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Smithers Exploration Group's Collection of Cordilleran Rock Suites

Leaarn more about the collection by attending virtual Rock Talk 2021, February 18 and 19.  

Welcome to Smithers Exploration Group’s Rock Room, home to our classic collection of Cordilleran rock suites. This extensive collection of rock samples, once complete, will be representative of deposits and rock types from across British Columbia, with a focus on the northwest. It’s an important resource for the development of expertise on the geology of northern BC and the discovery of the next mines.

The collection was begun in the 1970s by local geologists and prospectors, as well as the BC Ministry of Mines, and was updated under the direction of former regional geologist Paul Wojdak. It is designed to give hands-on examples of the rocks that make up the regional geological framework of northern British Columbia.  We are working hard to complete our collection: if there is a particular suite you are keen to see but we do not yet have, please let us know and we will prioritize the aquisition of those samples.  If you have a suite that you would consider donating to help us fill in the gaps, we would very much like to hear from you!

The Rock Room occupies a spacious classroom at the Smithers Exploration Group office at #101 3423 Fulton Avenue in Smithers. We have almost 2000 rock samples catalogued, clearly labelled and stored in trays that can be removed for handling and close examination. The room is heated, well-lit and spacious enough to allow field crews to use it is a starting (or ending) point for the field season. It is equipped with regular and zoom stereomicroscopes for detailed investigation.

The rock suites cover:

Call 250-877-7883 or email Anastasia Ledwon at  rockroom@smithersexplorationgroup.com if you have questions about the Rock Room or the donation requirements for samples.

SEG’s Rock Room with its Cordilleran Rock Suites will make Smithers home to a unique tool for explorationists.  It will attract industry and government attention to Smithers as a community committed to the growth of the minerals industry in BC.

