Faults Affecting the Northeast Thelon Basin: Improved Basement Constraints from Source Edge Processing of Aeromagnetic Data

Exploration & Mining Geology, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013


A new method for mapping faults within basement rocks underlying the Thelon Formation and glacial overburden was developed and tested in the Aberdeen Sub-basin. This method utilizes newly acquired aeromagnetic data, the Blakely algorithm for defining magnetic source edges, a calculated dip-direction map, a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from the Canadian Digital Elevation Database, and the positions of identified, inferred and newly mapped faults that are within and adjacent to this sub-basin. Combining these data revealed three age groups of faults. One group is seen only on the DEM; these faults are young brittle structures that have no effect on the sub-Thelon basement unconformity, and are not visible on the dip direction map. A second group is evident on the dip direction map but not the DEM; these faults are old basement structures that did not propagate upward through the Thelon Formation. The third group is expressed on both the DEM and dip direction map; these faults are also old structures that propagated upward during and/or after deposition of the Thelon Formation. The latter group of faults may be of greatest interest for uranium exploration, with reactivation increasing their potential to serve as conduits to transport uranium-rich fluids and focus deposition at or near the unconformity surface. This methodology has promise for comprehensive mapping of basin faults and tracking the tectonic development of the whole Thelon Basin through time.
Mots Clés: faults, uranium, Thelon Basin, source edge detection, lineament analysis