cemented by chalcedonic quartz and carbonate..  The  exposed length of the dyke ranges from 3 t o 12 feet long and 2 to 6 feet wide. The average s t r i k e of the dykes i s about N30°E t o Ni;0 E and i t s dip i s mostly o  v e r t i c a l or steep.  A Ij-foot long and 2-foot wide, lense-formed dyke of the  same kind exposed on the dip slope of a flow i n the area south to the Burnet Creek, as shown i n Figure 2 . show no trace of f r a c t u r e .  The basalt country rock surrounding the dyke  Since no fractures occur i n the basalt cut by the  dykes, the fragments i n the dykes can not be explained as the r e s u l t of the fault,.  Thus, the o r i g i n of the fragments may be explained by one of the  following two processes:  1.  The l i q u i d l a v a receded a f t e r most of the dyke had s o l i d i f i e d .  This l a c k of support caused the p l a t y - w a l l s of the dyke t o collapse (H.T. Stearns, 19k0, p.l|l)..  The quartz a i d carbonate l a t t e r l y f i l l e d i n the  i n t e r s t i c e s between the fragments* 2* The fragments were produced by wedging a c t i o n of b a s a l t magma along o l d f r a c t u r e s *  Fig.. 1..  Fig.. 2.  Sandstone Sandstone, interbedded w i t h b a s a l t f l o w s , i s exposed three m i l e s northeast of Amco Lake,, The sandstone i s medium-grained and reddish-brown i n c o l o r and i s composed of i r r e g u l a r t o subrounded grains of quartz and i r o n ore*  The rock i s w e l l bedded, t h e beds ranging from one inch t o three f e e t  i n thickness. feet.  The minimum thickness of the sandstone i s estimated t o be 30  The overlying b a s a l t i s grayish green i n c o l o r , and has a c h i l l e d  contact against the sandstone*  However, the sandstone does not seem t o be  metamorphosed.  Monzonite dyke A monzonite dyke i s exposed 3 miles northeast of Amco Lake.. I t forms a prominent, steep ridge about 20 feet above the surrounding d r i f t -  15  covered ground.  The rock i s g r a y i s h , medium-grained, and i s composed mainly  of p i n k i s h K-feldspar, gray p l a g i o c l a s e and dark  ferromagnesiumminerals.  Grains of i r o n ore and a small amount of quartz are s c a t t e r e d throughout the rock.  The g r a i n s i z e of the rock at i t s margin i s f i n e r than a t the c e n t r a l  portion,, due t o c h i l l i n g near the contact of the b a s a l t . the dyke and the b a s a l t i s covered by the d r i f t .  The contact between  The dyke i s exposed f o r  a l e n g t h of approximately two hundred f e e t and p a r a l l e l s the main b a s a l t i c dyke swarm to the south.  I t s t r i k e s northward across the b a s a l t and sand-  stone beds.- The dyke i s approximately 1+0 t o 50 f e e t thick..  16  CHAPTER I I I PETROGRAPHY Sedimentary Rocks Dolomite In hand specimens, the dolomite i s l i g h t gray i n color and fine grained. Under the microscope, a sample from the lower horizon i s seen t o be composed entirely of carbonate alternating i n bands of fine grain and coarse grain.  In the bands of coarse grains, the carbonate i s present as  inequagranular mosaic*  The boundaries between the bands of the coarse grains  and the bands of the fine grains are rather smooth. Stain tests show that the rock consists only of dolomite. At about 10 feet below the dolomitebasalt contact, the rock, as revealed by t h i n section study, has similar texture with the rock stated above. The sample collected immediately below the contact i s mostly composed of fine grains of dolomite of more or less turbid microcrystalline appearance and lenses formed of inequagranular mosaic of coarse dolomite. The lenses may be due to r e c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n resulting from the baking by the basalt above (Figure 3)»  Figure 3. Inequagranular mosaic of coarse dolomite lense included i n fine grain dolomite* 8ox  17  The dolomite i s b e l i e v e d formed from replacement of c a l c i t e by Mg  ++  s o l u t i o n or the d o l o m i t i c beds may have been magnesium-rich c a l c i t e  muds of algal o r i g i n which became contemporaneously or subsequently dolom i t i z e d from a v a i l a b l e M g c e n t r a t i o n of M g mitization.  ++  ++  s o l u t i o n ( F a i r b r i d g e , 1957, p. 130).. The con-  i n the sea i s , t h e r e f o r e , an important f a c t o r f o r dolo-  Warm shallow n e r i t i c sea favored the growth of algae that may  a i d the concentration of magnesium ( F a i r b r i d g e , 1957, p.l5i)-)». On the sea f l o o r or sea shore d o l o m i t i z a t i o n takes place e f f e c t i v e l y . . No important d o l o m i t i z a t i o n occurs at or near the surface of the sea f l o o r . The presence of minor limestone beds i n the upper Epworth S e r i e s may suggest that the dolomite of t h i s s e r i e s has been formed by d o l o m i t i z a t i o n of the limestone. Quartzite I n hand-specimen, the rock i s medium-grained and l i g h t gray.  Under  Microscope, pockets or l a y e r s of f i n e grained quartz are seen t o be i n c l u d e d i n the coarse grained quartz., Subrounded t o i r r e g u l a r g r a i n s of quartz are present side b y s i d e . inclusions. grains.  Many grains of quartz contain c i r c l e s or e l l i p s e s of  These inclusions mark the mask surface of the o r i g i n a l sand  The i n t e r s t i c e s of the quartz grains are mostly f i l l e d by secondary  c r y s t a l l i n e quartz grown out from the o r i g i n a l g r a i n s . Some of the secondary quartz grains have the same o p t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n as the grains from which they grow; others show o p t i c a l d i s c o n t i n u i t y .  