Infestation by the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, decimated the forests of central British Columbia from 1999 to 2012, severely impacting the forest industry of the Nechako–Chilcotin plateau. In response, all levels of government recognized the value in developing other areas of economic activity, such as hydrocarbon and mineral exploitation, to support local economies. Exploration for resources beneath the Nechako–Chilcotin plateau has historically been constrained by Tertiary volcanic sequences and Quaternary glacial deposits that obscure the underlying geology and limit geophysical imaging. Thus, a coordinated program comprising additional geological mapping, borehole data analysis, and modern geophysical surveys of the area was initiated in 2006, with the objective of better defining the subsurface geology, solving problems of imaging through the complex near-surface, and developing improved regional geological and tectonic models. An initial set of papers arising from this fieldwork, which focused on issues relevant to mineral and hydrocarbon exploration, was published in June 2011 in a Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. This Introduction to the second “Mountain Pine Beetle” Special Issue summarizes a set of scientific papers that focus on topics more related to hydrocarbon exploration and the large-scale structure of the crust. The papers deal with the development, thickness, and present distribution of the most prospective Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, as well as characterizing the physical properties of the near-surface volcanic units.

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