Abstract

A number of salt tectonic structures, pillows and diapirs, occur in the Fort Norman area, Northwest Territories. The structures are cored mainly by salt from the Upper Cambrian Saline River Formation and to a lesser extent by little-known salt from the Lower/Middle Cambrian Mount Cap Formation. Salt flow occurred during at least three, and possibly five, periods of time, and most structures experienced two or more salt tectonic phases. Well-documented phases include: post-Devonian - pre-Turonian; Late Cretaceous; and post Cretaceous (including post-Paleocene). Cambrian and pre-Devonian phases are deduced from equivocal data, and may have been related to epeirogenic events along the Keele Tectonic Zone. The pre-Turonian event was compressional and possibly related to Jurassic/Cretaceous compressional orogenesis in the cordillera. Post-Cretaceous salt tectonics were at least in part related to Laramide compressional tectonics that produced the Franklin Mountains. One Late Cretaceous diapir has no clear relationship to regional tectonic events. The largest salt structure, the multi-phase Gambill Diapir, probably localized right-lateral strike-slip displacements during the Laramide orogeny. Hydrocarbon exploration possibilities include essentially untested thick Lower and Middle Cambrian strata, possible basal sands at the sub-Devonian unconformity, and Paleozoic carbonate reservoirs in contact with Cretaceous source beds.

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