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REVISED REGIONAL FRASNIAN SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHIC FRAMEWORK, ALBERTA OUTCROP AND SUBSURFACE

By
P.K. Wong
P.K. Wong
Consultant, 2797 Dewdney Ave., Victoria, British Columbia, V8R 3M3, Canada
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John A.W. Weissenberger
John A.W. Weissenberger
ATW Associates, 2427 Cherokee Dr. NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2L 0X6, Canada
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Murray G. Gilhooly
Murray G. Gilhooly
Husky Energy, 707 8th Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3G7, Canada
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Published:
January 01, 2017

e-mail: pkwong3@aol.com

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Abstract

Carbonate strata were widely deposited in the Alberta Basin during the Frasnian. These are well exposed in the Alberta Rocky Mountains and regionally extensive in the adjacent subsurface. This study places many of its classic outcrops from the Cascade (Burnt Timber) Channel to the South Jasper Basin into a single sequence stratigraphic framework for the first time. This framework is correlated from outcrop to subsurface using sequence stratigraphic and biostratigraphic data. Improved confidence in the stratigraphic interpretation is based on new measured sections tied to photographic panoramas, combined with detailed mapping of lithofacies and stratal patterns of continuously exposed platform to basin transitions in outcrop. These data are correlated with new and revised core and well-log interpretations from the Alberta subsurface.

Ten third-order composite sequences and their constituent high-frequency (fourth-order) sequences span the uppermost Givetian through Frasnian strata of the Alberta Basin. They reflect stratigraphic architecture typical of a (second-order) depositional sequence: transgression followed by regression, or basin opening and filling. The eight youngest composite sequences are defined from the Cline Channel and Jasper Basin areas using stratal and facies stacking patterns and regional correlation of sequence boundaries and maximum flooding surfaces, integrated with conodont biostratigraphy. Most sequence boundaries observed are subaerial exposure surfaces, seen in outcrop or inferred from onlap of tidal-flat or reef margin deposits onto foreslope facies.

The basin was filled asymmetrically by mixed carbonate–clay successions that form dominant east to west prograding strata. Two main types of sediment comprise the basin fill: extrabasinal clay and intrabasinal carbonate. Composite sequences (CSs) and high-frequency sequences (HFSs) can be confidently correlated from outcrop to subsurface. A combination of well-log and outcrop cross sections, integrated with biostratigraphy, support these correlations. These regional (time) surfaces allow better understanding of basin evolution and architecture.

The influence of the second-order sequence dominates the accommodation setting and is expressed in the architecture of composite and high-frequency sequences. For example, the tripartite character (lowstand–transgressive–highstand) of CSs in the lower and middle part of the sequence is followed by the appearance of a distinct falling stage component in the upper part of the Frasnian. An increased frequency of truncation surfaces and offlapping strata is consistent with diminishing accommodation. With progressive basin infill and shallowing paleobathymetry, foreslope declivity decreased from a minimum of 10° to less than 1.5° as the depositional system became more ramp-like. This is accompanied by a change of lowstand geometry from wedge to tabular shaped.

Deposition of coarser terrigenous clastics was also limited in most of the basin to the lower part of the second-order sequence, except at CS and HFS. Restricted marine circulation onto the carbonate platforms and basin filling in the upper part of the Frasnian coincided with extensive siliciclastic silt deposition in the study area, particularly in the Jasper Basin, where an influx of terrigenous silt formed mixed carbonate–siliciclastic deposits. Silt was deposited during third- and fourth-order lowstands, bypassed into the basin, and reworked during intermittent inundation of the carbonate platforms.

Beyond the basic transgressive–regressive architecture of the second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian sequence, we document detailed observations such as (1) controls affecting the onset, cessation, and extent of euxinic shale deposition in the mid-Frasnian and its relation to the second-order maximum flooding surface; (2) the relative speed and distribution of illitic basin fill within the second-order highstand; (3) the effect of basin fill and off-platform sediment transport on regional and local carbonate platform architecture, such as the configuration of in situ carbonate lowstands, initiation of reefs along favorable fairways, and overall margin stacking patterns; and (4) the magnitude of relative sea-level falls associated with the development of sequence boundaries. A comparison to previously established Frasnian sequence stratigraphic schemes within the basin is extended to other basins in Europe and Australia.

INTRODUCTION

Upper Devonian strata were deposited across most of the Alberta Basin. Frasnian strata are extensively and spectacularly exposed in the Rocky Mountain fold and thrust belt, which has made them the object of numerous geological studies. The outcrops have been very useful analogues for time-equivalent hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Over 128,000 oil and gas wells penetrate the Frasnian in Alberta alone. These carbonates hosted large quantities of oil and gas in the adjacent subsurface (1.77 billion m3 of proven conventional oil reserves [11.1 billion barrels]; 565 billion m3 of gas reserves [20 Tcf]; Alberta Energy and Utilities Board 2000). They have been producing since the middle of the last century, predominantly since Imperial Oil’s Leduc discovery in 1947 (Switzer et al. 1994). New technologies have allowed the exploitation of unconventional Frasnian reservoirs, notably the Duvernay Formation organic mudstone and heavy oil from the Grosmont Formation carbonates. The Duvernay has estimated reserves of 12.5 trillion m3 of natural gas (441 Tcf), 1.8 billion m3 of natural gas liquids, and 9.8 billion m3 of oil (11 and 62 billion barrels, respectively). The Grosmont Formation contains an estimated 508 billion barrels of oil in place (Alberta Energy Regulator 2015).

This article summarizes new work on the Frasnian sequence stratigraphy of the Rocky Mountains, from the Cascade (“Burnt Timber”) and Cline channels, to the Jasper Basin area, described in detail by Wong et al. (2016) and Weissenberger et al. (2016). The outcrop-based stratigraphic framework and insights are extended into the subsurface, incorporating an expanded subsurface database, augmenting that of Potma et al. (2001).

The purpose of this paper is to

  1. Correlate Frasnian composite sequences (CSs) from the Rocky Mountains into the subsurface of Alberta, expanding and augmenting the regional subsurface framework of Potma et al. (2001);

  2. Use the sequence stratigraphic framework to better document the evolution of the Alberta Frasnian and to show the detailed stratal architecture and complexities within this second-order package;

  3. Demonstrate that high-frequency sequences (HFSs) can be identified and correlated basinwide using distinctive sequence boundaries and maximum flooding surfaces (MFSs) within the second-order sequence (supersequence), despite the variability of stratal architecture in coeval strata;

  4. Constrain the uncertainty in subsurface correlations using outcrop analogues;

  5. Understand the response of mixed carbonate–siliciclastic ramp systems to relative sea-level changes; and

  6. Understand controls influencing reef inception, growth and demise, and source rock distribution.

A sequence stratigraphic framework for the late (Givetian–) Frasnian from the subsurface of Alberta was first proposed in 1992 (Gilhooly et al. 1992; Potma et al. 1992; Weissenberger et al. 1992a, 1992b; Wong et al. 1992a) and documented in Potma et al. (2001). Our new detailed sequence stratigraphic work from exposures at the Cline Channel and Burnt Timber areas are presented in Wong et al. (2016), and our work from the (south) Jasper Basin is presented in Weissenberger et al. (2016).

The strata between the base of the Givetian Gilwood Member (Watt Mountain Formation) and the upper Graminia Formation (uppermost Frasnian) are interpreted as a second-order depositional sequence (Wong et al. 1992a). These strata represent a major episode of marine carbonate deposition in the Alberta Basin, bracketed by regional unconformities with associated aerially extensive siliciclastic deposits. In total, 10 composite sequences (CSs) are defined within this second-order sequence; the current study focusing on strata from the uppermost Beaverhill Lake Group (BHL3; Wong et al. 1992a) to the top of the Blueridge–Graminia formations (Table 1; Fig. 1). Based on a length of 10.5 My for the entire Frasnian (Gradstein et al. 2012), each third-order sequence is approximately 1.2 My in duration (nine Frasnian sequences).

Table 1.

—Summary of the composite and high-frequency sequences recognized, interpreted superposed systems tracts assigned, and the main features of associated sequence boundaries. (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence, Alberta Basin.

Fig. 1.

—Schematic sequence stratigraphic cross section (G–G′) of the late Givetian to basal Famennian strata of Alberta showing the major third-order Frasnian composite sequences. Outcrop lithostratigraphic terms are indicated by circled letters. The Frasnian section is 425 m thick in the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Distance from Redwater to the Cline Channel is about 350 km. The second-order late (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence extends from the base of the Watt Mountain Formation to the base of the Wabamun Group. Basin fill is a mix of platform derived carbonates and fine-grained extra basinal clay (forming argillaceous limestones and calcareous shale). The main source of extrabasinal clay is from the east, and the basin is asymmetrically filled. Westward progradation of regional carbonate platforms is on a foundation of mixed carbonates–siliciclastics. Coeval isolated carbonate reefs and platforms to the west initially retrograde to aggrade and but eventually prograde with influx of basin fill. Outcrop (left) and subsurface (right) formation nomenclature are shown. Exposures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges span most of the second-order late TST and the entire HST. The second-order early TST onlap the Cambrian of the Western Alberta Arch. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 1.

—Schematic sequence stratigraphic cross section (G–G′) of the late Givetian to basal Famennian strata of Alberta showing the major third-order Frasnian composite sequences. Outcrop lithostratigraphic terms are indicated by circled letters. The Frasnian section is 425 m thick in the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Distance from Redwater to the Cline Channel is about 350 km. The second-order late (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence extends from the base of the Watt Mountain Formation to the base of the Wabamun Group. Basin fill is a mix of platform derived carbonates and fine-grained extra basinal clay (forming argillaceous limestones and calcareous shale). The main source of extrabasinal clay is from the east, and the basin is asymmetrically filled. Westward progradation of regional carbonate platforms is on a foundation of mixed carbonates–siliciclastics. Coeval isolated carbonate reefs and platforms to the west initially retrograde to aggrade and but eventually prograde with influx of basin fill. Outcrop (left) and subsurface (right) formation nomenclature are shown. Exposures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges span most of the second-order late TST and the entire HST. The second-order early TST onlap the Cambrian of the Western Alberta Arch. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Challenges in constructing an accurate regional sequence stratigraphic framework include: confidently correlating composite and high-frequency sequences between discontinuous, widely spaced outcrops; correlating from surface to subsurface, as a result of the paucity of well and core data near the outcrop belt, as well as conflicting lithostratigraphic nomenclature; and variable stacking patterns within sequences along strike (Fitchen et al. 1995), across marine re-entrants (Weissenberger 1994, Wong et al. 2016), and across the basin (Wendte et al. 1990). These challenges were overcome using the sequence stratigraphic and biostratigraphic techniques discussed below.

The complex stratigraphic architecture observed in outcrops of the Frasnian carbonate platforms can be used as a direct analog for Alberta Devonian and other carbonate reservoirs. Similarly, paleogeographic and sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Frasnian basin-filling succession offers important insight into the distribution of unconventional (mudstone) reservoirs (e.g., Duvernay Formation).

Geological and Physiographic Setting

During the late Givetian and Frasnian, the Alberta Basin was located on the western passive margin of the North American craton. It was an area dominated by carbonate deposition (Fig. 2). Numerous reefs and carbonate platforms developed within the basin or were attached to low relief landmasses. The latter include the ancestral Canadian Shield to the east and the Peace River Arch on the northwest edge of the craton; which were siliciclastic source areas throughout the Frasnian (Fig. 3). Another structural high, the West Alberta Ridge, or Arch, ran roughly parallel to the cratonic margin and was exposed until the early Frasnian. Root (2001) describes this ridge as the distal forebulge of the Devonian Antler orogen. Increased subsidence during the early Frasnian (Bond and Kominz 1991) resulted in the West Alberta Ridge being transgressed, forming the foundation of several large carbonate complexes in the western part of the study area.

Fig. 2.

—Late Devonian (mainly Frasnian) paleogeography of North America showing location of Alberta (black outline) with respect to the paleo-equator (red line). Map from Ron Blakey (2011), deeptimemaps.com.

Fig. 2.

—Late Devonian (mainly Frasnian) paleogeography of North America showing location of Alberta (black outline) with respect to the paleo-equator (red line). Map from Ron Blakey (2011), deeptimemaps.com.

Fig. 3.

—Palinspastically restored paleogeographic map of the Leduc Formation reefs of Alberta and adjacent British Columbia. The reef distribution approximately represents base Woodbend sequence 4 deposition.

Fig. 3.

—Palinspastically restored paleogeographic map of the Leduc Formation reefs of Alberta and adjacent British Columbia. The reef distribution approximately represents base Woodbend sequence 4 deposition.

In the upper Devonian, the Alberta Basin was located within 20° of the equator, in the trade wind belt. The dominant wind direction was from the northeast (Stoakes 1980), consistent with a northeast–southwest orientation of the paleo-equator (Witzke and Heckel 1998).

The upper Givetian to lower Famennian represents a time of greenhouse climate (Read 1995, Lehrmann and Goldhammer 1999). Temperatures were generally cooler in the Eifelian, Givetian, and lower Frasnian but became progressively warmer in the upper Frasnian. According to Streel et al. (2000), tropical (nonequatorial) terrestrial floras extended their range into higher latitudes during this time. Upper Famennian and possibly Frasnian glacial deposits are reported from South America and north Central Africa (Caputo and Crowell 1985, Isbell et al. 2003).

The Alberta Basin was filled asymmetrically (Fig. 1) by mixed carbonate–clay successions that form the dominant east to west prograding clinoforms. Two main types of sediment contribute to the basin fill: extrabasinal clay and intrabasinal carbonate. Extrabasinal siliciclastics, mostly clay, were ultimately sourced from the Caledonian–Franklinian fold belts, which extended from the east coast of Greenland to the Canadian Arctic Islands (Patchett et al. 2004). The northern derived Devonian siliciclastics are believed to have been transported south by rivers into central Alberta and central Saskatchewan (Patchett et al. 2004). The position of this shoreline is postulated to be to the east of the current study area, where much of the Devonian has been removed by the sub-Cretaceous unconformity.

Northeast to southwest oriented tradewinds, parallel or subparallel to the paleo-equator, were a dominant control for wind generated off-platform (leeside) transportation of fine-grained carbonate (Wendte and Uyeno 2005). They similarly influenced the transportation of clay that accumulated in lagoons and coastal plains of the restricted platform-interior of the Grosmont Shelf. Equally important were storm-generated combined flows that moved sediment in a shoreline-parallel direction (Walker and Plint 1992). Stoakes (1980) invoked shoreline-parallel currents to account for the east to west progradation of the Ireton Formation shale.

Extrabasinal clay transported off-platform was deposited in the basin (forming argillaceous carbonates and calcareous shale). A typical shoaling upward succession of lithofacies at the platform edge would be 10 to 30 m thick and consist of basal argillaceous thinly nodular-bedded lime mudstone to shale, then wafer stromatoporoid–rugose coral packstone–wackestone followed by tabular and bulbous stromatoporoid packstone to grainstone with capping peloidal–skeletal grainstone. This succession of mixed carbonate–clay facies would produce a funnel-shaped “cleaning-upward” gamma-ray curve response and form the dominant east to west progradational, basin-filling clinoforming packages. In contrast, coeval carbonate buildups, which nucleated on regional carbonate platforms (e.g., Redwater) or the West Alberta Ridge, mainly aggrade or backstep (Fig. 1). The influx of fine extrabasinal clay was necessary for progradation of shallow-water carbonates (Stoakes 1980). The prograding platforms had low slope gradients (less than 1°; Stoakes 1980, Cutler 1983) compared with the steep-sided isolated reefs, where slopes were generally >10°. Variability in shelf margin architecture within composite and high-frequency sequences is significant due to the interaction between relative sea-level and paleogeographic controls.

During the Laramide and associated orogenic events, the western part of the basin was buried under a thick foreland basin succession (up to 10 km thick). East–northeast directed thrust faulting then carried the Devonian section to surface in a series of thin-skinned thrust sheets. The subsurface Devonian extends as a monocline from beneath the Laramide thrusts, rising gradually to subcrop beneath Cretaceaous strata or outcrop adjacent to the Canadian Shield in northeast Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Frasnian Depositional Environments and Lithofacies

Facies analysis of Frasnian strata and their environments of deposition has been the subject of numerous studies, including Klovan (1964), Wendte (1994), and Whalen et al. (2000a, 2000b), so it is consequently well understood. In the current study, 20 major depositional lithofacies are defined (Table 2).

Table 2.

—The main depositional environments, lithofacies, symbol legend, and color scheme for interpreted outcrop and subsurface core based cross sections. Lithofacies numbers and color scheme from this table are applicable to Figures 10 to 12, 16, 18 to 21, and 25.

Large portions of Frasnian carbonate strata of the Alberta Basin have been extensively dolomitized and recrystallized, removing some of the primary textures and subtle exposure features such as rhizoliths. Low relief karst surfaces can therefore be overlooked, while surface weathering can obscure textures in outcrop. However, depositional surfaces can be walked out; pronounced karst surfaces, facies, and stratal geometries, as well as cycle stacking patterns, can be confidently documented.

While most of the lower Frasnian shallow-water and foreslope carbonates in the outcrop portion of the study area are dolomitized, basinal lithologies are typically limestone. Some reefs, however, such as Golden Spike and Redwater, remain limestone. In the western part of the basin, the upper Frasnian (CS WI2-3) are often only partly dolomitized. Typically the muddy matrix is dolomitized while the grains remain limestone. A discussion of Devonian dolomitization in western Canada can be found in Shields and Brady (1995) and Potma et al. (2001, 2002a). Machel (2004), in a general review of dolomitization, cites many examples from the Paleozoic of western Canada. For the sake of brevity, the prefix “dolo” is omitted from the descriptions below.

STRATIGRAPHIC TERMINOLOGY

The late Givetian to Famennian strata of the Alberta Rocky Mountains represent the western extension of the hydrocarbon-bearing basin to the east, but because the formations are at surface rather than buried, a totally different stratigraphic nomenclature developed over time. The correlation of subsurface to surface is shown in Figure 1. Generally, shallow-water platformal carbonates were named differently from their basinal equivalents and also according to their stratigraphic position. For more detailed discussion of the subsurface stratigraphy, see Switzer et al. (1994).

The sequence stratigraphic nomenclature proposed by Potma et al. (2001) and modified herein uses the same terminology for surface and subsurface. Subsurface lithostratigraphic names were preferred because, except for two or three lithostratigraphic names (e.g., Flume and Perdrix), the subsurface terms have precedence in the literature (Mountjoy 1980; fig. 4). They have also been used by a much larger community of geoscientists.

Fig. 4.

—Cross-section A–A′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Grassi Lakes to Burnt Timber areas, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 4.

—Cross-section A–A′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Grassi Lakes to Burnt Timber areas, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

We continue to favor using familiar (subsurface) lithostratigraphic terms in naming the Alberta Frasnian composite sequences as proposed by Potma et al. (2001), rather than a simple numbering of sequences. One reason is that several of the CS boundaries correspond to lithostratigraphic boundaries (e.g., base Woodbend Group=WD1.1 and base Winterburn Group= WI1.1; Potma et al. 2001). Also, using well-known terms makes the sequence stratigraphic framework more accessible to geoscientists familiar with the basin.

The cycle hierarchy terminology of Kerans (1991) and Kerans and Kempter (2002) is used. This hierarchy proposes that high-frequency cycles (cycles) combine to form cycle sets, and cycle sets form high-frequency sequences (HFS). HFSs are the building blocks of composite sequences (CSs). This scheme is an attempt to be descriptive rather than assign specific durations to different levels of cyclicity. However, an estimate of the duration of these units is cycles = fifth order, HFS = fourth order, and CS = third order (sensu Mitchum and van Wagoner 1991). Systems tracts are used to describe the component strata deposited during a full cycle of sea-level rise and fall (Catuneanu et al. 2009).

Evolution of systems tract nomenclature between 1988 and 2000 is summarized in figures 3 and 4 of Catuneanu et al. (2009). We have used the following terms to describe the succession of systems tracts associated with a full cycle of relative sea-level rise and fall: Lowstand (=lowstand wedge), transgressive, highstand (=early highstand), and falling stage (=lowstand fan, late highstand, forced regressive wedge) systems tracts. Equivalent terms are in brackets. Systems tract nomenclature used herein are derived from the following sources: Posamentier et al. 1988, van Wagoner et al. 1990, Hunt and Tucker 1992, and Plint and Nummedal 2000. In the current usage, the sequence boundary marks the end of falling relative sea level, capping either the highstand systems tract (HST) or the falling stage systems tract (FSST), when developed.

PREVIOUS WORK

The presence of Devonian strata in the Rocky Mountains have been known since the geographical surveys of the mid-19th century. Numerous papers describe the various Frasnian Platforms and their margins in western Canada (see Moore 1989). Prior to the late 1980s, studies of Frasnian Platform margins in Alberta focused on lithostratigraphy and sedimentology. Examples from the current study area include the Cripple Creek (Dooge 1966, 1978; Workum 1978; Eliuk 1989) and the Wapiabi Gap margins (Andrews 1988) of the Cline Channel. Workum (1978) and Dooge (1978) speculated that the style of platform-margin development in the Cline Channel was controlled by windward–leeward paleogeographic effects during deposition. Workum (1983) further suggested that the stratigraphic architecture of individual reef margins was strongly influenced by the amount of preexisting basin fill.

Other sedimentological studies include the margins at Big Hill (Dolphin and Klovan 1970); Toma/Mt. MacKenzie (MacKenzie 1965, Weissenberger and McIlreath 1989, Shields and Hedinger 1990, Shields and Geldsetzer 1992); and the Burnt Timber area (Dooge 1966, Workum and Tebbutt 1984, Tebbutt and Weissenberger 1987, Workum and Hedinger 1989, McLean and Mountjoy 1993). Numerous other localities are described by Workum and Hedinger (1992). This paper extends our previous outcrop work on the Frasnian Cripple Creek margin (Wong et al. 1989, 1992b; Weissenberger 1994; Gilhooly et al. 1995; Potma et al. 2001) along the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges from the Canmore area to north of Jasper.

Previous sedimentologic and cyclostratigraphic studies in the Alberta subsurface, pertinent to this paper, include Wendte (1994) and Chow et al. (1995) in the Redwater area; Cutler (1983), Theriault (1988), and to a lesser degree Switzer et al. (1994) for the Grosmont Shelf; Wendte et al. (1995) for the West Pembina area; and Stoakes (1980, 1992) for the East Shale Basin. Switzer et al. (1994) also included cycle concepts in their regional correlation of the middle–upper Frasnian of the Alberta Basin.

Regional sequence stratigraphic interpretation of the Alberta Devonian has been limited (Wong et al. 1992a, Potma et al. 2001). Imperial Oil geologists illustrated the transgressive–regressive nature of the Devonian Alberta Basin (figure of McCrossan modified by Maiklem et al. 1972). This was further described by Wendte et al. (1992) and Stoakes (1992). However, interpretation of depositional cycles in the Alberta Frasnian dates from the 1970s (e.g., Harvard and Oldershaw 1976, Wong and Oldershaw 1980, Wendte and Stoakes 1982). The influence of Milankovitch cyclicity on Devonian outcrops in the current study area has also been investigated (McLean and Mountjoy 1993).

Workum (1983) and Workum and Hedinger (1992) applied cycle and sequence concepts on both a subregional scale and to individual outcrops (e.g., Workum and Hedinger 1989). Later studies using sequence stratigraphic methods include Whalen and colleagues (Slide Creek margin, Miette Reef Complex and Haultain margin, Ancient Wall Reef Complex; Homewood and Eberli 2000; Whalen et al. 2000a, 2000b; Day and Whalen 2005; Whalen and Day 2008); van Buchem et al. (1996, 2000; six-well transect at the Redwater Reef, with comparisons to Miette); and MacNeil and Jones (2006) on the Alexandra reef complex.

DATA AND METHODOLOGY

The large body of previous work described in the above section and summarized in Switzer et al. (1994) established basinwide correlation of many regional lithostratigraphic units (e.g., Cooking Lake, Leduc, Nisku, Calmar, and Graminia formations and their outcrop equivalents). The present study builds on this earlier work by applying detailed facies and high-resolution sequence stratigraphic analysis complemented by conodont biostratigraphy across the Alberta Basin. Outcrop description allows the documentation of stratal geometries, facies changes, and the stacking patterns of cycles with a high degree of confidence (e.g., Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016). It guides and constrains the subsurface correlations presented in Potma et al. (2001) and those subsequently described herein. Combining detailed sequence analysis and biostratigraphy forms the basis for a more robust regional stratigraphic framework.

Outcrop and Subsurface Data

The study area is over 250,000 km2 in size and extends across southern Alberta. Sixty-four sections described along the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges of Alberta from the Canmore area north to the Miette along the British Columbia border (Appendix 1) are used herein. These locations are characterized by the accessible, vertically and/or laterally, extensive exposures of Frasnian strata.

The stratigraphic interpretation is based on direct observation of lithofacies and stratigraphic contacts in outcrop and core, as well as stratigraphic geometries described in the field. Lithofacies descriptions were also overwhelmingly done in the field, augmented by minor spot sampling for thin sections and polished slabs. No more than a few dozen such samples were necessary, due to the excellent quality of the exposures.

At 17 locations, where platform to basin transitions were continuously exposed, flooding surfaces, sequence boundaries, and facies contacts were walked out and/or correlated with photograph panoramas. These outcrop “windows,” where very detailed work was undertaken, were linked by additional stratigraphic sections and reconnaissance between them. Additional stratigraphic sections were spaced from one to several kilometers apart.

The extensive subsurface database (partly summarized in Potma et al. 2001; table 1) was expanded for this study. A detailed reinterpretation of the Redwater Reef was undertaken, as well as extensive core description on the Grosmont Shelf, only part of which is presented here. Regional well-log cross sections, including 30 wells, establish the correlations across the basin. Seismic data were excluded from the study primarily because their stratigraphic resolution was inadequate when compared with either closely spaced wells or core.

Four regional cross sections summarize our regional sequence correlations in outcrop and subsurface (A–A′, B–B′, C–C′, D–D′, and E–E′; shown in Fig. 3; illustrated in Figs. 48B). Cross-section A–A′ represents our current work, including detailed sequence stratigraphic interpretations from Wong et al. (2016) and data from McLean and Mountjoy (1993). Cross-sections B–B′ and C–C′ summarize detailed sequence stratigraphic cross sections from Wong et al. (2016) and Weissenberger et al. (2016), respectively. The Miette and Ancient Wall segment of cross-section J–J′ (Appendix 2) includes our own work as well as data from Mountjoy (1965), Whalen et al. (2000b), van Buchem et al. (2000), and Whalen and Day (2008).

Biostratigraphy

The biostratigraphic database used in this study consists of conodont samples collected and described by us over the last 30 years, together with age-diagnostic conodont samples that have been described in the literature. More than 237 samples were used to help constrain the age of the correlated strata discussed herein. These are listed in Appendix 3.

Some of our samples were previously described and/or discussed by Weissenberger (1988, 1989, 1994) as well as in Potma et al. (2001). All these faunas were reviewed again for the purpose of this paper, so that the identifications listed in Appendix 3 supersede any previously made.

The conodont biostratigraphy described in the literature, and used in this study, are from Klapper (1989), Klapper and Lane (1989), and McLean and Klapper (1998), as well as identifications by Klapper given in van Buchem et al. (1996, 2000) and Whalen et al. (2000b); faunal lists by Whalen and Day (2008) of their own collections; and zonal ages provided in Shields and Geldsetzer (1992). Faunas straddling the Frasnian–Famennian boundary in the study area described by Wang and Geldsetzer (1995) have also been noted. While disagreement over species concepts in certain age-diagnostic taxa still poses a challenge to the Frasnian conodont zonation (Bultynck 2007), progress has been made in reconciling the Revised Standard Zonation (Ziegler and Sandberg 1990) with the Montagne Noire (MN) Zonation of Klapper (1989). Klapper and Becker (1998), for example, provide a correlation of the two zonations.

Graphic correlation has also contributed to the understanding of the ranges of numerous Frasnian conodont species. Klapper (1997) defined a Frasnian Composite Standard (FCS) based on studies of faunas in several basins, including the Alberta Basin. The recognition of both a first and last occurrence of recognizable taxa in this scheme promises more precision in defining the ages of sampled strata. Consequently, Klapper’s range data (Klapper 1997; Appendix 1) and his revision of the same (Klapper et al. 1995) are used extensively herein.

