Abstract

This paper presents the results of a combined stratigraphical, paleomagnetic, and vertebrate paleontological study of the Maser-Frisch Site near Irvine, Alberta. At that site, about 3 m of mainly pond and stream deposits overlies Cretaceous bedrock and underlies Quaternary till and loess. All of the deposits have normal magnetic polarity. Further, the lower pond and stream deposits have yielded an interesting collection of mammal bones. Taxa identified include rabbit or hare, ground squirrel, prairie dog, bog lemming, canids, cats, badger, elephant, horses, camel, and shrub-ox.

The identified taxa tentatively imply a late Irvingtonian Land Mammal Age for the fauna. This, along with their preglacial setting and normal polarity, indicates that the pond and stream deposits were laid down near the beginning of the Brunhes Polarity Chron (about 0.7 Ma) and so provide a maximum limit for the first glaciation of the region. Together, the fauna and deposits offer an interesting glimpse at conditions prevailing on the High Plains of the region at that time, which apparently resembled the dry, treeless grassland found there at present.

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