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IINERALOGIC STUDY 

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ATCHEWAN SANDS AND GRAVELS 



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ABSTRACT 


This thesis embodies the results of a study 
of the Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels with an attempt 
to determine their source. Mechanical analyses, 
insoluble residue teszs, heavy mineral analyses and 
light mineral analyses of the sand portions were the 
methods of approach. 

Mechanical analyses show a well sorted sand of 
medium to fine grain size. An absence of coarse 
sand was noted, even where the gravel phase was present. 
Clay and silt were found to be minor constituents 
except in basal samples where shales from the underlying 
bedrock increase the clay content of the sample. 

Insoluble residue tests show an increase of 
soluble material as the mountains are approached. This 
suggests a source from the Rocky Mountains. Heavy mineral 
analyses revealed the presence of a metamorphic suite of 
minerals. Light mineral analyses showed angular quartz 
dominant with secondary amounts of carbonates and feldspar. 
The presence of angular grains, unstable minerals and a 
lack of weathering indicate a primary source to the 
west. Three possibilities for source areas arise: 

(1) pre-existing Tertiary deposits of the plains 

(2) Rocky Mountains east of tbe continental divide 

(3) mountains west of the present divide composed in part 
of metamorphic rocks. Emphasis is placed on the last two 
sources. Streams depositing the Saskatchewan sands and 
gravels are believed to have originated in areas west of 






























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the present divide and to have flowed through the 
Rocky Mountains onto the plains. Subsequent stream 
capture and uplift have resulted in the present 
continental divide. 

The age of the Saskatchewan sands and gravels 
is uncertain. However, the lack of weathering suggests 
the time of deposition as one immediately preceding 
glaciation in the area. 



THE UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA 


A MINERALOGIC STUDY 
OF THE 

SASKATCHEWAN SANDS AND GRAVELS 


A DISSERTATION 

SUBMITTED TO THE SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES 
IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF. THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE 

OF MASTER OF SCIENCE 


FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCE 
DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY 

by 

STEPHEN ALEXANDER ANTONIUK. 
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, 


APRIL 3, 1954 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2018 with funding from 
University of Alberta Libraries 


https://archive.org/details/Antoniuk1954 


FRONTISPIECE 


Section at Lethbridge, Alberta, showing 
the Saskatchewan gravels overlain by the 
distinctive Easal Till. 






















TABLE OP CONTENTS 


CHAPTER I 

Page 

INTRODUCTION 

General Statement . 1 

Acknowledgements . 1 

Previous Work . 2 

Field Work . 6 

CHAPTER II 

MECHANICAL ANALYSES 

General Statement . 10 

Procedure .. 10 

Histograms . 12 

Cumulative Curves . 12 

Interpretations . 13 

CHAPTER III 

MINERALOGIC ANALYSES 

1. INSOLUBLE RESIDUE TESTS . 18 

Procedure . 18 

Interpretations . 18 

2. HEAVY MINERAL ANALYSES . 21 

Procedure . 21 

Mineral Descriptions . 22 

Light Mineral Analyses . 38 

Interpretations of Mineral Analyses . 39 

CHAPTER IV 

CONCLUSIONS . 43 

BIBLIOGRAPHY . 47 

APPENDIX 

DESCRIPTION OF SECTIONS . 59 






























V 


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TABLES 


Page 

Table 1. Size Analyses .. 14 

2. Insoluble Residue tests . 20 

3. Heavy Minerals of La&e Wabamun Sections.. 33 

4. Heavy Minerals of Lethbridge and 

Red Deer Sections ..... 34 

5. Heavy Minerals of Edmonton Sections . 35 

6. Heavy Minerals of Tertiary Beds . 36 

7. Average Heavy Mineral Percentages for 

Different Sections .... 37 

FIGURES 

Figure 1. Index Map of Alberta . 9 

2. Histograms and Cumulative Curves of Lake 

Wabamun Sections . 14a 

3. Histograms and Cumulative Curves of 

Lethbridge and Red Deer 
Sections . 14b 

4. Histograms and Cumulative Curves of Big 

Bend Section, Edmonton. 14c 

5. Histograms and Cumulative Curves of Groat 

Ravine Section, Edmonton 14d 

PLATES 

FRONTISPIECE . 

PLATE 1 . 53 

PLATE II . 54 

PLATE III . 55 

PLATS IV . 56 

PLATE V . 57 

PLATE VI . 58 










































CHAPTER I 


INTRODUCTION 

General Statement 

The presence of the Saskatchewan sands and 
gravels has been known since the start of geological 
investigation in Alberta. However, no detailed 
mineralogic study of the sands has been made. They 
have been mentioned by many geologists but generally 
their views are those of previous writers or are made 
on a basis of cursory field investigation. Thus the 
project was undertaken with an attempt to throw some 
new light on the size distribution and mineralogic 
content of the Saskatchewan sands and gravels. The 
results in turn may be used to provide evidence 
regarding their source and age. 

The methods used were: size analyses, 
insoluble residue tests, heavy mineral analyses and 
light mineral analyses. Emphasis is placed on the 
heavy mineral analyses. 

Acknowledgements : 

The writer wishes to express his sincere 
appreciation to all members of the Department of 
Geology, University of Alberta, for their assistance 
and encouragement during the writer’s graduate and 
undergraduate years. 

Thanks are especially due to Dr. C.P. Gravenor 
under whose direction and guidance this thesis was 






































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written and to Dr. P.S. Warren for aid in the location 
of sections. 

The writer received financial assistance 
from the Shell Oil Company in the form of the Shell 
Oil Fellowship. 

Previous Work : 

The deposits concerned were first named the 
"South Saskatchewan Gravels" by R.G. McConnell (1885), 
He recognized their presence on the North Saskatchewan 
River and Missouri River branches but believed them 
to be most abundant in the ^outh Saskatchewan River 
drainage system. Writers, however, soon dropped the 
term "South". R.L. Rutherford (19b7), preferred the 
extended term "Saskatchewan Gravels and Sands" as 
in places of Central Alberta, sand is the dominant 
constituent. First reference to these beds in the 
Edmonton District was made by J.B. Tyrrell (1886). 

Writers often referred to them merely as the 
"Quartzite gravels", even after the name "Saskatchewan 
Gravels" was assigned, because of the abundance of 
quartzite pebbles in the gravels. This has led to some 
confusion since writers also use the term "Quartzite 
gravels" for the Tertiary deposits covering the Cypress, 
Hand and Swan Hills. 

Although much has been written about the 
Saskatchewan sands and gravels, their age and source 
are still disputed. McConnell (1885) originally sug- 









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gested that they were derived from late Tertiary con¬ 
glomerates. Tyrrell (1890) called them Pliocene, having 
been derived in part from pre-existing Miocene deposits 
and in part directly from the quartzite areas of the moun¬ 
tains. Dawson (1895) concluded -chat the Saskatchewan 
gravels were, for the main part, of glacial origin and 
graded into a "western boulder clay" of a ^ordilleran 
glaciation. Dawson thought this glaciation was antecedent 
to Kansan glaciation and suggested that this stage be 
named Albertan with the "Albertan formation" to comprise 
both the western boulder clay and the Saskatchewan gravels. 
B-e also recognized a lower set of gravels which antedated 
glaciation, thus concluding that the Saskatchewan gravels 
included both preglacial and glacial material. He 
thought no great chronological break was necessary 
between the two modes of deposition. 