The sampling philosophy used is described by Potma et al. (2001). Poor conodont recoveries in west–central Alberta Frasnian outcrops, particularly from lithofacies deposited in shallow-water depositional environments, were noted by Weissenberger (1988). Subsequently, larger samples were taken—where possible—from strata representing bathymetrically deeper or more open marine depositional environments within composite and high-frequency sequences. These were collected as the sequence stratigraphic framework was being constructed, with sample points keyed to important stratal contacts such as sequence boundaries and marine flooding surfaces. In the outcrop belt, where stratigraphic packages and boundaries can be walked out and/or traced laterally, conodont age determinations have been found to be most useful, particularly where deepening events (and sequence boundaries) can be traced from the foreslope onto the carbonate platform (and vice versa; Weissenberger 1994).

The faunal lists and age determinations from our collections provided below have been placed into our sequence stratigraphic framework as precisely as possible. Age determinations from cored wells are sometimes less precise because the amount of material required for a sample must be taken over a several meter interval. Also, the size of sample that can be taken from a core is often limited as a result of the desire to preserve a representative part of the cored interval.

Finally, in using age determinations described in the literature, only samples that could confidently be placed geographically and stratigraphically have been used. Unfortunately, many age and/or species identifications given by previous workers were described in only a lithostratigraphic context, often without reference to an unambiguously identifiable stratigraphic marker. Such data, while useful as a general reference, have consequently been omitted from our detailed stratigraphic interpretations.

Sequence Identification and Correlation

The stratigraphic framework is built on the detailed outcrop descriptions from the Cline and Cascade Channels with additional data from the southern Jasper Basin, contained in this volume (Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016).

Three main orders of sequences are recognized: super, composite, and high-frequency sequences that correspond to second-, third-, and fourth-order cyclicity. Ten CSs, consisting of one Givetian and nine Frasnian third-order, form the (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence (SS), a second-order cycle of relative sea-level change within the Alberta Basin. Composite and high-frequency sequences were differentiated on the basis of pronounced lateral facies offset, either landward or basinward; stratal geometries; cycle stacking patterns; lowstand development; presence of subaerial exposure surfaces and associated siliciclastics; and regional correlation to verify their development in many separate locations.

High-frequency sequences, characterized by a generally thin transgressive systems tract (TST) and thick highstand systems tract (HST), are well expressed and documented from the southeast margin of the Cline Channel and in the subsurface at Golden Spike, Redwater, and the Grosmont Shelf (Figs. 8A, B, 9). At Golden Spike, HFSs are well defined and represented by upward-shoaling lithofacies successions. The HFSs are often typified by an increased frequency of highstand fenestral laminated packstone (tidal-flat strata) leading up to the HFS boundary. The superposed orders of cyclicities, from HF to supersequence scale; their systems tracts; and features associated with their sequence boundaries are summarized in Table 1. HFS and CS boundaries, complemented by their respective maximum flooding surfaces, were especially useful for regional correlation within the study area.

Fig. 5.

—Cross-section B–B0, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 5.

—Cross-section B–B0, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 6.

—Cross-section C–C′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, South Jasper Basin, Toma Creek to Nikanassin Range, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998) or Klapper and Lane (1989), circles are samples from Shields and Geldsetzer (1992), right-pointing triangles are from Whalen et al. (2000b), and left-pointing arrows are from Whalen and Day (2008). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location. Stratigraphy of the lower Miette Reef (lower right corner) is from Whalen et al. (2000b), based on exposures located on the Miette thrust sheet. The upper part is based on our work from the Big Horn thrust sheet (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 6.

—Cross-section C–C′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, South Jasper Basin, Toma Creek to Nikanassin Range, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998) or Klapper and Lane (1989), circles are samples from Shields and Geldsetzer (1992), right-pointing triangles are from Whalen et al. (2000b), and left-pointing arrows are from Whalen and Day (2008). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location. Stratigraphy of the lower Miette Reef (lower right corner) is from Whalen et al. (2000b), based on exposures located on the Miette thrust sheet. The upper part is based on our work from the Big Horn thrust sheet (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 7.

—Cross-section D–D′, showing composite sequence subdivision, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges and adjacent subsurface. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 7.

—Cross-section D–D′, showing composite sequence subdivision, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges and adjacent subsurface. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 8.

—Regional gamma-ray log cross-section E–E′ (SW to NE) from the Cripple Creek Skyline to the Grosmont Shelf showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 8.

—Regional gamma-ray log cross-section E–E′ (SW to NE) from the Cripple Creek Skyline to the Grosmont Shelf showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences. See Figure 3 for transect location.

In this study, areas of continuous outcrop exposures provide the highest degree of confidence in stratigraphic interpretation, followed by intermittent outcrop, core, and, finally, well logs. Composite and high-frequency sequences were first defined in areas of the best outcrop and/or core control, then correlated to areas of poorer or incomplete data.

Cored wells with gamma-ray logs allow characterization of stratigraphy, including individual HFSs, in wells without core. Unique, recognizable gamma-ray signatures—reflecting stratigraphic patterns described in core—can then be correlated regionally with reasonable confidence. However, the complex stratal geometries observed in outcrop can often only be surmised in the subsurface as a result of insufficient well control, the limits of seismic resolution, etc. Further lines of evidence for sea-level fluctuations must be invoked.

Attention must be given to the variable expression of stratigraphic architecture along strike and dip. For example, the character of sequence boundaries varies according to its position on the depositional profile relative to lowered sea level. On subaerially exposed surfaces, karsting and paleosols are formed (see discussion in Chow and Wendte 2010). Laminar green shale in calcretes is commonly radioactive and produces a sharp spike to the right on the gamma-ray log. However, increased clay and organics in mud deposited in deeper environments, as at a MFS, may produce the same gamma-ray response in platform top strata.

One must consequently exercise caution in correlating sequence boundaries on logs in this basin, because radioactivity is not simply a proxy for marine shale. Shale and coarser siliciclastics can have the same gamma-ray expression—the well logs responding to uranium and/or thorium in both marine shale and terrigenous clay, as well as potassium feldspar in terrigenous silt. A high gamma-ray response can therefore reflect radically different depositional environments (e.g., deeper marine vs. terrigenous). For example the WI1.1, as discussed below, is commonly expressed as a sharp deflection to the left (“cleaning”) on the gamma-ray curve (see Fig. 8B). The shale below the WI1 is marine over much of the transect, but in the Saleski area this “shale” is actually a land-derived siltstone. Consequently, the “cleaning” observed in this stratigraphic interval (e.g., at 6-33-77-22W4; Fig. 8B) represents a flooding surface, while the sequence boundary occurs a few meters lower, at the base of the siltstone. This underscores the need to ground truth subsurface interpretations with core or, failing that, drill cuttings data as much as possible.

Identification and correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences, as well as their component systems tracts, are best achieved in platform-margin and slope settings because minor changes in relative sea level are recorded in pronounced facies offset. On proximal foreslopes, abrupt juxtaposition of shallow over deep water environments—with an absence of the intervening depositional environments expected in a normal (conformable) facies succession— is expressed on the gamma-ray curve as a sharp deflection to the left. In distal foreslope and basinal settings, a concentration of allochthonous packstones and grainstones are also expressed as a spike to the left. A full cycle of HFS development with predicted gamma-ray response is shown in Figure 9 and is defined by an “hourglass” signature on the gamma-ray curve.

Fig. 9.

—HFS stacking pattern and inferred gamma-ray log response.

Fig. 9.

—HFS stacking pattern and inferred gamma-ray log response.

REGIONAL SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHIC FRAMEWORK

Within the (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence, nine composite sequences were originally recognized (Gilhooly et al. 1992, Potma et al. 1992, Weissenberger et al. 1992a, Wong et al. 1992b) and further described by Potma et al. (2001). Tables 1 and 3 summarize the new CS and HFS stratigraphic framework, criteria used in the recognition of sequence boundaries, their conodont ages, lithostratigraphy, and the sequence stratigraphic evolution of the carbonate platforms and their basinal equivalents in the study area. The modifications to the stratigraphic framework of Potma et al. (2001; Fig. 3) are summarized in Table 4. Composite sequences are discussed below, in stratigraphic order. The component HFSs of each composite sequence are defined and described. By convention, the sequences are named after the basal sequence boundary, and all figures are labeled accordingly. For example, the component high-frequency sequences of the WD2 composite sequence are the WD2.1, WD2.2, and WD2.3. Typically, the basal composite and oldest high-frequency sequence boundaries coincide, so that, in this case, both would be referred to as the WD2.1. Where two superposed orders of HFS exist, the higher frequency subsets are noted with an additional number, e.g., WD2.1.1 and WD2.1.2. Cycle sets within a HFS are labeled with letters, for example, WD2.1.a and WD2.1.b. Where high-frequency and composite sequence MFSs coincide, the composite MFS name is preferred, e.g., WD1 MFS (= WD1.4 MFS).

Table 3.

Summary of the composite and high-frequency sequences recognized, variations in the expression of their sequence boundaries, and associated lowstands and superposed systems tracts for the different areas studied.

Table 4.

Comparison of the composite and high-frequency sequences of the current study to the schemes of Potma et al. (2001), Whalen et al. (2000b), Whalen and Day (2008), van Buchem et al. (2000), and Wendte (1994).

Beaverhill Lake Composite Sequence 3

Potma et al. (2001) subdivided the Beaverhill Lake Group into three CSs (BHL1, BHL2, and BHL3), and we do not redefine these units herein. The three CSs are largely limited to the Alberta subsurface, due to the presence of the topographically high West Alberta Ridge, which precluded deposition along the current Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, south of the town of Jasper (Figs. 1, 3, 8A). Since only the uppermost part of the BHL3 CS is developed in the outcrop study area, we will not discuss the BHL2 and BHL3 in any detail. The BHL3 corresponds to the uppermost part of the Swan Hills Formation.

The BHL3 unconformably overlies Cambrian strata (Lynx Group) in most of the outcrops studied. It is typically a thin (~10 m) unit of variable thickness related to topography on the underlying pre-Devonian unconformity. This carbonate platform succession consists of upward-shoaling meter-scale cycles of Amphipora-bulbous stromatoporoid packstone–wackestone to fenestral or cryptalgal laminites and is interpreted as the HST of the BHL3 CS. It extends from just south of the Burnt Timber area to the southern Jasper Basin (Weissenberger et al. 2016; Wong et al. 2016). The BHL3 onlaps a Cambrian high near the southern margin of the Cascade Channel (Fig. 4) and is intermittently present in the southern part of the outcrop belt, onlapping sub-Devonian highs, but is more extensive to the north. In the South Jasper Basin (Fig. 6), the BHL3 is a recognizable lithostratigraphic unit, called the Utopia Member (Noble 1970; see also discussion in Weissenberger et al. 2016); platform-interior Amphipora packstone or cryptalgal laminated lime mudstone with a characteristic bleached cap.

Figure 7 illustrates an east–west dip section from the mountain outcrops into the adjacent subsurface. On the left (west) the BHL3 is shown to be thin (3 m) at Cripple Creek. The 6-9 and 13-23 wells are both in surface (shallow) thrust sheets east–northeast of Cripple Creek and are interpreted to have on the order of 10 m of BHL3.

Studies in the Jasper Basin, particularly of the Ancient Wall Reef Complex (e.g., Mountjoy and MacKenzie 1974, Geldsetzer 1989, Whalen et al. 2000b, Whalen and Day 2008) interpret a (Givetian–) Frasnian age carbonate platform and basinal equivalents, which would correspond to much, if not all, of the Beaverhill Lake Group that is absent in the current study area.

Woodbend Composite Sequence 1 (WD1)

Introduction: Five HFSs, on average 25 m thick, are recognized within the WD1 CS. The HFSs are grouped into CS scale systems tracts consisting of lowstand (WD1.1 LST), transgressive (WD1.1 TST–HST, WD1.2, WD1.3 and WD1.4 TST), and highstand (WD1.4 HST and WD1.5) portions (Tables 1, 3). Correlation of these sequences from the Redwater Reef and Grosmont Shelf (central Alberta) to the Cline Channel area outcrops (Wapiabi Gap margin) illustrate these units (Figs. 8A, B, 1012). The CS is equivalent to the Cooking Lake and the lower part of the Leduc Formation, the Majeau Lake, and the lowermost Duvernay formations (Table 1). Key to the cross-basin correlation are conodont data, the regional WD1 MFS, and associated CS boundaries, recognized in outcrop and in subsurface at Redwater and Golden Spike reefs.

Fig. 10.

—Correlation of Frasnian high-frequency and composite sequences from the Redwater and Golden Spike reefs to the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, between Boundary and Kiska creeks. Cross-section data are from Redwater (Wendte 1994, Chow et al. 1995, Potma et al. 2001), Golden Spike (Potma et al. 2001), and Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). Logs of the Redwater and Golden Spike cross sections are gamma-ray (left) with or without sonic (right) curves. At Golden Spike, HFSs are defined by upward-shoaling lithofacies successions (WD1.2, WD1.3, WD2.2, and WD2.3). High-frequency sequences are characterized by increasing followed by diminishing frequency of fenestral laminated packstone (tidal-flat deposits) leading to or away from the karsted sequence boundary, e.g., WD3.1 and WD3.2. A “hourglass” gamma-ray log signature defines the WD1.2 and WD1.3 HFSs in the more basinward located wells, 7-33 and 7-36.

Fig. 10.

—Correlation of Frasnian high-frequency and composite sequences from the Redwater and Golden Spike reefs to the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, between Boundary and Kiska creeks. Cross-section data are from Redwater (Wendte 1994, Chow et al. 1995, Potma et al. 2001), Golden Spike (Potma et al. 2001), and Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). Logs of the Redwater and Golden Spike cross sections are gamma-ray (left) with or without sonic (right) curves. At Golden Spike, HFSs are defined by upward-shoaling lithofacies successions (WD1.2, WD1.3, WD2.2, and WD2.3). High-frequency sequences are characterized by increasing followed by diminishing frequency of fenestral laminated packstone (tidal-flat deposits) leading to or away from the karsted sequence boundary, e.g., WD3.1 and WD3.2. A “hourglass” gamma-ray log signature defines the WD1.2 and WD1.3 HFSs in the more basinward located wells, 7-33 and 7-36.

Fig. 11.

—Outcrop montage of the WD1 composite sequence and component HFSs, Wapiabi Gap. The WD1 TST comprises flat-lying platform-interior beds that grade upward into the gently dipping foreslope strata of the HST. This change is marked by the WD1 MFS. Highstand foresets merge upslope into the stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin, which changes facies laterally into flat-lying reef-flat and eventually platform-interior strata landward (right). The change from in situ middle and lower foreslope to allochthonous foreslope deposition during the WD1 highstand is sharp and related to a slip surface (with 25° dip) cutting across the stromatoporoid boundstone margin. Above the slip surface, stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin replaces antecedent bedded reef-flat grainstones. The WD2.1 surface is karsted and bleached. Underlying WD1 highstand foresets are truncated along the ravinement-modified WD2.1 sequence boundary. The ravinement surface is overlain by a transgressive lag of grainstone that onlaps the WD2.1 sequence boundary. Overlying WD2.1 highstand foresets downlap onto the lag.

Fig. 11.

—Outcrop montage of the WD1 composite sequence and component HFSs, Wapiabi Gap. The WD1 TST comprises flat-lying platform-interior beds that grade upward into the gently dipping foreslope strata of the HST. This change is marked by the WD1 MFS. Highstand foresets merge upslope into the stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin, which changes facies laterally into flat-lying reef-flat and eventually platform-interior strata landward (right). The change from in situ middle and lower foreslope to allochthonous foreslope deposition during the WD1 highstand is sharp and related to a slip surface (with 25° dip) cutting across the stromatoporoid boundstone margin. Above the slip surface, stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin replaces antecedent bedded reef-flat grainstones. The WD2.1 surface is karsted and bleached. Underlying WD1 highstand foresets are truncated along the ravinement-modified WD2.1 sequence boundary. The ravinement surface is overlain by a transgressive lag of grainstone that onlaps the WD2.1 sequence boundary. Overlying WD2.1 highstand foresets downlap onto the lag.

Fig. 12.

—Comparison of Miette and Cripple Creek sequences. Miette sequences are from van Buchem et al. 2000, Whalen et al. 2000b, and Whalen and Day 2008; Cripple Creek sequences are from Wong et al. (2016).

Fig. 12.

—Comparison of Miette and Cripple Creek sequences. Miette sequences are from van Buchem et al. 2000, Whalen et al. 2000b, and Whalen and Day 2008; Cripple Creek sequences are from Wong et al. (2016).

In the subsurface reefs at Redwater (600 km2 in area) and Golden Spike (10 km2 in area), the five HFSs are recognized from cored wells in platform-interior to margin settings (Fig. 10). Both reefs are not dolomitized with excellent core control. Subdivision was based on the following combination of criteria: increasing proportions of tidal-flat laminite caps, landward–basinward facies shift, cycle stacking patterns (thinning/thickening), and karst. The high-frequency sequence boundaries of this CS vary from conformable to subaerially exposed, with karst surfaces developed at the WD1.3, 1.4 (Fig. 13A), and 1.5 levels. The expression of the surfaces vary regionally (Table 3). For example, the WD1.3 is karst at Redwater but conformable at Golden Spike. Individual HF sequences show a trend of increasing thickness up-section for this CS, from approximately 20 m (WD1.1 to 1.3) to over 30 m (WD1.4 and WD1.5).

Fig. 13.

—A) The WD1.4 HFS exposure surface, developed on Amphipora packstone (lower arrows). Overlying green shale (~1 cm thick) is succeeded by laminated lime mudstone with lithoclast fragments (upper arrows). The green shale is interpreted to be paleosol or paleokarst associated, deposited prior to the re-initiation of carbonation production following subaerial exposure, as discussed in Murray (1966), Harvard and Oldershaw (1976), and Chow and Wendte (2010); 1205 m, 5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef. B) Maximum flooding interval of CS WD1, consisting of dark gray burrowed lime mudstone with branching coral molds toward the top of the unit. Scale is 0.5 m in length; Toma South, northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex. C) Avariety of lithoclasts, many blackened, overlie the WD2.1 exposure surface. The lithoclast packstone is developed on stromatoporoid rubble grainstone, deposited in a reef-flat setting. The actual WD2.1 surface is missing from the cored interval; 1228.5 m, 1-22-57-22W4 well, Redwater Reef. D) Dissolution cavities cutting across early equant calcite (a) and infilled with layered green lime mudstone (b). Interparticle space is infilled with green skeletal packstone (c). The interpreted WD3.1 unconformity is located approximately 3 m above this sample; 1046 m, (02)5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 13.

—A) The WD1.4 HFS exposure surface, developed on Amphipora packstone (lower arrows). Overlying green shale (~1 cm thick) is succeeded by laminated lime mudstone with lithoclast fragments (upper arrows). The green shale is interpreted to be paleosol or paleokarst associated, deposited prior to the re-initiation of carbonation production following subaerial exposure, as discussed in Murray (1966), Harvard and Oldershaw (1976), and Chow and Wendte (2010); 1205 m, 5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef. B) Maximum flooding interval of CS WD1, consisting of dark gray burrowed lime mudstone with branching coral molds toward the top of the unit. Scale is 0.5 m in length; Toma South, northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex. C) Avariety of lithoclasts, many blackened, overlie the WD2.1 exposure surface. The lithoclast packstone is developed on stromatoporoid rubble grainstone, deposited in a reef-flat setting. The actual WD2.1 surface is missing from the cored interval; 1228.5 m, 1-22-57-22W4 well, Redwater Reef. D) Dissolution cavities cutting across early equant calcite (a) and infilled with layered green lime mudstone (b). Interparticle space is infilled with green skeletal packstone (c). The interpreted WD3.1 unconformity is located approximately 3 m above this sample; 1046 m, (02)5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef.

Four of the five WD1 HFSs are correlated from Redwater to Golden Spike in the subsurface to outcrops of the Cline Channel (Fig. 10). The WD1.1 HFS is interpreted to be in part an onlapping lowstand. The WD1.1 and WD1.2 surfaces coincide to form the WD1.1/1.2 composite HFS boundary.

The base of the WD1 composite sequence (WD1.1) is a regionally recognizable surface, marked by a basinward shift in shallow-water lithofacies at Redwater and Golden Spike. Potma et al. (2001, 2002) observed the absence of middle foreslope lithofacies in the vertical succession (Potma et al. 2001, figs. 11, 12). Charophyte oogonia and oncoids with cores composed of reworked underlying BHL3 nodular lime mudstone in the basal WD1 are interpreted to mark base level fall. At Golden Spike, there is a basinward facies shift of tabular coral/wafer stromatoporoid boundstone over faintly nodular lime mudstone.

In the Rocky Mountain outcrops the surface is a composite WD1.1/1.2 surface. It is typically sharp, within tidal-flat and/or lagoonal successions, and often capped by siliciclastic siltstone (Weissenberger et al. 2016). The basal WD1.1/1.2 surface along the outcrop belt constitutes an exposure surface, as we have illustrated at Big Hill (Weissenberger et al. 2016). As mentioned above, the interval below the surface has a characteristic bleached color and has been called the Utopia Member. Whalen et al. (2000b) also interpret the top of Utopia as a subaerial unconformity.

WD1 LST:Wendte (1994) describes an onlapping wedge of crinoidal lime mudstone–wackestone in the area of the Redwater Reef that thickens from 1 to 20 m in a basinward direction.

WD1 TST: The CS TST consists of the following units: WD1.1 TST–HST, WD1.2, WD1.3, and WD1.4 TST that form aggradational to gently backstepping platforms in outcrop and subsurface. The WD1.1 is a shoaling upward succession of nodular peloidal wacke-stone–packstone and bulbous stromatoporoid–peloidal packstone capped by meter-scale Amphipora packstone and cryptalgal laminated mudstone cycles at Redwater and dominantly argillaceous nodular lime mudstone at Golden Spike. The overlying WD1.2 is an aggradational HFS developed extensively at the Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin areas (Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016). Outcrops are composed of platform-interior meter-scale cycles of Amphipora-bulbous stromatoporoid packstone–wackestone to fenestral or cryptalgal laminite. At Redwater, in the subsurface, this HFS displays transgressive backstepping followed by highstand forestepping skeletal grainstone–packstone shoal margins (Fig. 10). When traced laterally basinward, the WD1.2 (and similarly the WD1.3) display an “hourglass” gamma-ray log response—deflecting leftward at the base, rightward in the middle, and left again at the top (wells 7-33, 7-36; Fig. 10). This reflects a change from shallow to deep to shallow depositional facies, the gamma-ray curve recording the variation in relative proportions of clay in distal foreslope nodular lime mudstone. The most extreme rightward deflection corresponds to the HFS MFS.

In the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, the WD1.3 HFS is initiated by retrogradation, during which platform-interior cyclic meter-scale shoaling upward cycles consisting of bulbous stromatoporoid pack-stone–wackestone to overlying Amphipora-peloidal packstone are replaced by peloidal grainstone–packstone of the Cline Channel margins (fig. 5 of Wong et al. 2016). In the subsurface at Redwater, the base of the WD1.3 is a karst surface (Wendte 1994; top middle member). Overlying WD1.3 TST deposits are widespread and consist of skeletal–peloidal–ooid grainstone with horizons of fenestrae, forming a grainstone shoal, documented over an extensive area of over 6000 sq km. The WD1.3 HST and HFS WD1.4 and WD1.5 are typified by a return to restricted platform-interior cyclic deposition.

The WD1 CS MFS can be regionally correlated across the basin. At Redwater and Golden Spike, the MFS corresponds to the open marine tabular stromatoporoid boundstone unit of Wendte (1994) within restricted platform-interior deposits. In outcrop, the position of the MFS is recognized from stratal stacking patterns (transition from backstepping to forestepping stratal patterns) and lithofacies (northwest margin, Cline Channel; Fig. 11). At the northwest margin of the Southesk Cairn Complex (Toma South), it is represented by 10 m of dark gray burrowed lime mudstone with branching coral molds (Fig. 13B). By contrast, at the south margin of the Miette Complex (Fig. 12), van Buchem et al. (2000), Whalen et al. (2000b), and Whalen and Day (2008) interpret this surface (their top sequence 3) as a sequence boundary and ‘a marine flooding surface’.

WD1 CS HST: The WD1 highstand, consisting of WD1.4 HST and WD1.5, saw a progressive increase in accommodation as indicated by the thickening of its component HFSs; ~20 m for WD1.1 to 1.3 (TST) and ~30 m for WD1.4 and 1.5. At Redwater and on the northwest margin of the Cline Channel, the WD1 highstand platform is stepped back from its older, transgressive margin, by more than 1.5 km. An extensive WD1 shallow-water platform developed between Redwater and the Grosmont Shelf to the northeast (Fig. 8B). The western margin of this CS occurred just west of Golden Spike (8A), facing into the West Shale Basin, while an embayment formed north of Redwater. This highstand is a progradational platform in the southeast margins of the Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin, most significantly in the WD1.5 of the Cardinal Valley (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Much of the WD1 is absent due to apparent onlap of the sub-Devonian unconformity in the southernmost part of the outcrop study area (e.g., Grotto Mountain; Fig. 4), where the Cambrian high was only transgressed by the end of the WD1. At Burnt Timber, progradational foreslope carbonates on both sides of the Cascade Channel are interpreted as the highstand of the CS.

Woodbend Composite Sequence 2 (WD2)

Introduction: This composite sequence is reef-dominated, with intervening euxinic basins and basinal channels, across much of Alberta (Fig. 1). It spans the upper part of lower Leduc to the lower part of the Middle Leduc Formation. The WD2 is composed of three HFSs subdivided into the following CS systems tracts: LST (WD2.1 TST and lower WD2.1 HST), TST (upper WD2.1 HST to WD2.3 TST), and HST (WD2.3 HST), as shown in Table 1.

The basal sequence boundary, the WD2.1, is well expressed in the Burnt Timber, Cline Channel, and South Jasper Basin areas (Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016). In the Canmore area, the WD2.1 occurs where an interval of stacked, thin cryptalgal laminite capped Amphipora packstone cycles rest abruptly over bulbous-branching stromatoporoid packstone (open lagoon). Reef-flat grainstone, of the succeeding lowstand, onlap the dipping surface of the foreslope at Kiska Creek (Wong et al. 2016).

The WD2.1 can be correlated from a sharp surface, with evidence of subaerial exposure, on the platform top and down the depositional slope in both the Cline Channel (Fig. 5) and South Jasper Basin (Fig. 6). At Wapiabi Gap (northeast margin, Cline Channel), this surface is continuously exposed over 2.5 km. The antecedent platform margin is karsted and bleached, with a maximum relief of 15 m. Foresets of the underlying sequence are truncated (Fig. 11). The basal WD2.1 surface is overlain by a 2.5-m-thick transgressive lag of coarse abraded branching stromatoporoid grainstone marking a marine ravinement-modified sequence boundary. Basinward, the sharp, undulatory surface overlies laminated allochthonous foreslope packstones and grainstones. It is overlain by red iron oxide-stained mudstone (Wong et al. 2016).

In the subsurface at Redwater, a sharp surface developed on reef-flat grainstone, overlain by a 1-m transgressive lag of rounded stromatoporoid rubble (Fig. 13C). Similarly, at Golden Spike (1818.9 m, 11-23-51-27W4), 1.5 m of rounded stromatoporoid rubble are in sharp contact with underlying cryptalgal laminated lime mudstone.

WD2 CS LST: The lower half of HFS WD2.1 comprises shallow-water carbonates subjacent to and onlapping the previous foreslope. These interpreted lowstands are observed at South Burnt Timber, Kiska Creek, Wapiabi Gap, and Cardinal Valley and are interpreted at North Burnt Timber and in the subsurface along the Grosmont Shelf (Fig. 8B). The contrast in lowstand geometry (wedge vs. tabular) between slopes with high and low declivities is depicted in Figure 14.

Fig. 14.

—Contrasting response to a relative sea-level fall on high (left) and low (right) declivity slopes. Wedge-shaped lowstands form on steeper slopes and tabular-shaped lowstands on gentler slopes. Westward prograding mixed carbonate-siliciclastic slopes, represented on the right of the figure, are generally ramp-like with slopes of less than a degree.

Fig. 14.

—Contrasting response to a relative sea-level fall on high (left) and low (right) declivity slopes. Wedge-shaped lowstands form on steeper slopes and tabular-shaped lowstands on gentler slopes. Westward prograding mixed carbonate-siliciclastic slopes, represented on the right of the figure, are generally ramp-like with slopes of less than a degree.

