Lithoprobe was Canada’s major national research project in the earth sciences for more than 20 years, finishing in 2005. It combined multidisciplinary earth science studies of the Canadian landmass and surrounding offshore margins to determine how the northern North American continent formed over geological time from 4000 million years ago to the present. Lithoprobe was a collaborative research project that cumulatively involved nearly 1000 scientists working in every sector of earth sciences in Canada. It greatly advanced scientific knowledge about the structure and evolution of our landmass and provided a regional geotectonic context within which petroleum, base-metal and diamond mining companies could better plan their exploration programs.
Although Lithoprobe results have been published in hundreds of scientific articles during the life of the project, and in a series of special issues of the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Special Paper 49 is the only book to be published on Lithoprobe scientific results. The volume comprises seven chapters covering the wide range of geotectonic regions studied through the ten Lithoprobe transects (study areas), plus a summary chapter. Each chapter incorporates a geological overview and discusses a range of physical parameters as appropriate to the area (e.g., crustal thickness and its variation; crustal structure, composition, seismic velocity and reflectivity; nature of orogen margins; age and style of rifting; nature and age of accreted terranes; nature and age of continental magmatic arcs; location and nature of paleo-suture zones; age and style of accretion; variation of P-T conditions through time; and the age and style of post-collisional processes). The chapters also include discussions of important aspects of orogenic and post-orogenic evolution.
As such, Special Paper 49 pulls together and provides an in-depth overview of most of the major scientific results deriving from the Lithoprobe project, and an analysis of their major implications. The chapters are lengthy, with very extensive reference lists, and include a large number of illustrations, many of which, of necessity, are in colour. It is a book that will be the main source of information about the Canadian landmass for many years to come. The authors include many individuals who were key players in the Lithoprobe project, in particular the editors John Percival, Fred Cook and Ron Clowes, the latter of whom was Director of the project from its inception to the end.
Hardcover – 512 pages (Nov 29, 2012)
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