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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Nanaimo Aggregate Potential Map

Aggregate Potential Mapping Nanaimo Study

Open File 1998-12

by N.W.D. Massey, A. Matheson and P.T. Bobrowsky



Nanaimo location map
Location of the Nanaimo aggregate potential study.

In 1998, a survey was initiated in the Nanaimo area of southern Vancouver Island in response to local need for aggregate information to be used for municipal and regional planning. The study area comprises parts of nine 1:50 000-scale map sheets covering an area adjacent to the Straits of Georgia stretching from Parksville to Duncan, and west to Port Alberni.


Fieldwork during August, 1998, combined with air-photo interpretation, identified 101 existing pits in the study area. Each pit has been accurately located, using hand-held GPS or from published NTS maps, and its host landform type was determined in the field. Preliminary results suggest that fluvial and glaciofluvial deposits host 75% of the aggregate pits in the study area. Of these, outwash fans, terraces and kame terraces are the most important host landforms. A significant number of pits (15%) are hosted in marine or glacio-marine deposits.


Within the Nanaimo area, 1394 individual areas (polygons) have been assessed for their potential to host natural aggregate resources. The polygons are based on landform units identified and delineated by Alley (1975, 1977), Cotic (1975), Jungen (1975a,b), Lacelle (1975a,b) and Senyk (1975a,b), with additions and modifications by BC Geological Survey staff as part of this project. Landform data derived from these polygons have been combined with the pit inventory and water well records to produce the final aggregate resource potential maps.


All polygons (48) which host present or historical aggregate pits were assigned a classification "H". These represent 3.64% of the total area. In the rest of the project area, 75 polygons have been assessed as being of primary, 214 of secondary and 662 of tertiary potential. These comprise 5.38%, 15.35% and 47.49%, respectively, of the total map area. Remaining polygons (1085) are classified "U" (Unclassified) comprising 28.34% of the total area.


The resulting aggregate potential maps have been released, in digital format only, as:


Massey, N.W.D., P.Geo., A. Matheson, P.Geo., and P.T. Bobrowsky, P.Geo., (1998): Aggregate Resource Potential of the Nanaimo Area (parts of NTS 92B12, 92B13, 92C09, 92C16, 92F01, 92F02, 92F07, 92F08, 92G01); B.C. Ministry of Energy and Mines, Open File 1998-12.


The data are available for free download or can be viewed on MapPlace.


All printed publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.


For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (BC Residents only).