Browse the Rock Room Collection

Library No.Suite NameLocationCollectorRock NameAgeDescriptionCart
S5-13KarmutsenPillow basaltvery fine grained; dark grey; centre of specimen is a coarse grained igneous xenolith (bomb?)
S5-12Takla GroupNTS 93LT Richards?Basalt brecciadark green; clasts are mainly angular and all of same composition; clast supported; infilling of white calcite and silica
S5-11Takla GroupNTS 93LT Richards?Vesicular basaltgrey; aphanitic; 10% irregular shaped vesicles; weak calcite on vesicle margins contributes to pocked weathering; prominent malachite and weak azurite(?) on vesicle margin; likely basalt flow top, perhaps originally with native copper
S5-10Takla GroupNTS 93LT Richards?Tuffaceous argillitewell bedded; alternating grey, black and buff beds on mm to cm scale; very fine grained. Commonly interbedded with green tuff and volcanic breccia, clear evidence of submarine origin
S5-09Takla GroupNTS 93LT Richards?Green tuffpale green; very fine grained; massive; pervasive weak epidote
S5-08Takla GroupNTS 93LT Richards?Amygdaoidal basaltmedium green; aphanitic; 20% amygdules filled by chlorite and lesser epidote; one vein(?) of quartz-epidote
S5-07Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriBasalt breccia with micritic limestonelight grey, very fine grained micritic limestone infills dark green-black basalt breccia; fragments are are broken, angular, to 8 mm; dark reddish hematite patches and minor epidote in basalt; moderately magnetic. Likely flow-top breccia infilled by limy mud precipitated from seawater
S5-06Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriArgillitedark grey; fine grained; weakly foliated; partings show shiny chlorite and calcareous material; calcite veinlets (5 mm) with red-orange siderite selvage; weathered surface has grey calcite with unusual shapes. Occurs at base of Takla volcanics
S5-05Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriVolcanic-derived pebble greywackewell sorted, clast-supported; subround pebble clasts from <1 to 8 mm; larger pebbles in crude beds (see cut surface); large clasts are dark, fine grained volcanic; small clasts consist of feldspar, augite, carbonate, green and red volcanics and black argillite; strongly magnetic
S5-04Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriAmygdaloidal basalt flowdark green-black; fine grained; 30% mafic phenocrysts, entirely chloritized augite(?) to 5 mm; 20% rounded, elongate amydules (to 8 mm long) filled with calcite; amygdules are aligned, in flow orientation(?); visible magnetite, strongly magnetic
S5-03Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriAndesite augite porphyritic agglomeratedark green; coarse grained; augite phenos (2 mm) slightly chloritic; fragments and matrix of similar composition; lithic fragments subrounded to subangular to 3 cm; fragments are amygdaloidal augite porphyry; amygdules (5 mm) filled with quartz-carbonate; rare large (8 mm) amygdule contain dark green olivine
S5-02Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriAndesite lithic tuffdark green; 50% phenocrysts, mainly euhedral augite (to 5 mm), minor feldspar, hard to distinguish; lithic fragments to 1.5 cm; weak pervasive carbonate-epidote-chlorite alteration throughout
S5-01Takla GroupNTS 93NF FerriDacite crystal tuffgrey-green; fine to medium grained; 20% small, poorly visible feldspar phenocrysts; 10% small anhedral mafic phenocrysts (altered to chlorite/sericite); weak apple-green epidote patches; pale brown carbonate in hairline fractures with siliceous envelopes; weathered surface has cpy bleb oxidized to malachite
S4-16Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseSilica sinterbuff coloured quartz sinter, riddled with 15% cavities; cavities (0.5-3 mm) are of vesicular origin; locally quartz appears fragmental (subrounded, 1-5 mm). Vesicular texture suggests rapid cooling of tuffaceous silica melt, such as at a hydrothermal vent
S4-15Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseQuartz-carbonate vein / silicified volcanicgrey massive, semi-translucent silica with 5% rounded carbonate inclusions (5 mm); cavities on weathered surface are from dissolution of carbonate, leaving a dark grey powder (manganese(?) from rhodochrosite?); Probably a quartz-carbonate vein but possibly intensely silicified felsic volcanic rock
S4-14Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseSilica geodes from rhyolite flow (missing)egg-shaped banded silica geode (lithophaese); silica spheroids (3-4 mm) stand out on weathered surface; original banded texture consists of 1 mm silica bands which pass completely through the sample, indicating spheroids formed later, during cooling. Soft white areas suggest feldspar content of 25%, but no visible crystals; pentagonal/hexagonal jointing through geode is resealed with chacedonic quartz. Cut surface shows an outer shell with original rhyolite; inward from the rhyolite is 0.5-1 cm concentric band of grey-purple finely banded chalcedony; then a 0.5 cm irregular band of red jasper; centre of geode has open infillings of light purple amythest which is light greenish in the centre. These geodes may have formed as a gas bubble (cavity); concentric cooling point caused the geode's shape; later silica precipitation caused the different coloured concentric rings. The hard chalcedonic quartz of the exterior is resistant to weathering than the rest of the rhyolite causing the geodes to weather out of the outcrop.