Cryptocrystalline  quartz i s found between the quartz g r a i n s j i t shows aggregate s t r u c t u r e between crossed n i c o l e .  Patches of dolomite are present i n t e i n t e r s t i c e s  of quartz grains or i n c l u d e d i n the secondary quartz.  I t seems that most o f  the dolomite i n the rock was introduced i n t o the rock before the r e c r y s t a l -  l i z a t i o n took place. (Figure 2|).  Figure k*  Quartzite composed of grains of quartz showing i n c l u s i o n s due to secondary growth. 80X  The o r i g i n a l sediment seems to have been a calcareous sand.  The  e x c e l l e n t s o r t i n g as i n d i c a t e d by the simple mineralogy and w e l l rounded o r i g i n a l grains of quartz r e f l e c t s the thorough washing and reworking of the sands. According t o F.J. P e t t i j o h n (1°1|8), q u a r t z i t e of sedimentary o r i g i n i s c a l l e d orthoquartzite and d i s t i n g u i s h e d from metaquartzite of metamorphic o r i g i n .  Three genetic types of the high quartz sandstone are  d i s t i n g u i s h e d by him: " f i r s t - c y c l e o r t h o q u a r t z i t e s , which are the product of intense chemical decay of the rock; secondary cycle orthoquartzites which are the product of reworking of the f i r s t cycle type; cleaned graywackes which are the product of washing out of the c l a y and s i l t portions of graywacke. Intense chemical weathering of the country reck i n a region produces a considerable amount of s i l i c a i n the r i v e r s that d r a i n the region. The f i r s t c i r c l e q u a r t z i t e , t h e r e f o r e , e x h i b i t s intense authigenesis, because, apparently, the sea water was charged with d i s s o l v e d s i l i c a and alkalies".  19  From the above considerations, i t i s concluded that the q i a r t z i t e i s a f i r s t cycle q u a r t z i t e . Sandstone The rock i s composed of large amounts of subrounded t o i r r e g u l a r grains of chalcedonic quartz, i r o n ores and minor quartz grains of i r r e g u l a r shape,. Of s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t are the occurrence of abundant grains of o o l i t i c reddish-brown chamosite and small amounts of orthoclase.  Figure  (Figure 5 ) .  Sandstone composed of o o l i t i c chamosite (gray), chalcedonic quartz ( l i g h t gray), i r o n ore ( b l a c k ) . 80X  The percentage of minerals i n the rock i s estimated as f o l l o w s : Percentage  Mineral Chalcedonic Chamosite Iron ore Calcite Quartz Feldspar  quartz  IlO  20 20 12 3  The reddish-brown c o l o r of the sandstone i s due t o the presence of  20  o o l i t i c chamosite.  The grains of quartz are c l e a r and f r e e from the coating  or crust of red m a t e r i a l and are thus, d i f f e r e n t from those o f the red beds i n which the grains of quartz are rimmed w i t h red i r o n oxide.. The grains of orthoclase are also c l e a r and f r e e from a l t e r a t i o n products r e s u l t i n g from weathering.  Chamosite may apparently form e i t h e r from chemical p r e c i p i t a t e  or as a replacement of carbonate d e t r i t u s ( P e t t i J o h n , 191*8, p . ! 1 3 ) .  The  grains of chalcedonic quarta and f e l d s p a r probably derived, p a r t l y , from the flow tops of the b a s a l t i n which the chalcedony occurs as amygdules. The shape of quartz and the presence of the grains of orthoclase i n d i c a t e the sediment i s poor i n s o r t i n g and was transported and deposited i n rapid condition* the  The presence of the grains of chamosite and i r o n ore i n  rock give the information of the s p e c i a l c o n d i t i o n of the d e p o s i t i o n .  The hydrogen-ion concentration of n a t u r a l waters i s of great s i g n i f i c a n c e i n chemical reactions accompanying sedimentary processes; the pH of the water i s an important c o n t r o l l i n g f a c t o r f o r the p r e c i p i t a t i o n of hydroxides from s o l u t i o n (Mason, 1951*  p.lltO).  In the diagram showing the f i e l d of  occurrence of t y p i c a l chemical end-member a s s o c i a t i o n i n terms of Eh and pH (Krumbein, G a r r e l s , 1952, the  p . 2 6 ) , the chamosite and i r o n ore are placed i n  f i e l d l i m i t e d by limestone fence and the organic matter fence;; t h i s f i e l d  represents normal marine open c i r c u l a t i o n c o n d i t i o n s . of about Ik per cent S i 0 , 7 t o 8 per cent A l ^ , 2  and about 18 per cent S^O  (Twenhofel, 1950,  The chamosite c o n s i s t s  around 60 per cent FeO,  p.Uj.2).  The high s i l i c a content  as compared w i t h the alumina suggests the water from which the mineral prec i p i t a t e d was a l k a l i n  i n nature w i t h pH  8-9.  21  Volcanic Rocks; Basalt Samples were c o l l e c t e d from various parts of s i n g l e flows and also from flows a t d i f f e r e n t horizons.,  C o l l e c t i o n s of specimens were obtained from  two separate areas: one group was c o l l e c t e d from Wreck Lake area, another, from Amco Lake and Burnet Creek area.  The t o t a l thickness of the flow  succession i n the former area i s about 2,800 f e e t and 1,1|00 f e e t i n the l a t t e r area.  S t r a t i g r a p h i c a l l y , the lavas i n the Wreck Lake area are older than  those i n Amco Lake area.  The t o t a l thickness of the b a s a l t under study i s  about k,2.00 f e e t . The r e s u l t s of the study of t h i n - s e c t i o n s made from the  separated  area are recorded i n the Tables I I and I I I . (See pages 30, 31 and 32). In hand-specimens, the b a s a l t s are c r y s t a l l i n e rocks w i t h g r e y i s h c o l o r , showing small g l a s s y prisms of p l a g i o c l a s e and dark spots of f e r r o magnesium minerals.  