Learn about the types of geology the Yukon Geological Survey studies

  • Bedrock geology
  • Surficial geology
  • Energy geology

We provide objective geological information to:

  • Government of Yukon;
  • Yukon First Nations;
  • municipalities;
  • industry;
  • universities; and
  • the public.

Our information adds to the Yukon’s geoscience knowledge base. The information supports geoscience-related policy and investment decisions in the territory.

  1. Bedrock geology

    Beneath the Earth's surface lies bedrock. It's made up of hard rock that is exposed or buried.

    Our geologists continue to refine our understanding of the Yukon’s bedrock. We map the Yukon's geology in detail and conduct studies on bedrock units to determine:

    • what minerals they are made of; and
    • their age.

    Our studies help to:

    • identify the Yukon’s natural resources such as
      • minerals;
      • hydrocarbons; and
      • geothermal energy;
    • evaluate potential geological hazards; and
    • advance our understanding of the natural history of northwestern North America.

    View maps of the Yukon’s:

    For more information on bedrock geology, contact [email protected].

  2. Surficial geology

    Surficial geology is the study of unconsolidated sediments such as:

    • gravel;
    • sand;
    • silt; and
    • clay.

      These sediments were largely deposited within the last 2.6 million years, during the Quaternary period. They form the foundation on which we live our lives.

    Our geologists map, describe and interpret the origin and evolution of surficial sediments.

    Processes that change surficial deposits include:

    • water;
    • glaciers;
    • wind;
    • gravity; and
    • climate.

    Our projects have many uses. These include:

    • landscape hazards (permafrost and landslides) for public safety;
    • aggregate distribution for construction;
    • sediment genesis for mineral exploration;
    • soil properties for infrastructure development and community planning;
    • valley evolution for understanding placer gold deposits; and
    • the history of glaciers and how they relate to the paleoclimate.

    The surficial geology group:

    • engages with the public; and
    • takes on external research opportunities through collaborative projects with universities.

    For more information on surficial geology, contact [email protected].

  3. Energy geology

    Our geologists study rocks that have the potential to provide energy for the Yukon. We look for:

    • oil;
    • gas; and
    • geothermal energy.

    Oil and gas are found in sedimentary rocks. Known oil and gas resources are located in northern and southeast Yukon.

    Geothermal heat is found in different types of rocks. Early research shows Southern Yukon may hold enough heat to become a useful source of energy. Geothermal heat is a renewable resource and can:

    • directly heat buildings; and
    • in some cases, produce electricity.

    For more information on energy geology, contact [email protected].


Contact the Yukon Geological Survey for specific Yukon geology information. Email [email protected].