Spirit River Formation

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Spirit River Formation
Stratigraphic range: middle Albian
FalherMBR.JPG
Falher graywake and shale
Type Geological formation
Unit of Fort St. John Group
Sub-units Notikewin Member, Falher Member, Wilrich Member
Underlies Peace River Formation
Overlies Bluesky Formation
Thickness up to 348 feet (110 m)[1]
Lithology
Primary sandstone, shale, siltstone
Other coal, ironstone, greywacke
Location
Coordinates 55°46′30″N 118°54′22″W / 55.775°N 118.906°W / 55.775; -118.906 (Imperial Spirit River No. 1 well, in 12-20-78-6W6M)Coordinates: 55°46′30″N 118°54′22″W / 55.775°N 118.906°W / 55.775; -118.906 (Imperial Spirit River No. 1 well, in 12-20-78-6W6M)
Region  Alberta,  British Columbia
Country  Canada
Type section
Named for Spirit River
Named by Badgley, 1952

The Spirit River Formation is a stratigraphical unit of middle Albian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

It takes the name from the Spirit River, and was first described in Imperial Oil Spirit River No. 1 well by Badgley in 1952.[2]

Lithology[edit]

The Spirit River Formation consists, from bottom to top of fine to medium grained argillaceous sandstone, dark shale, ironstone, greywacke, shale, siltstone, coal and dark shale with thin sandstone and siltstone stringers.[1]

Hydrocarbon production[edit]

Gas is produced from channels developed in the Falher Member in northern Alberta.

Hydraulic fracturing in Canada[edit]

'Massive' hydraulic fracturing has been widely used in Alberta since the late 1970s to recover gas from low-permeability sandstones of the Spirit River Formation.[3]:1044 Massive hydraulic fracturing has been widely used in Alberta since the late 1970s. The method is currently used in development of the Cardium, Duvernay, Montney and Viking formations in Alberta, Bakken formation in Saskatchewan, Montney and Horn River formations in British Columbia.

Distribution[edit]

The Spirit River Formation reaches a maximum thickness of 348 metres (1,140 ft). It is found in the sub-surface in the Peace River Country, in an area stretching from Fort St. John, British Columbia to the Lesser Slave Lake from west to east, and from Grande Prairie, Alberta to Manning, Alberta from south to north.

Relationship to other units[edit]

The Spirit River Formation is conformably overlain by the Peace River Formation and conformably underlain by the Bluesky Formation. It grades laterally to the Buckinghorse Formation shales to the north-east, and into the sandy facies of the Malcolm Creek Formation south of the Wapiti River. It is equivalent to the upper Mannville Formation in Central Alberta and to the Clearwater Formation and Grand Rapids Formation in the upper Athabaska River area.[1]

Subdivisions[edit]

The Spirit River Formation is composed of the following sub-divisions from base to top:

Sub-unit Lithology Max
Thickness
Reference
Notikewin Member fine to medium grained argillaceous sandstone, dark shale, ironstone 28 metres (90 ft) [4]
Falher Member greywacke, shale, siltstone, coal 215 metres (710 ft) [5]
Wilrich Member dark shales thin sandstone and siltstone stringers 154 metres (510 ft) [6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Peace River Formation". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  2. ^ Badgley, Peter C., 1952. Notes on the subsurface stratigraphy and oil and gas geology of the Lower Cretaceous series in central Alberta (Report and seven figures); Geological Survey of Canada, Paper No. 52-11, 12 p.
  3. ^ Cant, Douglas J.; Ethier, Valerie G. (August 1984), "Lithology-dependent diagenetic control of reservoir properties of conglomerates, Falher member, Elmworth Field, Alberta", Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 68 (8) 
  4. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Notikewin Member". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  5. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Falher Member". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  6. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Wilrich Member". Retrieved 2009-02-11.