Stratigraphy and Palaeontology of the Late Cretaceous Wapiti Formation, west-central Alberta, Canada

Fanti, Federico (2009) Stratigraphy and Palaeontology of the Late Cretaceous Wapiti Formation, west-central Alberta, Canada , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze della terra, 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1498.
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A complete stratigraphic assessment and revision of the middle Campanian to upper Maastrichtian Wapiti Formation in north-western Alberta and north-eastern British Columbia is the main aim of this research project. The study area encompasses an area of approximately 200X180 km in the Grande Prairie County (west-central Alberta) and easternmost British Columbia, Canada. Results presented here indicate that the 1300m thick succession currently reported in the literature as “undifferentiated lithostratigraphic unit”, consists of five lithostratigraphic units and four unconformity-bounded depositional sequences; their study and description have been documented integrating several geological disciplines, including sequence stratigraphic methods, well-log signatures, facies analysis, and fossil associations. On the whole, particular attention has been given to 1) age and nature of both basal and upper contacts of the Wapiti Formation, 2) effective mappability of lithostratigraphic units and depositional sequences in western Alberta, and 3) the identification of previously undetermined maximum flooding surface of the Bearpaw seaway and Drumheller Marine Tongue, which are reference marine unit in central and southern Alberta. A second, but not less important, guideline for the project has been the rich paleontological record of the Wapiti deposits. Detailed paleoenvironmental and taxonomical information on old and new finds have been the base for correlation with well known associations of Alaska, southern Alberta, and Montana. Newly discovered rich fossil localities documented an extraordinarily diverse fauna during the latest Cretaceous, including dinosaurs, squamates, and fresh-water fishes and reptiles. Lastly, in order to better characterize the Wapiti Formation, major marker beds were described: these include several bentonites (altered volcanic ash deposits) which have been documented over an area of almost 30.000 km2, as well as four major coal zones, characterized by tabular coal seams with an overall thickness of 2 meters. Such marker beds represent a formidable tool for high-resolution chronology and regional correlations within the Late Cretaceous Alberta foreland basin.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fanti, Federico
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze della terra e dell'ambiente
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Late Cretaceous, Sequence Stratigraphy, Paleoecology, Geochemistri
Data di discussione
6 Aprile 2009

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