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Open-File Report 2015–1021

Prepared in cooperation with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys

GIS-based Identification of Areas with Mineral Resource Potential for Six Selected Deposit Groups, Bureau of Land Management Central Yukon Planning Area, Alaska

By James V. Jones III, Susan M. Karl, Keith A. Labay, Nora B. Shew, Matthew Granitto, Timothy S. Hayes, Jeffrey L. Mauk, Jeanine M. Schmidt, Erin Todd, Bronwen Wang, Melanie B. Werdon, and Douglas B. Yager

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.2 MB)Abstract

This study, covering the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Yukon Planning Area (CYPA), Alaska, was prepared to aid BLM mineral resource management planning. Estimated mineral resource potential and certainty are mapped for six selected mineral deposit groups: (1) rare earth element (REE) deposits associated with peralkaline to carbonatitic intrusive igneous rocks, (2) placer and paleoplacer gold, (3) platinum group element (PGE) deposits associated with mafic and ultramafic intrusive igneous rocks, (4) carbonate-hosted copper deposits, (5) sandstone uranium deposits, and (6) tin-tungsten-molybdenum-fluorspar deposits associated with specialized granites. These six deposit groups include most of the strategic and critical elements of greatest interest in current exploration.

This study has used a data-driven, geographic information system (GIS)-based method for evaluating the mineral resource potential across the large region of the CYPA. This method systematically and simultaneously analyzes geoscience data from multiple geospatially referenced datasets and uses individual subwatersheds (12-digit hydrologic unit codes or HUCs) as the spatial unit of classification. The final map output indicates an estimated potential (high, medium, low) for a given mineral deposit group and indicates the certainty (high, medium, low) of that estimate for any given subwatershed (HUC). Accompanying tables describe the data layers used in each analysis, the values assigned for specific analysis parameters, and the relative weighting of each data layer that contributes to the estimated potential and certainty determinations. Core datasets used include the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB2), the Alaska Division of Geologic and Geophysical Surveys Web-based geochemical database, data from an anticipated USGS geologic map of Alaska, and the USGS Alaska Resource Data File. Map plates accompanying this report illustrate the mineral prospectivity for the six deposit groups across the CYPA and estimates of mineral resource potential. There are numerous areas, some of them large, rated with high potential for one or more of the selected deposit groups within the CYPA.

First posted February 23, 2015

  • Appendix D XLS (18 kB)
    Lithology keyword search terms for an anticipated U.S. Geological Survey geologic map of Alaska.
  • Appendix E ZIP (422 MB)
    Scoring results for HUC analysis of selected deposit groups (folder containing Excel spreadsheet and geospatial data files)

This publication is online only

For additional information, contact:
Alaska Science Center staff
U.S. Geological Survey
4210 University Dr.
Anchorage, AK 99508
Alaska Mineral Resources
Alaska Science Center

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Suggested citation:

Jones, J.V., III, Karl, S.M., Labay, K.A., Shew, N.B., Granitto, M., Hayes, T.S., Mauk, J.L., Schmidt, J.M., Todd, E., Wang, B., Werdon, M.B., and Yager, D.B., 2015, GIS-based identification of areas with mineral resource potential for six selected deposit groups, Bureau of Land Management Central Yukon Planning Area, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1021, 78 p., 5 appendixes, 12 pls.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




Deposit Group Characteristics


GIS-Based Methodology and Results by Deposit Group

REE-Th-Y-Nb (-U-Zr) Deposits Associated with Peralkaline to Carbonatitic Intrusive Rocks

Placer and Paleoplacer Au

PGE (-Co-Cr-Ni-Ti-V) Deposits Associated with Mafic-to-Ultramafic Intrusive Rocks

Carbonate-Hosted Cu (Co-Ag-Ge-Ga) Deposits

Sn-W-Mo (-Ta-In-fluorspar) Deposits Associated with Specialized Granites

Sandstone U (-V-Cu) Deposits


Data Resources


Appendixes (5)

Figures (2)

Tables (15)

Plates (12)

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