Beaverhill Lake Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Waterways Formation)
Jump to: navigation, search
Beaverhill Lake Group
Stratigraphic range: Middle to Late Devonian ~390–365 Ma
Type Geological formation
Sub-units Swan Hills Formation
Waterways Formation
Slave Point Formation
Fort Vermilion Formation
Underlies Woodbend Group and Muskwa Formation
Overlies Elk Point Group
Thickness up to 220 metres (720 ft)[1]
Lithology
Primary Calcareous shale, limestone
Other Dolostone, anhydrite
Location
Coordinates 53°18′05″N 112°23′27″W / 53.30142°N 112.3908°W / 53.30142; -112.3908 (Beaverhill Lake Group)Coordinates: 53°18′05″N 112°23′27″W / 53.30142°N 112.3908°W / 53.30142; -112.3908 (Beaverhill Lake Group)
Region  Northwest Territories
 British Columbia
 Alberta
Country  Canada
Type section
Named for Beaverhill Lake
Named by Imperial Oil staff, 1950

The Beaverhill Lake Group is a geologic unit of Middle Devonian to Late Devonian (late Givetian to Frasnian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin that is present in the southwestern Northwest Territories, northeastern British Columbia and Alberta.[1][2] It was named by the geological staff of Imperial Oil in 1950 for Beaverhill Lake, Alberta, based on the core from a well that they had drilled southeast of the lake, near Ryley, Alberta (Anglo-Canadian Beaverhill Lake No. 2, 11-11-50-17W4).[3]

Petroleum is produced from the Swan Hills Formation of the Beaverhill Lake Group in the Swan Hills area of northern Alberta.[4][5]

Lithology[edit]

The Beaverhill Lake Group consists of anhydrite and carbonate rocks at the base (the Fort Vermillion Formation), overlain by interbedded sequences of calcareous shale, argillaceous micritic limestone, limestone and dolostone. The group becomes thicker and more shaly to the west. [1]

Distribution and thickness[edit]

The Beaverhill Lake Group is present beneath the plains of the southwestern Northwest Territories, northeastern British Columbia and Alberta.[2] It reaches a maximum thickness of about 220 metres (720 ft) in central Alberta.[1] Outcrops of one of its formations (the Waterways) can be seen along the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers in the Fort McMurray area.[6]

Stratigraphy[edit]

Central Alberta
Sub-unit Age Lithology Max
Thickness
Reference
Waterways Formation, Mildred Member Late Devonian argillaceous limestone and shale 42.7 m (140 ft) [1]
Waterways Formation, Moberly Member Middle Devonian to Late Devonian grey, fine-grained, thin bedded limestone, fossiliferous limestone 95.7 m (310 ft) [1]
Waterways Formation, Christina Member Middle Devonian to Late Devonian green calcareous shale and argillaceous limestone with brachiopods 27.4 m (90 ft) [1]
Waterways Formation, Calmut Member Middle Devonian to Late Devonian fine-grained argillaceous limestone with olive green shale and brachiopods 31.1 m (100 ft) [1]
Waterways Formation, Firebag Member Middle Devonian to Late Devonian green calcareous shale and minor argillaceous limestone with brachiopods 61 m (200 ft)

[1]

Slave Point Formation Middle Devonian limestone interbedded with fine- to coarse-crystalline dolostone, minor shale laminae 120 m (390 ft) [1]
Fort Vermilion Formation Middle Devonian brown to white anhydrite with interbeds of dolostone or limestone 37 m (120 ft) [1]
Swan Hills area
Sub-unit Age Lithology Max
Thickness
Reference
Swan Hills Formation Middle Devonian to Late Devonian stromatoporoid reef (micritic and pelletoidal limestone facies or coarse, porous, bioclastic limestone facies) 152 m (500 ft) [1]
Waterways Formation Middle Devonian to Late Devonian nodular and argillaceous limestone and shale with brachiopods, corals and ostracods 230 m (750 ft) [1]
Fort Vermilion Formation Middle Devonian brown to white anhydrite with interbeds of dolostone or limestone 8 m (30 ft) [1]