S4-13Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseDacite crystal flow tuffmauve and white, partially banded; non banded part is 50% dark purple aphanitic matrix with 10% feldspar (0.5-2 mm) and 5% mafics (<0.5 mm). Banded portion is 3 cm wide with white 1-2 mm stringers; soft material of bands is altered feldspar(?); partial hematite alteration
S4-12Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseFeldspar hornblende andesite crystal tuffmedium grey; 20% aphanitic matrix; 30% plagioclase and lesser K-feldspar (1-2 mm); 20% hornblende (1-2 mm); hornblende is reddish (hematitic); one hornblende-rich lithic fragment; feldspars mildly altered to clay; tuff features visible on weathered surface
S4-11Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseFeldspar porphyry rhyodacitedark brown; aphanitic; hard matrix with 15-20% rounded phenocrysts of K-feldspar (light pink) and plagioclase (white); 2:1 ratio of plag to K-spar; 5% tiny (<0.5 mm) hornblende; probably shallow intrusive origin
S4-10Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseQuartz breccia rhyolitegrey and pink; mottled; chunky; 70% angular fragments of grey semi-translucent quartz; matrix is pink-orange K-feldspar-rich; matrix is leached, altered to clay; thoroughly weathered sample
S4-09Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseVolcanic sandstone, of dacite compositionmedium grey-green; fine grained; sandy textured; barely distinguishable feldspar and quartz and darker green (chloritized) mafics; carbonate and chlorite on fracture surfaces
S4-08Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseSanidine hornblende trachyteorange-pink and medium grey; mottled; 25% pink feldspar (sanidine, 1-2 mm); 15% subhedral hornblende (0.5-2 mm); 50% fine grained matrix; pervasive carbonate in matrix; hairline veinlets of carbonate and chlorite; one mafic xenolith (2 cm)
S4-07Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielsePotassic altered K-feldspar hornblende trachyteorange-pink; slightly chalky; medium grained; 5% plagioclase altered to clay; minor quartz eyes; 30% subhedral sanidine (1-4 mm); 20% euhedral hornblende (1-3 mm); minor biotite; pervasive laumontite
S4-06Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielsePropylitically altered andesitedark grey-green; medium grained; equigranular; 30% euhedral plagioclase laths (1-2 mm); 10% quartz (1 mm); 5-10% hornblende as individual laths (1 mm) and 2-3 mm aggregates; chloritic, fine grained matrix (propylitic); disseminated magnetite; minor calcite
S4-05Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseHydrothermally altered rhyolitelight grey-pink; heavily altered; granular felsite; less altered area shows chalcedonic matrix with 20-25% K-feldspar (bleached white); pocked surface due to acid leaching with small remnant quartz crystals (devitrification of siliceous matrix?) and clay after feldspar; abundant limonite stain
S4-04Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseCrystal lithic andesite latite tuff50% grey-green, fine grained andesite which is equigranular and more deeply weathered; brown, medium grained latite as rounded spheres (2 mm to 2 cm) more apparent on weathered surface; latite is densely packed with crystal fragments of K-feldspar (1-2 mm) and fine hornblende
S4-03Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseSanidine porphyry trachytedark grey to purple; fine grained; 30% feldspar phenocrysts, mainly pink euheral K-spar (sanidine) 2-5 mm and minor elongate, pale green plagioclase; calcite and epidote throughout (pervasive propylitic alteration); moderately magnetic, fine magnetite throughout
S4-02Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseFeldspar crystal rhyolite tuffbrown and green mottled; fine grained; 10-20% subhedral pink K-feldspar to 2 mm; reddish due to hematite(?); calcite rims cavities
S4-01Toodoggone VolcanicsNTS 94EH GabrielseAmygdaloidal dacitic andesitematrix is dark grey, dense, fine grained, siliceous (note radiating sub-conchoidal fracture on one surface); 5% subhedral white feldspar to 2 mm; 2% round siderite amygdules to 3 mm with white semi-translucent rims (that weather orange); pocked surface results from weathering of siderite; rock is strongly magnetic
S3-10Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsiziAndesite lapilli tuffLower JurassicCherry red matrix with 80% mm scale angular to subrounded fragments, calcite as subrounded blebs (amygdules) fragments range from same composition as matrix and from deeper red to dark and pale grey.
S3-09Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsiziH GabrielseAndesite lapilli tuffLithic fragments more visible on weathered surface; 50% fragments of subangular feldspar porphyry andesite to 1.5 cm; calcite as rounded blebs (amygdules?) and on fractures; matrix is finer grained but similar composition to fragments; magnetic throughout; minor manganese stain
S3-08Coldfish VolcanicsCry Lake, NTS 94HH GabrielseFlow banded hematitic spheroidal rhyolite70% dark red, siliceous, banded matrix; portions of bands consist of grey silica which has not been hematized; some round to irregular amygdules [spherules?] (to 1 cm) filled with quartz and minor carbonate occur along some layers of the flow; spherules up to 7 cm (along edge of sample where rhyolite cooled more quickly) show radiating texture. Few patches of pale, soft chlorite/sericite may be altered lithic fragments (pumice?)