WD2 TST: A transgression is observed above the lowstand deposits, with inundation of the platform during the subsequent transgression (HST of HFS WD2.1). This varies, in extent, from over 9 km on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel to less than 1 km at South Burnt Timber. Stacking patterns in the HST of the WD2.1 HFS vary from retrogradational (southeast margin, Cline Channel; Grosmont Shelf) to aggradation (Redwater, Golden Spike, and northwest margin, Cline Channel; Wong et al. 2016 and Figs. 8B, 10).

The overlying WD2.2 is a very significant HFS, deposited below the supersequence transgressive maximum. This HFS is easily identified and correlatable. It is characterized by a basal sequence boundary with subaerial exposure at Redwater and a basinward facies offset of branching stromatoporoid packstone foreslope resting sharply on basinal shale on the Grosmont Shelf (Figures 8B, 16). The correlative surface forms an extensive terrace 5 km wide on the southeast margin of the Jasper Basin (Toma Creek) and narrower backsteps on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, Redwater, and Golden Spike (Fig. 10).

At Cripple Creek the WD2.2 sequence boundary is overlain by thick backstepping reef-flat deposits coeval with patch reef nucleation and at Grassi Lakes, by thick open lagoonal deposits with prominent patch reefs (Fig. 15) of the HFS TST. The WD.2.2 HST is mostly aggradational at all locations, after the initial retrogradation. On the Grosmont Shelf, this HFS is developed on mixed carbonate shale ramps and typically display a broadly retrogradational followed by progradational stacking pattern; laterally extensive over tens of kilometers (Fig. 16).

Fig. 15.

—Hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone patch reefs rooted on the WD2.2 surface. Overlying and underlying strata are composed of platform-interior meter-scale cycles. Patch reef inception is associated with backstepped platform margins and increased circulation to the platform-interior, resulting from a rapid rise in relative sea level. Grassi Lakes (see Fig. 4 for location). A similar patch reef development overlying the WD2.2 HF sequence boundary is observed at Cripple Creek (Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 15.

—Hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone patch reefs rooted on the WD2.2 surface. Overlying and underlying strata are composed of platform-interior meter-scale cycles. Patch reef inception is associated with backstepped platform margins and increased circulation to the platform-interior, resulting from a rapid rise in relative sea level. Grassi Lakes (see Fig. 4 for location). A similar patch reef development overlying the WD2.2 HF sequence boundary is observed at Cripple Creek (Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 16.

—Correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences between the Grosmont Shelf and Redwater Reef. The Redwater cross section is modified after Wendte (1994) and Chow et al. (1995), and the Grosmont cross section after Potma et al. (2001). Logs on the Redwater cross section are gamma-ray (left) and sonic (right) curves.

Fig. 16.

—Correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences between the Grosmont Shelf and Redwater Reef. The Redwater cross section is modified after Wendte (1994) and Chow et al. (1995), and the Grosmont cross section after Potma et al. (2001). Logs on the Redwater cross section are gamma-ray (left) and sonic (right) curves.

The succeeding WD2.3 HFS contains the MFS of the WD2, which resulted in deposition of the first significant high total organic carbon-rich euxinic shale (Duvernay Formation) in the basin. It is also interpreted as the second-order maximum transgression. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of core at 16-28-57-21W4 (1164 m) shows enrichment in silica and depletion of zirconium (indicative of reduced terrigenous influx). The enrichment in (biogenic, radiolarian) silica, along with relatively low carbonate, clay, and detrital quartz suggests maximum transgressive conditions (Ratcliffe et al. 2012).

WD2 HST: The highstand of HFS WD2.3 is coincident with that of CS WD2. Stacking patterns vary from aggradational (Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin margins, Golden Spike) to strongly progradational (Redwater). At Redwater progradation extended this reef margin beyond the older underlying WD2.2 margin (Figs. 8B, 16). By contrast, the WD2.3 highstand margins at Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin are significantly back-stepped in relation to the WD2.2 margin. This difference is attributed to the role of basin-filling clay in providing a substrate for carbonate progradation.

Woodbend Composite Sequence 3 (WD3)

Introduction: The WD3 was deposited immediately above the transgressive maximum of the second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence. It is equivalent to the upper part of the Middle Leduc and the coeval Duvernay formations and is comprised of two HFSs subdivided into the following CS systems tracts: LST (WD3.1 LST), TST (WD3.1 TST to WD3.2 TST), and HST (WD3.2 HST). The average thickness of WD3 CS shallow-water platform carbonates is 70 m, noticeably thinner than that of the antecedent WD1 and WD2 composite sequences, which averaged 105 m.

Its basal contact, the WD3.1, displays evidence of subaerial exposure in shallow-water settings, notably at Grassi Lakes, South Fairholme Carbonate Complex, and at the Toma margin, (South Jasper Basin; Weissenberger et al. 2016). At the former, we interpret it to coincide with a paleokarst horizon described by Burrowes and Weihmann (1982) and Atchley and McMurray (2000).

At Golden Spike, it is a pronounced karst surface (Potma et al. 2001; fig. 20), characterized by thick, impermeable, fenestral laminites above and below the boundary and associated calcite cementation. Similarly at Redwater, laminated, green argillaceous lime mudstone fills dissolution cavities below the surface (Fig. 13D). The base of the CS is a sharp contact in 12-35-97-19W4 on the Grosmont Shelf. It is marked by coral stromatoporoid wackestone–packstone (open lagoon) abruptly overlying argillaceous mudstone and tempestites (dysaerobic basin) of the uppermost WD2. This suggests a drop in sea level on the order of 10 m. The surface is extensively developed on the Grosmont Shelf (Fig. 16).

WD3 CS LST: The basal WD3 at Toma Creek comprises a tongue of skeletal grainstone, deposited on the foreslope of the uppermost WD2 and onlapping the WD3.1 (Weissenberger et al. 2016). This is interpreted as a lowstand. A small mound of hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone occurs at the basinward edge of the grainstone tongue. No lowstands were interpreted on this surface in the Cline Channel. At Redwater, it is an onlapping wedge of stromatoporoid grainstone rubble, approximately 4 m thick. On the Grosmont Shelf, deposits immediately above the WD3.1 surface are lowstand deposits, tabular in shape and extensive. However, the identification of TST strata on the Grosmont Shelf is hampered by its regional ramp-like profile and the location of the antecedent shelf break, east of the studied cores in an area of sparse data.

WD3 CS TST: In the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, this CS TST is characterized by aggradation evolving into retrogradational stacking. On the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, platform to basin relief continued to increase with upbuilding of the platform such that at the level of the WD3.2 surface, it was approximately 90 m deep compared with 60 m at the WD3.1 sequence boundary. A similar gently retrogradational style is developed at Toma Creek, on the southeast margin of the Jasper Basin. In contrast, a dramatically different style of stacking is seen in the East Shale Basin with pronounced progradation on the northeast margin of the Redwater Reef and at the Grosmont Shelf (Figs. 8B, 16). Illitic clay and carbonate, sourced from the east, began to fill existing basinal topography in the East Shale Basin during this CS (Fig. 8B). Relatively little coeval basin filling occurred in the West Shale Basin. There, slight aggradation and retrogradation dominated the margins of the carbonate complexes in outcrop at both CS and HFS scales, as described previously (Figs. 46, 8A).

The basal surface of HFS WD3.2 is characterized by subaerial exposure. On the Grosmont Shelf, the surface is sharp and overlain by dolomitic siltstone and shale with possible rooted horizons (base “UG3,” 253 m depth in well 5-23-87-19W4, and Fig. 17A). At Redwater (Fig. 17B) and Golden Spike (1681 m, 11-23-51-27W4), centimeter-scale, subhorizontal to vertical dissolution cavities contain geopetal infill of marly mudstone. In the basinal area between Redwater and the Grosmont Shelf, the surface is overlain by fine quartz sand at the 4-20-54-25W4 well (Potma et al. 2001). At Cripple Creek, the WD3.2 foreslope surface is onlapped by reef-flat and stromatoporoid reef margin deposits (Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 17.

A) The WD3.2 sequence boundary, Grosmont Formation. Finely laminated siltstone deposited in a mixed siliciclastic–carbonate peritidal environment sharply overlies fractured, burrowed-massive fine wackestone deposited in a subtidal inner ramp environment; 286.8 m, 5-19-87-19W4 well, Grosmont Shelf. B) Section immediately below the WD3.2 exposure surface consisting of (a) fenestral lime mudstone to packstone with numerous vertical and subhorizontal dissolution cavities and fenestrae of varying sizes. Cavities and fenestrae are lined by (b) micritic cement, (c) dripstone, and (d) isopachous cement of fibrous calcite and infilled by a variety of marly internal sediments including skeletal packstone and laminated lime mudstone; 1009 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef. C) Section immediately underlying the WD4.1 surface. Dissolution cavities (arrowed) are filled by geopetal mudstone and dripstone cement; 981 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 17.

A) The WD3.2 sequence boundary, Grosmont Formation. Finely laminated siltstone deposited in a mixed siliciclastic–carbonate peritidal environment sharply overlies fractured, burrowed-massive fine wackestone deposited in a subtidal inner ramp environment; 286.8 m, 5-19-87-19W4 well, Grosmont Shelf. B) Section immediately below the WD3.2 exposure surface consisting of (a) fenestral lime mudstone to packstone with numerous vertical and subhorizontal dissolution cavities and fenestrae of varying sizes. Cavities and fenestrae are lined by (b) micritic cement, (c) dripstone, and (d) isopachous cement of fibrous calcite and infilled by a variety of marly internal sediments including skeletal packstone and laminated lime mudstone; 1009 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef. C) Section immediately underlying the WD4.1 surface. Dissolution cavities (arrowed) are filled by geopetal mudstone and dripstone cement; 981 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef.

In the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, the HFS 3.2 is back-stepped at least 10 km from the underlying HFS 3.1 margins on both sides of the Cline Channel. It is gently retrogradational at Toma Creek, on the southeast margin of the Jasper Basin. First influx of basinal-filling clay into the Cline Channel is indicated by the approximately 40 m of lime mudstone and shale basinward of the margin at Cripple Creek. Platform to basin correlation of this HFS into the axis of the Cline Channel at Kiska Creek indicates continued coeval deposition of finely interbedded centimeter-thick lime mudstone and black euxinic organic-rich calcareous shale (Duvernay Formation). In the East Shale Basin, the WD3.2 is mainly aggradational compared with the retrogradational stacking of the studied front range outcrops. Accumulation of organic-rich black shale appeared to have ceased at the onset of WD3.2 deposition with the influx of a large volume of basin-filling argillaceous nodular lime mudstone and calcareous shale (Fig. 8A). High gamma-ray response at the basal WD3.2 level in well 16-7-59-17W4 is believed to be bypassed fine quartz sand, associated with sea-level fall at the WD3.2 surface.

WD3 CS HST: On the southeast margin of the Cline Channel (Boundary Creek), the uppermost cycle set of the WD3.2 HFS consists of peloidal bedded packstone–grainstone that represents allochthonous foreslope strata. This interval represents a distal, progradational highstand of the WD3 CS. In contrast, the northwest margin of the Cascade Channel (North Burnt Timber) is aggradational and represented by stromatoporoid rubble grainstone–boundstone. At Redwater, a backstepped succession consisting of stromatoporoid rubble grainstone overlain by fenestral laminated packstone represents the same highstand of the WD3 CS, but in a platform-margin setting (12-28 well, Fig. 10).

Woodbend Composite Sequence Four (WD4)

Introduction: The WD4 corresponds to the upper Leduc Formation and parts of the Duvernay and Ireton formations and is subdivided into two HFSs, WD4.1 and WD4.2, and consists of the following CS systems tracts: LST (WD4.1 LST), TST (WD4.1 TST to WD4.2 TST), and HST (WD4.2 HST), as shown in Table 1. It is similar to the previous CS in stratal architecture, consisting of aggradational evolving into retrogradational stacking and in similar average thickness; 70 m. Basinwide, it is an asymmetric CS dominated by the TST, except at the southeast margin of Miette Reef, where it is strongly progradational. On the northwest edge of the Cline Channel, it is aggradational (Fig. 5).

The basal sequence boundary, the WD4.1, is a sharp surface on the southeast side of the Cline Channel (Nell Creek to North Ram River; Wong et al. 2016) with fenestral laminated grainstone overlying small branching coral, crinoid, and brachipod lime mudstone to wackestone of the lower foreslope. The surface can be traced basinward several kilometers where it becomes gradually more conformable (fig. 5 of Wong et al. 2016). At North Burnt Timber, on the northwest margin of the Cascade Channel, the surface truncates underlying tabular bedded foreslope clinoforms (20° to 30° declivity), which is modified by marine ravinement and overlain by rocky shoreline rubble (Wong et al. 2016). Foreslope skeletal–peloidal packstones above the WD4.1 sharply overlie nodular mudstone of the WD3 on the southeast margin of the Miette Reef at Nikanassin Range (Fig. 18). The equivalent surface on the slope to basin transitions of the Ancient Wall Reef Complex is overlain by megabreccias with olistoliths and at Miette (on the Miette thrust sheet) by channelized conglomerates and turbidites (Whalen et al. 2000b).

Fig. 18.

—Evolution of the WD4 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.1 (= WD4.1.1), the WD4.1.2, and WD4.2.1 HFS. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 18.

—Evolution of the WD4 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.1 (= WD4.1.1), the WD4.1.2, and WD4.2.1 HFS. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

In the East Shale Basin (e.g., Redwater) dissolution cavities penetrate Amphipora packstones in a restricted lagoon–tidal-flat setting (Fig. 17C). This reflects subaerial exposure at the WD4.1. In the Grosmont Shelf, the surface is marked by fine quartz and siltstone associated with an abrupt, lateral basinward shift of silty lime mudstone to green calcareous shale and collapse breccia that characterize deposition on an arid coastal plain setting (Fig. 16).

Thirty-five meters of laminated evaporites were deposited on the Grosmont Shelf during the WD4 CS (Fig. 8B, well 2-17; Hondo Formation, Cutler 1983). Thick banks of Ireton Formation argillaceous carbonate and shale, dominantly illitic in composition, began filling the basin from east to west (Stoakes 1980) including the Cline Channel. It was during WD4 deposition that the largest volume of basinal argillaceous limestone and calcareous shale of the Ireton Formation were deposited, representing approximately half of the total Alberta Basin fill within the study area (Figs. 46, 8A, B). The rapid deposition of Ireton Formation shale in WD4 was noted by Weissenberger (1989, 1994). Deposition of WD1 to WD3 took as long as six MN conodont zones. By contrast, one conodont zone (MN11) is present in the WD4 CS, another indication of the high rate of deposition. Where deposited, Ireton Formation sediment reduced platform to basin relief from as much as 200 m to less than 50 m in the WD4. It is therefore a major episode in the filling of the Alberta Basin; the East Shale Basin is entirely filled, and bathymetry of the West Shale Basin and the Cline Channel reduced by the end of WD4 (Figs. 5, 8A, B). Basin fill in the Cascade Channel, however, was dominated by dark carbonate lime mudstone (Fig. 4). Between the Toma margin and Miette Reef, euxinic conditions persisted through the axis of South Jasper Basin during most of WD4. Bathymetry of the Jasper Basin remained great at approximately 200 m.

WD4 CS LST: On the southeast side of the Cline Channel, fenestral laminated grainstone and Amphipora packstone–grainstone, 6 to 15 m thick, sharply overlie and onlap lower foreslope strata and display a retrogradational stacking pattern. Further basinward, tabular-wafer stromatoporoid patch reefs, up to 25 m thick and 100 to 200 m wide nucleated on the sequence boundary (Wong et al. 2016). The downslope patch reefs are overlain successively by lower foreslope strata and basinal greenish shale and argillaceous limestones (Ireton Formation). This retrogradational succession is coeval with fenestral laminated grainstone and Amphipora packstone–grainstone deposits overlying the sequence boundary between Cripple Creek Skyline and Boundary Creek. No equivalent-age lowstands were observed in the South Jasper Basin.

At Redwater and the Grosmont Shelf (Fig. 8B) we interpret carbonate lowstands in the WD4.1 based partly on gamma-ray signatures and on WD4 stratal relationships observed in the outcrop belt.

WD4 CS TST: This part of the CS is dominated by extended TST deposition consisting of the following HFS and associated systems tracts: WD4.1 TST–HST and WD4.2 TST. The WD4.1 HFS displays mostly aggradational stacking in the study area, from surface to subsurface.

Retrogradation dominated most of the basin in the WD4.2, one exception being the Nikanassin Range, where it was muted. Most of the central Alberta reefs (Figs. 8A, B) shrank and drowned in the WD4.2 (the small Golden Spike atoll had drowned in the WD4.1). This HFS marks the termination of Leduc Formation reef growth in the center of the basin (central Alberta), while shallow-water carbonate deposition persisted in the large carbonate complexes on the basin margins to the east, south, and west.

At the Nikanassin Range, the stratal stacking is one of pronounced progradation to forced regression (degradation, sensu Neal and Abreu 2009). Two HFSs, WD4.1 and WD4.2, are recognized, while four systems tracts are defined in the WD4.1. The WD4.1 HFS is further subdivided into two higher frequency sequences, the WD4.1.1 and WD4.1.2, that represent two cycles of relative sea-level rise and fall (Fig. 18). The sequence boundaries are picked at the turnaround from falling to rising relative sea level (location 3 and location 7, for WD4.1.2 and WD4.2.1, respectively).

The WD4.2.1 (Figs. 18, 19) begins with deposition of a lowstand wedge (location 7) and is followed by a series of relative sea-level rises consisting of alternating progradation and aggradation to the WD4.2 MFS (locations 7 to 10). Total relative sea-level rise is estimated to be 28 m. In the initial rise following LST deposition, marine ravinement may have enhanced foreset truncation along the basal WD4.2.1 sequence boundary (Fig. 18, location b, extreme left photograph).

Fig. 19.

—Evolution of the WD4 and WI1 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.2.1, WI1.1, and the WI1.2.1. This figure continues from the left (southeast) of the preceding one. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 19.

—Evolution of the WD4 and WI1 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.2.1, WI1.1, and the WI1.2.1. This figure continues from the left (southeast) of the preceding one. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

The evolution of the WD4.1 HST on the Nikanassin Range provides a good understanding of falling relative sea level on steeper grain slopes and the resultant stratal stacking patterns. Increasing development of truncation surfaces and offlapping sequences associated with relative sea-level falls is probably related to decreasing accommodation during the falling stage systems tract (FSST).

The WD4 MFS (= WD4.2 MFS) saw extensive deposition of basinal strata across the drowned platform margins, notably in the Cline Channel from Cripple Creek to southeast of South Ram River (more than 10 km landward migration; Fig. 5). The Burnt Timber reentrant and the Toma margin saw less, but still notable retrogradation. The WD4 MFS is extensively developed in the subsurface (between the WD4.1 and WI1.1 surfaces; Figs. 8A, B). Consequently, the WD4.2 MFS is useful for cross-basin correlation.

WD4 CS HST: On the Nikanassin Range (southeast margin, Miette Reef), WD4.2 highstand deposition is short lived (strata below location 11; Fig. 19), arrested by fall in relative sea level that initiates the wedge- to tabular-shaped lowstand of the WI1.1.

On the southeast side of the Cline Channel, the uppermost cycle set of the WD4.2 HFS consists of thin tabular and branching stromatoporoid, branching corals, and crinoid wackestone–packstone. These represent middle foreslope and in situ lower foreslope deposits that change into gray argillaceous nodular-bedded lime mudstone basinward. The interval represents the distal, progradational highstand of the WD4 CS. On southeast margin of the South Jasper Basin, retrogradation persisted to the top of the CS at Toma Creek, with no progradational highstand in evidence.

In the subsurface East Shale Basin, Amphipora or tabular stromatoporoid packstone in sharp (hardground) contact with underlying Ireton Formation shale (Stoakes 1980) forms the base of the Camrose Member (Ireton Formation) in central Alberta. This is a high-frequency sequence boundary, similar to the previously described WD2.3 and WD3.1 surfaces of the Grosmont Shelf. The Camrose is interpreted as part of this offlapping FSST of the WD4 CS. The fall in relative sea level that initiated the WI1.1 lowstand (soon after WD4.2 MFS deposition) precluded a well-developed WD4 HST.

Winterburn Composite Sequence 1 (WI1)

Introduction: This CS represents the last major episode of Frasnian open marine deposition in the central part of the Alberta Basin. The amount of pre-WI1 basin fill and paleogeography, influenced the nature and configuration of the carbonate platforms during this CS. Some carbonate platforms—the southeast and northwest margins of the Southesk Cairn Carbonate Complex, parts of the Deep Basin of the Alberta subsurface, to the north and northwest of the Southesk Cairn—maintained a retrogradational to aggradational depositional style through the WI1, rather than progradational margins. The persistence of significant basinal bathymetry there may have favored rimmed margins. Progradation was inhibited at some margins by lack of local basin fill and off-platform transport of carbonate sediment.

As defined below, the CS is 40 to 50 m thick and approximates the Nisku Formation as known from the literature (Table 1). Three HFSs comprise the Nisku: WI1.1, WI1.2, and WI1.3. These roughly correspond to the Lobstick, Bigoray–Zeta Lake–Cynthia and Wolf Lake members, respectively. The WI1 CS is characterized by well-developed lowstand and transgressive systems tracts but a thinner progradational to offlapping FSST ending in a second basinal restricted HFS (Table 1). Composite sequence systems tracts are assigned as follows: LST—WI1.1, TST—WI1.2 TST, and HST/FSST—WI1.2 HST to WI1.3 HST. Best exposures of the entire WI CS are on the edges of the Cline Channel and at Miette in the Jasper Basin.

The base of the WI1 is a well-defined, regionally correlateable surface across the Alberta Basin. A siltstone interval at Mt. Rundle and a sharp contact—traceable from platform to basin at North Burnt Timber (northwest margin, Cascade Channel)—marks the WI1.1 in the South Fairholme Platform Complex, in the southern part of the outcrop belt (Fig. 4). At North Burnt Timber, the basal surface is sharp and developed over lower foreslope to basinal mudstone. A significant facies offset is represented by the overlying succession of hummocky cross stratified grainstone (2 m thick), parallel laminated grainstone with laminoid (beach) fenestrae (6 m thick), and cyclic Amphipora dominated lagoon to tidal-flat meter-scale cycles (more than 6 m thick).

Tidal-flat strata onlap this surface at Cripple Creek. It can be correlated north into the center of the Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). At Wapiabi Gap, on the northwest margin of the channel, WD4 basinal highstand foresets are truncated by the WI1.1 surface (fig. 25, Wong et al. 2016).

The WI1.1 has a less dramatic expression at the studied margins of the Southesk Cairn Carbonate Complex in the South Jasper Basin. A sharp, conformable surface is developed within coralline mudstone–wackestones at Toma Creek, dipping into the basin and becoming indistinct over a comparatively short distance. This is likely due to the greater pre-WI1 declivity at the margin from a lack of local basin fill and the reduced area of shallow-water carbonate sediment production. The sequence boundary is sharp along the Nikanassin Range and easily traceable into the basin via a surface downlapped by prograding packstone–grainstones of the overlying lowstand wedge (Figs. 19, 20 and Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 20.

—Correlation of composite sequences WD3 to WB1 from Cripple Creek, on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, to equivalent sequences at the Miette Reef in the South Jasper Basin. The WD4 and WI3 MFSs and the WI1.1 sequence boundary are extremely useful for regional correlation; see text for details and discussion. Same vertical scales. The difference in slope gradients of coeval WI HFS sequences, approximately 108 to 158 at Miette and,58 at Cripple Creek, are due to the greater degree of clay basin fill at Cripple Creek. Cross-section data are from the southeast margin, Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016), and the Miette Reef at the Nikanassin Range (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 20.

—Correlation of composite sequences WD3 to WB1 from Cripple Creek, on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, to equivalent sequences at the Miette Reef in the South Jasper Basin. The WD4 and WI3 MFSs and the WI1.1 sequence boundary are extremely useful for regional correlation; see text for details and discussion. Same vertical scales. The difference in slope gradients of coeval WI HFS sequences, approximately 108 to 158 at Miette and,58 at Cripple Creek, are due to the greater degree of clay basin fill at Cripple Creek. Cross-section data are from the southeast margin, Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016), and the Miette Reef at the Nikanassin Range (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

In the subsurface, a recognizable marker on the gamma-ray log—a sharp leftward deflection above the high gamma response of the uppermost Ireton Formation shale—marks the WD1.1 (Figs. 7, 8A, B). This log character persists to the far northeast of the basin, on the Grosmont Shelf. Potma et al. (2001) illustrated the core showing the WI1.1 in various paleobathymetric positions.

WI1 CS LST: The lowstand was initiated by a marked basinward shift of carbonate deposition. In the subsurface of the West Shale Basin, the WI1.1 and 1.2 both show “hourglass” gamma-ray log responses, aiding regional correlation. Shallow-water carbonates, deposited below the antecedent shelf edge, onlap the WI1.1 basal surface (Fig. 8A, between the 10-5 and 11-23 wells). Figure 8A shows that the entire W1.1 HFS onlap slope and basinal strata in the West Pembina area of the West Shale Basin. This was also illustrated by Potma et al. (2001; fig. 23). By this time, the entire East Shale Basin was infilled and replaced by shallow-water carbonates (Fig. 8B). At Cripple Creek, the WI1.1 becomes progressively thinner, landward, by onlap termination against the underlying sequence boundary (Fig. 20).

Pinnacle reefs are common in the WI1, in both outcrop and subsurface. These developed on both the WI1.1 and WI1.2 surfaces in a fairly broad favorable bathymetric range (Wong et al. 2016 and well 10-30; Fig. 8A). The dip of the underlying Lobstick Member ramp controlled the width of the fairway. Most reefs occur in the West Pembina area and continue southwest along trend into the Cline Channel and in the Wild River subbasin (Fig. 22).

Fig. 21.

—Lithofacies and sequence stratigraphy of theWI1 to WI3 CS at the Wapiabi Gap skyline. Platform-interior lithofacies are colored according to the dominant type. The basal surface of forced regression (BSFR) is interpreted to represent the slope surface at the onset of falling relative sea level. It is downlapped by forced regressive grainstone strata. From Wong et al. (2016).

Fig. 21.

—Lithofacies and sequence stratigraphy of theWI1 to WI3 CS at the Wapiabi Gap skyline. Platform-interior lithofacies are colored according to the dominant type. The basal surface of forced regression (BSFR) is interpreted to represent the slope surface at the onset of falling relative sea level. It is downlapped by forced regressive grainstone strata. From Wong et al. (2016).

Fig. 22.

—Paleogeography during mid-WI1.2 HFS deposition (Nisku Formation). At this time, the Alberta Basin is nearly filled with extensive shelfal areas. Courtesy of Ken Potma.

Fig. 22.

—Paleogeography during mid-WI1.2 HFS deposition (Nisku Formation). At this time, the Alberta Basin is nearly filled with extensive shelfal areas. Courtesy of Ken Potma.

At the Nikanassin location of the Miette Reef, the LST is composed of a wedge- to tabular-shaped packstone–grainstone, ~200 m wide in a dip direction and 30 m thick (Figs. 19, 20). This feature occurs basinward of the erosion truncated antecedent WD4 shelf edge. A gradual falling relative sea level, accompanied by the growth of a forced regressive (degradational) hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin ends WI1.1 lowstand deposition. This is followed by the transgressive strata of WI1.2.1 (Fig. 23A).

Fig. 23.

—A) Falling relative sea level has produced a basinward-dipping force regressive stromatoporoid reef margin, underlain by a BSFR (orange-colored line) and capped by the WI1.2.1 sequence boundary, Mount Berry (from Weissenberger et al. 2016). B) Blue Ridge (WI3) collapse breccia (above lens cap) composed of cryptalgal laminite, encased in rust-colored silty lime mudstone. Lens cap is 5 cm wide. Tina Creek, southeast margin, Cline Channel.

Fig. 23.

—A) Falling relative sea level has produced a basinward-dipping force regressive stromatoporoid reef margin, underlain by a BSFR (orange-colored line) and capped by the WI1.2.1 sequence boundary, Mount Berry (from Weissenberger et al. 2016). B) Blue Ridge (WI3) collapse breccia (above lens cap) composed of cryptalgal laminite, encased in rust-colored silty lime mudstone. Lens cap is 5 cm wide. Tina Creek, southeast margin, Cline Channel.

