Surficial Geology

Surficial geology focuses on the description of the types and distributions of unconsolidated sediments across the landscape. Surficial-geological data is essential for the successful interpretation of ice flow and glacial history in Manitoba. This information is collected and maintained primarily in maps and databases. It is useful for mineral exploration, sand and gravel production, hazard assessment, and infrastructure and landuse planning.

Applications of Surficial geology data (PDF)


Aggregate Resources
Publication Index

Click on the rural municipality map sheet below for more information regarding existing publications.

Click to view map listings


Surficial Geology Map Index

Click on the map sheet below for map listings.

Click to view map listings


To search for or download free publications related to aggregate projects in Manitoba, please visit the Bibliography of Manitoba Geology. Publications are also available in our Free Downloads section.


Current projects

Completed projects

To search for or download free publications related to all quaternary and surficial projects in Manitoba, please visit the Bibliography of Manitoba Geology.


2018-2019 releases

2017-2018 releases



Surficial map compilations

For more information, visit the Surficial Geology Compilation Map Series web page.

How to create a surficial map (PDF)

Drift Exploration in Regions of Complex Ice Flow (PDF)


Till sampling protocols

  • Advances in the Use of Geochemical Data for Mineral Exploration; by E.C. Grunsky and P. de Caritat

  • McClenaghan, M.B. and Kjarsgaard, B.A. 2007: Indicator mineral and surficial geochemical exploration methods for Kimberlite in glaciated terrain: examples from Canada, in Goodfellow, W.D., ed., Mineral Deposits of Canada: A Synthesis of Major Deposit-Types, District Metallogeny, the Evolution of Geological Provinces, and Exploration Methods: Geological Association of Canada, Mineral Deposits Division, Special Publication No. 5, p. 983-1006.

  • McClenaghan, M B (ed.); Plouffe, A (ed.); Layton-Matthews, D (ed.). 2014: Application of indicator mineral methods to mineral exploration, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7553, 2014; 74 pages, doi:10.4095/293858

  • McMartin, I. and Campbell, J. E. 2009: Near-surface till sampling protocols in shield terrain, with examples from western and northern Canada; in Application of till and stream sediment heavy mineral and geochemical methods to mineral exploration in western and northern Canada, R. C. Paulen and M. B. McClenaghan (eds.), Geological Association of Canada, GAC Short Course Notes 18, p. 75-95.

  • Spirito, W. A., McClenaghan, M. B., Plouffe, A., McMartin, I., Campbell, J. E., Paulen, R. C., Garrett, R. G. and Hall, G. E. M. 2011: Till Sampling and Analytical Protocols for GEM Projects: from field to archive, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 6850.

To view further bibliographic information on the Geological Survey of Canada-produced reports listed above, please visit Natural Resources Canada.

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Digital compilation of surficial point and line features

These datasets provide an up-to-date digital compilation of historic and new point and line features that are typically present on surficial geology maps, including:

  • ice-flow indicators (striae, roches moutonees, etc)
  • field sites
  • outcrops
  • streamlined landforms
  • eskers
  • major and minor moraines
  • meltwater channels and corridors
  • sand dunes
  • beach ridges and trimlines

More Information and Downloads

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Cross-sections maps can be downloaded off of the Phanerozoic Stratigraphy page.

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