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The Middle Devonian, Sub-Watt Mountain Unconformity in the District of Mackenzie and Northern Alberta
The sub-Watt Mountain unconformity marks the top of the Elk Point Group. This unconformity has a slight topographic relief and changes character from place to place in northern Alberta and the District of Mackenzie. In the northern part of the Elk Point embayment the unconformity overlies a paleoregolith, in the crestal part of the Tathlina Uplift it overlies a limestone breccia, and along the reefal edge of the Presqu’ile Barrier it is an erosional surface or depositional hiatus. This situation indicates that the erosional unconformity is the result of a relative drop in the waterlevel of the Elk Point embayment, during which paleotopographic high areas (Peace River Arch, parts of Tathlina Uplift) were emergent (possibly also uplifted?) and eroded. Because of differential compaction during the period of low water stand, the area in northern Alberta underlain by Elk Point evaporites subsided more than the area underlain by carbonates and the Tathlina Uplift. The result was a reversal in paleotopography and the formation of a very shallow basin in northern Alberta. In this shallow basin the paleoregolith is overlain by relatively thick “brackish water” and “evaporitic” deposits of the Watt Mountain and Fort Vermilion formations.
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