F.H. Calhoun (1906) rejected the idea saying 
they are of pre-glacial origin. He believed that they 
were derived from a higher Tertiary plain that had been 
raised tectonically. Alden and Stebinger (1913) were 
of the opinion that the Saskatchewan gravels are inter¬ 
glacial deposits formed from erosion of a pre-Wisconsin 
mountain drift. Alden (1932) later elaborated on this 
theory and drew up a correlation w th a set of Pleistocene 
terraces in Montana. The gravel deposits on these terraces 
appear to oe older than any Keewatin drift on the Montana 



















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plains. Williams and Dyer (19dO) believe that the 
deposits included under Saskatchewan gravels by 
McConnell vary in age of deposition from early Pliocene 
to early Pleistocene or even interglacial. They point 
out that in the river gravels described by McConnell 
and others, the rock is practically identical with that 
of the Cypress hills formation and that whatever the 
final means or age of deposition most of the quartzite 
gravels belonged originally to the Cypress hills con¬ 
glomerate formation. 

Rutherford (1937) said the Saskatchewan gravels 
and sands were preglacial in the sense that they antedate 
glaciation from the north and east and lie on bedrock. 

He was inclined to the view that the gold, which is 
found in the Saskatchewan sands, and the coarse gravels 
were derived from late Tertiary deposits of conglomerate, 
he also mentions the coarser phases of the Paskapoo as 
a possible contributor. Rutherford stresses the fact 
that the gravels are widespread and not altogether res¬ 
tricted to river valleys. The thicker arenaceous beds he 
thought, are confined to lower levels and the thicker 
gravel beds are more commonly found at higher elevations 
and somewhat removed from the lower parts of old drainage 
channels. L.S. Russell (1940) tentatively assigned the 
sands to the Pliocene since the absence of Laurentian 
pebbles favors a pre-glacial origin. Finally L. Horberg 
(1952) regarded the Saskatchewan gravels as pre-glacial 
















































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but states that it is uncertain whether they are early 
Pleistocene or late Tertiary in age or v/hether they are 
primary or reworked from older gravels. 

Taylor (1954) mapped the deposits of the 
Edmonton area in detail and mentions several sections 
of Saskatchewan sands and gravels. 

Work on pebble counts by Rutherford (1937) 
shows that the gravels are of two types, namely pieces 
of undecomposed bedrock of local derivation and pebbles 
or boulders derived from che west. In the huff gravel 
pit, about 35 miles west of Edmonton, light coloured, 
smooth sandstones are dominant, with secondary amounts 
of chert and arkose pebbles. Fragments of the harder 
portions of the underlying bedrock are present at the 
base of the deposits. In the Lethbridge section, Eorberg 
(1952) found quartzite dominant and argillites, dark and 
light coloured cherts, limestones, meta-conglomerate and 
shale present in minor amounts. 

Duff (1951) carried out tests on sphericity and 
roundness of the Saskatchewan sands and gravels (sand 
portion). His results show the Saskatchewan sands to 
have a lower average sphericity (0.753) than any of the 
Pleistocene deposits in the area, his average sphericity 
for the Edmonton sandstone (0.80) was higher than that 
of the Saskatchewan sands which precludes any relation¬ 
ship between these two beds. 


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The occurrence of gold in the sand bars on 
the North Saskatchewan River has led to considerable 
discussion. Tyrrell (1215) said gold was first dis¬ 
covered in paying quantities in the North Saskatchewan 
River in 1660 or 1861 at Rocky Mountain n ouse, by 
American projectors. Tyrrell said that most of the 
gold came from the hdmonton formation on the basis of 
traces of gold found in ashes from burnt out coal of zhe 
Edmonton formation. A.R.C. Selwyn (1874) concluded that 
the original source of the gold was from Precambrian 
rocks of the glacial drift. Dawson (1884) supported 
Selwyn's views on origin. Rutherford (1957) stated that 
most and perhaps all the gold of the North Saskatchewan 
bars and terraces was derived from the arenaceous phases 
of the Saskatchewan gravels and sands. His work showed 
that in all Cases the richer beds were present in low 
spots at the base of about 60 feet of sands in river cuts. 
Field Work : 

The field work was done in the fall of 1953. 
in order to obtain a wide picture of the mineralogic 
content, samples of Saskatchewan sands and gravels were 
collected from well distributed sections throughout southern 
and central Alberta. Samples of older Tertiary beds were 
picked or received from the Department of Geology collec¬ 


tion for comparison purposes. 

Samples were obtained from the following sections; 

















































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(1) LETHBRIDGE. 

S10 - Section on the south-easi; bank 

of Oldman River along highway No. 
3, near bridge. (Twp. 9, Rge. 22, 
W. 4th). 


(2) RED DEER. 

37 - Section on north bank of the Red 

Deer River, west of the Red Deer 
Golf Course. (Twp. 38, Rge. 27, 

W. 4th). 

(3) LAKE WABAKUN. 

52 - Section from the abandoned Blue 

Flame strip mine on the north side 
of Lake V/abamun. (Twp. 53, Rge. 4, 

W. 5th) 

53 - Section from the Victory strip mine 

on the north shore of Lake Wabamun. 

This section is a few miles west of 
the Blue Flame strip mine. (Twp. 53, 

Rge. 4, W. 5th) . 

(4) EDMONTON AREA. 

512 - Big Bend section on the north bank 

of the North Saskatchewan River; west 
of the Country Club Golf Course. 

(Sec. 14, Twp. 52, Rge. 25, W. 4th). 

513 - Groat Ravine section; within the City 

limits of Edmonton, immediately below 
the bridge crossing Groat Ravine at 
102 Ave. and 125 St. (Twp. 53, Rge. 24, 

W. 4th). 

S5 - Section on the south oank of the North 
Saskatchewan River within the Edmonton 
City limits; below the University of 
Alberta staff residences. (Twp. 52, 

Rge. 24, W. 4th). 

(5) PEMBINA RIVER. 

Pi - Sample of the basal member of the 

Paskapoo formation as exposed on the 
east bank of the Pembina River; just 
above highway No. 16 crossing. (Twp. 

53, Rge. 7, W. 5th) 

(6) HAND HILLS. 

HI - Sample of the hand Hills conglomerate 
obtained from the Dept, of Geology, 
University of Alberta collection. 
Originally collected by J.O.G. Sanderson 
from outcrop in the Hand Hills. (Twp. 29, 
Rge. 17, W. 4th). 


















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Where more than one sample was collected from 
a section, the samples were lettered from the cop down 
in alphabetical order. Samples were collected at 10 
foot intervals except where a change was noted and in 
such cases, the sample was collected from the bed show¬ 
ing the change in lithology. (see Appendix) 

The sections of the Saskatchewan sands and 
gravels were found to be underlain by Cretaceous beds. 

The relief on these Cretaceous beds was sufficient in 
some instances to make the Saskatchewan sands and gravels 
very thin or absent. This relief probably represents 
banks of the old streams within which the sands and 
gravels were deposited (see Plates 1 and 2). Hie top of 
the Saskatchewan sands and gravels was found to be 
relatively level. Some crushing of the pebbles in the 
uppermost part was noted at Lethbridge and Lake Wabamun. 
This crushing was probably due to t he work of the glaciers 
However, at Lake Wabamun heavy machines stripping off the 
overburden to get to the coal may have caused the crushing 















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CHAPTER II 
MECHANICAL ANALYSES 

Mechanical analyses were made of all the 
samples collected. The results were plotted on histo¬ 
grams and cumulative curves. Where present, the gravel 
content was omitted and only the sand portion was analysed 
since an analysis of the gravel would have required the 
use of unusually large samples to be representative. Also, 
an analysis of the gravels would have required a measuring 
of each individual pebble and the results probably would 
not warrant the time taken. 

Procedure : 

A preliminary screening with a 2 mm. (10 mesh) 
screen was carried out to eliminate the gravel portion. 

A 150 gram sand sample was then placed in a ’’milk shake" 
disperser and dispersed for a period of ten minutes in 
a 1:40 solution of sodium hexametaphospnate. This proved 
to be an important step, as it aided in the removal of a 
silt and clay la; from the screens which would give both 
inaccurate weighings and contamination on the heavy 
mineral slides. 