WI1 CS TST: Euxinic conditions were established in parts of the basin during the initial transgression above the WI1.1, lowstand. Potma et al. (2001, p. 79–80) cite anecdotal evidence of a source rock in the lowermost HFS WI1.2 (Bigoray Member), which they ascribed to rapidly rising sea level and restricted basinal circulation in the West Pembina area (Fig. 22). The presence of this source rock was substantiated by Fowler et al. (2001). The richest source rock occurs at the base of the WD1.2 HFS (Fig. 8A). Euxinic shale deposition ceased in the Jasper Basin in the late WI1.2 TST, replaced by carbonate-rich, argillaceous basin fill (Cynthia Member, Nisku Formation).

Aggradational, shoal-rimmed carbonate platforms developed landward of the pinnacle reef belt through the WI1.2 TST, extending from the West Pembina area of the West Shale Basin into the southeast margin of the Cline Channel (Fig. 22). Correlation of the southeast margin of the Cline Channel at Cripple Creek to the southeast margin of the Miette Reef Complex (Nikanassin Range; Weissenberger et al. 2016) reveals aggradational stacking at both locations (Fig. 20).

The MFS of CS WI1 is represented by a backstepped terrace on the shelf and within pinnacle reefs (Watts et al. 1994). Its equivalent in basinal strata is expressed as the most extreme right deflection of the gamma-ray above the base of the WI1.2 and the Bigoray Member in wells 10-11-53-14W5 and 2-15-53-8W5 (Fig. 8A).

WI1 CS HST–FSST: The HST–FSST of this CS consists of the following units: WI1.2 HST and the entire WI1.3 HFS. Aggradational, shoal-rimmed carbonate platform growth continues into the HST of the composite sequence (Fig. 20). The WI1 highstand is strongly progradational in much of the basin. Significant offlapping geometries are observed in outcrop toward the top of the CS, with common forced regressive (degradational) stratal geometries of the FSST. The WI1.2 highstand, for example, forms recognizable, offlapping units in outcrop on the Nikanassin Range and at Wapiabi Gap.

At Wapiabi Gap, the WI1.2 is dominated by clinoforming distal lower foreslope strata that include two offlapping grainstone units. Each unit is deposited on a sharp, basinward-dipping basal surface of forced regression (BSFR, Hunt and Tucker 1992), with dips of between 5° and 10°. Abraded stromatoporoid and intraclast grainstone strata, with dips that vary between 12° and 15°, downlap onto the BSFR. The grainstone topsets are truncated at the WI1.2.2 and WI1.3/WI2.1 sequence boundaries, respectively (Fig. 21 and fig. 25 of Wong et al. 2016). Similar stratal patterns and surfaces have been described by Pomar and Kendall (2008), who attributed it to deposition during falling relative sea level.

The WI1.3 HFS is a basinally restricted tabular unit composed of grainstone and fenestral laminite in the Cline Channel (Figs. 10, 20, 21) and assigned to the CS FSST. On the northwest margin of the Cline Channel, at Wapiabi Gap, channels eroded into the basal WI1.3 sequence boundary were onlapped and infilled by skeletal grainstone (Wong et al. 2016). At Toma Creek, the southeast margin of the South Jasper Basin, the WI1.3 constitutes an onlapping, basinally restricted wedge displaying transgressive and regressive segments. At the Nikanassin Range, silt-rich foresets are truncated at the WI2.1 sequence boundary. The lower part of this unit is basinally restricted, including small patch reefs that developed during the WI1.3 TST. The WI1.3 HFS is approximately 35 m thick, over twice that developed at the Cline Channel. Both transgressive and highstand systems tracts are represented within the WI1.3 HFS at Nikanassin, in contrast to only highstand at the Cline Channel. This difference is attributed to greater available accommodation within the Jasper Basin when compared with the Cline Channel.

Platform to basin relief in the Nikanassin area was reduced progressively during WI1 CS deposition, from approximately 90 m at WI1.1 to over 50 m at the base of WI1.3 in the vicinity of the Miette Reef. Similarly at Wapiabi Gap, on the north end of the Cline Channel, water depths decreased from over 30 m at the start of WI1.3 deposition to totally filled at the end, indicating progressive basin fill through WI1 CS deposition.

Winterburn Composite Sequence 2 (WI2)

Introduction: This composite sequence was deposited toward the end of the (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence. It occupies a stratigraphic position from approximately the base of the Calmar Formation to the top of the Blueridge Member (Graminia Formation) in the type area of central Alberta. The basal surface of this CS, the WI2.1, is a regional unconformity that has been long recognized in the literature (Switzer et al. 1994; discussion in Potma et al. 2002b). It is commonly a sharp, erosional surface on the platform tops, overlain by dolomitic siltstone.

WI2 CS LST: On the foreslope and basin of the northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex, South Jasper Basin, the basal surface (WI2.1) is overlain by poorly fossiliferous, burrowed calcareous siltstone. This forms a tabular, basinally restricted lowstand wedge (Fig. 6). The silts were likely bypassed into the basin during exposure and initial inundation of the platform.

WI2 CS TST: At the northwest margin of the Southesk Cairn Complex, a peloidal–skeletal shoal margin developed in the WI2 at Mt. MacKenzie (Fig. 6). Small pinnacle reefs were also developed in the area (Hedinger and Workum 1989) during the TST of the sequence.

The lower WI2 on the platform consists of siliciclastics, clay, silt, and fine sand. Indirect evidence of evaporites, such as intraformational breccias and salt casts, are observed (Fig. 23B). These are thin initial transgressive deposits of the WI2 after the subaerial exposure associated with the WI2.1. The environment of deposition is interpreted as restricted marine coastal plain to sabkha. Regionally, the silts were likely of wind-blown origin and/or deposited by ephemeral streams on the exposed platforms. Thickness variations within this CS, between the southeast margin of Miette (35 m) and the Fairholme Complex (15 m), are believed to be from the early evaporite dissolution, as evidenced by the occurrence of collapse breccia and salt casts in the Fairholme platform-interior of the WI2 at Cripple Creek (Figs. 20, 23B).

Along the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, this depositional system extended from the Grassi Lakes to the southern margin of the Jasper Basin (Figs. 46). Toward the east, these basal WI2 TST siliciclastics change facies into shallow-water carbonates on the eastern edge of the North Fairholme Reef Complex, between the 13-23-40-15W5 well and Brazeau Gap (Fig. 7). These deposits are overlain by carbonates, representing dominantly restricted lagoon to tidal-flat environments in much of the basin. The margin of this carbonate shelf is in the South Jasper Basin and along the (smaller) West Shale Basin, as the Cline Channel was mostly infilled.

The WI2 TST in the South Jasper Basin is dominated by aggradational platform margins despite further basin filling and diminished basinal bathymetry. Platform to basin relief was probably relatively high within the remaining areas of the basin (Fig. 6).

WI2 CS HST: The highstand northwest margin of the Southesk Cairn Complex and the southeast margin of Miette at Nikanassin Range are similar to the TST margins and are dominantly aggadational.

Winterburn Composite Sequence 3 (WI3)

This composite sequence is the youngest Frasnian third-order sequence deposited in the Alberta Basin. In the lithostratigraphy from central Alberta, the base of the CS is taken at the top of the Blueridge Member, the top within the upper Graminia Formation siltstones. The CS is similar to the previous WI2 CS, including a basal siltstone deposited over the underlying karsted sequence boundary on the platform tops, erosional truncation of antecedent foreslope strata, and onlap of calcareous siltstone on the erosional surface (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

The shelf margin to basin transition is aggradational over the antecedent WI2 at the northwest margin of the Southesk Cairn Complex at Mt. MacKenzie (Fig. 6). The paleogeography is also similar to the WI2 (described above). At the Nikanassin Range, the WI3 margin also overlies that of the WI2 (Luscar Mountain). Between 16 to 22 m thick in the current study area, the WI3 thickens northward to greater than 75 m in northern Alberta, northeast British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories.

The WI3 platform-interior is dominated by restricted marine carbonates and siliciclastics composed entirely of meter-scale lagoon to tidal-flat cycles, similar to the WI2. Six kilometers northwest and basinward of the Mt. MacKenzie shelf margin, the WI3.1 surface truncates the underlying foreslope, a basal foreslope siltstone immediately overlying and lapping onto the flank of the WI2 pinnacle (Fig. 6; Weissenberger et al. 2016, fig. 20). A distinctive feature of this sequence is the presence of a 2-to 5-m-thick prominently outcropping unit that is visible and persistent through all exposures of platform-interior strata. It varies from an Amphipora packstone to bioturbated or laminated lime mudstone on the Fairholme Complex. At Miette, it is a 2-m-thick shoaling upward succession of tabular-hemispherical stromatoporoid and Amphipora packstone that overlies laminated silty lime mudstone and cryptalgal laminite of a restricted platform-interior setting. It is interpreted to be the MFS of this sequence.

Wabamun Composite Sequence 1 (WB1)

This composite sequence marks the beginning of Famennian deposition in the Alberta Basin and will consequently not be discussed at length. WB1 strata are less than 5 m thick in the central and southern part of Alberta and in most of the outcrop belt and mainly consist of siltstone. At this time, a 200-m-thick succession of siliciclastics and carbonates (Sassenach Formation) was deposited in the unfilled part of the Jasper Basin. This was described in detail by Mountjoy and Becker (2000). Wang and Geldsetzer (1995) identified Famennian conodonts from just below the base of the Sassenach northwest of the current study area, defining the stage boundary in the northwest part of the province.

DISCUSSION

The Second-Order Sequence

The present study improves understanding of the (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence proposed by Potma et al. (2001). The basic transgressive–regressive architecture of the Alberta Frasnian, while understood for many years (Maiklem et al. 1972, Stoakes 1992, Wendte 1992), is now examined through the lens of sequence stratigraphy, at the higher resolution of HF and CS scales. The aim is to (1) show the detailed stratal architecture and complexities within this second-order package and (2) understand the response of mixed carbonate–siliciclastic ramp systems to relative sea-level changes.

The second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence is subdivided into component systems tracts on the basis of CS thickness variations of platform strata, reflecting systematic changes in accommodation. Average thickness of the BHL1 to BHL3 is approximately 50 m; the WD1 to WD2, approximately 100 m; the WD3 to WD4, approximately 65 m, and the WI1 to WI3, approximately 25 m. Accordingly, they are subdivided into the following supersequence systems tracts: early SS TST, BHL1 to BHL3; late SS TST, WD1 to WD2 TST; early SS HST, WD2 HST and WD3 to WD4, and late SS HST, WI1 to WI3.

Basin Fill

Basin filling is asymmetrical, comprising of carbonates and extrabasinal fine-grained siliciclastics (mainly clay with minor silt and sand; Fig. 1). Campbell and Oliver (1968) determined that up to 75% of the shale in the Ireton Formation clinoforms consist of clay and detrital silica. Consequently, it is strongly controlled by extrabasinal sediment deposition rather than intrabasinal carbonate production and is documented in the progression of prograding shelf edges of the second-order, mixed carbonate–siliciclastic system (Fig. 24). The pattern of basin fill is summarized as follows:

  1. 1.

    Early TST, interval BHL1 to BHL3: The first early SS TST platform edge is initially retrogradational (BHL1) and is followed by aggradation (BHL 2 to 3). The relatively shallow Alberta Basin (<100 m) is poor in total organic carbon (TOC) and is composed of low-angle mixed carbonate–siliciclastic ramp systems on the east side. On the west side, carbonate platforms and reefs are aggradational to retrogradational (Potma et al. 2001). Most of the Swan Hills Reefs were drowned during BHL3 (Wendte and Uyeno 2005) as coeval platforms backstepped onto the Western Alberta Arch (Figs. 7, 8A). Many subaerial unconformities, some minor, developed in shallow-water carbonates of the Swan Hills Formation, especially in strata of the BHL2 CS (approximately top B to top D of Wendte and Uyeno 2005).

  2. 2.

    Late SS TST, interval WD1 and WD2 TST: Continued WD1 platform aggradation was followed by retreat of the WD2 (Grosmont) shelf eastward with increasing accommodation (Figs. 8A, B, 24). Redwater and other large Leduc age reefs on the east side of the basin were initiated upon shallow-water carbonates of the WD1 TST. Retreat and aggradation of the regional Grosmont Shelf was coeval with continued aggradation of isolated carbonate reefs in the East Shale Basin. Starved, deeper water (>150 m) conditions developed basinwide with basinal strata enriched in TOC (Chow et al. 1995, van Buchem et al. 2000) during the second-order transgressive maximum, within the WD2 (Fig. 24). To the west, carbonates backstepped landward of the antecedent BHL3 age platforms, onlapped the Western Alberta Arch, and displayed aggradational to retrogradational stacking.

  3. 3.

    Early SS HST, interval WD2 HST, WD3, and WD4: With a turnaround to progradation of the Grosmont Shelf, the Alberta Basin infilled sequentially from east to west in the order: East Shale Basin, West Shale Basin, and Jasper Basin. In the West Shale Basin, Cline Channel, and Jasper Basin, source rock deposition continued with increased basinal bathymetry associated with the upbuilding carbonate platforms and reefs to the end of WD3.2. Steeper margins developed, locally erosive at Miette and Ancient Wall. Cessation of source rock deposition by dilution from basinal clay influx followed a similar pattern as basin fill, ending at the WD3.2 level in the East and West Shale basins and at the WD4.1 level in the Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin (Figs. 5, 6, 8B). A large influx of extrabasinal clay, mostly during WD4, infilled the East Shale Basin. Bathymetry of the West Shale Basin and Cline Channel was reduced to less than 100 m at the end of WD4. Isolated reefs within the East and West Shale basins ceased growing and were overlain by basinal deposits (Figs. 8A, B, 24). Carbonate platforms and reefs on the Western Alberta Arch are characterized by retrogradational stacking. The Miette Reef, in contrast, displays progradational stacking throughout much of WD4.

  4. 4.

    Late SS HST, interval WI1 to WI3: Progressive basin fill continued with influx of extrabasinal clay (Fig. 22). Strongly progradational, low gradient carbonate–clay ramp systems fill the West Shale Basin and Cline Channel, in a southeast to northwest direction. The end of the Frasnian in Alberta saw the bathymetry in the south and east part of the basin almost completely filled, with little open marine circulation (Fig. 24). To the northeast, in the South and North Jasper basins, a poorly developed carbonate shelf was deposited. Boundstone margins and pinnacle reefs were limited to areas of better marine circulation. High amplitude relative sea-level fluctuations characterize the late SS highstand. Diminishing accommodation favored thin CSs on antecedent platform tops, which were dominated by restricted marine conditions.

Deposition of siliciclastics occurred intermittently. Terrigenous silt was likely transported across the exposed platform tops by ephemeral river systems at both CS and HFS boundaries. These were bypassed into the foreslope, burrowed, and reworked, resulting in churned, rarely fossiliferous silty carbonates. Consequently, two common types of silty carbonates occur in the WI2 and younger strata; the peritidal to shallow subtidal siltstone of the platform and the burrow reworked siltstone of the foreslope. Supersequence deposition ended with exposure and remnant unfilled basins to the west (Fig. 24). These basins were eventually filled by quartz silt to fine sand of the Famennian-age WB1 composite sequence (Figs. 5, 6, 24), derived from the Antler orogeny to the west/southwest (Savoy and Mountjoy 1995, Mountjoy and Becker 2000).

Fig. 24.

—Map showing the location of successive carbonate shelf edges of the (Givetian–) Frasnian second-order supersequence, Alberta Basin. Numbers record the progression of shelf edges, from the oldest (1) to the youngest (8), and represent transgression followed by regression, or basin opening and filling. The supersequence MFS was formed soon after shelf edge 4 (approximately mid-WD2), when the basin was at its maximum expansion. Shelf edge 5 (approximately base WD3), is part of the early supersequence HST.

Fig. 24.

—Map showing the location of successive carbonate shelf edges of the (Givetian–) Frasnian second-order supersequence, Alberta Basin. Numbers record the progression of shelf edges, from the oldest (1) to the youngest (8), and represent transgression followed by regression, or basin opening and filling. The supersequence MFS was formed soon after shelf edge 4 (approximately mid-WD2), when the basin was at its maximum expansion. Shelf edge 5 (approximately base WD3), is part of the early supersequence HST.

Lowstand and Falling Stage Development and Expression

A very important component of sequence boundary recognition is in the identification of lowstands, especially those that developed upon the mixed carbonate–clay ramp system. Relative sea-level fall developed widespread tabular lowstands on CS and HFS boundaries. These features are identified by facies offset, interpreted in the subsurface at abrupt contacts on gamma-ray curves, a blocky left deflection typically marking the location of the sequence boundary and corroborated by both core and outcrop data. The timing and amount of basin fill, as it controlled bathymetry and declivity in the basin, also affected the formation and distribution of lowstand carbonates. For example, the development of interpreted lowstands in the WD2.1 HFS on the Grosmont Shelf was likely facilitated by the relatively early filling of the East Shale Basin (Fig. 8B). The WD2.1 lowstand is tabular shaped on these ramp profiles. Equivalent lowstands on isolated reefs like Redwater are expected to be wedge shaped, as was observed in Front Range outcrops (Wong et al. 2016). On the southeast margin of the Cline Channel (Cripple Creek), a lowstand wedge is developed on the steeply dipping WD3.2 surface. In contrast, the lowstand developed on the overlying WD4.1 surface is laterally extensive. Red and blue arrows highlight the difference in slope gradients upon which the two different types of lowstands have developed (Fig. 25). On the northwest margin of the Southesk Cairn Complex, South Jasper Basin, lowstands were not observed on the WD4.1, WD4.2, and WI1.1 surfaces because of higher slope declivities of >5° and, if developed, are likely to be of limited extent. Figure 14 compares the effect of a relative sea-level fall on such a system. In this example, a relative sea-level fall exposes the platform top and the adjacent foreslope. Tabular-shaped and areally extensive lowstands, tens of kilometers wide, develop on the mixed carbonate–clay ramp profiles (with foreslope declivities of less than 1°), as observed in the Cline Channel (Fig. 26).

Fig. 25.

—Detailed view, southeast margin of the Cline Channel at Cripple Creek, showing the composite and high-frequency sequence stratigraphy. Both composite and high-frequency maximum flooding surfaces are depicted. The role of clay basin fill is shown by the evolution of foreslope gradients from the WD3.1 to the WI1.1 HFS. Foreslope dips decrease from 10° to 20° (red arrows) to less than 5° (light blue arrows) with influx of extrabasinal clay and the accompanying change to more ramp-like profiles. The abrupt increased gradient on the WD4.1 surface (dark blue arrow) coincides with the distally steepened segment of the underlying WD3 foreslope.

Fig. 25.

—Detailed view, southeast margin of the Cline Channel at Cripple Creek, showing the composite and high-frequency sequence stratigraphy. Both composite and high-frequency maximum flooding surfaces are depicted. The role of clay basin fill is shown by the evolution of foreslope gradients from the WD3.1 to the WI1.1 HFS. Foreslope dips decrease from 10° to 20° (red arrows) to less than 5° (light blue arrows) with influx of extrabasinal clay and the accompanying change to more ramp-like profiles. The abrupt increased gradient on the WD4.1 surface (dark blue arrow) coincides with the distally steepened segment of the underlying WD3 foreslope.

Fig. 26.

—Lowstand development in the Cripple Creek area (Boundary Creek to Kiska Headwaters), showing geometry (wedge or tabular) and frequency in relation to the second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence. Lowstands (in orange) are identified from the onlap of platform-margin grainstone or platform-interior deposits onto foreslope strata. Figures 10 and 11 include a partial version of this cross section with colored lithofacies (figure from Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 26.

—Lowstand development in the Cripple Creek area (Boundary Creek to Kiska Headwaters), showing geometry (wedge or tabular) and frequency in relation to the second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence. Lowstands (in orange) are identified from the onlap of platform-margin grainstone or platform-interior deposits onto foreslope strata. Figures 10 and 11 include a partial version of this cross section with colored lithofacies (figure from Wong et al. 2016).

The extensive WI1 CS lowstand is tabular shaped. Much of the basin topography in the West Shale Basin was filled by deposition of the Ireton Formation shale prior to the WI1. This lowstand was initiated by a marked basinward shift of carbonate deposition. Shallow-water carbonates, deposited below the antecedent shelf edge, onlap the WI1.1 basal surface (Fig. 8A, between the 10-5 and 11-23 wells; and Figure 23, Potma et al. 2001). As shown, the entire W1.1 HFS onlaps slope and basinal strata in the West Pembina area, with the overlying WI1.2 onlapping stratigraphically higher on the exposed antecedent WD4 surface, west of Redwater Reef (Fig. 8A). The WI LST is areally extensive, covering parts of the West Shale Basin and the Cline Channel.

On steeper southeast margins of the Miette Reef, Nikanassin Range, the WI1.1 surface is onlapped by a wedge-shaped lowstand (Figs. 19, 20). The overlying basinward-dipping surface, the WI1.2.1, is interpreted to have developed in response to a slowly falling relative sea level (Fig. 23A). A forced regressive hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone margin underlies this surface. It corresponds to a similar margin associated with the same sequence boundary at Wapiabi Gap (Wong et al. 2016). These observations confirm that progressively falling sea level can be documented with good outcrops of steeper margins.

On the same margin at Nikanassin Range, deposition during a cycle of sea-level rise and fall is represented by the WD4.1.2 HFS (Fig. 18). Strong progradation (“normal regression” sensu Catuneanu et al. 2011) with aggradation between locations 3 and 4 is interpreted to represent the HFS LST and TST. The BSFR separates the HST (locations 4 to 5) from overlying forced regressive deposits of the FSST (locations 5 to 7). Two successive basinward-dipping surfaces are onlapped by younger strata at locations 6 and 7 (red arrows at “a” and “b”). Erosion during relative sea-level fall is believed to have produced the coarser intraclastic grainstone, overlying the BSFR that extend far downslope. A similar pattern in accommodation evolution is developed within the succeeding WD4.2.1 HFS (Fig. 19). The TST is defined by higher accommodation, as inferred from the aggrading and prograding stacking patterns leading to the WD4.2 MFS (locations 7 to 10). WD4.2 HST deposition ended with a relative sea-level fall that initiated the WI1.1 lowstand, soon after WD4.2 MFS deposition.

As originally defined, the FSST is bounded below by the regressive surface of marine erosion and above by a ravinement surface, i.e., the sequence boundary (Plint and Nummedal 2000). However, this surface (RSME) is not developed on the steeper (10°–15°), mainly grain dominated, foreslopes of the WD4 HFSs but is replaced by the previously described BSFR (see Catuneanu et al. 2011 for further discussion).

The WD4 high-frequency sequences at the Nikanassin Range demonstrate that using classical stratal stacking patterns to define systems tracts can be challenging. Rather, we have used additional criteria, like changes in accommodation interpreted from stacking patterns, to decipher component systems tracts. Similar patterns of aggradation/progradation followed by degradation (Abreu and Neal 2009) were used to define depositional sequences within the Upper Miocene carbonates of Mallorca, Spain (Pomar and Ward 1999).

The shallow-water carbonate lowstands observed in this study appear to have been deposited after sea level fell to its lowest position, during the ensuing rise.

Frasnian-age platform strata of the Canning Basin, Australia, are twice as thick as that of Alberta, 1200 m compared with 550 m, respectively. The strata were deposited in a rift to post-rift sag basin with high rates of subsidence when compared with the distal foreland setting of the Alberta Basin (Begg 1987). High accommodation rates produced high platform to basin relief, of up to 500 m, and predominantly backstepping, retrogradational styles of carbonate platform growth. Karst or lowstand development is absent (Playton and Kerans 2015). This is in marked contrast to the lower accommodation and mixed carbonate–siliciclastic setting of the Alberta Basin, which developed karst/subaerial unconformities and associated LST at HFS and CS scales. The absence of extensive lowstands and of prominent karstification is attributed to the greater accommodation and a lack of basin fill for time-equivalent strata in the Canning Basin.

Basin-Fill Control of Reef Inception, Growth, and Demise

Two main types of reefs are recognized, based on the depositional setting of their inception horizons: platform or foreslope. or foreslope. Broad carbonate platforms were developed in the East Shale Basin, upon the BHL3 and WD1 sequence boundaries, during the early supersequence TST. The two platform edges approximate the western limit of mixed carbonate–siliciclastic shelfal progradation. Reefs that initiate on the extensive eastern regional BHL3 platform were drowned by the late CS TST. To the west, in contrast, most of the smaller Swan Hills reefs nucleated on pre-existing buildups and were drowned during the early CS TST (Wendte and Uyeno 2005).

The more significant reef inception horizon, common to the Golden Spike and Redwater reefs, is the WD1 MFS. It is likely the main initiation surface for many of the major hydrocarbon-bearing buildups in the East Shale Basin and along the Rimbey–Meadowbrook trend. Reefs initiated on this surface were able to continue growth for the duration of three CSs (WD1 HST to WD4 TST), much longer than buildups of the preceding BHL3 CS. Basin infilling shale did not prograde into the East Shale Basin because of high accommodation associated with the supersequence late TST and early HST.

The second type are downslope reefs that initiate on the foreslope of HF and CS boundaries developed over prograding mixed carbonate–clay ramps. These features are variable in size, from 50 m to 1.5 km in diameter and between 50 and 150 m thick (Watts et al. 1994). Many downslope pinnacle reef inception horizons occur across the Alberta Basin, including WD2.2 and WD3.1 (Grosmont Shelf area), WD4.1 (southeast margin, Cline Channel), WI1.1 and WI1.2 (West Pembina and Kiska), WI1.3 (southeast margin, Miette), and WI2.1 (northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex).

Questions remain regarding the factors responsible for a demise of the reefs (e.g., Mountjoy 1980). Stacking patterns show clear retrogradation leading to the cessation of reef growth in both Golden Spike and Redwater. Reef growth at Golden Spike ceased in the WD4.1 and, later, in the WD4.2 at Redwater. As shown by patterns of basin infill in Figure 24, an increased influx of extrabasinal clay basin fill reduced basin bathymetry during the WD4. The following is a summary of observations regarding the WD4:

  1. 1.

    It was deposited at the end of the early supersequence HST and is characterized by an extremely high rate of terrigenous clay deposition, leading to rapid basin filling, all within a single conodont zone (MN11). Deposition of the WD1 to WD3 took as long as six MN conodont zones, in contrast. At Miette, a thin horizon enriched in organic matter marks the WD4.2 MFS (van Buchem et al. 2000). Deposition and preservation of organic matter-rich facies may be the consequence of enhanced primary production and bottom-water suboxia–anoxia related to eutrophication associated with increased terrigenous input (Hallock and Schlager 1986, Sliwinski et al. 2011).

  2. 2.

    Increased turbidity from the high clay influx probably diminished the growth capacity of filter feeding carbonate sediment producers.

Taken together, the cessation of carbonate platform and reef growth at this time could be due to one or a combination of the two factors listed, resulting in reduced growth capacity and areal extent of the carbonate factory, retrogradation and consequently vulnerable to drowning.

All of the platforms and reefs of the WD4 in the basin display retrogradational stacking toward the MFS, with the exception of Miette. Based on the WD4 CS carbonate platform isopach, accommodation is similar to or even lower than that of previous CSs, and drowning by accelerating sea-level rise seems less likely. Miette is located in the middle of the Jasper Basin, one of the last parts of the basin to be filled, and yet displays strong progradation during the WD4. The absence of nearby prograding mixed carbonate–clay ramps may have allowed significant carbonate production at Miette. The significant cross-basinal variation of stacking patterns within individual sequences suggests that relative sea level was not the only control on margin architecture (see also Wendte et al. 1990). Other factors that influenced carbonate production and dispersal—such as nutrient levels, effects of siliciclastic influx, bathymetry, and wind direction—were undoubtedly important.

Source Rock Deposition: Onset and Cessation

The WD2 MFS, near the top of the WD2 sequence, saw the first major deposition of euxinic shale in most of the basin. Maximum coastal onlap is interpreted on the Grosmont Shelf. Onset of Duvernay deposition is also marked by the turnaround from retrogradation to progradation of the Frasnian section, at the Redwater–Grosmont area

(Fig. 8B) and in the Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). The MFS of the WD2 CS (= WD2.3 MFS) correspond to this change in stacking pattern and is therefore interpreted to be the supersequence MFS. According to Chow et al. (1995), the most organic-rich basinal laminites correspond to the deepest water and most condensed basin successions, with the farthest backstepped reef margins in the Redwater Reef area. High TOC preservation was due to bottom-water anoxia, which developed at depths as shallow as 40 to 50 m.

