Field Trips
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The following field trips are offered at Goldschmidt2008. The organization of Field Trips will be led by Dr. Derek Thorkelson, Simon Fraser University. UBC and SFU will work closely in organizing the field trips for the Conference. Please note that the detailed itineries for the field trips are in the PDF files.

Registration for the field trips is now closed.

In addition to the conference field trips the conference has made arrangements for delegates to be able to sign up for two bus tours, a Vancouver City Tour and a North Shore Tour. This has been arranged through a company called Venue West. Delegates wishing to find out about these tours only and book them should go to the Venue West website.

  Dates Fees Info
Pre-conference Field Trips      
Cu-Au Metallogeny - cancelled July 11-13 - -
Effusive to explosive volcanism July 12-13 $230-$310 CAD PDF
Surficial Deposits and Soils July 13 $55-$75 CAD PDF
Britannia Mine July 13 $60 CAD PDF
Post-conference Field Trips      
Fraser Plateau - cancelled July 18-21 - -
Southern Vancouver Island July 19-20 $400 CAD PDF
Wrangellia flood basalts on Vancouver Island July 19-22 $625 CAD PDF
Cordilleran Transect - cancelled July 19-22 - -


Effusive to explosive volcanism
Graham Andrews, University of BC (
Kelly Russell, University of BC

This two-day (one night) field trip will examine Quaternary volcanism in the Canadian portion of the Cascade arc; the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt (GVB). The volcanic centres of the GVB have developed on top of the southern margin of the Coast Plutonic Complex, and significant rates of tectonic and isostatic uplift have created a visually stunning landscape dominated by deep fjords and rugged peaks. Many of the traits of the deposits seen on this two day trip are a reflection of, both, the style of eruption and the nature of the surrounding landscape (e.g., rugged topography, ice-filled valleys). In this regard, the trip provides a spectacular and uniquely easily-accessible window into the nature and hazards of effusive and explosive volcanism occurring in mountainous terrains and crucial the role of surface water and ice.


Surficial Deposits and Soils
Stephanie Grand, University of BC (
Les Lavkulich, University of BC
Brent Ward, Simon Fraser University
John Clague, Simon Fraser University - contributor

We will travel from Vancouver to Hope and examine the Quaternary geology and associated soils of the area. This one-day field tour will appeal to persons interested in surficial geology and its relationships with natural hazards. In this field tour participants will get a glimpse of the natural, cultural, and culinary landscapes of South Western British Columbia.


Britannia Mine
Gerry O’Hara, P.Eng. Golder Associates (
Terry Johnson, P.Eng. Britannia Mine Manager

A field trip is offered to the Britannia Mine located on the picturesque ‘Sea-to-Sky’ Highway heading north out of Vancouver towards Whistler, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Britannia Mine is located in the coast crystalline tectonic belt and the local geology of this area can be divided into two major components: older volcanic and sedimentary rocks belonging to the Lower Cretaceous Gambier Group and younger plutonic rocks of the Coast Plutonic Complex. The Britannia orebodies are classified as volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits of the Kuroko type. The orebodies comprise a heterogeneous mixture of sulphides, remnant altered host rocks and discreet mineralized veins and were worked both underground in open pits and glory holes. The mine operated from 1904 to 1974 and in its heyday was the largest producer of copper in the British Empire. During its working life and since its closure, the mine has generated large volumes of acid rock drainage (ARD) that discharged to Howe Sound and local freshwater courses. Since 2001, the Province of BC has been implementing an environmental remediation program at the mine. This field trip includes an introductory presentation of the mine history, environmental issues and remediation efforts, a look into part of the recently rehabilitated mine workings, a tour of the water treatment plant, micro-hydro plant and the novel ground water management system. Included in the tour is a visit the BC Museum of Mining, located at the mine site. This will include a short underground rain journey, the newly-rehabilitated iconic Mill #3, gold panning, many artifacts relating to the mine during its operational life and an opportunity to visit the museum gift shop.


