Isabelle McMartin

Research Scientist

Quaternary geology, glacial history, drift prospecting (gold, diamonds, base metals), environmental geochemistry

Current research and/or projects

Isabelle obtained her PhD in geology from Carleton University in 2000 and defended a thesis on the Quaternary geology and environmental geochemistry of the Flin Flon region in Manitoba/Saskatchewan.  She held a junior engineering position during 1 year at Poly-Géo Inc., before arriving at the GSC in 1991 to pursue her research on the history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, till composition and implications for mineral exploration, and soil geochemistry and applications towards environmental problems (smelter impact; natural mercury in permafrost, etc.).  She has been part of several national geoscience programs, including NATMAP (Shield Margin Project; Western Churchill Project), TGI (Committee Bay drift prospecting Project; Flin Flon Project), MITE (Hg in the environment; smelter impact on the environment), and Northern Resources Development Program (Western Churchill Metallogeny Project). Currently, Isabelle is studying the glacial history of the Wager Bay region in mainland Nunavut and developing drift prospecting methods for IOCG exploration in NWT as part of the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Program (GEM).

Education and awards

B.Sc. Génie géologique, Université Laval, 1987

M.Sc. Sciences de la Terre, UQÀM, 1990

Ph.D. Earth Sciences, Carleton University, 2000

Key publications

Henderson, P.J., McMartin, I., Hall, G.E.M., Walker, D., and Percival, J.B. (1998). The chemical and physical characteristics of heavy metals in humus and till in the vicinity of the base metal smelter at Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada. Environmental Geology 34 (No.1): 39-58.

McMartin, I., Henderson, P.J., and Nielsen, E. (1999). Impact of a base metal smelter on the geochemistry of soils of the Flin Flon region, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 36: 141-160.

McMartin, I. (2000). Paleogeography of Lake Agassiz and regional post-glacial uplift history of the Flin Flon region, central Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Journal of Paleolimnology 24: 293-315.

McMartin, I. and McClenaghan, M.B. (2001). Till geochemistry and sampling techniques in glaciated shield terrain: a review; in Drift Exploration in Glaciated Terrain, M.B. McClenaghan, P.T., Bobrowsky, G.E.M., Hall, and S.J., Cook (Eds.), Geological Society, London, Special Publications No. 185: 19-43.

McMartin, I., Henderson, P.J., Plouffe, A., and Knight, R.D. (2002). Comparison of Cu-Hg-Ni-Pb concentrations in soils adjacent to anthropogenic point sources: examples from four Canadian sites. Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis 2: 57-74.

McMartin, I. and Henderson, P.J. (2004). New evidence from central Nunavut for paleo-ice divide migration.  Géographie physique et Quaternaire, Vic Prest Special Volume, V. 58, No. 2-3: 163-186.

Grunsky, E.C., Harris, J.R. and McMartin, I. (2009). Chapter 14: Predictive Mapping of Surficial Materials, Schultz Lake Area (NTS66A), Nunavut, Canada. In Remote Sensing and Spectral Geology, Bedell, Crosta and Grunsky (eds.), Reviews in Economic Geology, Volume 16, Society of Economic Geology, p. 177-198.

McMartin, I., Corriveau, L. and Beaudoin, G (2011). An orientation study of the heavy mineral signature of the NICO Co-Au-Bi deposit, Great Bear magmatic zone, Northwest Territories, Canada; GEEA, Vol. 11, p. 293-307.

Plouffe, A., McClenaghan, M.B., Paulen, R.C., McMartin, I., Campbell, J. and Spirito, W. (2013). Processing of unconsolidated glacial sediments for the recovery of indicator minerals: protocols used at the Geological Survey of Canada; GEEA, Vol. 13, p. 303-316.

McClenaghan, M.B., Plouffe, A., McMartin, I., Campbell, J.E., Spirito, W.A., Paulen, R.C., Garrett R.G.and Hall G.E.M. (2013). Till sampling and geochemical analytical protocols used by the Geological Survey of Canada; GEEA, Vol. 13, p. 285-301.

Research facility

601 Booth St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G1


Geological Association of Canada

Association of Applied Geochemists

Society of Economic Geologists

Association québécoise pour l'étude du Quaternaire (AQQUA)

Canadian Quaternary Association (CANQUA)