Early SS HST deposition began in the upper WD2 with progradation of the Grosmont Shelf and the onset of East Shale Basin infilling and consequently dilution and cessation of source rock accumulation. By contrast, deposition (of Duvernay Formation) continued to dominate the rest of the basin during the WD3 (Figs. 8A, B). Carbonate platforms continued to aggrade across the entire basin, with increasing bathymetry and hence continued euxinic shale deposition. Maximum Frasnian Platform to basin relief (~200 m) was attained toward the end of WD3 deposition. Cessation of source strata deposition by dilution from basinal clay influx followed a similar pattern as basin filling; ending at the WD3.2 level in the East and West Shale basins, at the WD4.1 level in the Cline Channel, and WI1.1 in the Jasper Basin.

The Duvernay Formation is age-equivalent to the euxinic shale of the Domanik Formation, the main hydrocarbon source rock of the Timan-Pechora Basin, Russia (Abrams et al. 1999). By contrast, the WD4 MFS has been referred to as the second-order MFS by van Buchem et al. (2000) and Whalen et al. (2000b) at the Miette Reef. However, WD4 CS deposition, at Miette, is characterized by very high siliciclastic input, is dominantly progradational, and is accompanied by a reduction of basinal bathymetry (Weissenberger et al. 2016), similar to the observations of van Buchem et al. (2000). We therefore believe the weight of the evidence favors the Duvernay Formation as the second-order MFS.

Late Frasnian High Amplitude Sea-Level Changes

Pronounced facies offset with both direct and indirect indicators of subaerial exposure, at the WD4.1, WD4.2, WI1.1, and WI1.3 basal surfaces, accompanied by thinning of HFSs may signal the onset of high amplitude relative sea-level change. A relative sea-level fall of 25 m and 25 to 40 m is interpreted from the Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016) and Miette Reef (Fig. 20), respectively, for the WI1.1 surface. At Miette, the estimated amplitude of relative sea-level change is based on water depth interpreted from lithofacies. Similarly, relative sea-level falls of 15 to 40 m are estimated for the WI1.3 surface. The interpretation is based on stratal patterns and water depths of lithofacies in the Cline Channel and at the Miette Reef. Basically restricted, onlapping shallow-water deposits of the WI1.1 and WI1.3 are bounded by unconformities with prominent foreset truncation (Figs. 19, 20, 21; Weissenberger et al. 2016). Such geometries are absent in platform interiors, where one to three karst surfaces represent relative sea-level fluctuations at the WI1.3. In summary, high amplitude relative sea-level changes and decreasing accommodation within the second-order highstand effects a reduction in CS thickness, increased frequency of subaerial exposure surfaces, and the replacement of open marine with platform-interior strata as the basin shallowed and filled. Composite sequences became more asymmetric, with poorly developed TSTs and a greater frequency offlapping HSTs, FSSTs, and LSTs.

Comparison with Previous Alberta Basin Sequence Stratigraphic Schemes

While we have proposed (Wong et al. 1992, Potma et al. 2001) and now further describe a basinwide Frasnian stratigraphic framework, it is worth discussing related work on this subject. In Table 4, we compare our current and previous sequence stratigraphic schemes with that proposed by Whalen et al. (2000b) and Whalen and Day (2008) from Miette and Ancient Wall. Our previous scheme (Potma et al. 2001) is now modified as follows: old WD2 to WD3 = new WD2 to WD4, old WI1 to WI2 = new WI1, and old WI3 = new WI2 to WI3. The differences stem from a larger dataset including more outcrop locations and, therefore, robust regional correlations. High-frequency sequence boundaries remain essentially unchanged, however, with some reassignment as composite sequence boundaries.

The nature of the sequence boundaries at Miette is noted on Figure 12 as described by Whalen et al. (2000b), later modified by Whalen and Day (2008). Sequences are numbered from 2 to 8. The proposed sequence boundaries vary from subaerially exposed to flooding surfaces (Whalen et al. 2000b). Similarities between this correlation scheme and ours include WD1 TST = sequence 3, WD1 HST = sequence 4, WD2 = sequence 5, and WD3 = approximately sequence 6. Our WD1 MFS is a significant surface described by Whalen et al. (2000b) as a flooding surface. This supports our combining (their) sequences 3 and 4 into the single WD1 CS. Whalen et al. (2000b) interpreted a MFS above the base of sequence 7 as the second-order MFS of the Frasnian. We agree that this is a significant surface and have interpreted it to be the MFS of the WD4.

Differences between our interpretations include: van Buchem et al. (2000) sequence 7 (originally sequence 5) consisting of the upper Leduc, upper Ireton, and Nisku formations, which correlates to our WD4 and WI1. The Nisku Formation has previously been regarded as a depositional sequence by ourselves and other workers (Villeger and Webb 1992, Workum and Hedinger 1992, Switzer et al. 1994).

Similarly the WI2 and WI3 CS are recognized on the basis of work presented in this volume (Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016) and are equivalent to their sequence 8. Despite these differences, many of the same significant surfaces were picked in both the schemes. The Whalen et al. (2000b) scheme is based on a more limited dataset of approximately 11 measured sections from Miette and Ancient Wall.

Note that the assigned conodont ages for similar sequences, e.g., the WD1 (which corresponds to sequences 3 and 4 of Whalen and Day 2008), are slightly different. This may be due to different assumptions and methodologies, but we have attempted to synthesize the largest possible conodont dataset to achieve the most robust regional correlations.

Relative Sea-Level Curve

The relative sea-level curve for the Frasnian of the Alberta Basin is based on lithofacies offsets (landward or basinward) and stratal stacking patterns from many locations within the study area (Table 3). The most reliable data are from outcrops, where lithofacies and associated stratal patterns and surfaces (sequence boundaries and MFSs), can be traced laterally. On steep margins, the magnitude of a fall can be estimated from the onlap of lithofacies, deposited at sea level (e.g., cryptalgal laminites), on the foreslope of the antecedent sequence. Similar estimates are made with lithofacies shifts, based on an understanding of the bathymetry depth ranges of the juxtaposed units. Estimates of relative sea-level rise leading to a MFS are qualitative, as carbonate factories are generally robust and normally keep pace with rising sea levels.

The Givetian–lower Frasnian (BHL1–3) interval was not part of this study, and the data are from Potma et al. (2001), and Wendte and Uyeno (2005). Quantitative information of relative sea-level changes are mainly from the WD1 to WD4 and the WI1 CSs. The data are from outcrops in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, where platform to basin transitions are exposed and documented in this volume (Weissenberger et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016). Sequences WI2 to WI3 are dominated by platform-interior deposits of restricted marine carbonates and siliciclastics composed entirely of meter-scale lagoon to tidal-flat cycles and provide qualitative data. Karst surfaces and Amphipora and/or bulbous-branching stromatoporoid packstone are indicators of sequence boundaries and MFSs, respectively.

The previously noted significant relative sea-level events are summarized as follows (similarly numbered in Table 5):

  1. 1.

    the well-developed BHL3 MFS, followed by a sharp fall at the WD1.1 surface;

  2. 2.

    the fall of ~40 m at the WD2.1 and deposition of a lowstand wedge at many localities;

  3. 3.

    the rise that ended the “punctata” event;

  4. 4.

    the rise following WD2.2 subaerial exposure and accompanying inception of platform-interior patch reef growth, visible in many outcrops, and unique to this surface;

  5. 5.

    the WD2 MFS, coincident with (Givetian–) Frasnian second-order supersequence MFS;

  6. 6.

    the pronounced WD4 MFS related rise and drowning of many reefs and platform backstep;

  7. 7.

    the pronounced sea-level fall, >25 m at the WI1.1 surface following deposition of the WD4 MFS;

  8. 8.

    the WI2.1 regional exposure and karst surface (with overlying quartz siltstone) developed on the platform top of the filled basin; and

  9. 9.

    the WI3 MFS, consisting of bioturbated or laminated lime mudstone to Amphipora and/or bulbous-branching stromatoporoid packstone, correlated in all outcrops from the North Fairholme Complex, southeast margin, Cline Channel to the Miette Reef.

Table 5.

—(Givetian–) Frasnian chronostratigraphic chart showing the composite sequence stratigraphic framework of the Alberta Basin, related conodont ages, relative sea-level curve, and correlation to the Rheno–Hercynian Basin of Belgium (da Silva et al. 2010), the Eastern European Platform (Zhuravlev et al. 2006), and Laurussia (Johnson et al. 1985). Absolute ages are from Gradstein et al. (2012). See text for details of significant relative sea-level events (number annotated).

Correlation of Frasnian Sequences of North America, Europe, and Australia

The Johnson et al. (1985) sea-level curve for Euramerica (Laurussia) is based on the recognition of transgressive–regressive cycles. According to them, each T–R cycle is initiated by a major transgression, after a preceding fall (fig. 12 in Johnson et al. 1985). Some of the original data used in the compilation were derived from the Alberta Basin and can be related to the surfaces identified in the present study. The following are approximately the same surface: base IIb-1 = BHL1.1 (top Swan Hills Platform), base IIc-1 = WD1.1 (base Cooking Lake), base IId-1 = WI1.1 (base Nisku), and base IIe-1 = WB1.1 (base Graminia). In the current study, these surfaces are interpreted to be sequence boundaries (subaerial unconformities) with the exception of the Cooking Lake Formation top, base IIc-2 = WD1 MFS, which is a maximum flooding surface.

Frasnian strata of the late Emsian to earliest Carboniferous Rheno–Hercynian Basin were deposited along a passive continental margin, developed on the southern edge of Euramerica (Franke 2000). The stratigraphy is well documented, especially from the punctata to the lower rhenana conodont zones (da Silva et al. 2010, da Silva and Boulvain 2012). Mixed carbonate–siliciclastic strata were deposited in platform to basin settings. Distal platform to basin sections of this system are best documented in outcrops and boreholes. Comparison of the Alberta and Rheno–Hercynian conodont age-dated sequences allow correlation using a combination of sequence boundaries (HFS and CS) and transgressive surfaces for the interval from WD1 to WD3 (Table 5). The following correlations are made: WD1.5 = SB1, WD2.1 = SB2, WD3.1 = SB3, and the transgressive surface capping the WD2.1 LST = end “punctata” event (Yans et al. 2007). Similarly, correlations to the East European Platform, Russia (Zhuravlev et al. 2006) are shown in Table 5.

For the Canning Basin, a high confidence conodont database was collected for the middle and upper Frasnian and most of the Famennian (Playton et al. 2016). The following correlations are proposed for the middle and upper Frasnian: WD4 MFS = Fr5 MFS (coincident with the supersequence MFS), WI2.1 = Fr5 SB, WI2 MFS = Fr6 MFS, WI3.1 = Fr6 SB, and WI3 MFS = Fr7 MFS. No sequence corresponding to the WI1.1 was recognized. The recognition and correlation of similar CSs and HFSs between Europe, Australia, and Alberta, as dated by conodont biostratigraphy, strongly suggest global eustacy.

A major difference between the three basins is the position of the Givetian–Famennian second-order transgressive maximum. In Belgium, it is represented by the Matagne shale, of late rhenana age, MN biozones 12 to 13 (Johnson et al. 1985, da Silva and Boulvain 2012) and in the Canning Basin, within conodont biozones MN9 to MN12 (Playton et al. 2016) and which correlates to the WD4 MFS (MN11) of the Alberta Basin. In Alberta, the second-order transgressive maximum is within MN zones 7 to 8; similar to the siliciclastic strata of New York State, where the Rhinestreet Shale Member of the West Falls Formation marks the turnaround (Johnson et al. 1985; Gradstein et al. 2012, for age assigned). The middle Frasnian Domanik Formation (high TOC source rock) of the Timan-Pechora Basin is time equivalent to the Duvernay organic-rich lime mudstone of the Alberta Basin and similarly represents the second-order turnaround (Abrams et al. 1999; fig. 13.5, Klimenko et al. 2011). The second-order architecture of the Canning Basin has been attributed to rifting phases by Begg (1987), and this may partly account for the observed age difference in the transgressive maximum with the Alberta Basin.

Comparison with Sequence Stratigraphy of Northwest Alberta Outcrops

We have undertaken field studies in the northwestern Rocky Mountain Front Ranges of Alberta into British Columbia, and Appendix 2 summarizes some of this work. The cross section represents a provisional correlation of our own work in the Eagle’s Nest Channel to that of other authors in the Jasper Basin. Initial work suggests that our regional sequence stratigraphic framework can be confidently extended into the area.

The southeast part of the section is our interpretation of original field notes published by Mountjoy (1965). Using these observations and comparing them to our regional stratigraphy, some intriguing stratal relationships become apparent. The northwest margin of the Miette Reef appears to have a similar stratigraphic architecture to the Cripple Creek and Toma margins—on the northwest margins of the Fairholme and Southesk Cairn complexes, respectively. Specifically, the same retrogradational architecture in the WD2 and WD3 is observed. A marked offlapping in the WI1 and WI2, as at Cripple Creek, is also apparent. What Mountjoy (1965, p. 28) describes as “isolated light grey, massive carbonates” in a basinal position, we believe could represent late Winterburn (WI1.3?) falling stage shelf margins. Overall, initial basin fill appears to be thicker (and older) on the northwest margin of the Miette Reef than on the corresponding southeast margin of the Ancient Wall Complex.

Our work on the northern, Glacier Pass margin of the Ancient Wall Complex is an interesting comparison to that of Whalen et al. (2000b) and Whalen and Day (2008) on the southern (Haultain) margin. Major backsteps are observed in both areas during the WD1. The WD2 appears to have a strongly progradational or basinally restricted platform at its base north of Glacier Pass, which is drowned in the lower WD2. This is apparently absent on the Haultain margin. The entire complex is dominantly aggradational to the top of the WD3, with abundant off-platform sediment shedding in the south, that is absent in the north. Impressive progradational, offlapping, and falling stage geometries characterize the Haultain margin from the WD4.1 to the base of the Famennian. The Glacier Pass margin, by contrast, has a well-developed WD4 MFS, followed by strong progradation.

Patterns of basin fill are also noteworthy. Euxinic shale deposition appears to have terminated in both basins by the end of the WD3, with significant basinal bathymetry developed at that time. Stratigraphic correlations and conodont data suggest that the Eagle’s Nest Channel was filled sooner than the North Jasper Basin. Basin fill in the former was sufficient to allow local development of WI1 pinnacle reefs. Despite the impressive amount of sediment shed from the southern margin of Ancient Wall, significant parts of the subbasin remained unfilled at the end of the Frasnian. These became depocenters for basal Famennian siliciclastics, sourced from the Antler orogeny (Mountjoy and Becker 2000).

Our initial work suggests the North Jasper Basin has similar stratigraphic architecture to parts of the Cline Channel and South Jasper Basin. Our third-order (composite) sequences appear identifiable, based on our stratigraphic field observations, stratal geometries, and conodont data. Patterns of basin fill, particularly deposition of thick extrabasinal clay–carbonate in the WD4 are similar to what is observed to the south.

Dolomitization

The extensive restricted shelf conditions at the WI2.1 surface favored the generation of hypersaline brines that are believed to be a major contributor to the pervasive dolomitization of Frasnian carbonates by seepage reflux (Potma and Wong 1995, Potma et al. 2001). Dolomitization is mainly confined to the buildup margins of Miette and Ancient Wall (Geldsetzer 1989, Mountjoy 1989). This difference can be attributed to the less extensive area of the shelf, as indicated by the presence of coeval South and North Jasper basins and the Eagle’s Nest Channel (Figs. 6, 22; Appendix 2).

CONCLUSIONS

Ten third-order composite sequences and their component HFSs are recognized within the Alberta Basin. High-frequency sequences are defined and correlated regionally for the first time. Correlation of these regional (time) markers allows better understanding of a basin evolution and architecture. Beyond the basic transgressive–regressive architecture of the second-order (Givetian–) Frasnian sequence, we (further) document detailed observations such as:

  1. 1.

    the extent and timing of euxinic basinal sedimentation;

  2. 2.

    the relative speed and distribution of illitic basin fill;

  3. 3.

    the effect of basin fill and off-bank sediment transport on regional and local carbonate platform architecture; i.e., in situ carbonate lowstand configuration, initiation of pinnacle reefs along favorable fairways, and overall margin architecture and stacking patterns.

The second-order sequence strongly influenced the architecture of composite and high-frequency sequences. For example, the tripartite character (lowstand–transgressive–highstand) of CSs in the lower and middle part of the sequence is followed by the appearance of a distinct falling stage component in the upper part of the Frasnian. The diminishing accommodation is reflected by better development of truncation surfaces and stratal offlap. With progressive basin infilling and accompanying reduction of basin relief, lowstands evolve from wedge to laterally extensive tabular-shaped deposits.

In the lower part of the second-order sequence, deposition of coarser terrigenous clastics is relatively minor in most of the basin, except at CS and HFS boundaries. However, in the upper Frasnian (WI2 and younger), particularly in the Jasper Basin, influx of terrigenous silt forms mixed carbonate–siliciclastic deposits. Only in times of third and fourth-order maximum transgression does “pure” carbonate deposition dominate.

Last, composite and high-frequency sequences can be confidently correlated from outcrop to subsurface. A combination of well-log and outcrop cross sections, integrated with biostratigraphy, demonstrate these correlations.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We wish to thank all our colleagues who have contributed to this work. First the management at our current and previous companies, at Imperial Oil, Husky Energy, and especially Ian McIlreath at Pan Canadian (now Cenovus/EnCana). All those who assisted in the field are much appreciated. These include (in alphabetical order): S. Becker, C. Brintnell, I. Deniset, M. Dennis, J. Fabian, J. Gordon, L. Hunt, D. Mans, M. McMurray, I. Muir, K. Meyer, A. Politylo, K. Potma, L. Regier, M. Shaw, B. Vielleux, M. Warren, L. West, R. Younker, W. Zantvoort and C. Zinkan. Thanks also to Alpine Helicopters for their professionalism in allowing us to access most of the outcrops. The aesthetic quality of our figures is due to the diligence and patience of Phil Argatoff. We appreciated the helpful comments of reviewers Frans van Buchem, Peter Haines, and Ken Potma. Special thanks to editors, Ted Playton and Charlie Kerans, who have improved the paper with numerous suggestions and comments. Any merits in this work could not have been achieved without the help of these and other colleagues. Any errors remain our own.

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—Locations of measured sections

Location Latitude Longitude 
Grassi Lakes 51°04'14"N 115°24'22"W 
East End, Mt. Rundle 51°04'52"N 115°24'43"W 
Grotto Mtn. 51°03'53"N 115°14'17"W 
South Burnt Timber 1 (Platform) 51°26'05"N 115°25'37"W 
South Burnt Timber 2 (Reef) 51°26'11"N 115°25'44"W 
Burnt Timber Embayment 51°28'20"N 115°27'56"W 
North Burnt Timber 1 51°29'20"N 115°29'15"W 
North Burnt Timber 2 51°29'26"N 115°29'05"W 
North Burnt Timber M/T 51°29'41"N 115°28'30"W 
South Ram River 52°04'14"N 115°57'11"W 
Boundary Creek 52°06'22"N 115°58'42"W 
Nell Creek 52°07'45"N 116° 01'36"W 
Ann Creek 52°09'0.4"N 116° 03'35"W 
Cripple Creek Skyline 52°09'21"N 116° 04'26"W 
Cripple Creek 1 52°09'25"N 116° 04'28"W 
Cripple Creek 2 52°09'24"N 116° 04'38"W 
Lunch Margin 52°09'26"N 116° 04'45"W 
Fossil Corner 52°09'27"N 116°04'57"W 
Tina Creek 1 52°09'33"N 116°05'28"W 
Tina Creek 2 52°09'41"N 116°05'40"W 
North Tina 52°09'53"N 116°05'54"W 
Tina-North Ram 52°10'28"N 116°06'38"W 
North Ram 52°H'17"N 116°08'46"W 
Kiska Headwaters 1 52°13'59"N 116°13'48"W 
Kiska Headwaters 2 52°14'01"N 116°14'05"W 
Kiska Headwaters 3 52°14'07"N 116°14'29"W 
Kiska Creek 52°14'21"N 116°16'10"W 
Brazeau Gap 52°40'15"N 116°39'54"W 
Wapiabi Gap off-Reef 2 52°29'13"N 116°23'58"W 
Wapiabi Gap off-Reef 1 52°29'29"N 116°23'56"W 
Wapiabi Creek (3 sections) 52°29'23"N 116°25'09"W 
Wapiabi Gap Margin 52°29'22"N 116°25'15"W 
Wapiabi Gap Lag 52°29'47"N 116°25'35"W 
Wapiabi Gap Revolution 52°29'54"N 116°25'36"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 1 52°30'13"N 116°26'05"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 2 52°30'17"N 116°26'08"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 3 52°30'54"N 116°26'50"W 
Chungo Gap 52°40'15"N 116°39'54"W 
Nomad Creek 52°49'01"N 117°09W43"W 
Tomad 52°50'05"N 117°11'24"W 
Toma South 52°50'23"N 117°12'38"W 
Toma Creek (platformward) 52°50'10"N 117°13'40"W 
Toma Creek (basinward) 52°50'28N 117°13'36"W 
Mt. Mackenzie 52°50'53"N 117°14'01W 
Mt. Mackenzie E spur 52°51'18"N 117°14'07"W 
Cardinal North 52°51'15"N 117°14'43"W 
Mt Mackenzie North 52°51'09"N 117°15'30"W 
Cardinal Waterfall 52°52'01"N 117°19' 01"W 
Cardinal Crossing 52°53'37"N 117°21'04"W 
Cardinal River Headwaters 1/2 52°54'08"N 117°23'27"W 
Whitehorse Creek 52°59'04"N 117°28'02"W 
Mt Gregg 53°02'28"N 117°28'57"W 
Mt Berry 53°02'50"N 117°30'03"W 
Mt Berry North 53°03'06"N 117°31'36"W 
Sphinx Mtn 53°03"32"N 117°33'54"W 
Big Hill 52°10'30"N 117°04'27"W 
Cumnock Creek 53°09'54"N 118°09'59"W 
McLaren Creek 53°21'50"N 118°40'00"W 
Glacier Pass 53°24'38"N 118°46'33"W 
Glacier Pass 2 53°24'47"N 118°47'02"W 
Mt. Perce 1 53°26'39"N 118°49'42"W 
Mt. Perce 2 53°38'35"N 118°49'42"W 
Winnifred Pass 53°38'35"N 119°10'45"W 
Hardscrabble East 53°38'16"N 119°10'09"W 
Location Latitude Longitude 
Grassi Lakes 51°04'14"N 115°24'22"W 
East End, Mt. Rundle 51°04'52"N 115°24'43"W 
Grotto Mtn. 51°03'53"N 115°14'17"W 
South Burnt Timber 1 (Platform) 51°26'05"N 115°25'37"W 
South Burnt Timber 2 (Reef) 51°26'11"N 115°25'44"W 
Burnt Timber Embayment 51°28'20"N 115°27'56"W 
North Burnt Timber 1 51°29'20"N 115°29'15"W 
North Burnt Timber 2 51°29'26"N 115°29'05"W 
North Burnt Timber M/T 51°29'41"N 115°28'30"W 
South Ram River 52°04'14"N 115°57'11"W 
Boundary Creek 52°06'22"N 115°58'42"W 
Nell Creek 52°07'45"N 116° 01'36"W 
Ann Creek 52°09'0.4"N 116° 03'35"W 
Cripple Creek Skyline 52°09'21"N 116° 04'26"W 
Cripple Creek 1 52°09'25"N 116° 04'28"W 
Cripple Creek 2 52°09'24"N 116° 04'38"W 
Lunch Margin 52°09'26"N 116° 04'45"W 
Fossil Corner 52°09'27"N 116°04'57"W 
Tina Creek 1 52°09'33"N 116°05'28"W 
Tina Creek 2 52°09'41"N 116°05'40"W 
North Tina 52°09'53"N 116°05'54"W 
Tina-North Ram 52°10'28"N 116°06'38"W 
North Ram 52°H'17"N 116°08'46"W 
Kiska Headwaters 1 52°13'59"N 116°13'48"W 
Kiska Headwaters 2 52°14'01"N 116°14'05"W 
Kiska Headwaters 3 52°14'07"N 116°14'29"W 
Kiska Creek 52°14'21"N 116°16'10"W 
Brazeau Gap 52°40'15"N 116°39'54"W 
Wapiabi Gap off-Reef 2 52°29'13"N 116°23'58"W 
Wapiabi Gap off-Reef 1 52°29'29"N 116°23'56"W 
Wapiabi Creek (3 sections) 52°29'23"N 116°25'09"W 
Wapiabi Gap Margin 52°29'22"N 116°25'15"W 
Wapiabi Gap Lag 52°29'47"N 116°25'35"W 
Wapiabi Gap Revolution 52°29'54"N 116°25'36"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 1 52°30'13"N 116°26'05"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 2 52°30'17"N 116°26'08"W 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 3 52°30'54"N 116°26'50"W 
Chungo Gap 52°40'15"N 116°39'54"W 
Nomad Creek 52°49'01"N 117°09W43"W 
Tomad 52°50'05"N 117°11'24"W 
Toma South 52°50'23"N 117°12'38"W 
Toma Creek (platformward) 52°50'10"N 117°13'40"W 
Toma Creek (basinward) 52°50'28N 117°13'36"W 
Mt. Mackenzie 52°50'53"N 117°14'01W 
Mt. Mackenzie E spur 52°51'18"N 117°14'07"W 
Cardinal North 52°51'15"N 117°14'43"W 
Mt Mackenzie North 52°51'09"N 117°15'30"W 
Cardinal Waterfall 52°52'01"N 117°19' 01"W 
Cardinal Crossing 52°53'37"N 117°21'04"W 
Cardinal River Headwaters 1/2 52°54'08"N 117°23'27"W 
Whitehorse Creek 52°59'04"N 117°28'02"W 
Mt Gregg 53°02'28"N 117°28'57"W 
Mt Berry 53°02'50"N 117°30'03"W 
Mt Berry North 53°03'06"N 117°31'36"W 
Sphinx Mtn 53°03"32"N 117°33'54"W 
Big Hill 52°10'30"N 117°04'27"W 
Cumnock Creek 53°09'54"N 118°09'59"W 
McLaren Creek 53°21'50"N 118°40'00"W 
Glacier Pass 53°24'38"N 118°46'33"W 
Glacier Pass 2 53°24'47"N 118°47'02"W 
Mt. Perce 1 53°26'39"N 118°49'42"W 
Mt. Perce 2 53°38'35"N 118°49'42"W 
Winnifred Pass 53°38'35"N 119°10'45"W 
Hardscrabble East 53°38'16"N 119°10'09"W 

Cross-section J–J′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and provisional correlations of composite sequences from the North Jasper Basin to the Eagle’s Nest Channel, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Filled section-marking triangles represent measured sections from this study, open triangles from other workers (as described in the text). Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998) or Klapper and Lane (1989), triangles are from Whalen et al. (2000b) and Whalen and Day (2008). See Figure 3 for section location, Appendix 3 for conodont sample descriptions

—Summary table of age-diagnostic conodont samples used in this study. Genus abbreviations are as follows - A.=Ancyrodella, An.=Ancyrognathus, I.=Icriodus, K.=Klapperina, M. = Mesotaxis, Me. = Mehlina, O. = Ozarkodina, P. = Polygnathus, Pa. = Palmatolepis, Pan. = Pandorinella, Pe. = Pelekysgnathus, Pl. = Playfordia

