Recent discoveries of basement-hosted uranium deposits in the Patterson Lake corridor in the southwestern Athabasca Basin of Canada have brought vigorous exploration interest to the region. New lithostratigraphic constraints, geochronology and airborne geophysical surveys have dramatically improved the understanding of the host basement geology, warranting a re-examination of the remote predictive mapping and geophysical responses of the buried basement rocks. This study took a two-step approach to examine the regional basement geology and architecture. First, a mosaic of the long-wavelength response of potential field (gravity and magnetic) datasets was examined to divide the basement into regional domains based on bulk physical property variations. The interpretive geological model was then refined using textural and lineament analysis of new airborne gravity and magnetic datasets, geological drill hole logs and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The new basement map identifies and updates major features including a crustal-scale structure that separates the southern Tantato Domain from the newly defined eastern Taltson Domain. This structure may have played a role in localizing fluid flow in the Patterson Lake corridor, defining the spatial extents of structurally controlled buried felsic intrusions, and redefines the boundaries of the Taltson, Clearwater and Tantato Domains. In addition, the potential field enhancements delineated significant regional faults that controlled the geometry of Paleoproterozoic cover sequences and have implications for understanding the crustal architecture of the southern Rae Province. These new interpretations shed light on the tectonic history of the region to support on-going exploration activities and delineate regionally prospective areas in this understudied area of the Canadian Shield.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Uranium Fluid Pathways collection available at:

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