Abstract

Sixteen kilometres of high resolution Vibroseis reflection seismic data have been acquired in the vicinity of the former Buchans mine. Direct identification of the cause of several reflectors is possible because the geology is tightly constrained by underground workings and drill holes both of which locally exceed 1 km depth. Many of the mine-scale thrust faults are imaged as reflectors but conformable and intrusive contacts generally responded poorly. A significant shallow-dipping thrust, the Powerline Fault, is recognized below the orebodies and traced throughout the Buchans area, primarily as a result of the seismic survey. It truncates ore stratigraphy and forms the floor thrust of a large duplex–stack, which hosts all the orebodies. Its presence has negative implications for exploration in the immediate mine area. Several lines of evidence suggest that this fault has a significant component of out-of-sequence movement. A strong reflector 4.5 km below Buchans is correlated with the surface expression of the Victoria River Delta Fault, an important regional structure, newly recognized southeast of Red Indian Lake. This shallow, north-dipping sole thrust forms the structural base of the Buchans Group and brings it above a younger fossiliferous Llanvirn volcanic sequence. This fault is not itself the Red Indian Line but is one of a series of faults that collectively effect substantial geological contrasts in central Newfoundland. The seismic survey was a cost-efficient means of gaining knowledge of Buchans structure, which might otherwise have been acquired at much higher cost and over a longer period of time.

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