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Abstracts 5. The Paleogeography and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Cardium Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of the Alberta Basin
The Cardium Formation (Turonian) is dominated by coastal and shallow shelf sandstones with some conglomerate. Sediments were derived from the rising cordillera to the west and were deposited along the western margin of the North American Seaway.
Cardium deposition can be subdivided into three stages. During stage one a barrier-dominated, linear coastline (the Ram member) prograded from west to east across western Alberta while offshore, long narrow bars (Cardium B sandstone) developed subparallel to the coastline. During stage two widespread, shallow shelf sheet sands (Cardium A sandstone) developed offshore. Stage three (Cardium Zone) was a period of rising sea level which resulted in a substantial westward shift of the shoreline. Shelf and coastal sands deposited during this stage are primarily restricted to the Alberta Foothills. Gravels appear to have been transported across the ancient shelf at the beginning of stage three, coincident with the early stages of coastal inundation. It is suggested that rip currents associated with major coastal storms were the transport mechanism.
Three depositional facies offer additional exploration potential; the Ram barrier (tight sand gas), Cardium A sheet sand (oil) and Cardium B offshore bars (oil, gas).
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Canadian Hunter Exploration Ltd.
Copyright © 2010 by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
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