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 fashion.
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.
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.
The organizational structure of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) illustrates three interrelated, approaches to marine geoscience.
- 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 development.
- 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 Scotia
- 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