Location Sample interval Diagnostic fauna Cs interval Mn zone Standard zone Source Comments 
Hardscrabble East 144 m below base Wabamun, in Ireton lithology Ancyrognathus triangularis, Ancyrodella gigas, Palmatolepis subrecta, P. unicornis, Polygnathus angustidiscus, P. brevis, Icriodus alternatus 110.1–124.4 MN11-12 early–late rhenana this study identification by Chatterton in consultant study; A. gigas should not occur higher than 108.3, lower than the first occurrence of the remainder, so should be held in question 
Winnifred Pass “up to 40 m below reefal mounds” Pa. proversa, Pa. semichatovae 110.1–111.5 MN11 late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 7 m below reefal mounds P. cf. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 upper early rhenana, lower late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 “strata equivalent to the mounds,” 5.5 m above the base P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12-13 early–late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
Mt. Perce 2 88–91 m above base of section P. aequalis, M. asymmetrica, P. aff. P. pacificus, Polygnathus? pollocki, Ancyrodella sp., Icriodus subterminus 103.5–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 328 m above base section P. pacificus 103.5–131 MN6-13 punctata–linguiformis this study  
Mt. Perce 1 127.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Polygnathus aff. P. dengleri, Polygnathus cf. P. webbi, I. subterminus, A. gigas (juv.) 100.5–105.1 MN4-8 (uppermost) transitans to early hassi this study sample includes questionable occurrence of A. rugosa 
 131 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Mesotaxis cf. M. asymmetrica, Mehlina cf. Me. gradata, P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 156 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, Klapperina ovalis, M. ?johnsoni, A. gigas, Pa. aff. Pa. proversa, Pa. simpla, P. cf. P. decorosus 105.2–107.4 MN8 late hassi this study  
 167 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. aff. A. gigas, A. cf. A. lobata, A. lobata, A. curvata (late), I. alternatus, Pa. simpla, Pa. hassi (form 1), P. aequalis 109.4–109.8 MN10 late hassi–jamieae this study questionable occurrence of A. gigas–like form 
Mt. Haultain G 156 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 100.8–?105? MN5–L7 punctata–early hassi Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L7” (lower MN zone 7 
 193 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 103.8–?111? MN7–L11 early hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
 219.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–?111? MN10–L11 late hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
Mt. Haultain E,B,D 197.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–?111? MN10–L11 late hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
 210 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–131 MN10–13 late hassi–linguiformis Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 226 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–124.5 MN12 rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 234 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–124.5 MN12 rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b)  
Mt. Haultain 216.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) P. timanicus, P. robustus, Mesotaxis n. sp. Q., P. aequalis, Icriodus symmetricus 103.2–103.8 MN6 upper punctata Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 211.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) Mesotaxis n. sp. Q., P. aequalis, An. ancyrognathoideus, A. gigas (form 1), Pa. punctata, A. lobata, Me. gradata, P. angustidiscus, I. subterminus 103.5–104.8 MN6–7 upper punctata–lower hassi Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 207.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) I. symmetricus, I. subterminus, Polygnathus alatus 97.5–125.1 MN1–13 Frasnian Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 191 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) I. symmetricus, Pa. punctata, A. lobata, I. subterminus, Ozarkodina aff. trepta, A. curvata (early) 102.5–106.3 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 185 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) P. angustidiscus, Pa. proversa, P. pacificus 107.5–111.5 MN9–11 upper hassi–lower rhenana Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
Thornton Creek, A1-2 5.3 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, in siliciclastics I. subterminus 96.5–128.8 late subterminus/norrisi–MN13 disparilis?–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 39 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pandorinellina insita 96.8–112.5 MN1–MN11 late falsiovalis–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 83.3 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. transitans, M. asymmetrica, M. johnsoni, P. dubius 101–103.3 MN5–6 punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 106 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. johnsoni, P. timanicus 101–103.8 MN5–7 punctata–basal early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 154.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata, I. symmetricus, O. postera 104.1–108.1 MN7–10 early–late hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 175.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana, Pa. proversa, A. curvata (early), An. coeni 107.5–111.5 MN9–11 early hassi–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
Thornton Creek, C 46.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus) 120.1–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 34 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, P. samueli 120.5–122.2 MN12–13 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 31 m below base Sassenach (type section) P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, P. samueli, An. aff. altus, Pa. rhenana 122.2–124.4? MN12 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) P. samueli and Pa. rhenana should not occur together, based on CS ranges of Klapper (1997; and Klapper et al. 2012
 25.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. boogardi, P. lodiensis 129.6–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 24 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, Pa. rhenana, Pa. boogardi, P. lodiensis, Pelekygnathus planus, Ancyrodella ioides, A. nodosa, P. brevicarina 129.6–130.9 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 21.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) P. imparilis 120.5–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 13 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, Pa. rhenana, Pa. boogardi, A. ioides, P. brevicarina, P. unicornis 129.6 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 12 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. lodiensis, A. buckeyensis, P. n. sp. R. of Klapper and Lane 120.1–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 1.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. imparilis, Pa. boogardi, P. brevicarina, P. cf. unicornis, Ancyrognathus cf. asymmetricus, I. alternatus 129.6 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 just below base Sassenach (type section) P. imparilis, I. alternatus 120.5–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 1.8 m above base Sassenach (type section) Pa. triangularis, P. brevilaminus, P. ?praecursor, I. alternatus, Icriodus iowaensis N/A N/A Famennian Whalen and Day (2008)  
Marmot Cirque H' 169 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 11” 
 205 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 11” 
Marmot Cirque L 193 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of lower 11” 
 287 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–125 MN12 early–late rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) not plotted 
Marmot Cirque S 115 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 102.1–103.8 MN6 punctata Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 143 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 102.1–108? MN6–lower 10 punctata–early hassi Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 10” 
Marmot Cirque K 21 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 96–101 MN2–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 32 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 96–101 MN2–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 60 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 99–103.8 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen et al. (2000b)  
Marmot Cirque K' 34.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pan. insita 96.8–112.5 late falsiovalis–MN11 late falsiovalis–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 44.4 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. dubius, Pa. transitans 99–103.3 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 46.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, I. subterminus, P. webbi 96.6–103.6 norrisi–MN6 falsiovalis–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 60.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. africana 99.1–103.6 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 66.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Polygnathus uchtensis, M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 89 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata, A. gigas, A. curvata (early) 101.6–108.1 MN5–10 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 97.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity An. primus, Pa. punctata, Pa. spinata 102–105.4 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 103.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity An. ancyrognathoideus, I. symmetricus 101.6–104.8 MN5–7 punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 110.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, A. curvata (early) 101.6–119.8 MN5–11 punctata–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 120.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana?, O. postera 104.1–128.8 MN7–13 early hassi–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 132.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, I. subterminus, I. symmetricus, Pa. plana, Pa. arbicularis, Pa. amplificata, Pa. mucronata, Pa. aff. Pa. proversa, An. barba, A. curvata (late) 107–108? MN10 early hassi Whalen and Day (2008) Pa. proversa and Pa. barba end at ~107, others start at ~108, according to CS ranges of Klapper (1997) 
 148.6 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana 105.2–130.7 MN8–13 early hassi–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) CS range estimated from range given by Ziegler and Sandberg (1990) 
 187.4 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, Pa. ljaschenkoae, A. buckeyensis 110.1–112.4 MN11 lower part, early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 195.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 214.9 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113.1–124.4 MN11/12 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 223.7 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. samueli, P. aspelundi, P. unicornis 112.5–120.5 MN12 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
Mt. Gregg Top “Maligne Fm.,” 59 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, P. webbi, A. cf. A. gigas (juv.), K. ovalis, A. africana/gigas transition 100.6–101.1 MN4–5 transitans–punctata this study  
 143 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. evidens, P. cf. aequalis, Pa. cf. hassi 109.2–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–jamieae this study  
 150 m above base Duvernay P. evidens, A. lobata, P. unicornis, P. cf. webbi, Pa. hassi, Pa. subrecta, Pa. jamieae (juv.) 117.2–119.9 MN11 early rhenana this study  
 188 m above base Duvernay P. unicornis, Pa. subrecta, Pa. cf. hassi, Pan. cf. Pan. insita, P. cf. P. brevis 117.2–122.8 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
 198 m above base Duvernay P. pacificus, Pa. jamieae, Pa. hassi (“Form 2”), Pa. aff. Pa. subrecta (s.l.) 117.2–120.3 MN11 early rhenana this study  
Luscar Mtn. top-most bed of the Flume Formation Pa. transitans, A. rugosa 99–100.8 MN4 transitans McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 top “Flume Mbr.,” 59 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, Pa. transitans, P. dubius 99–103.3 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 base Duvernay Fm., 59.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. transitans, P. dubius, A. gigas (form 1) 100.5–103.3 MN4–5 transitans–punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 67.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. africana, P. timanicus, P. alatus 103.6–103.8 MN5 early punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 82 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. timanicus, Pe. cf. planus, I. symmetricus 103.8 MN7 mid-punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 121 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, An. ancyrognathoideus, O. aff. O. trepta, Pa. punctata, A. curvata (early) 102.5–104.8 MN6–8 mid–late punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 166.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, A. curvata (late), Pa. ljaschenkoae, Me. gradata 108–112.5 MN10–11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 175.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, Pa. proversa, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens 108–111.5 MN10–11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 205.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, A. curvata (late), Pa. proversa, Pa. ljaschenkoae, Pa. aff. Pa. rhenana, Pa. aff. Pa. domanicensis, A. nodosa, An. triangularis 109.5–111.5 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 209.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, P. pacificus, Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), Pa. semichatovae, O. postera 110.1–112.4 MN11 early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 base Ireton Fm., 214 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, Pa. kireevae, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), Pa. semichatovae, P. brevis 112.3–112.4 MN11 early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 304.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, I. subterminus, O. postera, A. nodosa, An. triangularis, Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113.1–124.4 MN11–12 upper early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 311 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, P. imparilis, P. brevis (group) 120.5–121.5 MN12 upper early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 323 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, P. pacificus, P. angustidiscus, O. postera, P. imparilis 120.5–128.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 342 m above sub-Devonian unconformity; just below “Ronde Mbr.” P. pacificus, P. angustidiscus, O. postera, P. imparilis 120.5–128.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 basal Ronde Mbr., 346 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. pacificus, Pa. rhenana, P. unicornis, P. ettremae, P. imparilis 124.3–127.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989) P. unicornis occurs to the top of their section (357.8 m), suggesting the section is no younger than CS 129.5 
Cinquefoil Mountain several samples from base Sassenach Fm. to 28 m below top Simla Mbr. Pa. triangularis 131.4+ N/A lower triangularis Wang and Geldsetzer (1992) indicates Famennian age in uppermost “Simla Mbr.,” not plotted on current regional sections 
Cheviot Section 33 m below “silt doublet” in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. Pa. bogartensis 125–131 MN13 late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) not plotted on current regional sections 
Whitehorse Ck. 30 m above “silt doublet” in the Blueridge Member P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) not plotted on current regional sections 
Blackface Mtn. (5) 62 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, lower Duvernay Fm.? N/A 99–100.8 MN4 transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Cardinal Crossing 117 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. proversa, Pa. cf. Pa. hassi (form 1), Pa. cf. jamieae, P. cf. unicornis, Pa. ?eureka 109.3–109.8 MN11 jamieae this study  
Cardinal Waterfall base Ireton Fm., 219 m below base Wabamun A. nodosa/ioides; An. triangularis, An. cf. An. amana; Pa. hassi (late), Pa. cf. jamieae, P. unicornis, P. cf. P. brevis, Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae 117.2–119.5 MN11 early rhenana this study  
North Side, Mt. Cardinal (7) base Duvernay Fm. (57.6 m above sub-Devonian unconformity) M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–7 (lowest) punctata–early hassi Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); this section is equivalent to the “Waterfall” section of this study 
 8 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 99–100.8 MN4 transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) not plotted; have given precedence to previous sample (verified by Klapper) 
 16 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 109.3–113.1 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 36 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 107.5–113.1 MN9–11 late hassi–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 71 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 107.5–113.1 MN9–11 late hassi–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 139 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 120.4–125 MN12 lower early rhenana–late rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 155 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 109.3–125 MN11–12 late lower rhenana–upper rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Mt. Cardinal B 40.5 m above base of section, Duvernay Fm. Pa. domanicensis, Palmatolepis luscarensis 107.9–112.5 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); this section is equivalent to the “Waterfall” section of this study 
 66 m above base of section, Duvernay Fm. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 98 m above base of section, called Perdrix (Duvernay) Fm. Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113–124.4 MN11–12 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 115 m above base of section, called Perdrix (Duvernay) Fm. Pa. winchelli 120.4–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
Mt. Cardinal (8) 29.4 m below base Wabamun, WI3? N/A 120.4–131.4 MN12–13 late rhenana–linguiformis Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) plotted at our Cardinal Waterfall section 
Mt. MacKenzie North 85–92 m below “Simla Mbr.” Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113–124.4 MN11–12 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998, as the “MacKenzie margin” section); this section is likely just north, upslope of the MacKenzie North section of this study 
 “higher beds” than previous sample, in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. Pa. winchelli, P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998, as the “MacKenzie margin” section); this section is likely just north, upslope of the MacKenzie North section of this study 
 silts at “base Simla” P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992)  
 Duvernay, 196.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. curvata (late), P. evidens, Pa. hassi, Pa. simpla 117.2–122.8 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
 Duvernay, 231 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. nodosa–ioides transition, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), P. imparilis, P. cf. P. pacificus, Pa. hassi 119.5/120.5 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
Cardinal, ?Whitehorse Ck. 10 m below “silt doublet” in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); presumably this species occurs at both sections; not plotted due to uncertainty of location 
Toma Creek 10 m below base of Leduc reef tongue, 194 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. nodosa, A. curvata (early), Pa. cf. Pa. jamieae, P. cf. aequalis 109–110 MN11 jamieae this study  
 15 m above Leduc reef, 245 above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens, P. cf. P. brevis, Ancyrodella sp. 110.3–112.5 MN11 early rhenana this study  
Toma Creek (14) 270.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 109.3–131.4 MN11–13 rhenana to linguiformis Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Toma Creek (16) 135 m below base Wabamun, outer ramp environment Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) fauna reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
Mt. Russell, North Flank (18) 65 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 98.4–100.8 MN3–4 late falsiovalis/transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) plotted between our Nomad and Tomad sections 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 47 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, M. ovalis, P. pollocki 98.7–103 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 172 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. unicornis 110–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 187 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius, P. cf. P. webbi, P. cf. P. aequalis, I. cf. I. symmetricus 115.4–124.4 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 224 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 234 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius, P. decorosus 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 312.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi 105.8–112.5 MN8–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 341 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. planarius, P. angustidiscus, P. xylus 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Wapiabi Gap off-reef 76 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, P. aequalis, I. symmetricus 103.2–103.6 MN6 (late) punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, Pa. cf. P. punctata, Me. gradata, P. cf. P. aequalis, P. dubius, P. aspelundi, P. aff. P. dengleri, P. cf. P. pollocki 103.5 MN5 punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 95 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, P. cf. P. alatus, P. cf. P. pollocki, P. aff. P. dengleri 103.5–105.1 MN6–7 early hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 100 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 171 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, P. cf. P. alatus, P. cf. P.pollocki, P. aff. P. dengleri 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 183 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. aff. P. planarius, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens 115.4–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study age somewhat uncertain due to presence of P. aff. P. planarius 
 268 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi 105.8–112.5 MN8–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 280 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. pacificus, P. cf. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 349 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Brazeau Gap 9.4 m above base section Pa. transitans, P. pennatus 99–99.7 MN4 transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 43.5 m above base section M. ovalis, P. cf. P. pennatus 99–99.7 MN4 transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 54 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. ovalis, M. asymmetrica, A. cf. A. rotundiloba (late), P. cf. P. uchtensis, P. angustidiscus 98.7–99.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 60 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata 100.8–108.1 MN5–8 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 80 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. punctata 100.8–108.1 MN5–8 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. hassi s.l. 109.2–109.8 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 228 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 237 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 254 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. P. evidens, P. unicornis, An. triangularis, P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aequalis 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 263 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. cf. P. evidens, P. pacificus, P. decorosus 109.4–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 274 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, P. brevis, P. aff. P. unicornis 110.3–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 292 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 308 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. imparilis, P. unicornis, P. cf. P. planarius, A. cf. A. nodosa 120.5–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 “upper part of the Perdrix (Duvernay) Formation” Pa. luscarensis ~107.9–112 MN10–11 (lower) late hassi–early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 “lowest exposed part of the Mt. Hawk (Ireton) Formation” P. evidens, P. unicornis, P. brevis 110.3–11.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
Brazeau Gap South 188 m below base Graminia Fm., 238.6 m below base Wabamun Group P. cf. P. aequalis, P. aff. P. evidens (narrow), P. pacificus, P. cf. P. evidens 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–jamieae this study  
 24 m below base Graminia Fm., 74.6 m below base Wabamun Group P. cf. samueli, P. cf. P. brevicarina 129.6–130.9 MN13 late rhenana–linguiformis this study  
Kiska Creek upper 25 m of the Duvernay (Perdrix) Formation Pa. luscarensis, Pa. domanicensis 107.9–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) reported as Kiska Section 2 
 “Rusty Basinal Marker” Pa.semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992)  
 87 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, P. cf. P. xylus, I. subterminus 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 82 m below the base Calmar Fm. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana this study  
 23 m below the base Calmar Fm. O. dissimilis, P. pacificus 123.5–128.4 MN12–13 early–late rhenana this study  
Kiska Headwaters immediately below the WD2 lowstand wedge An. ancyrognathoideus, M. ovalis 101.6–103.1 MN5–6 punctata this study  
 86 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, P. pacificus 103.5–110.1 MN5–11 early hassi–jamieae this study  
 123.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity (in Receptaculites bed) P. aequalis, M. asymmetrica, M. falsiovalis, I. subterminus 101.3–103.1 MN5–6 punctata this study  
North Ram River 6 to 20 m below top of Ram Mbr. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. gigas, P. aequalis 103.2–108.3 MN6–10 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 120 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. gigas, P. cf. P. brevilaminus, P. aff. P. elegantulus 100.5–108.3 MN4–10 transitans–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 195 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf.P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 221 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens, P. cf. P. unicornis, I. symmetricus 110.1–119.9 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 246 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis 108–119.9 MN10–11 lower hassi–lower rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 254 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius 115.4–124.4 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 260 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. P. evidens, Ancyrognathus sp. 108.5–119.5 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 291 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 327 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. unicornis, I. alternatus 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Tina Creek 102 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, I. symmetricus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 150 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. alatus, P. aequalis, P. cf. P. decorosus, An. cf. An. primus 103.2–105.4 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 160 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, A. lobata 103.5–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 163 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. jamieae (juv.), I. symmetricus, P. cf. P. pollocki, P. aff. P. aequalis 109.3–110.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 175 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, P. aequalis, P. aff. P. decorosus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 182 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. lobata, P. ?angustidiscus 103.5–123.5 MN6–12 puncata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 188 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, Ancyrodella sp. (juv.), I. subterminus 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 195 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens, P. cf. P. aequalis, Ancyrodella sp. (juv.) 108–110.1 MN10–11 early hassi–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 221 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 259 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens, A. cf. A. nodosa, P. cf. P. aequalis 108–110.1 MN10–11 early hassi–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 278 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. brevis, P. cf. P. evidens, P. alatus 110.3–111.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 285 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. evidens 109.4–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 290 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 300 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. aspelundi, P. aff. P. planarius 115.4–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 358 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Cripple Creek Reef 93 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, I. cf. I. symmetricus 103.5–123.5 MN6–12 punctata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 123 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, I. cf. I. subterminus 103.1–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 210 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis, P. cf. alatus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 240 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis, P. cf. P. evidens, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. webbi, Me. gradata 108–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study questionable occurrence of P.unicornis 
 296 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. elegantulus, P. cf. P. unicornis, A. nodosa tr. ioides (juv) 113.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 303 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis (juv), P. cf. P. pacificus, I. alternatus, P. evidens, P. aspelundi 110.1–119.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 306 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. evidens, P. cf. pacificus 110.1–119.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 308 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens, I. alternatus 109.4–110.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 311 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. aspelundi 110.1–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 322 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. evidens 108–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 328 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens 108–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 368 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
South Ram River 64 m below the top of the Nisku Formation (base Calmar Formation) P. evidens, P. cf. P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. pacificus 109.4–112.5 MN11 jamieae–lower rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study plotted at equivalent interval at Boundary Creek on Figure 5 
North Burnt Timber from the middle brachiopod beds of the Flume Member Playfordia primitiva 98.4–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); interpreted as between 14.2 and 26.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity (equivalent to our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section) 
 “upper Flume Member” M. asymmetrica 96.6–103.6 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); sample interval projected onto our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section ~70 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity 
 29 m above base of “Basinal carbonates above the Flume–Maligne” Pa. Punctata 100.8–103.1 MN5–6 punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); not plotted due to uncertain stratigraphic position 
 “35 m above base of Basinal carbonates above the Flume–Maligne” M. asymmetrica, A. gigas (form 1) 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); not plotted due to uncertain stratigraphic position 
North Burnt Timber 2 from the middle brachiopod beds of the Flume Member Pl. Primitiva 98.4–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 2 (10-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); interpreted as between 14.2 and 26.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity (equivalent to the “Burnt Timber Embayment” section of this study) 
 13.4 m above the base of the (Duvernay) basinal carbonates M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 2 (10-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992) (our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section); interpreted as 63.5 m above the sub-Devonian 
 30–40 m below top of “basinal carbonate” I. alternatus 109.4–148.3 MN11+ jamieae–Famennian McLean and Klapper (1998) unconformity reported from section 2 (10–29–11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992) (our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section); interpreted as ~155–165 m above sub-Devonian unconformity 
Mt. Oliver “higher beds in the basinal carbonates” P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section of Workum and Hedinger (1992), plotted as highest sample on the “Burnt Timber Embayment” section, Figure 4 
South Burnt Timber 21 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. rugosa, I. brevis 98.5–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans this study  
 base Leduc reef; 64 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 2 m above Leduc reef; 100 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 top of reef toe section; 129 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. lobata, An. cf. An. ancyrognathoideus, I. subterminus 103.5–104.8 MN3–7 late falsiovalis–early hassi this study  
16-28-57-21W4 1192–1216 m An. ancyrognathoideus, P. aequalis, M. falsiovalis, M. asymmetrica 103.2–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 1170–1192 m P. aequalis, A. gigas, Pa. punctata, P. pacificus 103.5–108.1 MN6–10 punctata–late hassi this study  
 1140–1170 m P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 1120–1140 m P. pacificus, P. aequalis 103.5–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 ~1200 m N/A 99–102.1 MN4–5  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1180 m N/A 100.8–103.8 MN5–6  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1170 m N/A 102.1–103.8 MN6  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1160 m N/A 103.8–105.2 MN7  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1120 m N/A 103.8–105.2 MN7  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1140 m N/A 105.2–107.5 MN8  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
10-27-57-21W4 1195–1208 m M. ovalis 98.7–103.1 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata this study  
 1163–1195 m Pa. punctata, M. ovalis, P. aequalis, Pa. transitans, An. ancyrognathoideus 103.1–103.3 MN6 punctata this study  
 1130–1163 m M. cf. ovalis, Pa. punctata, Pa. transitans, P. aequalis 103.1–103.3 MN6 punctata this study  
 1112–1130 m P. unicornis, A. nodosa, P. aequalis, P. pacificus 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana this study  
11-27-51-27W4 1786–1815 m P. aequalis, P. cf. P. elegantulus 103.2–103.5 MN6 punctata this study  
 1763–1786 m P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana this study  
11-23-51-27W4 1948–1956 m M. ovalis, P. aequalis 103.1–103.2 MN6 punctata this study  
14-24-59-26W4 in the “Majeau Lake Fm.,” overlying 15 m of Cooking Lake Fm. M. johnsoni, P. timanicus 101–103.8 MN5–6 punctata McLean and Klapper (1998)  
12-35-87-19W4 298–299 m, Grosmont Me. cf. gradata (27), Polygnathus aff. gracilis (19, 20), An. cf. ancyrognathoideus (30), P. cf. angustidiscus (13), P. cf. aequalis (17) 103.2–104.3 MN6–7 punctata–early hassi this study  
8-14-34-7W5 3962–3987 m Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. aspelundi 110–112.5 MN11 early rhenana this study fourth sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
 3987–4013 m A. cf. A. lobata, P. cf. P. aequalis, P. evidens, P. cf. brevilaminus 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana this study second sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
10-29-37-7W5 3597–3599 m Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. evidens, P. aequalis 110.1 MN11 early rhenana this study fifth sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
6-11-38-8W5 3780–3798 m A. cf. A. gigas, P. aequalis, Pa. cf. Pa. jamieae 108.3–109.3 MN10 late hassi this study lowest sample plotted on 11-1 on Figure 7 
11-1-38-13W5 5219 m P. evidens,Pa. simpla, Pa. cf. plana, A. cf. A. nodosa, Pa. cf. Pa. proversa, A. cf. A. curvata 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana this study third sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
14-29-48-6W5 lowermost 2 m of the Majeau Lake Fm. Pa. transitans, M. ovalis, M. asymmetrica 99–103.1 MN4–5 transitans–punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
15-11-49-2W5 43 m below the base of the Nisku Fm. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
16-4-52-8W5 immediately below the base of the Lobstick Mbr. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
 3 m above the base of the Lobstick Mbr. (2406 m) Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
5-17-60-15W5 in “upper Ireton” over high Leduc buildup, Windfall Pa. semichatovae, Pa. proversa 110.1–111.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
10-14-47-12W5 in the Bigoray, lower Dismal Creek Member P. samueli, P. imparilis 120.5–122.2 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
5-17-60-15W5 17.5 m above top of (Leduc Fm.) Windfall reef, 14 m above “Z-marker” P. samueli 120.5–122.2 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference, Ireton Fm. below contains Pa.semichatovae 
6-1-63-26W5 Argillaceous, crinoidal limestone above Simonette (Leduc Fm.) Reef P. imparilis, Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli (Forms 1 and 3) 120.5–124.4 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
Location Sample interval Diagnostic fauna Cs interval Mn zone Standard zone Source Comments 
Hardscrabble East 144 m below base Wabamun, in Ireton lithology Ancyrognathus triangularis, Ancyrodella gigas, Palmatolepis subrecta, P. unicornis, Polygnathus angustidiscus, P. brevis, Icriodus alternatus 110.1–124.4 MN11-12 early–late rhenana this study identification by Chatterton in consultant study; A. gigas should not occur higher than 108.3, lower than the first occurrence of the remainder, so should be held in question 
Winnifred Pass “up to 40 m below reefal mounds” Pa. proversa, Pa. semichatovae 110.1–111.5 MN11 late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 7 m below reefal mounds P. cf. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 upper early rhenana, lower late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 “strata equivalent to the mounds,” 5.5 m above the base P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12-13 early–late rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
Mt. Perce 2 88–91 m above base of section P. aequalis, M. asymmetrica, P. aff. P. pacificus, Polygnathus? pollocki, Ancyrodella sp., Icriodus subterminus 103.5–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 328 m above base section P. pacificus 103.5–131 MN6-13 punctata–linguiformis this study  
Mt. Perce 1 127.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Polygnathus aff. P. dengleri, Polygnathus cf. P. webbi, I. subterminus, A. gigas (juv.) 100.5–105.1 MN4-8 (uppermost) transitans to early hassi this study sample includes questionable occurrence of A. rugosa 
 131 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Mesotaxis cf. M. asymmetrica, Mehlina cf. Me. gradata, P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 156 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, Klapperina ovalis, M. ?johnsoni, A. gigas, Pa. aff. Pa. proversa, Pa. simpla, P. cf. P. decorosus 105.2–107.4 MN8 late hassi this study  
 167 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. aff. A. gigas, A. cf. A. lobata, A. lobata, A. curvata (late), I. alternatus, Pa. simpla, Pa. hassi (form 1), P. aequalis 109.4–109.8 MN10 late hassi–jamieae this study questionable occurrence of A. gigas–like form 
Mt. Haultain G 156 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 100.8–?105? MN5–L7 punctata–early hassi Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L7” (lower MN zone 7 
 193 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 103.8–?111? MN7–L11 early hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
 219.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–?111? MN10–L11 late hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
Mt. Haultain E,B,D 197.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–?111? MN10–L11 late hassi–early rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertain age due to meaning of “L11” (lower MN zone 11) 
 210 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–131 MN10–13 late hassi–linguiformis Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 226 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–124.5 MN12 rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 234 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–124.5 MN12 rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b)  
Mt. Haultain 216.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) P. timanicus, P. robustus, Mesotaxis n. sp. Q., P. aequalis, Icriodus symmetricus 103.2–103.8 MN6 upper punctata Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 211.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) Mesotaxis n. sp. Q., P. aequalis, An. ancyrognathoideus, A. gigas (form 1), Pa. punctata, A. lobata, Me. gradata, P. angustidiscus, I. subterminus 103.5–104.8 MN6–7 upper punctata–lower hassi Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 207.5 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) I. symmetricus, I. subterminus, Polygnathus alatus 97.5–125.1 MN1–13 Frasnian Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 191 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) I. symmetricus, Pa. punctata, A. lobata, I. subterminus, Ozarkodina aff. trepta, A. curvata (early) 102.5–106.3 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
 185 m below the base of the WI2 (Ronde Mbr.) P. angustidiscus, Pa. proversa, P. pacificus 107.5–111.5 MN9–11 upper hassi–lower rhenana Klapper and Lane (1988) not plotted due to uncertainty of location/stratigraphic position 
Thornton Creek, A1-2 5.3 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, in siliciclastics I. subterminus 96.5–128.8 late subterminus/norrisi–MN13 disparilis?–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 39 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pandorinellina insita 96.8–112.5 MN1–MN11 late falsiovalis–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 83.3 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. transitans, M. asymmetrica, M. johnsoni, P. dubius 101–103.3 MN5–6 punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 106 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. johnsoni, P. timanicus 101–103.8 MN5–7 punctata–basal early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 154.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata, I. symmetricus, O. postera 104.1–108.1 MN7–10 early–late hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 175.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana, Pa. proversa, A. curvata (early), An. coeni 107.5–111.5 MN9–11 early hassi–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
Thornton Creek, C 46.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus) 120.1–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 34 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, P. samueli 120.5–122.2 MN12–13 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 31 m below base Sassenach (type section) P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, P. samueli, An. aff. altus, Pa. rhenana 122.2–124.4? MN12 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) P. samueli and Pa. rhenana should not occur together, based on CS ranges of Klapper (1997; and Klapper et al. 2012
 25.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. boogardi, P. lodiensis 129.6–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 24 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, Pa. rhenana, Pa. boogardi, P. lodiensis, Pelekygnathus planus, Ancyrodella ioides, A. nodosa, P. brevicarina 129.6–130.9 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 21.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) P. imparilis 120.5–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 13 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. pacificus (politus), P. imparilis, Pa. rhenana, Pa. boogardi, A. ioides, P. brevicarina, P. unicornis 129.6 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 12 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. lodiensis, A. buckeyensis, P. n. sp. R. of Klapper and Lane 120.1–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 1.5 m below base Sassenach (type section) Pa. winchelli, P. imparilis, Pa. boogardi, P. brevicarina, P. cf. unicornis, Ancyrognathus cf. asymmetricus, I. alternatus 129.6 MN13 late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 just below base Sassenach (type section) P. imparilis, I. alternatus 120.5–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted in Appendix 3 
 1.8 m above base Sassenach (type section) Pa. triangularis, P. brevilaminus, P. ?praecursor, I. alternatus, Icriodus iowaensis N/A N/A Famennian Whalen and Day (2008)  
Marmot Cirque H' 169 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 11” 
 205 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 11” 
Marmot Cirque L 193 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 107.9–110 MN10/lower MN11 early hassi–jamieae Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of lower 11” 
 287 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 120.4–125 MN12 early–late rhenana Whalen et al. (2000b) not plotted 
Marmot Cirque S 115 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 102.1–103.8 MN6 punctata Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 143 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 102.1–108? MN6–lower 10 punctata–early hassi Whalen et al. (2000b) uncertainty due to meaning of “lower 10” 
Marmot Cirque K 21 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 96–101 MN2–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 32 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 96–101 MN2–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Whalen et al. (2000b)  
 60 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 99–103.8 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen et al. (2000b)  
Marmot Cirque K' 34.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pan. insita 96.8–112.5 late falsiovalis–MN11 late falsiovalis–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 44.4 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. dubius, Pa. transitans 99–103.3 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 46.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, I. subterminus, P. webbi 96.6–103.6 norrisi–MN6 falsiovalis–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 60.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. africana 99.1–103.6 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 66.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Polygnathus uchtensis, M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 89 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata, A. gigas, A. curvata (early) 101.6–108.1 MN5–10 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 97.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity An. primus, Pa. punctata, Pa. spinata 102–105.4 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Whalen and Day (2008)  
 103.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity An. ancyrognathoideus, I. symmetricus 101.6–104.8 MN5–7 punctata Whalen and Day (2008)  
 110.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, A. curvata (early) 101.6–119.8 MN5–11 punctata–early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 120.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana?, O. postera 104.1–128.8 MN7–13 early hassi–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008)  
 132.8 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, I. subterminus, I. symmetricus, Pa. plana, Pa. arbicularis, Pa. amplificata, Pa. mucronata, Pa. aff. Pa. proversa, An. barba, A. curvata (late) 107–108? MN10 early hassi Whalen and Day (2008) Pa. proversa and Pa. barba end at ~107, others start at ~108, according to CS ranges of Klapper (1997) 
 148.6 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. plana 105.2–130.7 MN8–13 early hassi–late rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) CS range estimated from range given by Ziegler and Sandberg (1990) 
 187.4 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, Pa. ljaschenkoae, A. buckeyensis 110.1–112.4 MN11 lower part, early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 195.2 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 214.9 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113.1–124.4 MN11/12 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
 223.7 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. samueli, P. aspelundi, P. unicornis 112.5–120.5 MN12 early rhenana Whalen and Day (2008) not plotted as it falls above interval depicted on diagram 
Mt. Gregg Top “Maligne Fm.,” 59 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, P. webbi, A. cf. A. gigas (juv.), K. ovalis, A. africana/gigas transition 100.6–101.1 MN4–5 transitans–punctata this study  
 143 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. evidens, P. cf. aequalis, Pa. cf. hassi 109.2–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–jamieae this study  
 150 m above base Duvernay P. evidens, A. lobata, P. unicornis, P. cf. webbi, Pa. hassi, Pa. subrecta, Pa. jamieae (juv.) 117.2–119.9 MN11 early rhenana this study  
 188 m above base Duvernay P. unicornis, Pa. subrecta, Pa. cf. hassi, Pan. cf. Pan. insita, P. cf. P. brevis 117.2–122.8 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
 198 m above base Duvernay P. pacificus, Pa. jamieae, Pa. hassi (“Form 2”), Pa. aff. Pa. subrecta (s.l.) 117.2–120.3 MN11 early rhenana this study  
Luscar Mtn. top-most bed of the Flume Formation Pa. transitans, A. rugosa 99–100.8 MN4 transitans McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 top “Flume Mbr.,” 59 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, Pa. transitans, P. dubius 99–103.3 MN4–6 transitans–punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 base Duvernay Fm., 59.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. transitans, P. dubius, A. gigas (form 1) 100.5–103.3 MN4–5 transitans–punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 67.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. africana, P. timanicus, P. alatus 103.6–103.8 MN5 early punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 82 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. timanicus, Pe. cf. planus, I. symmetricus 103.8 MN7 mid-punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 121 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, An. ancyrognathoideus, O. aff. O. trepta, Pa. punctata, A. curvata (early) 102.5–104.8 MN6–8 mid–late punctata Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 166.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, A. curvata (late), Pa. ljaschenkoae, Me. gradata 108–112.5 MN10–11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 175.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, Pa. proversa, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens 108–111.5 MN10–11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 205.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. kireevae, A. curvata (late), Pa. proversa, Pa. ljaschenkoae, Pa. aff. Pa. rhenana, Pa. aff. Pa. domanicensis, A. nodosa, An. triangularis 109.5–111.5 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Duvernay Fm., 209.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, P. pacificus, Pa. kireevae, Pa. domanicensis, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), Pa. semichatovae, O. postera 110.1–112.4 MN11 early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 base Ireton Fm., 214 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, Pa. kireevae, Pa. ljaschenkoae, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), Pa. semichatovae, P. brevis 112.3–112.4 MN11 early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 304.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, I. subterminus, O. postera, A. nodosa, An. triangularis, Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113.1–124.4 MN11–12 upper early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 311 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. subterminus, P. imparilis, P. brevis (group) 120.5–121.5 MN12 upper early rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 323 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, P. pacificus, P. angustidiscus, O. postera, P. imparilis 120.5–128.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 Ireton Fm., 342 m above sub-Devonian unconformity; just below “Ronde Mbr.” P. pacificus, P. angustidiscus, O. postera, P. imparilis 120.5–128.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989)  
 basal Ronde Mbr., 346 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. pacificus, Pa. rhenana, P. unicornis, P. ettremae, P. imparilis 124.3–127.8 MN12–13 late rhenana Klapper and Lane (1989) P. unicornis occurs to the top of their section (357.8 m), suggesting the section is no younger than CS 129.5 
Cinquefoil Mountain several samples from base Sassenach Fm. to 28 m below top Simla Mbr. Pa. triangularis 131.4+ N/A lower triangularis Wang and Geldsetzer (1992) indicates Famennian age in uppermost “Simla Mbr.,” not plotted on current regional sections 
Cheviot Section 33 m below “silt doublet” in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. Pa. bogartensis 125–131 MN13 late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) not plotted on current regional sections 
Whitehorse Ck. 30 m above “silt doublet” in the Blueridge Member P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) not plotted on current regional sections 
Blackface Mtn. (5) 62 m above sub-Devonian unconformity, lower Duvernay Fm.? N/A 99–100.8 MN4 transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Cardinal Crossing 117 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. proversa, Pa. cf. Pa. hassi (form 1), Pa. cf. jamieae, P. cf. unicornis, Pa. ?eureka 109.3–109.8 MN11 jamieae this study  
Cardinal Waterfall base Ireton Fm., 219 m below base Wabamun A. nodosa/ioides; An. triangularis, An. cf. An. amana; Pa. hassi (late), Pa. cf. jamieae, P. unicornis, P. cf. P. brevis, Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae 117.2–119.5 MN11 early rhenana this study  
North Side, Mt. Cardinal (7) base Duvernay Fm. (57.6 m above sub-Devonian unconformity) M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–7 (lowest) punctata–early hassi Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); this section is equivalent to the “Waterfall” section of this study 
 8 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 99–100.8 MN4 transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) not plotted; have given precedence to previous sample (verified by Klapper) 
 16 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 109.3–113.1 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 36 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 107.5–113.1 MN9–11 late hassi–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 71 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 107.5–113.1 MN9–11 late hassi–early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 139 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 120.4–125 MN12 lower early rhenana–late rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
 155 m above base Duvernay Fm. N/A 109.3–125 MN11–12 late lower rhenana–upper rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Mt. Cardinal B 40.5 m above base of section, Duvernay Fm. Pa. domanicensis, Palmatolepis luscarensis 107.9–112.5 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); this section is equivalent to the “Waterfall” section of this study 
 66 m above base of section, Duvernay Fm. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 98 m above base of section, called Perdrix (Duvernay) Fm. Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113–124.4 MN11–12 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 115 m above base of section, called Perdrix (Duvernay) Fm. Pa. winchelli 120.4–131.3 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
Mt. Cardinal (8) 29.4 m below base Wabamun, WI3? N/A 120.4–131.4 MN12–13 late rhenana–linguiformis Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) plotted at our Cardinal Waterfall section 
Mt. MacKenzie North 85–92 m below “Simla Mbr.” Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli 113–124.4 MN11–12 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998, as the “MacKenzie margin” section); this section is likely just north, upslope of the MacKenzie North section of this study 
 “higher beds” than previous sample, in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. Pa. winchelli, P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12–13 early–late rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998, as the “MacKenzie margin” section); this section is likely just north, upslope of the MacKenzie North section of this study 
 silts at “base Simla” P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992)  
 Duvernay, 196.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. curvata (late), P. evidens, Pa. hassi, Pa. simpla 117.2–122.8 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
 Duvernay, 231 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. nodosa–ioides transition, P. evidens, A. curvata (late), P. imparilis, P. cf. P. pacificus, Pa. hassi 119.5/120.5 MN11–12 early rhenana this study  
Cardinal, ?Whitehorse Ck. 10 m below “silt doublet” in the “upper Mt. Hawk” Fm. P. brevicarina 125.9–130.9 MN13 late(st) rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998); presumably this species occurs at both sections; not plotted due to uncertainty of location 
Toma Creek 10 m below base of Leduc reef tongue, 194 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. nodosa, A. curvata (early), Pa. cf. Pa. jamieae, P. cf. aequalis 109–110 MN11 jamieae this study  
 15 m above Leduc reef, 245 above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens, P. cf. P. brevis, Ancyrodella sp. 110.3–112.5 MN11 early rhenana this study  
Toma Creek (14) 270.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 109.3–131.4 MN11–13 rhenana to linguiformis Shields and Geldsetzer (1992)  
Toma Creek (16) 135 m below base Wabamun, outer ramp environment Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) fauna reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
Mt. Russell, North Flank (18) 65 m above sub-Devonian unconformity N/A 98.4–100.8 MN3–4 late falsiovalis/transitans Shields and Geldsetzer (1992) plotted between our Nomad and Tomad sections 
Wapiabi Gap Reef 47 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, M. ovalis, P. pollocki 98.7–103 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 172 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. unicornis 110–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 187 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius, P. cf. P. webbi, P. cf. P. aequalis, I. cf. I. symmetricus 115.4–124.4 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 224 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 234 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius, P. decorosus 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study not plotted as it likely occurs in WD4 fore-reef debris 
 312.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi 105.8–112.5 MN8–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 341 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. planarius, P. angustidiscus, P. xylus 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Wapiabi Gap off-reef 76 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. asymmetrica, P. aequalis, I. symmetricus 103.2–103.6 MN6 (late) punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity I. symmetricus, Pa. cf. P. punctata, Me. gradata, P. cf. P. aequalis, P. dubius, P. aspelundi, P. aff. P. dengleri, P. cf. P. pollocki 103.5 MN5 punctata Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 95 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, P. cf. P. alatus, P. cf. P. pollocki, P. aff. P. dengleri 103.5–105.1 MN6–7 early hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 100 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 171 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, P. cf. P. alatus, P. cf. P.pollocki, P. aff. P. dengleri 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 183 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. aff. P. planarius, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens 115.4–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study age somewhat uncertain due to presence of P. aff. P. planarius 
 268 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi 105.8–112.5 MN8–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 280 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. pacificus, P. cf. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 349 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Brazeau Gap 9.4 m above base section Pa. transitans, P. pennatus 99–99.7 MN4 transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 43.5 m above base section M. ovalis, P. cf. P. pennatus 99–99.7 MN4 transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 54 m above sub-Devonian unconformity M. ovalis, M. asymmetrica, A. cf. A. rotundiloba (late), P. cf. P. uchtensis, P. angustidiscus 98.7–99.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 60 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. punctata 100.8–108.1 MN5–8 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 80 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. punctata 100.8–108.1 MN5–8 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. hassi s.l. 109.2–109.8 MN11 jamieae–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 228 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 237 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 254 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. P. evidens, P. unicornis, An. triangularis, P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aequalis 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 263 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. cf. P. evidens, P. pacificus, P. decorosus 109.4–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 274 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, P. brevis, P. aff. P. unicornis 110.3–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 292 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 308 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. imparilis, P. unicornis, P. cf. P. planarius, A. cf. A. nodosa 120.5–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 “upper part of the Perdrix (Duvernay) Formation” Pa. luscarensis ~107.9–112 MN10–11 (lower) late hassi–early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
 “lowest exposed part of the Mt. Hawk (Ireton) Formation” P. evidens, P. unicornis, P. brevis 110.3–11.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998)  
Brazeau Gap South 188 m below base Graminia Fm., 238.6 m below base Wabamun Group P. cf. P. aequalis, P. aff. P. evidens (narrow), P. pacificus, P. cf. P. evidens 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–jamieae this study  
 24 m below base Graminia Fm., 74.6 m below base Wabamun Group P. cf. samueli, P. cf. P. brevicarina 129.6–130.9 MN13 late rhenana–linguiformis this study  
Kiska Creek upper 25 m of the Duvernay (Perdrix) Formation Pa. luscarensis, Pa. domanicensis 107.9–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) reported as Kiska Section 2 
 “Rusty Basinal Marker” Pa.semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992)  
 87 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, P. cf. P. xylus, I. subterminus 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 82 m below the base Calmar Fm. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana this study  
 23 m below the base Calmar Fm. O. dissimilis, P. pacificus 123.5–128.4 MN12–13 early–late rhenana this study  
Kiska Headwaters immediately below the WD2 lowstand wedge An. ancyrognathoideus, M. ovalis 101.6–103.1 MN5–6 punctata this study  
 86 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, P. pacificus 103.5–110.1 MN5–11 early hassi–jamieae this study  
 123.5 m above sub-Devonian unconformity (in Receptaculites bed) P. aequalis, M. asymmetrica, M. falsiovalis, I. subterminus 101.3–103.1 MN5–6 punctata this study  
North Ram River 6 to 20 m below top of Ram Mbr. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Workum and Hedinger (1992) reported by McLean and Klapper (1998) 
 90 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. gigas, P. aequalis 103.2–108.3 MN6–10 punctata–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 120 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. gigas, P. cf. P. brevilaminus, P. aff. P. elegantulus 100.5–108.3 MN4–10 transitans–late hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 195 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf.P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 221 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens, P. cf. P. unicornis, I. symmetricus 110.1–119.9 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 246 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis 108–119.9 MN10–11 lower hassi–lower rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 254 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. planarius 115.4–124.4 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 260 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. P. evidens, Ancyrognathus sp. 108.5–119.5 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 291 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. planarius 120.6–121.7 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 327 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. unicornis, I. alternatus 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Tina Creek 102 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, I. symmetricus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 150 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. alatus, P. aequalis, P. cf. P. decorosus, An. cf. An. primus 103.2–105.4 MN6–8 punctata–early hassi Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 160 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, A. lobata 103.5–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 163 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. jamieae (juv.), I. symmetricus, P. cf. P. pollocki, P. aff. P. aequalis 109.3–110.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 175 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. alatus, P. aequalis, P. aff. P. decorosus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 182 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. lobata, P. ?angustidiscus 103.5–123.5 MN6–12 puncata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 188 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, Ancyrodella sp. (juv.), I. subterminus 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 puncata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 195 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. evidens, P. cf. P. aequalis, Ancyrodella sp. (juv.) 108–110.1 MN10–11 early hassi–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 221 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 259 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. evidens, A. cf. A. nodosa, P. cf. P. aequalis 108–110.1 MN10–11 early hassi–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 278 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. brevis, P. cf. P. evidens, P. alatus 110.3–111.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 285 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. evidens 109.4–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 290 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 300 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. semichatovae, P. aspelundi, P. aff. P. planarius 115.4–119.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 358 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
Cripple Creek Reef 93 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. lobata, I. cf. I. symmetricus 103.5–123.5 MN6–12 punctata–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 123 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aequalis, I. cf. I. subterminus 103.1–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 210 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis, P. cf. alatus 103.2–110.1 MN5–10 punctata–jamieae Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 240 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis, P. cf. P. evidens, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. webbi, Me. gradata 108–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study questionable occurrence of P.unicornis 
 296 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aff. P. elegantulus, P. cf. P. unicornis, A. nodosa tr. ioides (juv) 113.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 303 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. unicornis (juv), P. cf. P. pacificus, I. alternatus, P. evidens, P. aspelundi 110.1–119.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 306 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. evidens, P. cf. pacificus 110.1–119.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 308 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens, I. alternatus 109.4–110.1 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 311 m above sub-Devonian unconformity Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. aspelundi 110.1–112.5 MN11 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 322 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. aspelundi, P. cf. P. evidens 108–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 328 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. pacificus, P. cf. P. aspelundi, P. evidens 108–112.5 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
 368 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. imparilis 120.5–130.9 MN12 early rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study  
South Ram River 64 m below the top of the Nisku Formation (base Calmar Formation) P. evidens, P. cf. P. aspelundi, I. alternatus, P. pacificus 109.4–112.5 MN11 jamieae–lower rhenana Weissenberger (1988); this study plotted at equivalent interval at Boundary Creek on Figure 5 
North Burnt Timber from the middle brachiopod beds of the Flume Member Playfordia primitiva 98.4–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); interpreted as between 14.2 and 26.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity (equivalent to our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section) 
 “upper Flume Member” M. asymmetrica 96.6–103.6 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); sample interval projected onto our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section ~70 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity 
 29 m above base of “Basinal carbonates above the Flume–Maligne” Pa. Punctata 100.8–103.1 MN5–6 punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); not plotted due to uncertain stratigraphic position 
 “35 m above base of Basinal carbonates above the Flume–Maligne” M. asymmetrica, A. gigas (form 1) 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 1 (4-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); not plotted due to uncertain stratigraphic position 
North Burnt Timber 2 from the middle brachiopod beds of the Flume Member Pl. Primitiva 98.4–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 2 (10-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992); interpreted as between 14.2 and 26.5 m above the sub-Devonian unconformity (equivalent to the “Burnt Timber Embayment” section of this study) 
 13.4 m above the base of the (Duvernay) basinal carbonates M. johnsoni 101–105.4 MN5–8 punctata–early hassi McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section 2 (10-29-11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992) (our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section); interpreted as 63.5 m above the sub-Devonian 
 30–40 m below top of “basinal carbonate” I. alternatus 109.4–148.3 MN11+ jamieae–Famennian McLean and Klapper (1998) unconformity reported from section 2 (10–29–11) of Workum and Hedinger (1992) (our “Burnt Timber Embayment” section); interpreted as ~155–165 m above sub-Devonian unconformity 
Mt. Oliver “higher beds in the basinal carbonates” P. unicornis 110.1–129.5 MN11–13 rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) reported from section of Workum and Hedinger (1992), plotted as highest sample on the “Burnt Timber Embayment” section, Figure 4 
South Burnt Timber 21 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. rugosa, I. brevis 98.5–100.3 MN3–4 late falsiovalis–transitans this study  
 base Leduc reef; 64 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 2 m above Leduc reef; 100 m above sub-Devonian unconformity P. cf. P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 top of reef toe section; 129 m above sub-Devonian unconformity A. cf. A. lobata, An. cf. An. ancyrognathoideus, I. subterminus 103.5–104.8 MN3–7 late falsiovalis–early hassi this study  
16-28-57-21W4 1192–1216 m An. ancyrognathoideus, P. aequalis, M. falsiovalis, M. asymmetrica 103.2–103.6 MN6 punctata this study  
 1170–1192 m P. aequalis, A. gigas, Pa. punctata, P. pacificus 103.5–108.1 MN6–10 punctata–late hassi this study  
 1140–1170 m P. aequalis 103.2–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 1120–1140 m P. pacificus, P. aequalis 103.5–110.1 MN6–11 punctata–jamieae this study  
 ~1200 m N/A 99–102.1 MN4–5  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1180 m N/A 100.8–103.8 MN5–6  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1170 m N/A 102.1–103.8 MN6  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1160 m N/A 103.8–105.2 MN7  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1120 m N/A 103.8–105.2 MN7  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
 ~1140 m N/A 105.2–107.5 MN8  Klapper reported in van Buchem et al. (2000) 
10-27-57-21W4 1195–1208 m M. ovalis 98.7–103.1 MN3–6 late falsiovalis–punctata this study  
 1163–1195 m Pa. punctata, M. ovalis, P. aequalis, Pa. transitans, An. ancyrognathoideus 103.1–103.3 MN6 punctata this study  
 1130–1163 m M. cf. ovalis, Pa. punctata, Pa. transitans, P. aequalis 103.1–103.3 MN6 punctata this study  
 1112–1130 m P. unicornis, A. nodosa, P. aequalis, P. pacificus 110.1–129.5 MN11–12 rhenana this study  
11-27-51-27W4 1786–1815 m P. aequalis, P. cf. P. elegantulus 103.2–103.5 MN6 punctata this study  
 1763–1786 m P. evidens 108–119.9 MN10–11 early hassi–early rhenana this study  
11-23-51-27W4 1948–1956 m M. ovalis, P. aequalis 103.1–103.2 MN6 punctata this study  
14-24-59-26W4 in the “Majeau Lake Fm.,” overlying 15 m of Cooking Lake Fm. M. johnsoni, P. timanicus 101–103.8 MN5–6 punctata McLean and Klapper (1998)  
12-35-87-19W4 298–299 m, Grosmont Me. cf. gradata (27), Polygnathus aff. gracilis (19, 20), An. cf. ancyrognathoideus (30), P. cf. angustidiscus (13), P. cf. aequalis (17) 103.2–104.3 MN6–7 punctata–early hassi this study  
8-14-34-7W5 3962–3987 m Pa. semichatovae, P. cf. aspelundi 110–112.5 MN11 early rhenana this study fourth sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
 3987–4013 m A. cf. A. lobata, P. cf. P. aequalis, P. evidens, P. cf. brevilaminus 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana this study second sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
10-29-37-7W5 3597–3599 m Pa. cf. Pa. semichatovae, P. evidens, P. aequalis 110.1 MN11 early rhenana this study fifth sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
6-11-38-8W5 3780–3798 m A. cf. A. gigas, P. aequalis, Pa. cf. Pa. jamieae 108.3–109.3 MN10 late hassi this study lowest sample plotted on 11-1 on Figure 7 
11-1-38-13W5 5219 m P. evidens,Pa. simpla, Pa. cf. plana, A. cf. A. nodosa, Pa. cf. Pa. proversa, A. cf. A. curvata 108–110.1 MN10–11 late hassi–early rhenana this study third sample from base plotted on 11-1 in Figure 7 
14-29-48-6W5 lowermost 2 m of the Majeau Lake Fm. Pa. transitans, M. ovalis, M. asymmetrica 99–103.1 MN4–5 transitans–punctata McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
15-11-49-2W5 43 m below the base of the Nisku Fm. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
16-4-52-8W5 immediately below the base of the Lobstick Mbr. Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
 3 m above the base of the Lobstick Mbr. (2406 m) Pa. semichatovae 110.1–119.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
5-17-60-15W5 in “upper Ireton” over high Leduc buildup, Windfall Pa. semichatovae, Pa. proversa 110.1–111.5 MN11 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
10-14-47-12W5 in the Bigoray, lower Dismal Creek Member P. samueli, P. imparilis 120.5–122.2 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 
5-17-60-15W5 17.5 m above top of (Leduc Fm.) Windfall reef, 14 m above “Z-marker” P. samueli 120.5–122.2 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference, Ireton Fm. below contains Pa.semichatovae 
6-1-63-26W5 Argillaceous, crinoidal limestone above Simonette (Leduc Fm.) Reef P. imparilis, Pa. aff. Pa. winchelli (Forms 1 and 3) 120.5–124.4 MN12 early rhenana McLean and Klapper (1998) not plotted, cited for reference 

