Abstract

New allostratigraphic correlations in west-central Alberta show that flooding surfaces in the Sunkay and basal Vimy members of the Blackstone Formation can be traced eastward from Burnt Timber Creek for >500 km to western Saskatchewan, and for 350 km northward into the Dunvegan and Kaskapau formations. At Burnt Timber Creek, a Miliammina manitobensis microfauna in the lowest 1 m of the Sunkay Member indicates equivalence to the Westgate Formation, and an overlying 70 cm conglomerate is correlative with the Fish Scales Formation. Overlying mudstones contain foraminifera of the Verneuilinoides perplexus Zone, indicative of the middle Cenomanian Belle Fourche Formation. The base of the Second White Specks Formation, as currently defined in core in eastern Alberta, equates in outcrop with the lower part of the Sunkay, rather than the base of the Vimy Member as previously thought. The base of the Second White Specks Formation should be placed about 35 m higher in the stratotype core. A bentonite located 9.3 m above the base of the Sunkay Member at Burnt Timber Creek lies near the highest occurrence of Evolutinella sp. aff. E. apricarius, indicating proximity to the “X” bentonite, recognized across the prairies and traceable north into allomember C of the Dunvegan alloformation. A thick bentonite 93.2 m above the base of the Burnt Timber Creek section lies 4 m above the base of the Vimy Member; this bentonite, traceable from northern British Columbia to New Mexico, lies a few metres below the Cenomanian–Turonian boundary and is here formally named the Bighorn River Bentonite.

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