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Abstracts 10. Paleosols and Late Albian Sea Level Fluctuations; or Why Coals are Scarce in the Boulder Creek Formation, Northeastern British Columbia
Fifteen well-developed paleosols, 0.7 to 6 m thick, occur in a 90 m interval of the Boulder Creek Formation in northeastern British Columbia. The paleosols are characterized by grey colour, pedogenic slickensides, vertical roots, preserved peds, absence of sedimentary structures and spherulitic siderite. Some of these features characteristic for palesols have been observed in the Cardium Formation of northern Alberta and the Gething and Nikanassin Formations of northeastern British Columbia. The palesols formed in a humid to sub-humid climate with a periodically high water table. The paucity of carbonaceous material and abundance of roots suggests periodic drying and oxidation of organic material. A scarcity of calcium carbonate is typical of a humid to subhumid climate. The numerous closely spaced palesols suggest that the rate of sediment supply was low, and that very little erosion took place as a consequence of the low relief. The periods of soil formation may be related to the late Albian unconformity/ hiatus that has been documented elsewhere in the western Canada sedimentary basin. This unconformity is likely the result of a relative drop in sea level.
The limited data available to date suggest that the soils areof the intrazonal group. Topography and especially water table were the main soil forming factors in controlling soil genesis. The interval including the palesols appears to represent a very long period of time during which deposition was slow and there was very little erosion.
It is believed that coal is rare in the Boulder Creek Formation because long periods of subaerial exposure are not conducive to the accumulation of peat.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Institute of Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology, Calgary
Copyright © 2010 by the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
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