—Biostratigraphic Data

As discussed above, age-diagnostic conodont faunas recovered from outcrop and core were used to aid local and regional correlations. This was accomplished by interpreting the faunas in a sequence stratigraphic context. Important samples are described below, with specific reference to their position in the Frasnian Composite Standard (Klapper et al. 1995, Klapper 1997) and the sequence stratigraphic framework. The estimated positions of the composite sequences in the Frasnian Composite Standard (FCS) are shown in Table 5.

BHL3 Composite Sequence

No age-diagnostic conodonts were recovered from the BHL3 platform in the outcrops studied. Basinal strata yielded faunas (e.g., co-occurrence of Palmatolepis transitans and Polygnathus pennatus; lower 54 m, Brazeau Gap) indicating a FCS range of 99 to 99.7. This represents the lower part of the transitans zone (MN4), which is consistent with the ages shown on the reference well of Wendte and Uyeno (2005, Fig. 4) for their units F through H.

WD1 Composite Sequence

Significant conodont recoveries in WD1 strata include the following:

  1. 1.

    Ancyrodella rugosa (and Icriodus brevis) in basinal strata just above the WD1.1. at South Burnt Timber (FCS range 98.4/98.5–100.1; MN4). Playfordia primitiva occurs in similar strata at North Burnt Timber (McLean and Klapper 1998).

  2. 2.

    Co-occurrence of Ancyrognathus ancyrognathoideus and Mesotaxis ovalis just below the top of the composite sequence at Kiska Headwaters (FCS range 101.6–103.6; MN5).

  3. 3.

    Ancyrodella africana/gigas near the top of the composite sequence at Mt. Gregg, suggesting an age of 100.6 to 101.1 (MN Zones 4–5).

  4. 4.

    Age of 98.4 to 100.8 (MN Zones 3–4) cited in the carbonate platform at Nomad Creek (Shields and Geldsetzer 1992). Basinal strata to the north have similar ages: at Blackface Mountain (Wendte and Uyeno 2005), Luscar Mountain (Klapper and Lane 1989), and Miette (Whalen et al. 2000b, Whalen and Day 2008).

  5. 5.

    FCS range 99 to 102.1 (MN Zones 4–5) in WD1 foreslope beds at Redwater (16-28-57-21W4; van Buchem et al. 2000). Our faunas from the same interval and in the 10-27-57-21W4 well are not as definitive, suggesting part of the intervals sampled are FCS 103.1/103.3 ages (MN6).

  6. 6.

    Mesotaxis johnsoni and Polygnathus timanicus in the Majeau Lake Formation (at 14-24-59-26W4) 15 m above the base of the Cooking Lake Formation (McLean and Klapper 1998; our WD1.1). This sample provides very good control of the age of the mid-WD1 (101–103.8; MN5–6), placing the base of the MN5 (punctata zone) near the MFS of the WD1. This is consistent with data from Uyeno (Wendte and Uyeno 2005), that shows the MN4 (transitans zone) extending into the lower Cooking Lake Formation.

