Electromagnetic studies of the Precambrian basement beneath the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in Alberta indicate a narrow linear conductivity anomaly spatially correlated with a strong positive magnetic feature, the Red Deer high. The conductor is located below sedimentary cover near the top of the crystalline basement and has limited depth extent. We propose that this anomalous feature represents graphitic metasedimentary rocks in the euxinic-flysch facies of a Proterozoic foredeep sequence. The strong magnetic anomaly results from an associated iron formation deposited on the outer ramp of the foredeep. This model explains the geophysical anomalies, has analogues on the exposed shield, and is consistent with the timing, deformation history, and known geology of the Precambrian basement.

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