One of the most striking features of the western Canadian shield is the Snowbird tectonic zone (STZ). This NE trending structural discontinuity is the 2800 km-long boundary between the Rae and Hearne crustal provinces and is marked by dramatic gravity and magnetic anomalies and gradients. The Striding-Athabasca (S-A) mylonite zone is a well-exposed 400 km-long segment in northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. This region contains an extensive domain of the highest pressure rocks known in the Canadian Shield (~1.5-2.0 GPa) and one of the world's oldest exposures of eclogite. The S-A mylonite zone is particularly well exposed in the East Athabasca mylonite triangle (EAmt), a 40-km-wide, northeast-tapering zone of granulite facies mylonites in northern Saskatchewan. These extraordinary rocks provide a unique view of cratonic deep crust that is allowing us to gain insight into lower crustal and upper mantle magmatic, metamorphic, and deformational processes. 
We use integrated structural, petrological, geochronological, and thermochronological techniques and have a number of active research projects along different parts of the Snowbird tectonic zone:

  • The East Athabasca mylonite triangle - Michael Williams, Kevin Mahan, Chris Kopf
  • Wholdaia Lake region of the STZ in the NW Territories - Lori Krikorian
  • Legs Lake shear zone (bounds EAmt) - Kevin Mahan
  • Neil Bay (southern Rae Domain) - Chris Kopf, Michael Williams
  • Daly Bay (northern Rae Domain)

Cora Lake mylonite, East Lake Athabaska, Saskatchewan

Garnet at Cora Lake


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