  7. 7.

    Co-occurrence of Palmatolepis transitans and Ancyrodella rugosa (FCS range 99 to 100.8; top Majeau Lake “Maligne” Formation, Luscar Mountain; Klapper and Lane 1989).

  8. 8.

    A tentative identification of Polygnathus aequalis near the top of the composite sequence at South Burnt Timber (FCS 103.2; upper MN6 or younger).

These data suggest that the WD1 was deposited between approximately 100 and 103.2 in the Frasnian Composite Standard (Table 5).

WD2 Composite Sequence

The following significant faunas were recovered from the WD2:

  1. 1.

    Polygnathus aequalis, Mesotaxis asymmetrica, and Mesotaxis falsiovalis (FCS range 103.1–103.2; MN6) from Kiska Headwaters, in Receptaculites-rich beds (Duvernay Formation, Pratt and Weissenberger 1989). The sample is just above the WD2.1 lowstand, approximately 19 m above the dipping sequence boundary.

  2. 2.

    Mesotaxis asymmetrica and Polygnathus aequalis (FCS age of 103.2–103.6) just above the WD2 lowstand at Wapiabi Gap.

  3. 3.

    Several other samples in the transgression above the WD2.1 (South Burnt Timber, south side of the Cline Channel) yield ages no older than 103.2.

  4. 4.

    Palmatolepis transitans, Polygnathus dubius, and Ancyrodella gigas (form 1; FCS range 100.5–103.5; Klapper and Lane 1989) from the basal Duvernay Formation at Luscar Mountain.

  5. 5.

    At Brazeau Gap, we recovered Palmatolepis punctata 55 m above the section in the basal Duvernay Formation. This interval is likely close to the top of its normal range, as the species first occurs at 100.8.

  6. 6.

    Palmatolepis transitans, Polygnathus aequalis, Polygnathus cf. P. elegantulus, and Polygnathus cf. P. robustus (103.1–103.3 age range) in a sample spanning the lower part of the Duvernay at Redwater (10-27-57-21W5). Van Buchem et al. (2000) reported an age of 103.8 to 105.2 from a similar stratigraphic position in the nearby well 16-28-57-21W4.

  7. 7.

    Polygnathus aequalis and Polygnathus elegantulus in the lower WD2 (FCS 103.2–103.4; and in foreslope deposits above, Polygnathus evidens (Golden Spike, 11-27-51-27W4). The latter sample, likely from the very top of the sampled interval, is almost certainly derived from the WD3 upslope, as it represents an age of no older than 108 in the Frasnian Composite Standard.

The remainder of the WD2 yields faunas with ages as young as 105.4 (MN8, early hassi zone). For example Polygnathus aequalis and Ancyrognathus cf. An. primus (103.2–105.4) occur just below the MFS of the composite sequence at Tina Creek. We interpret two samples reported from the lower Duvernay Formation at Marmot Cirque (Section K′, Whalen and Day 2008) to be in the basal WD2. They yielded ages of 99.6 to 103.6.

The sequence boundary and overlying lowstand were likely deposited close to 103.2 (in the MN6 or upper punctata zone) given the likely occurrence of Polygnathus aequalis (no older than 103.2) just below the WD2.1 at South Burnt Timber. The top of the WD2 composite sequence ranged into the MN7 (lower early hassi).

WD3 Composite Sequence

The WD3 lacks age-diagnostic faunas close to the carbonate complexes, where they could be confidently correlated into the basin. However, significant recoveries from outcrop include the following:

  1. 1.

    Ancyrodella cf. A. gigas, Polygnathus cf. P. brevilaminus, and Polygnathus aff. P. elegantulus (FCS range of 100.5–108.3; MN4–10) at North Ram River, 120 m above the base of the section.

  2. 2.

    Ancyrodella cf. A. nodosa, Ancyrodella curvata (early form), Palmatolepis cf. Pa. jamieae, and Polygnathus cf. P. aequalis; at the Toma margin (FCS range 109–110; MN10).

The lower Duvernay Formation at Cardinal Waterfall (Shields and Geldsetzer 1992) and Cardinal Valley yield ages no older than 109, while samples from Marmot Cirque section K′ (Whalen and Day 2008) range no higher than 104.8. We would assign the latter sampled interval to the lower WD3. Their samples immediately above yield ages similar to the Cline Channel and the Toma margin Duvernay ages mentioned above.

From the subsurface, these data are noteworthy:

  1. 1.

    One sample from the lowest organic-rich lime mudstone and shale of the Duvernay Formation in 11-1-38-13W5 yields an age no older than 108 (Fig. 7).

  2. 2.

    The top of the 16-28 core at Redwater recovered faunas from MN Zone 8 (FCS 105.2–107.5; van Buchem et al. 2000).

  3. 3.

    Ancyrognathus cf. An. ancyrognathoideus and Polygnathus cf. P. aequalis from the Grosmont core at 12-35-87-19W4 (298–299 m), in the lowermost WD3: between 103.2 and 104.8 in the Frasnian Composite Standard.

The balance of the evidence suggests that the base of the WD3 occurs about 105 in the Frasnian Composite Standard, perhaps as low as 104.8. Several samples from the middle and upper part of the composite sequence yield ages no older than 108 or 109. The WD3 was therefore deposited from the MN7 to lower MN11 zone (hassi to jamieae zones).

WD4 Composite Sequence Four

The WD4 contains diagnostic conodont faunas, including the following:

  1. 1.

    Palmatolepis semichatovae from the hardground at the base of the composite sequence (Kiska Creek; McLean and Klapper 1998). This species is restricted to MN zone 11 (110.1–119.5 in the Frasnian Composite Standard).

  2. 2.

    Ages of 110.1 or younger from just above the WD4.1 in numerous samples—e.g., Burnt Timber Embayment, North Ram River, Cardinal Waterfall, and Marmot Cirque (Whalen and Day 2008, Section L; reported in Whalen et al. 2000b).

  3. 3.

    Pa. semichatovae and Palmatolepis proversa from the “upper Ireton” (roughly synonymous with the MFS of the WD4; McLean and Klapper 1998), at the Windfall reef in the Deep Basin.

  4. 4.

    Polygnathus unicornis, first appearing at 108 in the Frasnian Composite Standard recovered from below the WD4.1 in the Cline Channel (e.g., Cripple Creek) and throughout the WD4. It occurs at the top of the sequence at Kiska Creek.

  5. 5.

    Polygnathus evidens, Polygnathus cf. P. aspelundi, and Icriodus alternatus in the MFS of the WD4 at South Ram River (Frasnian Composite Standard position 109.4 to 112.5).

  6. 6.

    Polygnathus evidens, Polygnathus unicornis, Palmatolepis hassi s.l., Palmatolepis jamieae, and Ancyrodella lobata from the upper half of the composite sequence at Mt. Gregg (an age 117.7–119.9).

The base WD4 can be confidently assigned as 110.1, i.e., base MN zone 11 (lower early rhenana), the upper part ranging between 117 and 119.9 (also MN zone 11 or lower early rhenana).

WI1 Composite Sequence

Diagnostic Conodont ages in the WI1 include the following:

  1. 1.

    Co-occurrence of Polygnathus pacificus and Polygnathus cf. P. planarius in the lower WI1 at Wapiabi Gap (off-reef) indicating a position of 120.6 to 121.7 in the Frasnian Composite Standard.

  2. 2.

    Polygnathus imparilis and Polygnathus brevis, from Luscar Mountain (Klapper and Lane 1989, in strata we assign to the base WI1 at Mt. Gregg.

  3. 3.

    Palmatolepis semichatovae occurs just below and just above the base of the Lobstick Member (WI1.1) in central Alberta, Klapper (in McLean and Klapper 1998). The species occurs no higher than 119.1 in the FCS. As samples no older than 120 in the FCS occur in the Lobstick immediately above, the base of the WI1 is dated at 119 to 120. This is broadly consistent with the designation of the base of the Nisku Formation at or near the base of MN zone 12 by McLean and Klapper (1998).

  4. 4.

    Polygnathus planarius, at Wapiabi Gap off-reef 16.5 m below the top of the sequence (FCS range of 120.6–121.7).

  5. 5.

    Ozarkodina dissimilis above the pinnacle reef at Kiska Creek (no lower than 123.5 in the Frasnian Composite Standard). McLean and Klapper (1998) also report Polygnathus imparilis and Polygnathus aff. Pa. winchelli (forms 1 and 3), suggesting an age of 120.5 to 124.4, in foreslope carbonates above the Simonette Leduc Reef.

These conodont faunas imply an age for the base of the WI1 of 119.1 to 120.4. The top of the composite sequence is no older than 123.5, although its age is further constrained by faunas from the overlying sequence, as discussed below.

WI2 Composite Sequence

One age-diagnostic conodont sample was recovered from the WI2 in the study area: Polygnathus imparilis, Polygnathus pacificus, and Ozarkodina postera, as well as longer-ranging species. It was collected at Luscar Mountain by Klapper (Klapper and Lane 1989) from strata we correlate to our nearby Mt. Gregg section.

Co-occurrence of these forms represents a Frasnian Composite Standard range of 120.5 to 128.4 (MN zones 12 and 13; middle of the early rhenana to upper rhenana zone). This age range is consistent with the assignment of strata above the base Calmar Formation to MN zone 13 (124.8 or younger) by McLean and Klapper (1998).

WI3 Composite Sequence 3

Polygnathus brevicarina was recovered from the lower WI3 at our Cardinal Waterfall section (McLean and Klapper 1998) and an interval they describe as “silts at the base Simla” from their Mt. MacKenzie North section. This indicates a Frasnian Composite Standard range of 125. to 130.9 (MN zone 13; late rhenana to linguiformis).

Similarly, the highest sample of Klapper and Lane (1989) at Luscar Mountain yielded Palmatolepis rhenana and four species of Polygnathus: P. imparilis, P. ettremae, P. pacificus, and P. unicornis (FCS range of 124.3–127.8; MN13). These ages are consistent with the placement of the strata between the base Calmar Formation (WI2.1) and the base of the Wabamun Group into the MN13 by McLean and Klapper (1998). Uyeno identified one occurrence of Polygnathus brevicarina from the basal Jean Marie Member (an interval we have assigned to the WI1.3) in northeast British Columbia (Wendte et al. 2010). This species occurs no lower than 125.9 in the FCS, suggesting that the base of MN13 may be lower than the WI2.1 surface. Given that the Jean Marie samples were collected over 500 km from the present study area, more work is necessary to resolve both the sequence and biostratigraphic correlations.

Wabamun Composite Sequence 1 (WB1)

We obtained no faunas diagnostic of the Famennian in the study area. Wang and Geldsetzer (1995) recovered Palmatolepis triangularis, index species for the basal Famennian, from the uppermost Ronde Member and lower Sassenach Formation at Cinquefoil Mountain. Located in the Jasper Basin, 20 km (unrestored) west of the Miette Reef Complex, it is pertinent to this study. We would place this occurrence in the lower WB1 composite sequence, making it younger than the WI3 carbonate platform we describe to the south and east.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1.

—Schematic sequence stratigraphic cross section (G–G′) of the late Givetian to basal Famennian strata of Alberta showing the major third-order Frasnian composite sequences. Outcrop lithostratigraphic terms are indicated by circled letters. The Frasnian section is 425 m thick in the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Distance from Redwater to the Cline Channel is about 350 km. The second-order late (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence extends from the base of the Watt Mountain Formation to the base of the Wabamun Group. Basin fill is a mix of platform derived carbonates and fine-grained extra basinal clay (forming argillaceous limestones and calcareous shale). The main source of extrabasinal clay is from the east, and the basin is asymmetrically filled. Westward progradation of regional carbonate platforms is on a foundation of mixed carbonates–siliciclastics. Coeval isolated carbonate reefs and platforms to the west initially retrograde to aggrade and but eventually prograde with influx of basin fill. Outcrop (left) and subsurface (right) formation nomenclature are shown. Exposures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges span most of the second-order late TST and the entire HST. The second-order early TST onlap the Cambrian of the Western Alberta Arch. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 1.

—Schematic sequence stratigraphic cross section (G–G′) of the late Givetian to basal Famennian strata of Alberta showing the major third-order Frasnian composite sequences. Outcrop lithostratigraphic terms are indicated by circled letters. The Frasnian section is 425 m thick in the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Distance from Redwater to the Cline Channel is about 350 km. The second-order late (Givetian–) Frasnian supersequence extends from the base of the Watt Mountain Formation to the base of the Wabamun Group. Basin fill is a mix of platform derived carbonates and fine-grained extra basinal clay (forming argillaceous limestones and calcareous shale). The main source of extrabasinal clay is from the east, and the basin is asymmetrically filled. Westward progradation of regional carbonate platforms is on a foundation of mixed carbonates–siliciclastics. Coeval isolated carbonate reefs and platforms to the west initially retrograde to aggrade and but eventually prograde with influx of basin fill. Outcrop (left) and subsurface (right) formation nomenclature are shown. Exposures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges span most of the second-order late TST and the entire HST. The second-order early TST onlap the Cambrian of the Western Alberta Arch. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 2.

—Late Devonian (mainly Frasnian) paleogeography of North America showing location of Alberta (black outline) with respect to the paleo-equator (red line). Map from Ron Blakey (2011), deeptimemaps.com.

Fig. 2.

—Late Devonian (mainly Frasnian) paleogeography of North America showing location of Alberta (black outline) with respect to the paleo-equator (red line). Map from Ron Blakey (2011), deeptimemaps.com.

Fig. 3.

—Palinspastically restored paleogeographic map of the Leduc Formation reefs of Alberta and adjacent British Columbia. The reef distribution approximately represents base Woodbend sequence 4 deposition.

Fig. 3.

—Palinspastically restored paleogeographic map of the Leduc Formation reefs of Alberta and adjacent British Columbia. The reef distribution approximately represents base Woodbend sequence 4 deposition.

Fig. 4.

—Cross-section A–A′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Grassi Lakes to Burnt Timber areas, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 4.

—Cross-section A–A′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Grassi Lakes to Burnt Timber areas, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 5.

—Cross-section B–B0, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 5.

—Cross-section B–B0, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 6.

—Cross-section C–C′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, South Jasper Basin, Toma Creek to Nikanassin Range, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998) or Klapper and Lane (1989), circles are samples from Shields and Geldsetzer (1992), right-pointing triangles are from Whalen et al. (2000b), and left-pointing arrows are from Whalen and Day (2008). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location. Stratigraphy of the lower Miette Reef (lower right corner) is from Whalen et al. (2000b), based on exposures located on the Miette thrust sheet. The upper part is based on our work from the Big Horn thrust sheet (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 6.

—Cross-section C–C′, showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and composite sequence distribution, South Jasper Basin, Toma Creek to Nikanassin Range, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998) or Klapper and Lane (1989), circles are samples from Shields and Geldsetzer (1992), right-pointing triangles are from Whalen et al. (2000b), and left-pointing arrows are from Whalen and Day (2008). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location. Stratigraphy of the lower Miette Reef (lower right corner) is from Whalen et al. (2000b), based on exposures located on the Miette thrust sheet. The upper part is based on our work from the Big Horn thrust sheet (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 7.

—Cross-section D–D′, showing composite sequence subdivision, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges and adjacent subsurface. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 7.

—Cross-section D–D′, showing composite sequence subdivision, Cline Channel area, Rocky Mountain Front Ranges and adjacent subsurface. Stars indicate conodont identifications from this study, squares are samples from McLean and Klapper (1998). See Appendix 4 for conodont sample descriptions and Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 8.

—Regional gamma-ray log cross-section E–E′ (SW to NE) from the Cripple Creek Skyline to the Grosmont Shelf showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 8.

—Regional gamma-ray log cross-section E–E′ (SW to NE) from the Cripple Creek Skyline to the Grosmont Shelf showing second-order supersequence systems tract subdivision (extreme left) and correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences. See Figure 3 for transect location.

Fig. 9.

—HFS stacking pattern and inferred gamma-ray log response.

Fig. 9.

—HFS stacking pattern and inferred gamma-ray log response.

Fig. 10.

—Correlation of Frasnian high-frequency and composite sequences from the Redwater and Golden Spike reefs to the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, between Boundary and Kiska creeks. Cross-section data are from Redwater (Wendte 1994, Chow et al. 1995, Potma et al. 2001), Golden Spike (Potma et al. 2001), and Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). Logs of the Redwater and Golden Spike cross sections are gamma-ray (left) with or without sonic (right) curves. At Golden Spike, HFSs are defined by upward-shoaling lithofacies successions (WD1.2, WD1.3, WD2.2, and WD2.3). High-frequency sequences are characterized by increasing followed by diminishing frequency of fenestral laminated packstone (tidal-flat deposits) leading to or away from the karsted sequence boundary, e.g., WD3.1 and WD3.2. A “hourglass” gamma-ray log signature defines the WD1.2 and WD1.3 HFSs in the more basinward located wells, 7-33 and 7-36.

Fig. 10.

—Correlation of Frasnian high-frequency and composite sequences from the Redwater and Golden Spike reefs to the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, between Boundary and Kiska creeks. Cross-section data are from Redwater (Wendte 1994, Chow et al. 1995, Potma et al. 2001), Golden Spike (Potma et al. 2001), and Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016). Logs of the Redwater and Golden Spike cross sections are gamma-ray (left) with or without sonic (right) curves. At Golden Spike, HFSs are defined by upward-shoaling lithofacies successions (WD1.2, WD1.3, WD2.2, and WD2.3). High-frequency sequences are characterized by increasing followed by diminishing frequency of fenestral laminated packstone (tidal-flat deposits) leading to or away from the karsted sequence boundary, e.g., WD3.1 and WD3.2. A “hourglass” gamma-ray log signature defines the WD1.2 and WD1.3 HFSs in the more basinward located wells, 7-33 and 7-36.

Fig. 11.

—Outcrop montage of the WD1 composite sequence and component HFSs, Wapiabi Gap. The WD1 TST comprises flat-lying platform-interior beds that grade upward into the gently dipping foreslope strata of the HST. This change is marked by the WD1 MFS. Highstand foresets merge upslope into the stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin, which changes facies laterally into flat-lying reef-flat and eventually platform-interior strata landward (right). The change from in situ middle and lower foreslope to allochthonous foreslope deposition during the WD1 highstand is sharp and related to a slip surface (with 25° dip) cutting across the stromatoporoid boundstone margin. Above the slip surface, stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin replaces antecedent bedded reef-flat grainstones. The WD2.1 surface is karsted and bleached. Underlying WD1 highstand foresets are truncated along the ravinement-modified WD2.1 sequence boundary. The ravinement surface is overlain by a transgressive lag of grainstone that onlaps the WD2.1 sequence boundary. Overlying WD2.1 highstand foresets downlap onto the lag.

Fig. 11.

—Outcrop montage of the WD1 composite sequence and component HFSs, Wapiabi Gap. The WD1 TST comprises flat-lying platform-interior beds that grade upward into the gently dipping foreslope strata of the HST. This change is marked by the WD1 MFS. Highstand foresets merge upslope into the stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin, which changes facies laterally into flat-lying reef-flat and eventually platform-interior strata landward (right). The change from in situ middle and lower foreslope to allochthonous foreslope deposition during the WD1 highstand is sharp and related to a slip surface (with 25° dip) cutting across the stromatoporoid boundstone margin. Above the slip surface, stromatoporoid boundstone reef margin replaces antecedent bedded reef-flat grainstones. The WD2.1 surface is karsted and bleached. Underlying WD1 highstand foresets are truncated along the ravinement-modified WD2.1 sequence boundary. The ravinement surface is overlain by a transgressive lag of grainstone that onlaps the WD2.1 sequence boundary. Overlying WD2.1 highstand foresets downlap onto the lag.

Fig. 12.

—Comparison of Miette and Cripple Creek sequences. Miette sequences are from van Buchem et al. 2000, Whalen et al. 2000b, and Whalen and Day 2008; Cripple Creek sequences are from Wong et al. (2016).

Fig. 12.

—Comparison of Miette and Cripple Creek sequences. Miette sequences are from van Buchem et al. 2000, Whalen et al. 2000b, and Whalen and Day 2008; Cripple Creek sequences are from Wong et al. (2016).

Fig. 13.

—A) The WD1.4 HFS exposure surface, developed on Amphipora packstone (lower arrows). Overlying green shale (~1 cm thick) is succeeded by laminated lime mudstone with lithoclast fragments (upper arrows). The green shale is interpreted to be paleosol or paleokarst associated, deposited prior to the re-initiation of carbonation production following subaerial exposure, as discussed in Murray (1966), Harvard and Oldershaw (1976), and Chow and Wendte (2010); 1205 m, 5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef. B) Maximum flooding interval of CS WD1, consisting of dark gray burrowed lime mudstone with branching coral molds toward the top of the unit. Scale is 0.5 m in length; Toma South, northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex. C) Avariety of lithoclasts, many blackened, overlie the WD2.1 exposure surface. The lithoclast packstone is developed on stromatoporoid rubble grainstone, deposited in a reef-flat setting. The actual WD2.1 surface is missing from the cored interval; 1228.5 m, 1-22-57-22W4 well, Redwater Reef. D) Dissolution cavities cutting across early equant calcite (a) and infilled with layered green lime mudstone (b). Interparticle space is infilled with green skeletal packstone (c). The interpreted WD3.1 unconformity is located approximately 3 m above this sample; 1046 m, (02)5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 13.

—A) The WD1.4 HFS exposure surface, developed on Amphipora packstone (lower arrows). Overlying green shale (~1 cm thick) is succeeded by laminated lime mudstone with lithoclast fragments (upper arrows). The green shale is interpreted to be paleosol or paleokarst associated, deposited prior to the re-initiation of carbonation production following subaerial exposure, as discussed in Murray (1966), Harvard and Oldershaw (1976), and Chow and Wendte (2010); 1205 m, 5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef. B) Maximum flooding interval of CS WD1, consisting of dark gray burrowed lime mudstone with branching coral molds toward the top of the unit. Scale is 0.5 m in length; Toma South, northwest margin, Southesk Cairn Complex. C) Avariety of lithoclasts, many blackened, overlie the WD2.1 exposure surface. The lithoclast packstone is developed on stromatoporoid rubble grainstone, deposited in a reef-flat setting. The actual WD2.1 surface is missing from the cored interval; 1228.5 m, 1-22-57-22W4 well, Redwater Reef. D) Dissolution cavities cutting across early equant calcite (a) and infilled with layered green lime mudstone (b). Interparticle space is infilled with green skeletal packstone (c). The interpreted WD3.1 unconformity is located approximately 3 m above this sample; 1046 m, (02)5-36-56-21W4 well, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 14.

—Contrasting response to a relative sea-level fall on high (left) and low (right) declivity slopes. Wedge-shaped lowstands form on steeper slopes and tabular-shaped lowstands on gentler slopes. Westward prograding mixed carbonate-siliciclastic slopes, represented on the right of the figure, are generally ramp-like with slopes of less than a degree.

Fig. 14.

—Contrasting response to a relative sea-level fall on high (left) and low (right) declivity slopes. Wedge-shaped lowstands form on steeper slopes and tabular-shaped lowstands on gentler slopes. Westward prograding mixed carbonate-siliciclastic slopes, represented on the right of the figure, are generally ramp-like with slopes of less than a degree.

Fig. 15.

—Hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone patch reefs rooted on the WD2.2 surface. Overlying and underlying strata are composed of platform-interior meter-scale cycles. Patch reef inception is associated with backstepped platform margins and increased circulation to the platform-interior, resulting from a rapid rise in relative sea level. Grassi Lakes (see Fig. 4 for location). A similar patch reef development overlying the WD2.2 HF sequence boundary is observed at Cripple Creek (Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 15.

—Hemispherical stromatoporoid boundstone patch reefs rooted on the WD2.2 surface. Overlying and underlying strata are composed of platform-interior meter-scale cycles. Patch reef inception is associated with backstepped platform margins and increased circulation to the platform-interior, resulting from a rapid rise in relative sea level. Grassi Lakes (see Fig. 4 for location). A similar patch reef development overlying the WD2.2 HF sequence boundary is observed at Cripple Creek (Wong et al. 2016).

Fig. 16.

—Correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences between the Grosmont Shelf and Redwater Reef. The Redwater cross section is modified after Wendte (1994) and Chow et al. (1995), and the Grosmont cross section after Potma et al. (2001). Logs on the Redwater cross section are gamma-ray (left) and sonic (right) curves.

Fig. 16.

—Correlation of composite and high-frequency sequences between the Grosmont Shelf and Redwater Reef. The Redwater cross section is modified after Wendte (1994) and Chow et al. (1995), and the Grosmont cross section after Potma et al. (2001). Logs on the Redwater cross section are gamma-ray (left) and sonic (right) curves.

Fig. 17.

A) The WD3.2 sequence boundary, Grosmont Formation. Finely laminated siltstone deposited in a mixed siliciclastic–carbonate peritidal environment sharply overlies fractured, burrowed-massive fine wackestone deposited in a subtidal inner ramp environment; 286.8 m, 5-19-87-19W4 well, Grosmont Shelf. B) Section immediately below the WD3.2 exposure surface consisting of (a) fenestral lime mudstone to packstone with numerous vertical and subhorizontal dissolution cavities and fenestrae of varying sizes. Cavities and fenestrae are lined by (b) micritic cement, (c) dripstone, and (d) isopachous cement of fibrous calcite and infilled by a variety of marly internal sediments including skeletal packstone and laminated lime mudstone; 1009 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef. C) Section immediately underlying the WD4.1 surface. Dissolution cavities (arrowed) are filled by geopetal mudstone and dripstone cement; 981 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 17.

A) The WD3.2 sequence boundary, Grosmont Formation. Finely laminated siltstone deposited in a mixed siliciclastic–carbonate peritidal environment sharply overlies fractured, burrowed-massive fine wackestone deposited in a subtidal inner ramp environment; 286.8 m, 5-19-87-19W4 well, Grosmont Shelf. B) Section immediately below the WD3.2 exposure surface consisting of (a) fenestral lime mudstone to packstone with numerous vertical and subhorizontal dissolution cavities and fenestrae of varying sizes. Cavities and fenestrae are lined by (b) micritic cement, (c) dripstone, and (d) isopachous cement of fibrous calcite and infilled by a variety of marly internal sediments including skeletal packstone and laminated lime mudstone; 1009 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef. C) Section immediately underlying the WD4.1 surface. Dissolution cavities (arrowed) are filled by geopetal mudstone and dripstone cement; 981 m, well 5-36-56-21W4, Redwater Reef.

Fig. 18.

—Evolution of the WD4 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.1 (= WD4.1.1), the WD4.1.2, and WD4.2.1 HFS. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 18.

—Evolution of the WD4 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.1 (= WD4.1.1), the WD4.1.2, and WD4.2.1 HFS. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 19.

—Evolution of the WD4 and WI1 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.2.1, WI1.1, and the WI1.2.1. This figure continues from the left (southeast) of the preceding one. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 19.

—Evolution of the WD4 and WI1 CS at the Nikanassin Range. Shelf edge trajectories (red arrows) track relative sea-level rise and fall within the WD4.2.1, WI1.1, and the WI1.2.1. This figure continues from the left (southeast) of the preceding one. Circled numbers refer to descriptions within the text. From Weissenberger et al. (2016).

Fig. 20.

—Correlation of composite sequences WD3 to WB1 from Cripple Creek, on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, to equivalent sequences at the Miette Reef in the South Jasper Basin. The WD4 and WI3 MFSs and the WI1.1 sequence boundary are extremely useful for regional correlation; see text for details and discussion. Same vertical scales. The difference in slope gradients of coeval WI HFS sequences, approximately 108 to 158 at Miette and,58 at Cripple Creek, are due to the greater degree of clay basin fill at Cripple Creek. Cross-section data are from the southeast margin, Cline Channel (Wong et al. 2016), and the Miette Reef at the Nikanassin Range (Weissenberger et al. 2016).

Fig. 20.

—Correlation of composite sequences WD3 to WB1 from Cripple Creek, on the southeast margin of the Cline Channel, to equivalent sequences at the Miette Reef in the South Jasper Basin. The WD4 and WI3 MFSs and the WI1.1 sequence boundary are extremely useful for regional correlation; see text for details and discussion. Same vertical scales. The difference in slope gradients of coeval WI HFS sequences, approximately 108 to 158 at Miette and,58 at Cripple Creek, are due to the greater degree of clay basin fill at Cripple Creek. Cross-section data are from the southea