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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Bulletin


Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology
Vol. 66 (2018), No. 1. (March), Pages 128-160

Subsidence Dynamics of the Montney Formation (Early Triassic, Western Canada Sedimentary Basin): Insights for its Geodynamic Setting and Wider Implications

Sébastien Rohais, Vincent Crombez, Tristan Euzen, John-Paul Zonneveld


This study presents the first published subsidence analysis during the deposition of the Montney Formation. It was deposited during the Early Triassic (ca. 252.2-245 Ma) in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) located along the western margin of the North American craton. Subsidence analyses of six representative wells and two outcrop sections along a proximal to distal transect are presented using a backstripping method integrating recent high-resolution stratigraphic correlations for the Montney Formation. The entire Paleozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary column of the WCSB was backstripped to put the deposition of the Montney Formation into a broader context and provide results regarding the type of subsidence and geodynamic setting for the Montney Formation.

The spatial and temporal evolution of the subsidence during the deposition of the Montney Formation indicates that the most likely basin setting is a foreland. The tectonic subsidence during the Triassic is herein interpreted as a combination of the topographic loading of the orogenic wedge (flexure) and the sublithospheric “loading” caused by slab load-driven subsidence (dynamic subsidence). This suggests that the retro-foreland basin setting was associated with an eastward dipping subduction during the deposition of the Montney Fm.

Three foreland stages are thus recorded in the whole WCSB, with evidence for: 1) a Late Permian (fore-arc) pro-foreland setting; then 2) a Triassic collisional retro-foreland basin prior to the well-known; 3) Jurassic-Cenozoic collisional retro-foreland.

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