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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Regional Geochemistry


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RGS Summary


The B.C. Geological Survey (BCGS) of the Ministry of Energy and Mines has been involved in reconnaissance-scale stream sediment and water surveys since 1976.  This joint federal-provincial initiative was originally referred to as the Uranium Reconnaissance Program (URP).  In 1978 the provincial program was renamed the Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) and in 1987 the Province began to independently administer surveys conducted in British Columbia.  As part of Canada's National Geochemical Reconnaissance (NGR) program, the RGS program continues to maintain sample collection, preparation and analytical standards established by the Geological Survey of Canada. New drainage surveys and archive sample re-analysis has been undertaken by Geoscience BC after 2006 and the results incorporated into the RGS database.  To date, over 61,400 stream sediment and water samples have been collected from 67 - 1:250,000 NTS map sheets covering approximately 80 per cent of the province. Determinations for up to 60 metals, field observations and sample location coordinates are compiled into B.C.’s largest and most comprehensive stream sediment and water geochemical database.





Digital Archive of Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) Maps


Hardcopy maps showing sample locations for the Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) in BC have been scanned and digitally archived. In total, 875 maps are indexed and archived as Digital Archive of Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) Maps, April 2012 in Property File. This work is the result of a joint effort by the BC Geological Survey and Geoscience BC.


The RGS program in BC started in the 1970s and involved the Geological Survey of Canada, the BC Geological Survey, Geoscience BC and contractors. The original hardcopy maps used to locate the sample sites range in map scales from 1:250,000 to 1:50,000 and were stored Ottawa, Victoria and other locations.  While effort has been made to archive the original hardcopy maps, other sources were retrieved if the original maps were not available.  These secondary sources include the hardcopy maps used in the field, as well as Mylar and consolidated maps with transcribed sample locations.


The digital archive of the RGS maps not only helps to preserve this important source of data, but also makes these maps accessible to the public. These maps are valuable when there is a need to validate the exact sample locations in the context of the streams and other geographic features shown on the original topographic maps used at the time when the samples were collected. This is especially important at locations where the streams have changed their courses over time, or the streams shown on the original topographic map at a smaller scale do not match up with the streams shown on a more recent topographic map at a large scale. Errors in the sample locations may also occur when transcribing and transferring into the database.