A wet screening of the dispersed sample was then 
carried out through a 0.062 mm. (230 mesh) screen (the 
sand-silt break). The coarser material ms dried and 
weighed to find loss in weight. The fine material was 
washed into a settling cylinder (one litre volume) and a 
size analysis of this material was carried out on the 
basis of Stoke's Law of settling of fine particles. The 













































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Wentworth scale was used for the breaks in the silt and 
clay. At the end of the prescribed settling time a 
sample was taken at a 10 cm. depth by means of a pipette. 
This sample was then dried and. weighed. Calculation of 
the portion was carried out to find the weight percentage 
of the total. Breaks were made for particle diameters of 
0.0313, 0.0156, 0.0078 and 0.0039 mm. The 0.0039 mm. 

(3.9 micron) break was used as the silt-clay break. An 
analysis of the clays was not attempted, rather the total 
clay content was placed in one group. (See histograms). 

The dried sand portion was screened for a 15 
minute period on a Cenco-Meinzer Sieve Shaker using 8 
inch U.S. Standard Sieves of the following dimensions: 

U.S. Sieve Screen Openings 

Series Mesh No. in Mm. _ 


10 

2.00 

14 

1.41 

18 

1.00 

25 

0.707 

35 

0.500 

45 

0.354 

60 

0.250 

80 

0.177 

120 

0 .125 

170 

0.088 

230 

0.062 


The weight percentages of the sand on each 
screen were calculated and plotted in the form of histo¬ 
grams. Cumulative weight percentages were also plotted 
giving cumulative curves. In the dry screening, a 
residual silt, finer than the 230 mesh appeared on the 

K 

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This was added to the coarse silt obtained by the 


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settling process since a test; showed that this 
material settled below the first silt break used in che 
seedling process. 

Tables of the actual weight percentages are 
not printed as the results are evident on the histograms. 
Histograms ; 

The histograms are plotted using che Wentworth 
Scale as the abscissa and the weight percentages as the 
ordinate. the values in che sand portions are represented 
as shaded bars. The silt breaks are twice as large as 
the sand breaks and are cross-hatched. The last cross- 
hatched bar on each histogram shows the total clay- 
content of che samples. 

It is stressed that the grade scale used on the 
abscissa of histograms should be carefully observed as 
different grade scales give different histogram shapes. 

A fine scale, with small diameter ranges is desirable 
since a better location of the "maximum” will be shown. 
However, in such a case the peakedness of the histogram 
will appear less pronounced. 

Cumulative Curves : 

Graphs are drawn up for each sample to show the 
cumulative weight percentages in going from coarse to fine 
material. The 'Wentworth Scale is plotted along the 
abscissa and the cumulative weight percentages along the 
ordinate axis, thus at any point on the graph the ordi¬ 
nate reading give* the weight percentage of all the 


















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material coarser than the size represented. 

The median size (50 °/ 0 ) and the two quartiie 
sizes (25 f 0 and 7 b%) were read from the cumulative curves 
(see Table 1) and the coefficient of sorting Yras ob¬ 
tained for ail the samples using the following equation: 

Coeff. of sorting (So) = 0,3/Ql 

where Q,3 = 25$ quartiie 
Q,1 = 7b$ quartiie 

Skewness was calculated using the following 
equation: 

Skev/ness (Sk.) = Ql x Q5 

Md2 

Skewness indicates on which side of the median 
diameter, and how far from it, the mode or peak of size 
distribution lies. As a pcsitive logarithm of skewness 
indicates a mode on the fine side of the median, and a 
negative logarithm on bhe coarse side, it is convenient 
to use the logarithmic values rather than the values 
obtained from the above formula. 

An attempt at finding the kurtosis (peakedness) 
of each sample was made, however the values obtained were 
erratic and proved useless. Perhaps the reason for this 
is that the percentiles (10 and 90$ cumulative points) 
which are used in the formula may be affected by the 
tails of the graph. 'These are the extremities of the 
curve which do not appear to conform to the same laws as 
the body of the sample. (See Doeglas, D.J. (1946)). 
Interpretations : 


A study of the histograms adequately shows many 




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TABLE 1. 

SIZE ANALYSES VALUES. 


Sample 

Md. 

0,3 

Ql 

Coeff. of 
Sorting 

Median 
Sand Size 

3k. 

Logj o s k. 

S2-A 

0.17 

0.23 

0.14 

1.28 

Fine 

Sand 

1.11 

+0.045 

32-B 

0.26 

0.38 

0 .13 

1.71 

Med. 

it ii 

0.73 

-0.137 

S2-C 

0.34 

0.45 

0.23 

1.40 

n 

ii it 

0.89 

-0.050 

S3-A 

0.22 

0.31 

0 .09 

1.85 

Fine 

Sand 

0.58 

-0.240 

S3-B 

0.13 

0.20 

0.008 

5.00 

ii 

u n 

0 .95 

-0.024 

S7-B 

0.22 

0.32 

0.12 

1.63 

Fine 

Sand 

0.79 

-0.1O1 

S7-C 

0.27 

0.50 

0.10 

2.24 

it 

it it 

0.69 

-0.164 

S7-E 

0.26 

0.45 

0.14 

1.79 

it 

ii ii 

0.93 

-0.031 

S7-F 

0.01 

0.05 

0.003 

3.73 



1.50 

-+0.176 

S10-A 

0.16 

0.21 

0.09 

1.53 

Fine 

Sand 

0.74 

-0.132 

SIO-B 

0.21 

0.31 

0.13 

1.54 

tt 

it it 

0.92 

-0.038 

sio-c 

0.19 

0.31 

0 .06 

2.27 

it 

ii it 

0.52 

- .287 

S12-A 

0.22 

0.28 

0.16 

1.32 

Fine 

Sand 

0.93 

-0 .033 

S12-B 

0.12 

0.17 

0.08 

1.46 

Vy. Fine San< 

10.95 

-0.025 

S12-C 

0.31 

0.37 

0.26 

1.19 

Med. 

Sand 

1.00 

0 

S12-D 

0.22 

0.29 

0.16 

1.35 

Fine 

Sand 

0.96 

-0.018 

S12-E 

0.22 

0.30 

0.15 

1.41 

it 

it it 

0 .93 

-0.013 

S12-F 

0.18 

0.26 

0.12 

1.47 

ii 

it it 

0.96 

-0.016 

S12-G 

0.28 

0.32 

0.19 

1.30 

Med. 

Sand 

0.78 

-0.111 

S12-H 

0.28 

0.34 

0.21 

1.27 

n 

it it 

0.91 

-0.040 

S12-J 

0.25 

0.31 

0.18 

1.31 

Fine 

Sand 

0.89 

-0.049 

S12-K 

0.26 

0.36 

0.16 

1.50 

Med. 

