Terminal Proterozoic events in northwestern Canada

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: sedimentology, fossils, stratigraphy, rock outcrops

Principal Investigator: MacNaughton, Robert B. (8)
Licence Number: 12911
Organization: Queen's University
Licenced Year(s): 1998 1997
Issued: Jun 06, 1997
Project Team: G.M. Narbonne, R.W. Dalrymle, R. Brown

Objective(s): Sedimentary rocks formed on the continental slope and deepest parts of the continental shelf are a rather poorly understood set of deposits. The Blueflower Formation is a unit of rock in the Mackenzie Mountains. It contains deposits of both environments, and was apparently deposited during a sea-level shallowing more than 545 million years ago. The formation is well exposed and has the potential to help us understand the detailed sedimentology and stratigraphic packaging of rocks from such environments. Some key stratigraphic approaches are very effective in shallow-water sedimentary rocks; we want to see if they will also be useful in such deep water deposits. The Blueflower Formation dates from a crucial interval in Earth history when a unique groups of animals (the Ediacaran fauna) was at its peak. The precise nature and history of these animals are vigorously debated among scientists. The Blueflower Formation contains many specimens of these fossils. This study will contribute significant information regarding the ecology of these interesting & important ancient creatures

Project Description: Members of a field party will be transported to base camp by helicopter. Base-camp moves will also be done by helicopter. All ground work will be done on foot. Data collection involves photography of rock outcrops, measurement of stratigraphic sections using a Jacob's staff (measuring pole), and the following of key stratigraphic surfaces. Collection of rock samples is either from free-lying float or from outcrop by means of geological hammer. Between 100-300 fist-sized samples will be collected for later study at Queen's University. We will provide all relevant local groups with a summary report of the final results of our research.