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Geoscience BC projects apply new technology, digital resources for public benefit

by Greg Klein | June 12, 2020

Geoscience BC projects apply new technology, digital resources for public benefit

Ore cores from Kimberley B.C., one of the virtual exhibits
at Below BC’s digital museum. (Photo: Below BC)


The maps don’t exactly state “X marks the spot” and the museum doesn’t enforce social distancing. But these two new projects help expose British Columbia geology to explorers and the public alike. Announced June 11, Geoscience BC applied cutting edge technology to produce a series of maps suggesting the probability of undiscovered mineral deposits. The non-profit also helped expand the exhibits on display at B.C.’s virtual museum of rock, mineral and fossil samples.

The methodology described in the report and the resulting predictive maps demonstrate that the application of modern statistical methods combined with machine learning can predict various types of mineral resources based on regional geochemical survey data.—Eric Grunsky,
project lead

The maps result from machine learning and multivariate statistical methods that integrated stream sediment geochemical analyses with info from the BC MINFILE database. That archive keeps records of deposits, prospects, occurrences and anomalies throughout the province. The new maps cover parts of B.C.’s south-central region, pointing to areas of increased mineral potential and offering measures of probability.

Learn more about the study.

Additionally, two regional collecting programs provided new exhibits for the province’s digital museum of geological samples. One expedition headed north from Vancouver to Kamloops, then swung south through the Kootenays, while the other toured parts of the Cariboo and northwest.

The programs were conducted by Below BC and funded by Geoscience BC. Created last year to bring the topic to a wider audience, Below BC’s museum also addresses the social history of B.C. mining. Among the online features are 360-degree virtual field trips of key locations across the province.

“This project makes some amazing collections accessible to everyone,” noted Andy Randell of Below BC. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re especially proud that people can see these collections online, whether it’s for education, research or general interest.”

Visit the Below BC virtual museum.

Among other Geoscience BC leading edge projects was a bio-geochemical study of treetop clippings released last April to help assess underlying mineralization.

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