Trilobite biostratigraphy of Rockslide Formation (Middle Cambrian)
Principal Investigator: Pratt, Brian R. (6)
Licence Number: 12977
Organization: University of Saskatchewan
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2002 2000 1998
Issued: Jun 26, 1998
Project Team: Katherine Gerein

Objective(s): Outcrops in the Mackenzie Mountains preserve an almost uninterrupted sequence of strata of Cambrian age. This study aims to collect in bed-by-bed detail the trilobite fossils from the Rockslide Formation, the Middle Cambrian portion of the sequence. The taxonomy and biostratigraphy of these fossils will generate a refined time scale for this part of the geologic column, some half a billion years old. I began this project with field seasons in 19783 and 1984, and several publications have appeared. When it is completed, we will have the most complete biostratigraphic zonation in the world for the lower Paleozoic. These results have implications as well for reconstructing the positions of the continents during the Cambrian.

Project Description: Outcrops in the Mackenzie Mountains preserve an almost uninterrupted sequence of strata of Cambrian age. This study aims to collect in bed-by-bed detail the trilobite fossils from the Rockslide Formation, the Middle Cambrian portion of the sequence. The taxonomy and biostratigraphy of these fossils will generate a refined time scale for this part of the geologic column, some half a billion years old. I began this project with field seasons in 19783 and 1984, and several publications have appeared. When it is completed, we will have the most complete biostratigraphic zonation in the world for the lower Paleozoic. These results have implications as well for reconstructing the positions of the continents during the Cambrian. Strata on the western side of the Backbone Ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains will be studied and sampled for their fossils. Camp put-in and removal will be done by means of a helicopter probably chartered from Watson Lake, or alternatively, one that is active in the region. Samples are typically brick-sized rocks which yield their fossils after preparation in the lab.