Sand 

0.85 

-0.070 

S13-A 

0.19 

0.26 

0.15 

1.41 

Fine 

Sand 

0.94 

-0.028 

SI3-B 

0.20 

0.29 

0.13 

1.49 

it 

it it 

0.94 

-0.026 

S13-G 

0.13 

0.22 

0 .08 

1.66 

ii 

ii it 

0.78 

-0.107 

S13-D 

0.16 

0.21 

0.13 

1.27 

it 

ti it 

1.07 

+0.028 

S13-E 

0.21 

0.29 

0.15 

1.39 

it 

it it 

0.99 

-0.005 

S13-F 

0.18 

0.2 



it 

ti it 




































FIGURE 2 


SAMPLE : S2-A 

HISTOGRAMS 


S2-B* 



2 1 lA 1/16 \fi>4 1/^56 
Wentworth Scale 


CUMULATIVE CURVES’ 



S2-C 



Denotes sand portion of sond-grovel mixture 


























































FIGURE 3 





SAMPLE : SIO-A 

HISTOGRAMS' 


SiO-B* 


SIO-C* 





Wentworth Scale 




CUMULATIVE 




CURVES' 




•^Denotes sond portion ot sand-gravel mixture 












































































FIGURE 4 


SAMPLE : SI2-A SI2-B 

HISTOGRAMS^ 


SI2-C S 12-D 



CUMULATIVE CURVES' 









Denotes sond portion of 


sond-grovel mixture 


S12- E 































































































S12 - H 


SI2-J 


SI2-K* 













































FIGURE 5 


SAMPLE* SI3-A 


S13- B 


S 13-C 


S 13- D 


SI3-E 


HISTOGRAMS* 





CUMULATIVE CURVES* 



Wentworth Scale 









































































- lb 


S 


features, eg., dominant grain size, degree of sorting, 
presence of secondary modes, and skewness of the sample. 
Numerical values obtained from the cumulative curves, 
while of interest, generally proved less diagnostic than 
the histograms. Perhaps a widening of the spacing along 
the abscissa would result in the cumulative curves 
showing features not observed in the curves plotted. 

The results show that med urn to fine sand is 
the dominant portion of the samples. In some cases clay 
predominates over silt in the fine fraction, but generally 
clay and silt are present in approximately equal amounts. 
The predominance of clay over silt was found to be present 
in basal samples where shale from the underlying bedrock 
forms a large part of the sample. It is to be noted that 
in practically all cases very coarse and coarse sand is 
scarce. The absence of coarse sand proves especially 
interesting since gravel is often present. Is this an 
indication that the coarse sand size is relatively un¬ 
stable or that two sources for the material are present? 

Gravels consist almost exclusively of rock frag¬ 
ments. The fine sand on the other hand is dominantly 
single grains, i.e., the fragments are crystallographic 
units. Perhaps crystal grains of the very coarse sand 
size are rare. Also, rock fragments of the very coarse 
sand size present a greater surface per volume of frag¬ 
ment, allowing for a fast effective weathering of the 
cementing agent so that this size would be quickly broken 


down. 








•> 








" 

. 













* 










- 

. 








O i 


- 




. 




... 

r 


. 




. 

. 








. .... , .. . J .;«• . ’ 














±6 - 


On the other hand, the absence of material 
between gravel and medium sand may indicate two sources 
for the material. The gravels may have been derived 
locally from pre-existing Tertiary conglomerates and the 
sand portion may have been derived from the mountains to 
the west. Thus the metamorphic rocks, sandstones and 
quartzites of the mountains may have been broken down to 
monomineralic sizes. However, a similar condition for 
material analysed by other men is to be noted. (Pettijohn 
1949, p. 41)) . 

Bimodal distribution of the sand was found to be 
scarce except in the Red Deer section. The significance 
of this is not understood. Note, however, that here one 
horizon (S7-D) was a gravel bed with no interstitial sand 
whatsoever. Perhaps there is a relation between these 
two anomalies. 

The coefficient of sorting indicates good sorting 
in the majority of the samples, generally being somewhat 
less in sand from sand-gravel mixtures. Trask (see 
Pettijohn (1949, p. 24)) says a coefficient of sorting 
less than 2.5 indicates a well-sorted sediment and a value 
of 3.0 is average. Hough (1940) and Stetson (quoted by 
Hough), on the basis of near-shore marine sediments, say 
that 1.45 is the average coefficient of sorting. Krumbein 
and Tisdel (1940) found coefficient of sorting values 
between 1.96 and 1.28 for granite and gneisses weathered 
in place. However, they hint that ohe above samples all 

































. 

. 






1 











• « 




















. 

- 


. 


' 









• 














* 




. 








' 

. 













17 


have a positive log skewness whereas most transported 
sediments show a negative log skewness, as is the case 
of the Saskatchewan sands. 

Twenhofel (1941) says that the best that a graph 
can do is suggest an environment of deposition and an 
agent of deposition. On the whole the statistical 
results obtained for the Saskatchewan sands should be 
used with caution and little can be done with them alone. 
However, they may be more significant when used in con¬ 
junction with mineral analyses. 














' ■ .. .... ■ ' - 



• .• • -■ v j„ v' ... ,«*| 

. . 7 ... 




C) '/:0. 2'. u j.; ( 









, 













... 



. 






18 


CHAPTER III 
hINSRALOGIC ANALYSES 

1. INSOLUBLE RESIDUE TESTS 

Insoluble residue tests were carried out to 
determine the amount of carbonate found in the sand 
fractions. The results are shown in Table 2 and are 
given in percentage of soluble material rather than 
insoluble residue as the smaller percentage values for 
the soluble materials give a better comparison. 

25 grams of each sample was treated with 3N. HCl 
for a period of 12-15 hours. 

Interpretations : 

The results shown in Taole 2 indicate that those 
samples taken nearest the mountains have the highest 
amount of carbonate. Microscopic studies of the light 
mineral fraction indicate that the carbonate occurs as 
primary fragments. The Lethbridge section, wnicn is the 
section taken nearest the mountains (approximately 65 
miles), has the highest soluble material content; the 
Red Deer section, which was taken about 90 miles from the 
mountains, ranks second in the abundance of soluble 
material; the Lake Wabamun and Edmonton sections (125 and 
160 miles distant respectively) are lowest in soluble 
material content. Exceptions to the above general trend 
are first, basal samples where bedrock material affects 
the results considerably (see S7-F) and secondly, secondary 
carbonate-rich horizons. The latter were recognized in 







- 























. 

* 












. 


. 











- 19 


the field as better indurated sand beds and the carbon¬ 
ate was present as a cement rather than carbonate grains. 
(see S13-B). 








20 


TABLE 2. 

INSOLUBLE RESIDUE TESTS. 


Section 

Sample 

% Solubles 




Lethbridge 

S10-A 

11.7 


S10-B 

14.3 


S10-C 

11.8 

Red Deer 

S7-B 

4.0 


37-C 

8.4 


S7 -D 

-- 


S7-E 

9.8 


S7-F 

17.2 

Lake Wabamun 

S2-A 

3.3 


S2-B 

9.2 


S2-C 

3.9 


S3-A 

1.8 


S3-3 

6.3 

Edmonton (Big Bend) 

S12-A 

3.8 


S12-B 

4.0 


S12-C 

2.2 


S12-D 

3.2 


S12-E 

2.9 


S12-P 

3.7 


S12-G 

2.5 


312-H 

2 oO 


S12-J 

2.6 


S12-K 

4.6 

(G-roat Ravine) 

S15-A 

2.9 


S13-B 

14.5 


S13-C 

5.1 


S13-D 

3.1 


S13-E 

1.8 

< 

S13-F 

2.3 























































- 






























21 


2. HEAVY MINERAL ANALYSES . 

Emphasis is placed on heavy mineral analyses as 
they are considered a useful sedimentation method for the 
determination of source beds, cycle of deposition and 
degree of weathering. The results of the analyses for 
the different sections are placed on separate tables and 
a table showing the average for each section has been 
prepared for comparative purposes. 

Mineral Separation Procedure ; 

The sand portion between the 120 and 230 mesh 
sizes, obtained from the mechanical analyses, was used 
for this analysis. The heavy mineral fraction was 
separated from the light fraction using tetrabromoethane 
(Sp. Gr. 2.965) in separatory funnels. Air, which is 
dissolved in tetrabromoethane, alters the specific 
gravity of that material and collects around the grains 
thereoy affecting the settling. Therefor^ in order to 
obtain a complete recovery, the dissolved air was 
removed by the use of a vacuum pump. 

After separation was complete, the heavy minerals 
were funnelled off, washed with acetone and dried. The 
heavy minerals were then mounted on slides in a medium 
of aroclor, (n a 1.66). This medium is better than Canada 
balsam as the refractive index is nearer the average 
index of the heavy minerals. It is found that the heavy 
minerals are divided into two approximately equal groups 
on the basis of greater or lesser index than the medium. 
Further, aroclor does not require cooking, hence is 
















. 

