Survey Metadata

Soil, Vegetation



Biogeochemical and soil survey, NTS 64L/5, 74I/8, northern Saskatchewan, 1979-1981.

Location map

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Survey Description

During a three week period in June 1979, vegetation and soil samples were collected in the McClean Lake (142 sites) and McMahon Lakes (323 sites) areas of the NEA/IAEA Test Area, northern Saskatchewan.  Sites were at 30 m intervals along several survey lines.  At each site AH and BF soils (or peat, in their absence) were collected.  Samples of Labrador tea and black spruce trunk were also collected.  At every fifth site, Labrador tea roots and black spruce twigs were collected, as well as leather leaf stems and leaves where present.

In 1980, field work was again conducted in early June to minimize seasonal variations in U uptake.  Above the McClean zone samples were collected at 30 m intervals (with a few at 15 m).  At a distance of 1 km on either side of the mineralization the sampling interval was increased to 60 m.  Tissues collected were twigs, needles, cones, bark, trunk and roots.  All common species of plants were sampled and peat or AH and BF soils were collected at many sites; however, in light of results obtained the previous year, emphasis was placed on black spruce twigs.  Several tests were conducted to ascertain variations in and among species and local variations.

In 1981 additional detailed sampling of black spruce twigs was conducted and a regional component to the studies was added in order to define the limits of what was emerging as the immense ‘Wollaston U Biogeochemical Anomaly’.

An interpretation of the work can be found in GSC Paper 82-11 and JGE v.15.

Data Description:

Paper report with some data lists.

Quantities Analysed:

Soils and ashed samples were analysed for U by INAA with delayed neutron counting; for Pb, Ag, Cd, Cu, Co, Zn, Be, Fe and Mn by AAS after hot acid digestion (4 HNO3: 1 HClO4); for Ni, Mo, Ba, Ca, Mg, P, V, Y, Sr and Ti by ICP-ES.  Thirty three dry vegetation samples were analyzed by INAA for Au, Sc, As, Sb, La, Ce, Sm, W, Th and Br, and a further 22 ashes for Au and Sm only.

Geochem Maps Available:

Contour maps of U concentration in different species and tissues.

Publication History

Index Publication
1 Dunn, C.E. (1979). Biogeochemical survey of two deeply buried uranium deposits, NEA/IAEA Test Area. In Summary of Investigations 1979. Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Report 79-10, p. 166-167. (more)
2 Dunn, C.E. (1980). Uranium biogeochemistry: NEA/IAEA Test Area. In Summary of Investigations 1980. Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Report 80-4, p. 60-63. (more)
3 Dunn, C.E. (1981). Reconnaissance level and detailed surveys in the exploration for uranium by a biogeochemical method. In Summary of Investigations 1981. Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Miscellaneous Report 81-4, p. 117-126. (more)
4 Dunn, C.E. (1981). The biogeochemical expression of deeply buried uranium mineralization in Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Geochemical Exploration, v.15, p. 437-452. (more)
5 Dunn, C.E. (1982). Detailed biogeochemical studies for uranium in the NEA/IAEA Athabasca Test Area. In Uranium Exploration in Athabasca Basin, Saskatchewan, Canada, E.M. Cameron (ed.). Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 82-11, p.259-272. (more)
6 Dunn, C.E. (1982). The massive Wollaston uranium biogeochemical anomaly in the boreal forest of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. In Proceedings of the Symposium on Uranium Exploration Methods. Review of the NEA/IAEA R & D Programme. Paris, 1st-4th June 1982. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. P. 477-491 (more)

Project History

Index Year Project
1 1978-1982 NEA-IAEA Test Area Program, northern Saskatchewan, 1978-1982 (more)

Geographic Extent

Minimum Latitude Maximum Latitude Minimum Longitude Maximum Longitude
58.251° 58.321° -104.1186° -103.828°

The geographic extent of the survey is defined by the following polygons:

  • Covers part of NTS 64L/5 (Cunning Bay) in the McClean Lake area, northern Saskatchewan.  It covers part of the NEA/IAEA Test Area and is located just west of the McClean Lake mine site and approximately 16 km west of the western shores of Wollaston Lake.

  • Covers parts of NTS 74I/8 (Henday Lake) in the McMahon Lakes area, near the Midwest uranium deposit in northern Saskatchewan.  It covers part of the NEA/IAEA Test Area and its centre is located approximately 15 km northeast of the northern shore of Waterbury Lake.


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