S3-07Coldfish VolcanicsCry LakeH GabrielseFlow banded rhyolitepink-orange; fine grained; hard; flow banded; 5% scattered, pale orange feldspar (K-spar?) phenos to 3 mm; minor small, anhedral mafic phenos; hairline fractures filled with calcite or silica
S3-06Coldfish VolcanicsCry LakeH GabrielsePolymictic lithic tuff60% subrounded to angular fragments of many types; matrix supported; matrix is pale pink, soft, fine to medium grained with small, bright to dull green irregular shaped fragments. Small dull green fragments are montmorillonite altered pumice(?). Bright green glassy fragments may be less altered pumice, secondary epidote or primary olivine. Fragments consist of reddish fine grained hematitic tuff, light to dark grey crystal tuff, light brown siliceous rhyolite and one fragment of orange K-feldspar. Pumice indicates this rock was once a glassy vitric tuff
S3-05Coldfish VolcanicsCry LakeH GabrielseFeldspar porphyry breccia80% subrounded to subangular fragments (to 12 cm) of andesite feldspar porphyry; matrix is grey-green, fine grained, contains small feldspar and altered hornblende phenocrysts, and green chlorite blebs that may have been amygdules. Fragments are andesitic feldspar (plagioclase) porphyry with 30-75% sub to euheral feldspar to 4 mm and 5% chloritized hornblende. Matrix in the fragments ranges from grey-green to dark reddish hematitic andesite; some small fragments are aphanitic and one is strongly magnetic. Matrix and fragments have similar composition, hard to distinguish; may be proximal to a vent
S3-04Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsiziH GabrielseBanded rhyolitic ash tufflight brown; fine grained; banded (bedded); siliceous (hard); minor dendritic manganese (pyrolusite) on weathered surface; very fine layering suggests subaqueous deposition
S3-03Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsiziH GabrielseAmygdaloidal andesitedark grey-green; fine grained; 5% euhedral plagioclase phenos to 3 mm; 10% amygdules filled by calcite, small ones are round, large ones (to 5mm) are irregular; reddish-purple hematite patches in matrix
S3-02Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsiziH GabrielseAmygdaloidal andesitedark brown; fine grained; 40% amygdules filled with chlorite and calcite; amygdules are round to elongate up to 8 mm long; small amygdules filled only by chlorite, larger have chlorite rim and calcite core; weathered surface appears vesicular
S3-01Coldfish VolcanicsSpatsizi, NTS 104HH GabrielseFine grained andesite tuffdark red-brown; dense; fine grained; pale white-grey blotches are, under hand lens, euhedral feldspar laths
S2-33a S2-33bStewart suiteD AlldrickGranite dike, Diabase dike (2 specimens)Tertiarya) Granite dike is light pink, 5% quartz phenocrysts; 50% K-feldspar, trace biotite in a (presumed) plagioclase-quartz groundmass. B) Diorite dike is medium grey, fine grained with a salt-and-pepper texture comprising 65% plagioclase and 35% hornblende
S2-32Stewart suiteD AlldrickFelsic phylliteJurassicpale green-grey; very fine grained; a few faint primary crystals (feldspar?) or clasts preserved; no clear evidence this was a felsic tuff
S2-31Stewart suiteD AlldrickSheared granodiorite (one piece broken in 2)Jurassicmedium green; 20% feldspar is preseved but deformed; hornblende completely altered to foliated chlorite
S2-30Stewart suiteD AlldrickGranodiorite (2 specimens)Jurassicdemonstrates the compositional range of the Texas Creek pluton from more mafic than typical to more felsic; felsic sample has a low colour index, contains 5% hornblende, a few grains of primary biotite, no quartz and no K-feldspar
S2-29Stewart suiteD AlldrickDacite - andesite flow (2 specimens)Jurassic10% feldspar, moderately flow-aligned; rare K-feldspar. Extrusive, flow rock; Premier Porphyry is a consanguinous, high level intrusive rock. This should not be called Premier Porphyry
S2-28Stewart suiteD AlldrickAltered andesiteJurassicmedium green; 25% feldspar phenocrysts; hornblende completely altered to chlorite
S2-27Stewart suiteD AlldrickBedded siltstoneargillaecous black beds and thin light brown silty beds; beds mm to 5 cm thick
S2-26Stewart suiteMt Dilworth FmDacite Lapilli TuffJurassicLight grey matrix with 40% angular to rounded fragments dark grey to brown in color and up to 2 cm.
S2-25Stewart suiteMt Dilworth FmD AlldrickRhyolite lapilli tuffJurassicmottled light and medium grey; 40% siliceous matrix; 50% siliceous fragments, 1 mm to 1 cm; 5% feldspar throughout matrix; 5% pyrite concentrated in bands and patches and up to 30% in some clasts; intense limonite on weathered surface
S2-24Stewart suiteMt Dilworth FmD AlldrickRhyolite lapilli tuffJurassiclight grey; 65% fine grained matrix; 30% rounded, aligned, lithic fragments 2-7 mm; 5% very fine feldspar in matrix; pyrite throughout; rusty weathered surface; bright orange cut surface may be iron carbonate
S2-23Stewart suiteMt Dilworth FmD AlldrickRhyodacite lapilli tuffJurassic60% dark grey matrix; 35% light grey, fine grained lithic fragments 1 mm to 2 cm size and roughly aligned; 5% pyrite fragments and minor disseminated pyrite

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