No flow s t r u c t u r e i s v i s i b l e i n the rock.  Under the microscope, the texture of t h e rocks i s predominently subophitic (Figure 6).. s e c t i o n s (Figure 7 ) .  M i c r o p o r p h y r i t i c texture i s a l s o present i n some I n few t h i n - s e c t i o n s the rocks show f a i n t flow t e x t u r e .  From the studies of many t h i n sections i t i s concluded t h a t the mineral composition  i s uniform..  The rocks c o n s i s t s mainly cf p l a g i o c l a s e ,  pyroxene and minor amounts of i r o n ore and a p a t i t e .  O l i v i n e i s found only  i n two t h i n - s e c t i o n s from Amco Lake and Burnet Creek area; one s e c t i o n cont a i n s only one g r a i n , another, contains 3 g r a i n s .  C h l o r i t e , serpentine,  e p i t o t e , s e r i c i t e and i d d i n g s i t e are everywhere present i n the sections which show a l t e r a t i o n  products*  P l a g i o c l a s e i s one of the main constituents i n the flows;; i t forms  22  Figure 7»  B a s a l t shows m i c r o p o r p h i t i c t e x t u r e , 8 0 X  23  lath-shaped c r y s t a l s which g e n e r a l l y show twinning on the a l b i t e law, but some grains are twinned on the carlsbad law.  Most of the p l a g i o c l a s e i s  h i g h l y a l t e r e d t o give a mottled appearance and contains a l t e r a t i o n products of s e r i c i t e , epidote and serpentine. l a b r a d o r i t e i n the older  Composition of p l a g i o c l a s e ranges from  f l o w s , which are represented i n the s e c t i o n o f  Wreck Lake shown on the Table I I , t o andesine i n the younger flows which are represented i n the section of Amco Lake and Burnet Creek area shown i n the Table I I I . The occurrence of andesine i n the older flows may be the r e s u l t of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of b a s a l t i c magma before i t s e x t r u s i o n .  In a t h i c k  f l o w , about 50 f e e t t h i c k , the An content of p l a g i o c l a s e i n the upper part i s l e s s than that of the lower p a r t . Two pyroxenes - augite and pigeonite - are present i n n e a r l y every specimen.  Augite i s predominant over the p i g e o n i t e .  In some s e c t i o n s , the  augite tends to form microphenocryst and these show twinning p a r a l l e l t o (100) (Figure 8). The mineral i s , i n most specinens, a l l o t r i o m o r p h i c ; only  Figure 8.  Basalt contains microphenocrysts of augite, p l a g i o c l a s e i s h i g h l y a l t e r e d showing mottled appearance. 8OX  2k  i n the coarse-grained rock does i t tend t o be i s o m o r p h i c .  Measurements, on the  u n i v e r s a l stage, of the o p t i c a x i a l angles of the augite i n many t h i n - s e c t i o n s from d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of the flows show that the 2V ranges mainly between f>0 to 55 degrees,.  S l i g h t l y zoned c r y s t a l s of augite are encountered i n some sec-  t i o n s showing 2V=52 degrees i n the core and 56 degrees i n the rim. pigeonite v a r i e s from 20 degrees to 26 degrees. and p a r t l y a l t e r e d t o serpentine and c h l o r i t e .  The 2V of  Both minerals are c o l o r l e s s They are c r y s t a l l i z e d out  simultaneously from the b a s a l t i c magma as shown by the f o l l o w i n g f a c t s : i n some t h i n - s e c t i o n s , the augite p a r t l y encloses the pigeonite but i n others the reverse i s true and i n s t i l l others the two minerals are side by side without encroaching on each other.  The pyroxene occurs e i t h e r p a r t l y enveloping  some of the p l a g i o c l a s e grains or p a r t l y i n t e r s t i t i a l between them; t h i s r e l a t i o n suggests the simultaneous c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of the two minerals. The o l i v i n e i s present i n n e g l i g i b l e amounts i n two sections (Figure 9);  t h i s mineral i s greenish to greenish-yellow and i s anhedral t o  Figure 9.  Basalt contains o l i v i n e (large g r a i n i n the center of the p i c t u r e ) . 80X  25  subhedral i n shape.  I t shows i r r e g u l a r f r a c t u r e s and h i g h r e l i e f .  The  greenish c o l o r i s due t o the pseudomorphism of c h l o r i t e a f t e r o l i v i n e * I n f r a c t u r e s and along the c r y s t a l o u t l i n e s of t h i s mineral, i d d i n g s i t e and i r o n :  ore are commonly observed*. The minor constituents of the rock c o n s i s t of i r o n ores and a p a t i t e . The i r o n ore occurs as i r r e g u l a r grains and patches molded on the pyroxene or i n the i n t e r s t i c e s between the pyroxene and p l a g i o c l a s e .  A p a t i t e which i s  present i n small amounts occurs as c o l o r l e s s needles i n the p l a g i o c l a s e . Occasionally patches of c a l c i t e are found i n p l a g i o c l a s e ; these may be an a l t e r a t i o n product. The serpentine  and c h l o r i t e , which are the a l t e r a t i o n products of  both pyroxene and p l a g i o c l a s e , are e a s i l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d  by t h e i r c o l o r and  r e l i e f ; the c h l o r i t e shows, i n most cases, B e r l i n blue interference c o l o r s , while the serpentine  shows gray t o yellowish-green  c o l o r s ; both minerals  occur as i r r e g u l a r patches molded on e i t h e r pyroxene or p l a g i o c l a s e . of pale greenish and yellowish-green  Grains  epidote occur as the a l t e r a t i o n products  of p l a g i o c l a s e and pyroxene. S e r i c i t e occurs as minute f l a k e s i n p l a g i o c l a s e and i s the a l t e r a t i o n product of the l a t t e r mineral.  