The Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) is the steward of Ontario’s public geoscience data. We collect, share and use geoscience data and information. Our three core functions are:

  • Geological mapping and surveying.
  • Geoservices, including:
    • chemical and physical analyses of inorganic materials at the Geoscience Laboratories (Geo Labs)
    • cartographic, editorial and publication services of geoscience products
    • library and archive services
  • Providing geoscience expertise at a local level to help attract investment that includes taking inventory of and assessing Ontario’s earth resource potential in local areas.

The information and data we collect is used to:

  • define and understand geological process and the earth’s resources
  • publish maps, reports and digital data on Ontario’s geology
  • attract and guide mineral investment in Ontario
  • help the government make provincial land-use planning decisions related to:
    • environment
    • geological hazards and mineral resources
    • ecology
    • climate change
    • public health and safety

We also work with provincial, national and international geoscience partners to create a more robust geoscientific evidence base in Ontario. This evidence is used to support decisions on the sustainable use of land, minerals, energy, groundwater and living with environmental change.


Our maps, reports and digital data are published online on GeologyOntario. All publications can be downloaded online for free.

You can also contact the Publication Sales Office to purchase:

  • maps and reports in hard-copy (paper) format
  • digital data sets

If you want to be notified of upcoming publications, sign up to receive the Publications Release Notices.

John B. Gammon Geoscience Library

The John B. Gammon Geoscience Library has a comprehensive collection of journals, theses, government documents, maps and reference material about geology and mineral exploration.

The library also provides computer terminals so you can access the:

Resident Geologist Program

The Resident Geologist Program (RGP) is a network of eight regional offices located across the province.

The RGP:

  • provides geological consultation and advisory services
  • promotes and stimulates mineral exploration
  • maintains and provides public access to geoscience data and other resource materials
  • monitors and reports on mineral exploration and development activity and issues affecting the minerals sector
  • provides geoscience information and knowledge for land-use planning
  • hosts and participates in public forums to promote Ontario's minerals industry
  • delivers prospecting courses and public information sessions
  • engages and builds relationships with Indigenous communities

The RGP also produces monthly activity reports that may include information on:

  • mining and exploration activity
  • property visits
  • mineral Inventory database updates

To speak with a geologist, contact the Resident Geologist Program.

Geoscience Laboratories

Our Geoscience Laboratories (Geo Labs), located in Sudbury Ontario, are a full-service inorganic analytical facility. We specialize in research grade analysis and provide services to government, academia and private sectors.

Our services

We provide analytical and research services in:

  • geochemistry
  • mineralogy
  • method development
  • reference material sales and production

Analyses available

  • scanning electron microscopy
  • carbon and sulphur analysis
  • iron titrimetry
  • particle size analysis
  • calcite and dolomite analysis
  • acid base accounting
  • electron probe micro-analysis
  • x-ray diffraction
  • x-ray fluorescence
  • sample preparation
  • solution preparation
  • lead and nickel sulphide fire-assay
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS))
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES)
  • Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (Flame-AAS) / Microwave Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (MP-AES)

Schedule of fees and services

Download the Schedule of fees and services (PDF) for more information on our services.

Geoscience research topics

Metallic minerals

Metallic minerals are minerals which contain one or more metallic elements. We:

Learn more about metallic minerals.

Industrial minerals

Industrial minerals are non-metallic minerals used in the construction, chemical and manufacturing industries.

We identify areas of the province that have industrial mineral potential by:

  • outlining areas of bedrock or surficial material, at or near the surface of the earth, that may contain industrial minerals
  • assessing the potential quality and quantity of industrial minerals
  • producing maps, reports and datasets of the location, quantity, and physical and chemical characteristics of industrial minerals

Learn more about industrial minerals.


Aggregate is a construction product made from sand and gravel or by crushing bedrock.

To identify areas of potential sources of aggregates, we:

  • outline areas of sand and gravel, and bedrock at or near the surface of the earth
  • assess the potential quality and quantity of the aggregate sources
  • create maps and reports, referred to as Aggregate Resource Inventory Papers
  • recommend areas with high aggregate potential for protection in municipal land-use plans

By identifying aggregate resources that can be protected and used before the land is built on, we help ensure a continued supply of building materials.

Learn more about aggregate resources.

Bedrock geology

Bedrock geology is a general term that refers to the solid rock that lies beneath the soil and other surficial materials like sand and gravel.

We are responsible for describing the types, characteristics, distribution and history of bedrock to provide:

  • a framework for mineral development by documenting areas with favourable mineral potential
  • geoscience data for effective and informed land-use planning
  • a better understanding of the history and evolution of Ontario’s geology and the earth’s crust

Learn more about bedrock geology.


Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of earth and its rocks and minerals. We:

  • survey regional-scale drift, lake sediment and water, also known as surficial geochemistry
  • sample bedrock as part of regional and thematic mapping projects, also known as lithogeochemistry
  • sample groundwater across the province, also known as aqueous geochemistry
  • research rocks and minerals to address questions or issues
  • provide analyses and services through our geoscience laboratories

Learn more about geochemistry.


Geophysics is a way of studying the geology and structure of the earth by measuring its physical properties. We:

  • acquire new geophysical data in Ontario
  • publish the geophysics as maps and digital data
  • use geophysics to help with the geological mapping of Ontario

Learn more about geophysics.


Water held underground in the soil, rock layers or in pores and crevices in rock is known as groundwater.

Our groundwater mapping program collects, interprets and distributes geologic information about groundwater resources through:

  • regional stratigraphic studies to define the extent of aquifers in the subsurface to determine water quantity
  • groundwater samples from overburden and bedrock aquifers to establish the geochemical signature of the water to determine water quality
  • working with other agencies to complete thematic geological studies to address a local groundwater concern or need

Groundwater mapping helps preserve current and future sources of groundwater by:

  • determining the future availability of ground water
  • helping us understand if groundwater resources are vulnerable to contamination from pollution or waste

Learn more about groundwater.

Land-use planning

Land-use planning is the process of designating sections of land for specific uses.


  • provide credible, independent and plain-language geological data and knowledge that can be used by municipal and provincial land use planning officials
  • explain impacts of land use planning decisions on mineral and non-renewable resource development
  • identify areas where natural or man-made geological hazards have the potential to impact community development

Learn more about land use planning.

Non-renewable energy

Non-renewable energy is energy that comes from a source that cannot be replaced after it is used.

We produce maps and reports that describe the type and distribution of the quaternary sediments and bedrock (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic) to:

  • assemble and interpret geoscience data to show where non-renewable energy resources may be present
  • conduct research on the character of geological materials that host energy resources so we can understand their potential
  • conduct research on the nature of bedrock for:
    • potential storage of energy resources (such as compressed air and hydrogen)
    • dispersal of gases to reduce the carbon footprint of Ontario industries (for example, carbon sequestration)
  • be a source of information and expertise to help those:
    • exploring, developing and managing energy resources
    • looking to store energy or reduce their carbon footprint

Learn more about non-renewable energy.

Surficial geology

Surficial geology, also referred to as quaternary geology, refers to the unconsolidated geologic materials lying on top of the bedrock.

We collect detailed, high-quality geoscience data, and produce maps and reports that describe the properties and distribution of surficial deposits to:

  • assist with resource evaluations such as groundwater assessments and aggregate inventories
  • provide a framework for mineral exploration involving the use of overburden (drift) samples
  • identify features and characteristics of Ontario’s landscapes that are ecologically importance or affect public health and safety

Learn more about surficial geology.