. 

. 


- 










. 

- 








° 

. 

„ » 






* 











22 


easier to work with than Canada balsam. 

Many of the mineral grains had a dbuded appear¬ 
ance and several methods were used in an attempt to clear 
them. Boiling of the heavy minerals in water was 
attempted out the attempt proved unsuccessful. Where 
abundant, ferric oxide coating was removed by boiling 
in dilute HC1. This method proved successful but a loss 
of apatite doubtless occurred. 

The amount of heavy minerals recovered ranged 
from 1 to 5$ with an average of about 2.5$ of the total 
sand fraction within the size range used for separation. 

On each slide, 350 to 400 mineral grains were counted 
and the percentage of each mineral recorded (see tables 
3, 4, 5, 6). Identification was made using a Leitz 
petrographic microscope with a mechanical stage. 

Mineral Descriptions : 

Garnet; As it is difficult zo differentiate 
spinel from garnet, it is possible that small amounts of 
spinel were counted in with the garnet, however, it is 
doubtful that this would seriously affect the overall 
arnet count. Garnet is the most common of the trans¬ 
parent minerals, forming an average of 14^o oi the total 
minerals counted. 

A colorless variety is by far the most common 
type found except in the Lethbridge section where a 
yellow-brown to brown variety makes up over 60$ of the 
total ;arnets. A few pink garnets were noted in most 

Although a few of the colorless to pink varieties 


slides . 






- 








» 


. 

* 

< * 



















* 























23 


showed crystal form, most are angular grains showing 
a conchoidal fracture (see Plate IV). Inclusions are 
not common though they are present in some grains; little 
straining is evident. Except for color the pink variety 
appears very similar to the colorless varieties. The 
yellow-brown variety consists of angular grains but the 
conchoidal fracture is less evident and the refractive 
index is lower than for the colorless variety. 

Incipient alteration of the garnets appears to 
have taken place as is shown by the pitting of some 
grains (see Plate IV). Much argument has taken place 
on the stability of garnet but agreement has not been 
definitely reached. Latest indications are that garnet 
is relatively stable with the exception of iron rich 
varieties which are somewhat less stable. (.ullen, V.T. 
(1948)). 

Epidote: This mineral forms about 10^ of the 

total mineral assemblage. Three varieties of epidote are 
found; first, clear somewhat rounded grains, second, 
dusky grains showing clear edges, and third, nearly opaque 
grains showing translucent yellow-green edges. A good 
determination of the third variety was not possible and 
these were placed under altered minerals where a refer¬ 
ence to them will be made. 

The diagnostic properties include a yellowish 
green color with pleochroism from yellow-green to colorless 
or light yellow-green. The dusky grains show a darker 




















* 




■ 






" 




* 
















' 













° 

* 
















' 


- 











24 


yellow-green and less pleochroism. Birefringence is 
high indicating an Fe rich epidote: fair dispersion 
was noted. A distinguishing feature of many grains was 
an optic-axis figure giving a one-bar (compass-needle) 
interference figure with a negative sign. 

The graduation into dusky and opaque grains with 
clear edges probably indicates an incomplete alteration 
to epidote during metamorphism. Winchell and Winchell 
(1951, p. 450) say alteration of epidote due to weather¬ 
ing is rare. 

hornblende : This mineral is present in all sam¬ 

ples but never very abundant. About 3$ of the total heavy 
mineral suite was found to be hornblende, except in the 
j-.ake Wabamun samples where the amount rose to 6-7$. 

Common hornblende is the dominant type though tremolite 
and actinolite were recognized as traces. Hornblende was 
recognized by its distinct cleavage, small extinction 
angle and pleochroism. Various shades of green are domi¬ 
nant with pleochroism as follows; green to olive green, 
green to greenish-brown, green to forest green, and yellow- 
green to bluish-green. 

An interesting occurrence was found in the sample 
of Paskapoo sanstone (9$ hornblende). here the variety 
appears very similar, however, the ends of many of the 
grains are jagged and lack any evidence oi rounding (see 
Plate IV). Inclusions are common and alteration is 
noticeable on many grains, often as holes in the grains or 





» 

. 

<• 

■ 










, 








- 











25 


as altered material along cleavage cracks (see Plates IV 
and V). 

Titanite : Titanite forms about of the 

total mineral assemblage. 'The grains are angular, often 
subhedral to euhedral (diamond-shaped ) f usually showing 
a light yellowish-brown color. Titanite is character¬ 
ized by its high refractive index, high birefringence, 
very strong dispersion (blue in extinction position) 
and usually a distinct, well-centred interference figure, 
ko alteration of the grains is present. 

Zircon: Though never a common mineral in the 

slides, zircon is always present. It usually appears 
as colorless, unv/orn euhedral or subhedral crystals 
(see Plate VI). inclusions are common, though seldom 
orientated. Zircon is recognized by crystal form, 
parallel extinction, high refractive index and high 
birefringence. Occasionally an off-centred, positive 
uniaxial figure was seen. 

Tourmaline: Tourmaline forms about 1% of the 

total heavy mineral suite. The grains are angular and 
occasionally inclusions are present. Tourmaline is 
recognized by a refractive index just below 1.66 (usually), 
parallel extinction, elongate form and strong pleo- 
chroism as follow, yellow to brown or pink to deep green. 
Tourmaline is considered a stable mineral and an absence 
of rounding or alteration is noted. 

Rutile: About 2 % of the heavy mineral count is 

The usual color types are a deep 


represented by rutile. 


















* 

i 










* 

















* S' 

























■ 











26 


rust brown and a dark blood red, though a- deep yellow 
variety was occasionally noted. The diagnostic 
properties of rutile include its color, grains usually 
elongated, parallel extinction, very high birefringence 
and a very high refractive index giving a wide black bor¬ 
der on the grain. 

Staurolite : This mineral makes up about 2 % of the 
total heavy mineral suite. Staurolite is recognized by 
its yellow color, hackly fracture, abundance of in¬ 
clusions often giving a porous character to the grains, 
weak pleochroism, low birefringence and an optic axis 
figure showing a high 2V and negative sign. 

Apatite : Usually apatite forms about 2.t>% of the 

total heavy minerals counted but was rare in acid treated 
samples. It usually appears as somewhat rounded prismatic 
to egg shaped grains in which inclusions are common and 
usually parallel to the vertical axis of the crystal, 
however, radiating inclusions were also seen. (see Plate 
VI) . 

The diagnostic properties of apatite are a refrac¬ 
tive index less than medium, colorless to dull white 
grains, parallel extinction, very low birefringence 
(a blue-grey color) and a negative uniaxial figure. A 
clouding of some apatite grains suggests alteration. 

Topaz; Topaz is not common, forming less than 1% 
of the total heavy mineral suite. ±t appears as color¬ 
less grains and often is much like quartz except for some¬ 
what lower relief. Topaz is determined on the basis of 













* 









* 






















. 









. 






27 


refractive index lower than the medium, irregular 
fracture, one cleavage (not always clear), bright first 
order yellow and green interference colors, dispersion 
and an occasional positive biaxial figure. No altera¬ 
tion of the grains was noticed. Topaz is somewhat similar 
to andalusite but the latter is usually clouded, biaxial 
negative and shows less relief. 

Chlorite : Between 1.5 and 2% of the total heavy 

mineral assemblage was found to be chlorite. It iacxs 
greater abundance because of its variable specific 
gravity, from 2.6 to 5.0. Thus numerous grains remain 
with the lig] t mineral fraction. The dominant color is 
green, also brown and yellow-green grains were seen. 
Chlorite is identified on the basis of its low bire¬ 
fringence and strong dispersion giving a wavy dull blue 
extinction and by its dusky interference figure having a 
small 2V. 