I d d i n g s i t e occurs as  i r r e g u l a r grains and patches i n some rock which has a brownish-gray c o l o r . I t i s b e l i e v e d that t h i s mineral i s hydrothermal i n o r i g i n . When found i n rock which contains grains of o l i v i n e , the i d d i n g s i t e i s undoubtedly the a l t e r a t i o n product of the o l i v i n e . The rocks c o l l e c t e d from the flow tops are brownish-gray to dark green c o l o r and contain numerous amygdules and v e s i c u l e s .  The common minerals  forming the amygdules are quartz, epidote, c a l c i t e w i t h minor amounts of K— f e l d s p a r , prehnite and thomsonite.. The amygdules may c o n s i s t of one or s e v e r a l of the minerals which are mentioned above.. Epidote or p r o j e c t i n g c r y s t a l s of  26  thorasonite and these project toward the center of the amygdules (Figure 10),  Figure 10.  Amygdaloidal basalt. Amygdule f i l l e d by thomsonite, quartz, feldspar. 8OX  In some amygdules, chalcedonic quartz occurs which shows concentric layers of progressively f i n e r grain towards the center (Figure 11).  Figure 11.. Amygdaloidal basalt, Amygdule f i l l e d by concentric layers of chalcedonic quartz, 80X  The b a s a l t s , as represented i n the c o l l e c t i o n , are o l i v i n e - f r e e b a s a l t , g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r i n character, and w i t h the t e x t u r e and composition of t h o l e i i t e s . . The t h o l e i i t i c magma type and the o l i v i n e - b a s a l t magma type have been considered as two primary b a s a l t magmas.. There i s no evidence t o i n d i c a t e c o n c l u s i v e l y the two primary magmas have o r i g i n a t e d from a common parent, therefore the o r i g i n of the two magma types i s s t i l l a question., The t h o l e i i t i c magma type i s found predominantly on the c o n t i n e n t s , while the o l i v i n e - b a s a l t magma type occurs mainly i n the ocean b asin and i n the volcanic i s l a n d s . The t h o l e i i t e s were f o r m e r l y b e l i e v e d t o have been developed through contamination of primary o l i v i n e b a s a l t magma by contact w i t h the base of the s i a l i c crust,, Kennedy (1933) considers t h a t there are two great primary b a s a l t magmas, the o l i v i n e - b a s a l t type and the t h o l e i i t i c b a s a l t t y p e , each o f which gives r i s e normally t o i t s own p a r t i c u l a r d i f f e r e n t i a t e s ; : the former type gives a l k a l i n e d i f f e r e n t i a t e s such as trachyandesite, t r a c h y t e and p h o n o l i t e j the l a t t e r type gives s t r o n g l y c a l c - a l k a l i n e types,. The two main types of magmatic descent r e s u l t from the separation of d i f f e r e n t pyroxenes from the two d i f f e r e n t magmas as suggested by him.  I n the f o r s t e r i t e -  d i o p s i d e - s i l i c a system, since the composition of the o l i v i n e - b a s a l t magma l i e s w i t h i n the s t a b i l i t y f i e l d of f o r s t e r i t e , thus, the d i p s i d e - r i c h o r c a l c i c v a r i e t y of pyroxene w i l l c r y s t a l l i z e from t h e lime r i c h l i q u i d .  The  removal of lime i n the pyroxene prevents i t from combining w i t h Al^O^ t o form anoilhite and the AlgO^ w i l l be forced i n t o combination with a l k a l i e s , g i v i n g a l k a l i - f e l d s p a r and e v e n t u a l l y , feldspathoids.. The composition of  28  t h o l e i i t i c magma, on the other hand, must l i e e i t h e r very close t o the boundary of the f o r s t e r i t e s t a b i l i t y f i e l d o r e n t i r e l y w i t h i n the pyroxene area. The c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n w i l l commence w i t h the separation of monoclinic pyroxenes or lime poor v a r i e t i e s of pyroxene, thus the lime i n the magma i s only removed i n very s m a l l amounts during the ferromagnesian c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n : the A I 2 O 3 w i l l combine w i t h most of the lime t o give the a n o r t h i t e molecule which forms,, t h e r e f o r e , an important constituent (Kennedy, 1 9 3 3 ) •  The  o r i g i n a l composition o f the b a s a l t i c magma and the separation of pyroxene p l a y important r o l e s i n g i v i n g r i s e t o d i f f e r e n t descents. In recent research on b a s a l t magma by Dr. H. Yorder and Dr. C T . T i l l e y , d i f f e r e n t type specimens were s e l e c t e d from the n a t u r a l  representa-  t i v e s of three magma types f o r thermal study at atmospheric pressure.  The  specimens are t h o l e i i t e , a l k a l i n e b a s a l t from Hawaii and high alumina b a s a l t , a non-porphyritic Warner b a s a l t from C a l i f o r n i a .  