Before 1971, geological studies of offshore Eastern Canada were limited to relatively recent offshore surficial sediments. With the advent of commercial hydrocarbon exploration on the East Coast continental shelf, the Geological Survey of Canada began geological and geophysical subsurface studies of the older rocks underlying the seafloor. A new group, the Eastern Petroleum Geology Section, was established and, in 1972, geological specialists from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and the Survey were brought together in a new Survey division, the Atlantic Geoscience Centre.
Later in the 1970s a similar reorganization took place on the West Coast. Marine geophysicists from the Earth Physics Branch came together with Vancouver-based Survey geologists to create the Pacific Geoscience Centre at the Institute of Ocean Sciences located at Sidney, British Columbia. The West Coast’s limited continental shelf and restrictions on hydrocarbon exploration have focused activities on inshore geology and the deep-water volcanic Juan de Fuca ridge system.
In 1982, the establishment of the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention gave both groups an increasingly important role to play in mapping and assessing the subsea resources of Canada’s extensive Exclusive Economic Zones in the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic Oceans.
Category: Science Advances