Abstract

The acritarch assemblages of strata from the base of the Upper Proterozoic Sheepbed Formation to the base of the Lower Cambrian (Atdabanian) Sekwi Formation are described. The sections sampled are in southwestern (internal) structural units where erosion beneath the "sub-Cambrian"(?) unconformity is least evident. Problems of lithostratigraphic correlation of post-Sheepbed, pre-Backbone Ranges formations remain. Acritarchs indicate the age of the Sheepbed Formation and the Blue-flower Formation above it is latest Proterozoic (Vendian), whereas that of the Vampire Formation is Early Cambrian (Atdabanian). The Backbone Ranges Formation has not yielded datable acritarchs, but it is for the most part Cambrian in age, based on other fossil evidence. Comparisons are made with the Russian Platform and southern Canadian Rocky Mountains successions. The total number of acritarch genera increases markedly across the Precambrian–Cambrian transition.

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