From the study, the f o l l o w i n g  conclusions are derived: " a l l three major phases (pyroxene, o l i v i n e and p l a g i o c l a s e ) appear together at about the same temperature ( 1 1 6 0 to1 1 7 0 ° ) , irrespective of the bulk composition of the b a s a l t ; a l l three major phases appear in a short i n t e r v a l of temperature under the experimental c o n d i t i o n s ; the t o t a l range of c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n i s small of the order of 150°C;; o l i v i n e or p l a g i o c l a s e appears on the l i q u i d u s t o the e x c l u s i o n of pyroxene f o r the b a s a l t studies.. The conclusions l e d to the f a c t t h a t the d i f f e r e n c e s between t h o l e i i t e s , a l k a l i b a s a l t and the high alumina b a s a l t a r i s e as a r e s u l t of d i f f e r e n t i n i t i a l bulk composition"* The b a s a l t flows under study are t y p i c a l l y t h o l e i i t e s , the  original  composition of the b a s a l t magma seems t o l i e w i t h i n the pyroxene f i e l d i n the system of the f o r s t e r i t e - d i o p s i d e - s i l i c a . . In the area east o f Coppermine Mountains, the l a y e r s mainly c o n s i s t of p e r i d o t i t e and monaonite have been reported occurring i n the b a s a l t f l o w s * It  i s evident that here the d i f f e r e n t i a t e d l a y e r s and the b a s a l t are g e n e t i -  cally related*  The l a y e r s may r e s u l t from the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the b a s a l t  in the deep, magma reservoir*  TABLE II The Amco Lake and Burnet Creek Area (Map 1)  a,) Section south of Burnet Creek: West Part ^Location No.. .Height ahove base (feet) 0+  10690  C3  1061+0  C2  10600  CI  10560  2V of pyroxene 26 50-56 22-23 52-56 2k 5*2-51* 20 5U-58  Composition of plagioclase Large An 1+2+-50 Small An 32-39  Texture  Large An 56 Small An 36-1+8  Microporph  An 32-31+  Suboph.  An i+O-i+8  Suboph,  Microporph  East Part Height above base (feet)  Composition of plagioclase  C8  10870  An 3^-38  Suboph.  C7  10770  An kd  Suboph.  C6*  10620  Suboph.:.  c5*  10^70 1 0 i > 7 0  An An An An  Location No.  2V of pyroxene 20-22 52-58 22-21; 51-56 '. 22, 52-56 I 3. 20-28, 52-58 Lc 11  * 2h> 5 0 " 5 2 Lo- 22-28, 51-58  U p <  i_  Texture  31-35 1+2-1+9 1+2-1+8  Suboph.  1+9  # Two samples were collected from the upper part and lower part of a flow which is approximately 50' thick. b)  Section of north Burnet Creek: East Part  B16 B15  Height above base (feet) 13510 13U00  2V of pyroxene 1+2-1+8 36, 50-58  Bll+  13320  50-51;  B13 B12  13290  21+, 52  13200  51+-58  Location No.  Composition of plagioclase An 31+ An i+2-1+8 Large An 5k Small An 1+2-1+8 An 36 Large An 32 Small An 31  Texture Suboph. Suboph. Microporph. Suboph. Microporph.  Central Part Location No,  27 of pyroxene  Height above base (feet)  Bll  13520  BIO  131*10  B9  13310  B8  13210  51i 22, l|6-52  20 26, 514.-58  Composition of plagioclase Large An 32-31; Small An 28  Texture Microporph  An 32-56  Suboph.  Large An 35-36 Small! An 32-35  Microporph.  An 32-36  Suboph.  West Part Location Mo,  c)  27 of pyroxene  Height above base (feet)  B7  1351;0  l;6-57  B6  13380  20  B5  13170  Bh  13110  B3 B2  13050 13010  Bl  12860  Composition of plagioclase An  36  Texture Suboph,  Large An 36 Small* An 30  Microporph.  An 3l|-36  Suboph.  50  An k0-kh  Suboph,  U2-U8  An h0  Suboph.  lB~2k, 1;6-U8  An hh  Suboph.  28, 51-56  An U2  Suboph.  21;, li2-i;8  Section of west Amco Lake: East Part  Location No,  Height above base (feet)  27  Composition of plagioclase  Texture  Large An  5U-60  Microporph.  cf pyroxene  A9  13170  A8  13090  30 56 5U-56  A7*  12980  28,  A6  12710  28, hh  A5  12560  20-21; 5/U-58  50  Snail An 32-31; An  32  Suboph.  -  Suboph.  -  Suboph.  Large An 5U Small An I4.6  •» One grain of chlorite pseudomorphous after olivine.  Microporph.  West Part Location No.  Height above base (feet)  2V of pyroxene  25  "  Composition of plagioclase An 1*6-1*8 An 62  Texture Microporph.  Al*  131*10  1*0  A3  13290  50-52  An 32-35  Suboph.  A2  13130  26, 50-56  Suboph.  Al*  13030  50-58  -  Suboph.  * About three grains of chlorite pseudomorphous after olivine.,  TABLE i n The Wreck Lake Area (Map 1) Location No.  Height above base (feet)  2V of pyroxene  Composition of plagioclase  Texture  W6  2720  22, 56  An 56  Suboph.  W5  2320  26, 50-56  An 32  Suboph.  Wl*  2100  52  An 56-51*  Suboph.  W3  1100  50-56  An 1*2  Suboph.  W2  50  An 32  Suboph.  Wl  2  An 52-51*  Suboph.  -  33  Monzonite Dyke The rock of monzonite dyke i s gray, medium-grained and i t  contains  lath-shaped pinkish or grayish feldspar and dark color ferromagnesium minerals showing shinning cleavage f a c e .  The grains of quartz and the golden yellow  metallic mineral - probably p y r i t e - are sparsely scattered i n the rock.. Under the microscope, the minerals occuring i n the rock are of allotriomorphic to hypiomorphic form and are t y p i c a l l y of allotriomorphic-granular texture. Plagioclase,  orthoclase, augite and hornblende are present i n approximately  equal amountsj. quartz, z i r c o n , apatite and iron ore are present i n minor amounts.  The composition of plagioclase ranges from  An32 to  AnliiJj orthoclase  i s mostly turbide i n appearance due to the presence of a considerable amount of a l t e r a t i o n products of s e r c i t e *  The augite has 2V about $0° and bordered  by pale green and o l i v e green hornblende.  Zircon occurs as short prismatic form  i n serpentine, which i s the a l t e r a t i o n products of ferromagnesium minerals, and surrounded by pleochroic h a l o s . The monozonite dyke i s probably g e n e t i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o the monzonite found i n the d i f f e r e n t i a t e d layers i n the basalt..  Thus, the dyke may also be  the product of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the b a s a l t i c magma which took place i n the magma r e s e r v o i r *  3k  CHAPTER  IV  STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY The Coppermine River area i s believed by O'Neill (I92li) to be the southwest border of the s o - c a l l e d A r c t i c B a s i n .  