In northern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia the unit has formation status and is not subdivided.[7]

Environment of deposition[edit]

The formations of the Beaverhill Lake Group were deposited in an embayment that extended from an open ocean in the present-day Northwest Territories in Canada, to North Dakota in the United States. An extensive reef complex called the Presqu'ile Barrier had developed across the mouth of the embayment, blocking it from the open ocean and restricting the inflow of sea water. Low water levels and excessive evaporation led to the deposition of the anhydrite-rich Fort Vermillion Formation at the base of the group in northern areas. Water levels then increased throughout the embayment, and the overlying carbonate rocks were deposited in reefs (Swan Hills Formation), and in carbonate platform and basin environments (Waterways Formation).[2][7]

Relationship to other units[edit]

The Beaverhill Lake Group is conformably underlain by the formations of the Elk Point Group. In most areas it is conformably overlain by the formations of the Woodbend Group, and in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia it is disconformably overlain by the Muskwa Formation.[1]

It is equivalent to the Souris River Formation in southeastern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba,[2] and to the Flume Formation of the Fairholme Group in the Canadian Rockies.[1] According to D.L Griffin, it is equivalent to the Slave Point Formation and Waterways Formation in northeastern Alberta, with the Slave Point Formation and the lower Hay River Formation in the District of Mackenzie, as well as the Horn River Formation and Fort Simpson Formation northwest of the Slave Point-Keg River facies in northeastern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.[8]

Paleontology[edit]

The carbonate rocks of the Beaverhill Lake Group contain rich brachiopod faunas.[9] There are also crinoids, ostracods and corals, and, in the Swan Hills Formation, stromatoporoids.[6][1]

Hydrocarbon production[edit]

Since 1957 oil has been produced from the Swan Hills Formation of the Beaverhill Lake Group in the Swan Hills area of northern Alberta, where it includes Devonian reef structures similar to those of the Leduc Formation and the Rainbow Member in Alberta.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Glass, D.J. (editor) 1997. Lexicon of Canadian Stratigraphy, vol. 4, Western Canada including eastern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Calgary, 1423 p. on CD-ROM. ISBN 0-920230-23-7.
  2. ^ a b c d Mossop, G.D. and Shetsen, I. (compilers), Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and Alberta Geological Survey (1994). "The Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, Chapter 11: Beaverhill Lake Group of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin". Retrieved 2016-06-20. 
  3. ^ Geological Staff, Imperial Oil Limited, Western Division, 1950. Devonian Nomenclature in Edmonton Area, Alberta, Canada. Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol. 34, No. 9, pp. 1807-1825.
  4. ^ a b Barss, D.L., Copland, A.B., and Ritchie, W.D., 1970, Middle Devonian Reefs, Rainbow Area, Alberta, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pp. 18-49
  5. ^ a b Hemphill, C.R., Smith, R.I., and Szabo, F., 1970, Geology of Beaverhill Lake Reefs, Swan Hills Area, Alberta, in Geology of Giant Petroleum Fields, AAPG Memoir 14, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, pp. 50-90
  6. ^ a b Norris, A.W. 1963. Devonian stratigraphy of northeastern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan. Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 313.
  7. ^ a b Wendte, J. and Uyeno, T. 2005. Sequence stratigraphy and evolution of Middle to Upper Devonian Beaverhill Lake strata, south-central Alberta. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology. v. 53, no. 3, p. 250-354.
  8. ^ Griffin, D.L., 1965. "The facies front of the Devonian Slave Point - Elk Point sequence in northeastern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories"; Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 13-22.
  9. ^ Norris, A.W. 1983. Brachiopods (Schizophoria, Strophodonta (Strophodonta), Nervostrophia, Eostrophalosia and Devonoproductus) from the lower Upper Devonian Waterways Formation of northeastern Alberta. Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 350.