Abstract

Paleomagnetic and geochemical data obtained from six wells in southwestern Manitoba indicate that the Lower Amaranth redbeds were deposited earlier than Jurassic or Triassic, the most commonly cited depositional ages for this formation in the Williston Basin. The magnetization is carried primarily by detrital specular and pigmentary hematite and occasionally magnetite. Inclination-only analysis of paleomagnetic data (83 specimens from 60 plugs) indicates two possible depositional magnetization ages: Devonian–Pennsylvanian (D, found in very few samples) or Carboniferous to Permian, as suggested by the inclination and the polarity of the most predominant magnetization (B). An isolated magnetization (C) could be a mid-Jurassic to Neogene localized fluid flow remagnetization event. The oxygen and carbon isotope values of dolomite (–6.45‰ to 0.30‰ Vienna PeeDee Belemnite (VPDB) δ18O, –1.57‰ to 5.44‰ VPDB δ13C; n = 18) indicate that dolomitization could have occurred anytime between Carboniferous and Jurassic. However, the distribution of these values is a function of the three types of dolomite present in the Lower Amaranth strata: detrital, cement, and matrix replacive and reflects both the primary values and diagenetic overprints. Detrital and cement dolomite show depleted values in both oxygen and carbon isotopes, most likely inherited from the original values of the detrital dolomite, with superimposed effects of recrystallization. The matrix replacive dolomite has no detrital content, and its oxygen isotope values are similar to the expected values for primary or early diagenetic dolomite from Carboniferous to Jurassic times. Mixtures of detrital and replacive matrix dolomite give intermediate oxygen and carbon isotope values.

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