A gradation of chlorite to almost opaque grains 
was noted, perhaps due to incomplete alteration, chus 
some chlorite may have been put under altered minerals. 
Milner (1929, p. 156) says definite identification as a 
detrital mineral is doubtful and suggests an original 
occurrence of ferromagnesian minerals such as augite, 
hornblende and biotite. 

Chloritoid : This mineral is rare, forming less 

than 1 f 0 of the heavy mineral suite. It is distinguished 
by its pale blue color with slight pleochroism within 
the blues, weak birefringence, strong dispersion, re- 














. 














* 





- 

. . 

. 

* 






* 

■ 

. 






- 





28 


Tractive index greater than 1.66, and platy habit. 

Dark inclusions, often with a radiating pattern, are 
very common in chioritoid (see Plate V) . Alteration of 
the grains is evident, occasionally as holes in the 
grains. 

Ivlonazite : Monazite forms about 1% of the total 

heavy mineral assemblage. It has a similar appearance 
to titanite out its weaker dispersion, lower bire¬ 
fringence, yellow color and a biaxial figure which shows 
fewer color rings are usually sufficient to separate 
these two minerals. No alteration of ohe grains is 
noted. 

Zoisite: Zoisite forms about 1% of the total 

heavy mineral suite. It is recognized by its low bire¬ 
fringence, abnormal ultra-blue interference colors, 
strong dispersion giving incomplete parallel extinction 
and a refractive index greater than 1.66. 

Alteration of colorless zoisite is noted as cracked 
and dusky grains. Included under zoisite is clinozoisite 
which is very similar except for nclined extinction. 

Biotite: Biotite is variable in abundance, com¬ 

pletely lacking in some samples and forming up to by 0 in 
others. It occurs as green and brown grains and is 
identified by its platy habit, refractive index less than 
aroclor, high birefringence and a good negative biaxial 
figure with a small 2V. Alteration of biotite is common 
with the grains often appearing cracked and bleached or 

The variable abundance may be due to 


containing holes. 


















. 

. 









. 














. 
















, 

. 





. 

-. f c • 

* 






■*. 






/ 


■ 




29 - 


differences in depositional conditions since its 
platy nature makes it very susceptible to stream current 

change. 

Kyanlte : Kyanite is a rare mineral in most 
sections and absent in the Lethbridge samples. When 
present the grains are angular (see Plate V) . Kyanite 
is determined by its weat but distinct pieochroism of 
colorless to light blue, by good cleavage lines nearly 
at right angles (see Plate V), by low birefringence and 
inclined extinct on. Alteration is present along cleavage 
cracks. Krumbein and Petti John (±9.58, p. 436) say rounded 
kyanite denotes a low current velocity and angular kyan¬ 
ite a high velocity. 

OTHERS : 

Pyroxenes were found in a few samples, usually 
considerably altered so Ghat identification was not 

pertain. 

Andalusite was occasionally found in the samples 
as somewhat altered grains, giving a greyish color. 
Winchell and Winchell (1951, p. b22) say andalusite al¬ 
ters rather easily to sericite. 

Corundum. Traces of corundum were found in 
about half the samples. it appears as clear grains show¬ 
ing a high refractive index and low birefringence. No 
alteration was noted. 

Cassiterite was found in several samples. It is 
determined on the basis of euhedral habit, yellowish color 






























* 

. 


- 


* 

















































. 

. , : • T ; ; 








. 








30 


and high birefringence. Birefringence is somewhat less 
than for rutile, also the color is lighter. 

OPAQUES : 

Not much emphasis should be placed on the opaques 
since identification by reflected light is often haphazard. 
However a count of the opaques was included for the sake 
of constituting a representative sample. 

Magnetite : This mineral constitutes 20-25$ of 

the total heavy mineral assemblage. Ilmenite, if 
present, is included under magnetite since it is diffi¬ 
cult to distinguish the two minerals. Magnetite was 
determined on the basis of metallic lustre, bluish-black 
to purplish-black color and the presence of octahedral facets 
due to crystal outline. Tests with a magnet revealed a 
high percentage of a magnetic mineral. 

Hematite: Variable quantities of hematite were 
present but on the average it forms 5-6$ of the total heavy 
mineral suite. Hematite lacks any structure, appearing 
as an earthy mass. it is distinguished by its brick red 
color and earthy appearance. 

hematite is probably a secondary mineral, often 
present as a partial coating on other grains. Because of 
its secondary nature and masking effect an attempt was 
made to remove it from the heavy minerals by the use of 
HC1. 

Limonite: This mineral forms about 6$ of the total 














. 


















* 

. 



' 




“ 


. 


. 













. 




- 






. 

- 


' 






























31 


heavy mineral suite. It is an amorphous, earthy 
mineral of a yellow to yellow-brown color. Limonite 
is also a secondary mineraL . 

Leucoxene : About 3.5 to 4$ of the total heavy 

mineral count consists of leucoxene, except in the Red 
Deer section where it rises to an average of 12.5$. 
Leucoxene is recognized by its rounded form, dull white 
color and pitted appearance. Milner (1929, pp. 197, 205) 
believes that it is formed in place from ilmenite. 

Gold : Only two flakes of gold were found in the 

samples studied, one from the sample of Paskapoo and the 
other in a sample of Saskatchewan sands from Lake Wabamun. 
A slide was made of the gold obtained from the panning 
of a Saskatchewan sand concentrate from the Big Bend 
section, Ldmonton area, (Dept, of Geology, University 
of Alberta, sample). The gold flakes are an average of 
0.2 mm. in diameter. They are a mellow yellow color and 
have a pounded to sheared appearance. 

Altered : This group, usually averages from 10-15$ 

of the total count and gave considerable trouble in the 
mineral identifications. It was decided to include these 
minerals in uhe actual count since a few distinct types 
were present. 

Approximately one-third of the altered minerals 
are believed to oe epidote grains which are opaque due to 
Incomplete alteration. The edges of these grains are 
translucent showing a yellow-green color and exhibiting 
interference colors of the correct order for epidote. 













. 

* 

* 

. • 








■ 

• . 


• • . . ' 

. . ■ : i- 

. 

v 














' 








32 


Opaque grains showing a light yellow color under 
reflected light and having a fibrous habit formed about 
50% of the altered group. Occasionally, quartz grains 
with a limonite coating were recognized, these however 
where not included in the mineral count. There is a 
possibility that completely covered quartz grains may 
have been counted under limonite or altered grains. 










. 

, 














33 


TABLE 3. 

HEAVY MINERALS OF LAKE ..ABA-UN SECTION 


Sample No: 

Mineral 

S2-A 

S2-B 

S2-C 

Av. 

S3-A 

S3-B 

Av. 

Garnet 

15.8 

13.4 

8.3 

12.5 

10.5 

13.6 

12.2 

Epidote 

12.0 

6.3 

4.5 

7.6 

8.3 

2.2 

5.3 

Hornblende 

5.6 

1.9 

1.3 

2.9 

9.4 

1.1 

5.3 

Titanite 

0.6 

1.1 

0 .8 

0.8 

2.3 

5.3 

2.8 

Zircon 

T 

2.5 

1.3 

1.4 

0.9 

1.7 

1.3 

Tourmaline 

1.2 

1.1 

0.3 

0.9 

0.5 

0.6 

0.6 

Rutile 

1.8 

1.9 

2.2 

2.0 

2.0 

2.5 

2.3 

Staurolite 

5.3 

0.8 

1.8 

2.6 

4.0 

1.1 

2.6 

Apatite 

2.9 

2.2 

1.3 

2.1 

c) • i. 

