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The Elk Point salt beds of the Prairie Provinces were deposited in two distinct, but connected, basins: the Alberta Basin to the northwest and the Saskatchewan basin to the southeast. Deposition began earlier in the Alberta Basin, resulting in the formation of two salt beds which have no equivalent in the Saskatchewan basin. Later, in Elk Point time, waters moving southeastward were apparently progressively concentrated so that carbonates and anhydrite are common to the northwest, whereas salt and potash predominate to the southeast. Subsurface solution of the salt beds in the Saskatchewan basin began in Devonian time and continued intermittently until at least late Cretaceous time, resulting in the formation of many anomalous structures. Exploitation of the salt beds and related brine springs began with the earliest settlement of the area and continued until the present. In recent years, the potash salts of Saskatchewan have been intensively explored, and commercial production is under way.

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