Geological Survey of Canada, Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada

Data Center Description

The Geological Survey of Canada fulfils a requirement of the Resources
and Technical Surveys Act of 1949 and 1994 that the Minister "make a
full and scientific examination of the geological structure and
mineralogy of Canada".

The Survey's mandate is:

To provide Canada with a comprehensive geoscience knowledge base
contributing to economic development, public safety and environmental
protection by acquiring, interpreting and disseminating geoscience
information concerning Canada's landmass, including the offshore.

Its core responsibilities are:

1. To map the regional geologic and tectonic framework of Canada's
landmass and offshore;

2. To develop an understanding of the nature, quantity, distribution
and formation of Canada's mineral and energy resources;

3. To develop an understanding of the contemporary geological
processes affecting Canadian society;

4. To maintain a National Geoscience Database (including appropriate
archives and reference collections), ensuring that all information is
available as maps, reports or computerized databases in a timely

The GSC's programs are national in scope and carried out in every
province and territory and in the offshore 200 mile Economic Zone,
from each of the GSC's sites. Projects range from basic scientific
research to the development of new methodologies and technologies for
transfer to the private sector. They can be broadly described as being
for the economic and social `good' of the Canadian public.

There are three regional offices: GSC Pacific, GSC Calgary and GSC Atlantic.
GSC Pacific

GSC Pacific is responsible for national programs to monitor
seismicity, establish earthquake hazard zonation, monitor change in
the Earth's magnetic field and to enhance the geoscience knowledge of
the Cordilleran mountain system and adjacent offshore. The active
tectonic growth of the Pacific margin through plate convergence is
unique in Canada with ramifications for contained mineral and energy
wealth, natural hazards, and other modern processes. The program of
GSC Pacific is delivered from officesin Vancouver, Sidney (Vancouver
Island) and Ottawa (seismology & geomagnetism).

GSC Pacific maintains:

- a team of specialists in geology, geophysics and related
technologies and information systems.

- national observatory networks to monitor earthquakes and changes in
the Earth's magnetic field.

- a logistical staging post for Canadian marine geoscience research in
the Pacific.

- the most extensive geoscience library on the West Coast and a
bookstore for geoscience information and topographic maps.

- a system for rapid earthquake reporting and for forecasting
geomagnetic storms.

GSC Calgary

Established in 1967, GSC Calgary is an important source of information
and expertise on the geology, geophysics, geochemistry and resource
potential of sedimentary basins in western and northern Canada. These
basins cover about one third of Canada's landmass and contain most of
its known oil, gas and coal resources, as well as important deposits
of minerals. Geoscience Research at GSC Calgary consists of:

* Regional Geoscience: Geoscience research on the Western Canada and
northern sedimentary basins. Expertise on rocks and minerals,
structural geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, mapping, geophysics,
geochronology, economic geology, earth science technology

* Paleontology: National research programs in paleontology.

* Energy and Environment: Geoscience reasearch in organic geochemistry
* and coal. Information on Canada's petroleum, natural gas and coal
* resources.

GSC Atlantic

The organizational structure of the Geological Survey of Canada
(Atlantic) illustrates three interrelated, approaches to marine

- Marine Environmental Geology studies geologic processes and sediment
properties along the coast, in the nearshore, and on the continental
margin to determine environmental processes and impacts of

- Marine Resource Geology investigates the geology, basin structure,
tectonic evolution, and hydrocarbon generation of sedimentary basins
to evaluate their oil and gas potential.

- Marine Regional Geology researches the tectonic and structural
framework for the evolution of continental margins and their
sedimentary basins, and oceanic basins.

The GSC Atlantic is:

- the principal marine geoscience facility in Canada
- a division of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC)
- co-located at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, with the
Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada

- a part of an Atlantic Provinces marine research and technology
community centred in the Halifax-Dartmouth metropolitan region of Nova

- a team of over 100 specialists in marine and petroleum geology,
geophysics, geochemistry, and geotechnology

- a source of integrated knowledge and advice on marine geoscience,
with specific concentration

- on Canada's coastal and offshore landmass

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