2.5 

2.8 

Topaz 

T 

0.6 

0.8 

0.6 

0.9 


0.5 

Chlorite 

1.5 

1.9 

1.5 

1.6 

1.2 

1.7 

1.5 

Chloritoid 

1.2 



0.4 

1.7 

T 

1.0 

Monazite 

1.2 

0.8 


0.7 

1.7 

1.4 

1.6 

Zoisite 

2.3 

0.8 

0.3 

1.4 

1.4 

0.6 

1.0 

Biotite 

0.3 

1.1 

1.0 

0.9 

1.1 

7.0 

4.0 

Kyanite 

1.2 



0.4 

T 

T 

T 

Others 

0.3 

1.1 

0.5 

0.7 




Unidentified 

4 .1 

1.4 

1.5 

2.3 

2.6 

1.7 

2.2 

OPAQUES 

Magnetite 

7.3 

21.2 

50.7 

26.4 

21.1 

27.8 

24.5 

Hematite 

2.9 

8.7 

3.0 

4.9 

5.1 

9.2 

6.2 

Limonite 

3.8 

4.9 

11.0 

6.6 

7.7 

5.6 

6.7 

Leucoxene 

4.1 

4.6 

3.0 

3.9 

1.7 

2.6 

2.1 

Altered 

18.1 

11.4 

4.8 

11.4 

14.3 

13 .1 

n 

i—i 


T - means trace; other values are percentages 



























































34 


TABLE 4. 


HEAVY MINERALS ON LETHBRIDGE AND RED DEER SECTIONS 


Sample Nos 

S7-B 

S7-C 

S7-E 1 S7-F 

Av. 

S10-A 

S10-B 

S10-C 

Av. 

Mineral 

Garnet 

17.7 

13.9 

10.7 

13.7 

14.0 

3.6 

4.5 

6 .8 

5.0 

Epidote 

10.2 

5.7 

4.4 

10.2 

7.6 

3.3 

5.2 

4.9 

5.3 

Hornblende 

2.8 

3.2 

2.5 

2.9 

2.9 

2.1 

4.8 

3.3 

3.4 

Titanite 

1.5 

1.6 

T 

1.0 

1.1 

0.9 

0.5 

0.5 

0.7 

Zircon 

T 

1.3 

1.4 

1.6 

1.2 

T 

1.3 

1.9 

1.2 

Tourmaline 

1.2 

1.3 

0.5 

1.0 

1.0 

0.6 

1.3 

1.4 

1.1 

Rutile 

1.9 

3.2 

1.4 

1.9 

2.1 

T 

T 

1.4 

0.7 

Staurolite 

1.2 

1.3 

2.2 

2.2 

1.7 

T 

1.0 

T 

0.5 

Apatite 

1.2 

1.3 

2.2 

0.6 

1.3 

1.5 

1.3 

T 

1.4 

Topaz 

T 

0.5 

0.8 

1.0 

0.7 

T 


2.2 

0.8 

Chlorite 

4.3 

3.5 

1.9 

2.9 

3.3 

0.6 

1.0 

1.9 

1.2 

Chloritoid 



T 


T 



T 

T 

Ivlonazite 

0.9 

1.3 

2.2 

2.2 

1.6 

T 


T 

T 

Zoisite 

2.2 

1.3 

2.2 

1.6 

1.8 





Biotite 


0.6 

3.0 

0.6 

1.1 

4.2 

1.6 

1.6 

2.5 

Kyanite 

T 


1.4 

1.3 

0.8 





Others 

T 

T 

0.7 

1.5 

0.7 

5.1 

0.9 

1.0 

2.3 

Unidentifiec 

2.3 

1.6 

0.8 

3.2 

2.4 

1.2 

2.3 

2.2 

1.9 

OPAQUES 

Magnetite 

15.2 

20.9 

10.1 

11.4 

14.4 

21.1 

13.2 

26.4 

20.2 

Hematite 

3.1 

5.1 

i • 5 

2.6 

3.6 

33.4 

29.4 

15.0 

25.9 

Limonite 

4.3 

1.9 

6.5 

3.5 

4.0 

7.6 

6.1 

5.2 

6.3 

Leucoxene 

11.4 

10.0 

13.7 

18.5 

12.4 

3.6 

5.5 

5.4 

4.8 

Altered 

14.5 

17.1 

24.1 

14.7 

17.6 

10.0 

19.7 

16.0 

.5 .0 


T - means trace; other values are percentages. 












































































TABLE 5 


HEAVY MINERALS OF THE EDMONTON SECTIONS . 















































































































-& 


* 


ft 


< ' 


* 







r* 


■a - 



* 


•ft 


ft 


* 


ft 




ft 




* 


* 


* 




** 


o 




0 ':; 


* 


-< -' r 


T< 


ft 


ft 


R 


r 




ft 


'*'• 


# 


ft 


•fr 


X 


ft 


- ft\ 


ft 


ft 



















36 


TABLE 6. 

HEAVY MINERALS OF TEE TERTIARY BEDS 


Sample; 

PI 

Ill 

Mineral 



Garnet 

7.4 

9 .9 

Epidote 

7.2 

6.8 

Hornblende 

9 .0 

8.8 

Titanite 

T 

1.0 

Zircon 

0.8 

o 

• 

i—1 

Tourmaline 

T 

0.5 

Rutile 

1.5 

1.6 

Staurolite 

2.3 

1.0 

Apatite 

1.3 


Topaz 

T 


Chlorite 

5.9 

1.3 

Chioritoid 


1.8 

Monazite 

T 

T 

Zoisite 

2.0 

1.0 

Biotite 

3.8 


Kyanite 


1.0 

Pyroxene 


0.5 

Carbonates 

3.3 


Other s 

0.5 

0.6 

Unidentified 

2.6 

2.1 

OPAQUES 



Magnetite 

6.7 

31.7 

Hematite 

4.6 

3.9 

Limonite 

5.4 

7.0 

Leucoxene 

2.0 

5.2 

Altered 

32.5 

13.0 

Gold 

T 

_—_ ^ - 


T - means trace; other values are percentages. 














































































37 


TABLE 7. 

AVERAGE HEAVY MINERAL PERCENTAGES FOR DIFFERENT 

SECTIONS 


Section; 

32 

S3 

S7 

S10 

SI 2 

Pi 

El 

Mineral 

Garnet 

12.5 

12.2 

14.0 

5.0 

14.5 

7.4 

9 .9 

Epidote■ 

7.6 

5.3 

7.6 

3.8 

11.6 

7.2 

6.8 

Hornblende 

2.8 

3.3 

2.8 

3.4 

2.4 

9.0 

8 .8 

Titanite 

0.8 

2.8 

1.1 

0.7 

3.0 

T 

l.C 

Zircon 

1.4 

1.3 

1.2 

1.2 

2.3 

0.3 

1.0 

Tourmaline 

0 .8 

0.6 

1.0 

1.1 

1.1 

T 

0.5 

Rutile 

2.0 

2.3 

2.1 

0.7 

1.7 

1.5 

1.6 

Staurolite 

2.6 

2.6 

1.7 

0.5 

2.3 

2.3 

1.0 

Apatite 

2.1 

2.8 

1.3 

1.4 

2.1 

1.3 


Topaz 

0.5 

0.5 

0.7 

0.8 

u .9 

T 


Chlorite 

1.6 

1.5 

3.3 

1.2 

1.7 

5.9 

1.3 

Chloritoid 

0.4 

1.0 

T 

T 

. 0.6 


1.8 

Monazite 

0.7 

1.5 

1.6 

T 

1.6 

T 

T 

Zoisite 

1.4 

1.0 

1.8 


0.5 

2.0 

1.0 

Biotite 

0.8 

4.0 

1.1 

2.5 

0.7 

3.8 


Kyanite 

0.4 

T 

0.8 


0.3 


1 .o 

Others 

0 .7 


0.7 

2.3 

0.7 

0.5 

0.6 

Unidentifiec 

. 2.3 

2.2 

2.4 

1.9 

1.5 

2.6 

2.1 

OPAQUES 

Magnetite 

26.4 

24 .5 

14.4 

20.2 

26.1 

6.7 

31.7 

Plematit e 

4.8 

6.2 

3.6 

25.8 

6.8 

4.6 

3.9 

Limonite 

11.S 

6.7 

4.0 

6.3 

5.4 

5.4 

7 .0 

Leucoxene 

3.9 

2.1 

12.4 

4.8 

3.4 

2.0 

5.2 

A1tered 

11.4 

15.4 

17.6 

15.2 

10.0 

32.5 

13. C 


T - means trace; other values are percentages 






























































38 


Light Mineral Analyses : 