He states that i t i s an o v a l ,  c y n c l i n a l basin, with the eastern, southern and western borders occurring on the mainland, and the northern border occurring i n the c e n t r a l part of V i c t o r i a Island..  The long axis of the oval basin extends from Cape Lyon, eastwards, to  the Boothia Peninsula, a distance of about 600 m i l e s , and the shorter axis probably measures about 300 miles from south to north..  The older formations, from  Darnley Bay to the v i c i n i t y of Deas Thompson Point have a general northwesterly s t r i k e with small dips to the northeast.  Further to the east, the s t r i k e of  these formations becomes eastern to east-west, with low dips to the north*.  In  Coronation G u l f , the s t r i k e changes to the northeast again, with dips to the north-west.  On the west side of Boothia Peninsula, s t r a t i f i e d rocks, older  than S i l i u r i a n occur which are reported to dip t o the west.  Most of the  c e n t r a l portion of the main basin i s occupied by Palaeozoic  dolomitesthese  occur on the mainland, eastwards, from Tinney Point t o Cape Kendall, and form a l l the western and a l s o the eastern side of V i c t o r i a I s l a n d .  The; dolomite  rock exhibits shallow open f o l d with angles of dip much lower than those of the older formations. Precambrian formations.  The southeastern border of the main basin consists of At Bathurst Inlet the Epworth dolomites, which  immediately o v e r l i e the Precambrian granites, were gently warped and deeply eroded before the Kanuyak formation was deposited upon them.  The Kanuyak and  the Epworth formations after suffering a gentle f o l d along a x i a l l i n e s trending a l i t t l e east of north, were deeply eroded before the Boulburn quartzites were  35  l a i d down on them.  Deep erosion followed the deposition of the  quartzites,  then a great series of basalt flowed over exposed surfaces of a l l e a r l i e r formations*  The readjustment of the crust, following the extrusion of t h i s  great volume of l a v a , produced a gentle warping, and some normal f a u l t i n g . In the Coppermine River area, about 300 miles west from Bathurst I n l e t , the Kanuyak and Boulburn formations are missing and rocks of Coppermine River Series d i r e c t l y overlie the Epworth dolomites.  The Kanuyak formation,  as described by O ' N e i l , consists of thin-bedded, gray-to-brown and reddishbrown shaly and sandy limestone*.  Thus, the condition! of deposition i n  Bathurst I n l e t and i n the area between Port Epworth Harbour and the Coppermine River area was changed after the Epworth Series was deposited.  The basalt  flows i n the Coppermine River area s t r i k e s N50°W and dip gently t o the north;: i n Takiyuak Lake area and the northern part of V i c t o r y Island, s i m i l a r flows have been reported dipping gently t o north and south respectively..  Therefore,  i t i s l i k e l y that shallow folds with axes trending about N50°W are present i n the Coppermine River area* The Coppermine River area and the A r c t i c Archipelago have a very complex geological development.  I t i s marked by a major orogenic b e l t ,  1,1*00 miles l o n g , extending from north Greenland to Beaufort Sea (Keer unpublished)*  The A r c t i c Archipelago represents the most mobile part i n the outer  section of North America.  The e a r l y tectonic movement which effects t h i s  region i s the Caledonian movement of the S i l u r i a n age.  Most of the rocks of  the Palaeozoic and the T r i a s s i c age i n the A r c t i c Archipelago are f l a t - l y i n g , but the rocks of S i l u r i a n and the Ordovician age on the west coast of Ellesmere Island have been folded (O'Neil 192k)• According to Armstrong (191*7) i "In the v i c i n i t y of Vendome F i o r d , on the west coast of Ellesmere Island, folded strata of S i l u r i a n and the Ordovician age have been observed.. A series of northeast trending and sharp a n t i c l i n e s occurs i n t h i s region*  No f o l d s can be seen on the south side of Baumann F i o r d where the folded S i l u r i a n and the Ordovician s t r a t a are either buried beneath the f l a t - l y i n g , younger Devonian and Carboniferous s t r a t a or swing t o the west beneath the sea* I f the former i s the case, the folding i s pre-Devonian and i s probably of the l a t e S i l u r i a n age". The shallow, open folds i n the Coppermine River area would seem to be induced by the Caledonian movement.  The common structure feature i n t h i s  part i s a series of tension f a u l t s trending from N10°E to N£0°E and from N10°W t o N20°W and cutting the s t r i k e of the rock i n a high angle,. development of fractures  This  on the f l a n k of the folding i s caused by the  compressive force from the north,.  The most conspicuous fault  i n the mapped  area i s the Wreck Lake f a u l t which trends Nii5°W, extending from Wreck Lake southwest to the Dismal Lake, and northeast as f a r as 5 miles; the t o t a l length which can be traced on the a i r photo i s about 12 m i l e s .  37  CHAPTER V  ECONOMIC GEOLOGY Introduction The p r i n c i p a l ore minerals of copper occurring i n the area i s chalcocite and small amounts of c h a l c o p y r i t e .  The deposits can be  classified  as follows according to t h e i r occurrence: 1.  Chalcocite-quartz-carbonate v e i n s ,  2.  Chalcocite deposits i n feeder dykes of b a s a l t ,  3*  Chalcocite deposits i n flow tops,  li..  Native copper deposits i n the b a s a l t .  Pieces of copper-stained f l o a t are wide-spread here.  The f l o a t s  mostly occur i n l o n g , narrow b e l t s i n the d r i f t , and have the same trend as the dykes.  