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Throughout most of west-central Alberta, the Beaverhill Lake formation consists of interbedded dense limestones and shales, but in the Swan Hills area a productive unit of porous clastic and organic limestones, the Swan Hills member, is present near the base of the formation. This member contains an early Waterways fauna and represents early Beaverhill Lake reefing. At the western border of the type area, the Swan Hills member occupies the entire Beaverhill Lake interval and interfingers with dolomite beds underlying reefs of post-Beaverhill Lake Woodbend age. To date, all known hydrocarbons in the Beaverhill Lake formation are trapped in localized reef build-ups of the Swan Hills member, but the regional pinch-out edge of this member is only in the early stages of being xplored for stratigraphic traps.
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