This study focuses on the Lower-Middle Triassic Montney, Sunset Prairie, Doig, and, Halfway formations from the foreland basin of the Canadian Cordillera (Alberta and British Columbia). Based on core and outcrop descriptions, correlation of 400 wells, and, on mineralogical analyses, this study interprets the basin-scale, 3D-stratigraphic architecture of these formations and discusses the controls on its evolution.
Well correlation highlights four sequences (1-4) interpreted to occur in two second-order cycles (A and B). In this work, the Lower Triassic Montney Formation and the early Middle Triassic Sunset Prairie Formation are interpreted to consist of three third-order sequences (1-3) related to the first second-order cycle (cycle A). The Middle Triassic Doig and Halfway formations are interpreted to consist of a fourth sequence (4) related to a second-order cycle (cycle B). Integration of stratigraphic surfaces with previously published biostratigraphic analyses emphasizes a major time gap of ca. 2 Ma between these two cycles interpreted to record a major reorganization of the basin. Mineralogical analyses suggest that during cycle A, sediments were delivered from the east (Canadian Shield) whereas in cycle B additional sources from the west (proto Canadian Cordillera) occurred. This study shows the stratigraphic architecture evolution was affected by the structural heritage of the basin and continental geodynamic evolution. This study provides a large-scale understanding on the controls of the stratigraphic architecture of Lower and Middle Triassic strata suggesting local and regional controls on the reservoir extension and unconventional plays configuration within these strata.