The ability of airborne sensors to image the magnetic signatures of prospective Quesnel terrane rocks through ubiquitous Quaternary glacial sedimentary cover in central British Columbia helps target new areas for mineral exploration. Newly acquired high-resolution data provide new perspectives on the nature and probable areal distribution of many geological units, revealing detail and information unattainable by conventional geological mapping. In combination with gravity data, these magnetic data indicate the presence of a granitic intrusion and a development of Nicola Group volcanic rocks, both potential hosts for porphyry- and (or) vein-type mineralization, under younger Tertiary volcanic cover. At a finer scale, magnetic patterns and fabrics permit discrimination between volcanic rocks of the Tertiary Chilcotin and Kamloops groups, and detection of subtle compositional and (or) structural variations within the groups. Contacts between volcanic cover and basement rocks and between basement units are more accurately defined, significantly reducing locally the areal extent of volcanic cover and opening up more ground for exploration. The high resolution of features in images of magnetic vertical derivatives reveals the Naver pluton to be more complex than currently mapped, comprising several integral elements, one of which may be a large roof pendant. Internal subdivisions of the Thuya batholith are defined, and annular marginal phases are proposed within two large granodioritic intrusions. Several new intrusions are proposed within the extensive, mainly sedimentary Devonian–Triassic terrain northeast of Kamloops, internal composition variation is suggested for some larger mapped intrusions, and areas underlain by some intrusions are enlarged.

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