It i s believed that the fragments are brought up by f r o s t  action  to the surface from the dykes which are covered with a t h i n layer of d r i f t .  Chalcocite-quartz-carbonate Veins Good examples of chalcocite-quartz-carbonate south-west of Amco Lake.  veins are found 2 miles  On a south-facing c l i f f of b a s a l t , narrow quartz-  carbonate v e i n s , about 1 t o 2 inches t h i c k , occupy fractures trend about 10.5°^ t o N20°W.  i n basalt and they  Comb structure i s the common feature;- grains of  chalcocite are disseminated i n the v e i n s .  Under the microscope, chalcocite  occurs as i r r e g u l a r grains between the i n t e r s t i c e s  cf quartz g r a i n s , a minor  amount of chalcedony i s present i n addition to quartz and carbonate.  Wherever  the veins traverse the rock which shows the spheriodal weathering, the grains  38  of c h a l c o c i t e , quartz and carbonate are seen to be deposited between the concentric layers of the weathered rock.  This kind of occurrence of the chalcocite  may be due to the supergene enrichment; since chalcopyrite, which i s  presented  i n small amounts i n the v e i n , i s r e a d i l y attacked by oxygen to form copper s u l phate (Lindgren, 1933, p.832).  Under proper conditions copper sulphate w i l l  react with other ore minerals t o form copper s u l f i d e redeposited along the  (Bateman, 1950, p.277) and  fractures*  Chalcocite deposits i n feeder dykes Chalcocite deposits i n feeder dykes of the basalt are the main occurrence of copper i n the Amco and Burnet Creek area*  Three samples were collected  from a s i m i l a r dyke at the north side of Burnet Creek, two of them being from the dyke and the t h i r d from the w a l l rock close t o the dyke. In the hand-specimen, the w a l l rock i s reddish-brown and fine-grained, White to reddish-white v e i n l e t s , cutting through the rock, contain grains of chalcocite.  Under the microscope, the rock i s seen to be of the same composition  as the basalt occurring i n the v i c i n i t y .  The feldspar  and pyroxene are h i g h l y  a l t e r e d ; a l l the pyroxene has been altered to c h l o r i t e and serpentine and the feldspar i s highly mottled i n appearance.  The v e i n l e t s i n the rock are com-  posed of c a l c i t e , quartz and minor o l i g o c l a s e .  In the portion of the v e i n l e t s  where the c a l c i t e i s predominant, the plagioclase c r y s t a l s are included i n the c a l c i t e , and show encroachment by c a l c i t e along i t s c r y s t a l o u t l i n e .  In addition  to the plagioclase and pyroxene, there i s present a small amount of i d d i n g s i t e . The sample from the margin of the dyke i s composed of angular fragments cemented by quartz.  Under the microscope, the thin-section shows the  cementing material to be mainly chalcedony, with a minor amount of c a l c i t e and  grains of c h a l c o c i t e .  Patches of c h l o r i t e , the a l t e r a t i o n product of the_  ferromagnesium mineral, are scattered over the s e c t i o n . iddingsite are also present.  Small amounts of  The sample taken from the h i g h l y mineralized  portion contains massive c h a l c o c i t e , quartz, and fragments  of b a s a l t .  the microscope^ the matrix and mineral composition are seen to  Under  be s i m i l a r  to those of the rock c o l l e c t e d from the margin of the dyke.  Chalcocite deposits i n flow tops The best example of the chalcocite deposits i n the flow tops i s w e l l i l l u s t r a t e d i n the rock occurring at the Wreck Lake area.  Boulders and f r a g -  ments of flow tops containing chalcocite and hydrous carbonates of copper are widely spread over the area, though, owing t o the g l a c i a t i o n , the t o t a l number of such fragments  i s small.  In one l o c a l i t y t h i n quartz-calcite veins were seen  cutting through the flow tops which show heavy copper s t a i n surrounding the veins.  The rock a few feet away from both sides of the veins i s free from  copper stains and there no trace of copper sulphides has been found i n the flow tops.  The fragments  of the flow tops containing chalcocite are generally  dark i n c o l o r , with greenish and bluish-green copper s t a i n i n some portions.. The grains of chalcocite are disseminated i n the amygdules and i n the flow tops.  Malchite and a minor amount of azurite are commonly associated with the  chalcocite..  In the t h i n section (Figure 12), v e i n l e t s of  quartz-feldspar  aggregates are seen cutting through the rock, and the chalcocite i s i n the w a l l rock on both sides of the v e i n s .  scattered  The chalcocite which occurs  i n the amygdules i s founded molded on the projecting c r y s t a l s of feldspar and quartz or surrounding the l a t t e r minerals (Figure 13, l U ) .  In the polished  section, i r r e g u l a r l y shaped patches of chalcocite are scattered i n the b a s a l t . Unsupported fragments  of the country rock i n the patchds of chalcocite suggest  the replacement by the ore s o l u t i o n i n the rock.  Figure 12.  V e i n l e t of quartz-feldspar aggregates (white) i n b a s a l t ; c h a l c o c i t e (black) scattered i n the b a s a l t (upper h a l f of the p i c t u r e ) . 80X  Figure 13*  Chalcocite (black) i n an amygdule of quartz, carbonate and i n the b a s a l t * 80X  Figure l i t .  