Developing the Full Potential of the Large Igneous Province (LIP) Record for Multi-Commodity, Multi-Scale Exploration Targeting


  • Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are huge volume, short duration volcanic/intrusive events that occur every 20-30 million years and rival plate tectonics in importance. LIPs have become an important research focus because they help reveal the configuration of ancient (Pre-Pangea) supercontinents, provide insights into volcanism on other planets, caused dramatic climate change including mass extinctions throughout Earth history, and are growing in importance as a tool for finding new ore and also oil/gas deposits.
  • This new LIP project promises our Industry Partners a dramatic expansion of the LIPs record with application to resource exploration for a wide range of commodity types: from igneous hosted Ni-Cu-PGE districts, gold hosted orogenic belts and sedimentary basins that host uranium, base metals, gold and petroleum. This new 2018-2022 LIPs Project builds on our 2010-2015 and 2016-2017 Industry-supported projects, and comprises 5 themes: paleomagnetism, geochemistry, U-Pb geochronology, geospatial data consolidation and data processing and LIP architecture.
  • This research will benefit Canadian companies because resource exploration is a global effort, and targeting insights developed in any region using the LIP record can have wide applicability elsewhere, including within Canada. Also, in ancient supercontinents the distribution of crustal regions was much different than at present.
  • So an important prospecting tool is to trace important ore deposits into other crustal blocks that were formerly adjacent. Canada hosts many of the largest crustal blocks, and so many ore deposit bearing belts can potentially be traced into Canada from formerly adjacent regions.