Fraser Plateau
Graham Andrews, University of BC (
Kelly Russell, University of BC

This four-day (three night) field trip will examine terrestrial Neogene volcanism in the Intermontane Belt of the Canadian Cordillera; specifically to the Chilcotin Group basalts (CG). The CG is composed of numerous thin, laterally-extensive, basalt lavas and associated volcaniclastic deposits, emplaced across the southern portion of the Intermontane Belt between the Coast and Rocky Mountains. It forms a series of extensive plateaux dissected by major rivers, including the Fraser River. We will concentrate on examining the relationship between lavas and paleo-topography; for example, we will observe two localities where a Neogene river valley was dammed by basalt and subsequently re-incised. This trip provides a unique opportunity to examine some easily-accessible sections in an otherwise remote volcanic province, and it provides several important insights into the importance of paleo-topography in the development of volcanic fields, and the early development of flood basalt provinces in particular.


Southern Vancouver Island
Dante Canil, University of Victoria (

This two day field trip will examine outcrops as a record of the past 200 million years of convergence, accretion, magmatism, uplift and erosion at an active continental margin on southern Vancouver Island. We will examine mid- to upper-crust exposures of ultramafic to felsic plutons and volcanics within a Jurassic arc crustal section, Jura-Cretaceous olistostromal and accretionary margin deposits and fore-arc magmatism, an Eocene ophiolite (pillow lavas and plutonics), and coarse sediments produced by Oligocene uplift of the entire rock package. The field trip will begin in Victoria and travel to Port Renfrew for an overnight stay, returning the next day to Victoria.


Wrangellia flood basalts on Vancouver Island
Andrew Greene, University of BC (
Graham Nixon, BC Geological Survey
James Scoates , University of BC
Nick Massey, BC Geological Survey

The Wrangellia flood basalts on Vancouver Island (Karmutsen Formation) are part of one of the best exposed accreted oceanic plateaus on Earth. The Karmutsen Formation (~20,000 km2) covers over half of Vancouver Island (460 x 130 km) and was constructed as an emergent oceanic plateau at ca. 230 Ma. The entire volcanic stratigraphy (~6 km thick) is exposed on Vancouver Island, and is bounded by marine sediments and overlies Paleozoic oceanic arc volcanic sequences 2-5 km thick. These units belong to the allochthonous Wrangellia terrane that extends northwards through the Queen Charlotte Islands into southern Alaska. The Karmutsen Formation is comprised of basal sediment-sill complexes, a lower member of pillowed and unpillowed submarine flows, a middle member of mostly pillow breccia and hyaloclastite, and an upper member of subaerial flows. Recent mapping, field work, and geochemistry are beginning to paint a clearer picture of the growth history and source and origin of magmas that constructed this enormous volcanic edifice.


The goal of this field trip is to observe volcanological features and obtain a perspective of the volcanic stratigraphy and flood basalt emplacement in this oceanic plateau. The Paleozoic basement rocks will also be visited. Our hope is for participants to gain a perspective about the construction and composition of this oceanic plateau and the geology of the Wrangellia terrane on northern and central Vancouver Island.


Cordilleran Transect
Derek Thokelson, Simon Fraser University (
Dan Gibson, Simon Fraser University
Lambertus Struik, Simon Fraser University visiting scientist
Phillip Simony, University of Calgary

A trans-Cordilleran field trip is offered that provides an unparalleled opportunity to view and discuss the geology and tectonic elements of the Canadian Cordillera, one of the most spectacular accretionary orogens in the world. The field trip will take participants across nearly the entire width of the southern Canadian Cordillera, which will provide insight into the geological architecture and tectonic evolution of the western margin of North America. Participants will observe a range of features from classical thin-skinned tectonics that characterize the Foreland Thrust and Fold belt, to deep crustal and cratonic basement exposures in the Omineca belt, to pericratonic and “exotic” terranes of the Intermontane belt, and arc-generated volcanic rocks and plutonic batholiths of the Coast belt. There will be ample opportunity to discuss the geology of each stop during the day and evening. We will closely follow the route and stops of previous field trips provided by Jim Monger and Ray Price (GeoCanada 2000 & GAC-MAC 2003), augmented by new information and debates concerning the development of the Canadian Cordillera.

Cu-Au Metallogeny Of The Southern Nicola Arc-Quesnel Terrane, South Central BC - Cancelled