Chalcocite (black) molded on the p r o j e c t i n g c r y s t a l s of f e l d s p a r and q u a r t z * 8 0 X  The f i e l d r e l a t i o n between m i n e r a l i z e d flow tops and quartz-carbonate veins and the microscopic  study of the t h i n sections may suggest that the c h a l -  c o c i t e deposits i n the flow tops are introduced by the quartz-carbonate v e i n s . The malachite and a z u r i t e i n the flow tops are b e l i e v e d t o have been formed by the a c t i o n of carbonate waters upon the copper compounds, such as chalcocite. Native copper deposits i n the b a s a l t The native copper has been o c c a s i o n a l l y found as small g r a i n s , p l a t e s i n the rock. the c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n .  I t may have d i r e c t l y separated out from the l a v a during Native copper which occurs as minute f l a k e s t o f l a k e s  about 2 f e e t i n diameter i n the f r a c t u r e s of the b a s a l t may have p r e c i p i t a t e d from copper c h l o r i d e s o l u t i o n * Since no p y r i t e has been found i n the b a s a l t ,  kz  the o r i g i n of the sulpheric a c i d (H 2 SO^)j which w i l l react with CugS t o cause the deposition of the native copper, i s a question.  According to Cornwall.  (1956):  "the high chloride content of the present mine waters i n the Michigan d i s t r i c t suggest the p o s s i b i l i t y that the ore-toearing solutions may have been c h l o r i d e ; native copper has been p r e c i p i t a t e d .from copper chloride solutions at 200-250 c i n the presence of prehnite, c a l c i t e or z e o l i t e s " . The z e o l i t e s and c a l c i t e are the common mineral i n the basalt flows under study.  Thus, the native copper p r e c i p i t a t e d from copper chloride s o l u t i o n  seems the reasonable explanation*  O r i g i n of ore solution and the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of ore deposits Geochemically, copper i s mainly chalcophile and showing a high a f f i n i t y f o r s u l f u r ; thus, during the c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n of the magma, copper w i l l combine with a l l available sulfur t o form copper s u l f i d e .  The presence  of the native copper i n the basalt may suggest that the basalt magma was deficient i n sulfur.  According to Rankama and Shama (191*9, P»697) •  "native copper i s found rather r e g u l a r l y as a constituent of the early-separated sulfides which belong c h i e f l y to the p y r r h o t i t e pentlandite paragenesis. During the separation of the s u l f i d e phase from the s i l i c a t e phase, copper becomes considerably enriched i n the sulfide melt. The part of the copper which remains i n the s i l i c a t e melt after the separation of s u l f i d e , stays i n the r e s i d u a l magma during the main stage of c r y s t a l l i z a t i o n being f i n a l l y separated i n hydrothermal deposits i n which the copper occurs as a constituent of a great number of sulfides".. In the d i f f e r e n t i a t e d layers i n the b a s a l t , mentioned under petrography, copper and n i c k e l s u l f i d e ore have been reported.  It seems l i k e l y  that the sulfide ore i s g e n e t i c a l l y r e l a t e d to the b a s a l t i c magma,.  Thus,  h3  the copper sulphide ore, together with the quartzo-feldspathic veins, would seem d i f f e r e n t i a l products of the t h o l e i i t i c magma.. The presence of chalcedonic quartz i n the veins and the dykes i n which chalcocite i s deposited, indicates that the deposit was formed at low temperature..  The veins u s u a l l y show c r u s t i f i c a t i o n , comb structure and  irregular walls.  A l l these features l e d to the b e l i e f that the ore deposit  belongs to the epithermal class,.  BIBLIOGRAPHY Armstrong, J.E.  (19l;7)  The Arctic Archipelago (unpublished).  Bateman, A,If. (1950) Economic mineral deposits, J. Wiley & Sons, N.Y. Cornwall, H.R. (1956) vol. 51, no... 71  2nd  edit., ed.  Origin of native copper deposits, Eco.Geol.,  Duncan, Gordon G.. (1931) Exploration in the Coppermine River area, N.W.T. Can. Min. and Met.,.Bull.. 20. Fairbridge, R.W. (1957) The dolomite question, Soc. of Eco. Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Special publication No. 5« F l i n t , R.F. (1914-9) Glacial geology and the Pleistocene Epoch, Jith e d i t . , ed.. J.. Wiley &.Sons, N.Y. Gilbert, G.. (1931) Geol., v o l . 26.  Copper on the Coppermine River area, N.W.T.,  Jenney,, C P . (1951*) The Coppermine River area, N.W.T., Geol. Assoc. of Can., v o l . 6 , part II.  Eco..  Proc. of the  Kennedy, W.P., (1933) Trends of differentiation in basaltic magma, Amer. Jour. S c i . , v o l . 25-26. Kerr,  J.W.  Broad structural relationship of the Canadian Arctic (unpublished),  Kumbein, W.C.. & Garrels, R.M. (1952-) Origin and classification of chemical sediments in terms of pH and oxidation-reduction potential, Jour., of Geol., v o l . 6 0 . , no. 1.. Lindgren, W. (1933) Mason, B.  (1951)  Mineral deposits, lith e d i t . , ed.,McGraw-Hill Book Co.N.Y.  Principle of geochemistry, ed. J . Wiley & Sons, N.Y.  O'Neill, J.J. (1921;) Report of the Canadian Arctic expedition 1913 to Geol. and Geog., v o l . II. Pettijohn,  F.J.  (I9I48)  Sedimentary rock,  2nd  1918,  e d i t . , ed. Harper & Bros., N.Y.  Stearns, H.T., (19l;0) Geology and groundwater resources of the islands of Lanai Kahoolane, Hawaii, Hawaii Division of Hydrography, B u l l . 6 . Thoronbury, W.D. (1951;) Wiley & Sons, N.Y*  Principle of geomorphology, 2nd e d i t . , ed. J.  Washburn, A.L. (19U7) Reconnaissance geology of p o r t i o n s of V i c t o r y I s l a n d and adjacent regions A r c t i c Canada, Geo. Soc. of Amer., Mem 22. Annual report of the d i r e c t o r of the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie I n s t i t u t e of Washington, No. 1277, G.S.A. Mem. 22.  

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