Abstract

The overall palynology of the upper Horseshoe Canyon Formation to lower Scollard Formation within the Edmonton Group is reviewed providing new insights into biostratigraphic relationships for the interval, including the recognition of unconformities in the stratigraphic package. The palynomorph recovery from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation and overlying units documents a number of significant events that allow the subdivision of the section. The Albertosaurus bonebed occurs within the lower Maastrichtian portion of the Edmonton Group. The bonebed is situated just below the base of the Scollardia trapaformis Palynomorph Zone, an important marker assemblage that has been documented from areas of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. This indicates that the bonebed lies at the top of the Mancicorpus vancampoi Zone. The transition between the zones is marked by a colour change in the sediments, the appearance of coals and organic-rich sediments above the transition, a decrease in numbers of vertebrate fossils, and the appearance of new pollen species. It is inferred that the observed changes reflect a climatic switch from dry to wetter conditions. At a large scale, palynomorph assemblages across this transition do not clearly indicate marked differences that can be attributed to the climatic change, with the exception of the appearance of Scollardia trapaformis and Mancicorpus gibbus in the assemblages. On a microscale of a few metres, there are changes in relative abundance of plant groups.

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