The light mineral fraction was not studied with 
the same detail as the heavy mineral fraction. Rather, 
an examination of a few light mineral slides from each 
section was made. Clear angular quartz was found to be 
the dominant mineral, forming up to S0/£ of the total 
light minerals. The majority of the quartz showed good 
extinction, though grains showing undulating extinc¬ 
tion were noted. Chlorite, having a dirty yellow to 
green color, was present in small quantities, usually 
less than 1 %. 

Carbonate grains, mainly calcite, were found in 
all the sections of the Saskatchewan sands. A rough 
count showed the carbonates to be most common in the 
Lethbridge section and least common in the Edmonton 
section. These results agree with the insoluble residue 
tests. The carbonate grains were rounded and fractured 
along cleavage planes which indicates their detrital 
nature . 

Feldspars formed an estimated 3 % of the light 
mineral assemblage in the Saskatchewan sands. in tbe 
Paskapoo sandstone the value rose to about 6 % of the 
total mineral suite. Definite identification of many 
grains was difficult as the birefringence and relief 
are close to that of quartz and cleavage and elongation 
are often indistinct. xdentlficacion was made on the 
basis of polysynthetic twinning, and an occasional good 







' 








































" 










. 












. 

* 

















































39 


biaxial figure. Alteration was noted where cleavage 
cracks were discernable. 

Interpretations of Mineral Analyses ; 

From an analysis of the mineral types, their 
abundance and alteration, the following facts are apparent 

(1) Only the 120 to 230 mesh material was analysed. 
It is probable that the heavy mineral content is greater 
for this size than for the average. Smithson (1939, 

p. 356), observed that the average size of the gr£ns 
decreased v/ith increase in density of the minerals. As 
the size here analysed is less than the median sand size 
for the samples, In all probability the concentrations of 
heavy minerals is greater within this range than in the 
average sand content. 'This is not altogether unfavorable, 
to determine the heavy minerals present the size showing 
their greatest abundance should be used. dome minerals 
may decrease in amount in the large sizes so that their 
presence would not be noted. 

(2) The average percentages of the heavy minerals 
in the different sections were found to be about the same 
even though individual samples varied to a greater ex¬ 
tent. Thus by examining numerous samples from different 
horizons of a section very local depositional conditions 
were eliminated. 

(3) Concentrations of magnetite are noted in some 
samples, denerally, when this high magnetite content was 
present, a higher percentage of zircon was also noted even 








































‘ 

, 










- 



... j 




. 




e ^ f ||( niQB 

y 
































40 


though the total number of transparent minerals counted 
decreased. This anomaly is produced by local variation 
in currents giving placer type deposits. 

(4) The xi and hills conglomerate. Basal Paskapoo 

sandstone and Saskatchewan sands all have similar heavv 

%) 

mineral assemblages. i ‘his would serve to indicate that 
they have been derived from the same source. 

(5) Hornblende v/as found to be equally distributed 
throughout the sections. Alteration of the hornblende 

is present, however this alteration is equally present 
throughout the section and no notable increase is pre¬ 
sent going up in Saskatchewan sand sections. This lack 
of surface alteration indicates either quick burial after 
deposition or erosion of the weathered zone. At no 
section was there any field evidence of a weathered zone 
observed, yet the Saskatchewan sands and gravels do 
not appear to be disturbed. These facts suggest that the 
Saskatchev/an sands and gravels are immediately preglacial 
in regard to time of deposition. 

(6) A source directly from the mountains of the 
west is indicated by the presence of unstables. It is 
doubtful that feldspar could remain after a reworking of 
an older sediment of the area. The presence of carbon¬ 
ates, with an increase as the mountains are approached, 
suggests a primary source from the mountains. Possible 
sources of the feldspar are the Precambrian arkoses of the 
Rocky Mountains, granitic terrain west of the continen- 



















. 














. 








. 

' 


. 

4 

° 





























41 


tal divide, or perhaps Tertiary rocks of the plains. 
Carbonates were doubtlessly derived from the limestone 
beds of the Rocky Mountains. 

(7) Garnet formed higher percentages in the 
northern sections than at Lethbridge, however, the 
higher percentages of the ferric oxides and hydroxides 
at Lethbridge may have a masking effect. It is note¬ 
worthy that the dominant garnet variety at Lethbridge 
is a yellow-brown to brown variety and in the northern 
sections, a clear variety is dominant. Crystalline 
schists and gneisses are regarded as the dominant 
source beds of garnets. There is a lack of these beds 
east of the continental divide, thus the origin of the 
garnets is probably from metamorphic rocks west of the 
Rocky Mountain trench. 

(8) Kyanite, though never abundant, is present 
in the northern sections of the Saskatchewan sands but 
altogether lacking in the Lethbridge section. This may 
indicate that streams depositing the northern material 
may have had access to the kyanite deposits present 

near the north portion of the Big Bend Highway of British 
Columbia. There is also a presence of other metamorphic 
minerals, eg., garnet, epidote, green hornblende, tourma¬ 
line, staurolite, zoisite, which indicate a source for 
the Saskatchewan sands in the metamorphic series west of 
the Rocky Mountain trench. 

In general, the angularity of the grains, presence of 












. 




















. 














































j - . 

- 
































42 


unstable minerals and a large variety of metamorphic 
minerals present indicate a primary origin for the 
Saskatchewan sands with at least a partial source in the 
metamorphic series west of the Rocky Mountain Trench. 






. 

' ' 

■ 
















43 


CHAPTER IV 
CONCLUSIONS 


Taking into account the general Tertiary Geologic 
history of Alberta, there are three possible sources 
for the Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels; first, pre¬ 
existing Tertiary beds, second, the Rocky Mountains 
east of the present continental divide, and third, the 
mountains west of the present divide carrying meta- 
morphic rocks. The relative merits of each possible 
source will be discussed. 

(1) Pre-existing Tertiary beds. 

Under this group are included the gravels of the 
Cypress and Flaxville Plains, remnants of which are seen 
at present covering the Cypress, Hand and Swan Hills, and 
the Paskapoo sandstone which outcrops as a ridge near 
Olds, Alberta, and shows surface expression north and 
south from there. Writers in the past (McConnell (1885), 
Tyrrell (1890), Calhoun (1S05), Williams and Dyer (1930) 
and Rutherford (1937)) have considered these Tertiary beds 
as at least a partial source for the Saskatchewan sands 
and gravels. The mineral analyses, however, indicate a 
similar source rather than a derivation of the Saskatchewan 
sands and gravels from these Tertiary beds. It is doubt¬ 
ful that unstable minerals could have withstood the weather¬ 
ing present in a reworking of these beds. Also an increase 
in carbonates with approach to the west and the presence of 
Saskatchewan sands and gravels well within the foothills 
indicate a primary origin from the mountains. 








- 










- 










. 



. ' 






. 

* 

■* 

' 

- 










. 


. 

< 























■ 

■ 












A ■ 




' 


' 

' 









44 


High relief is necessary to get aggradation of 
70-80 feet of sands in rivers on the plains. If these 
high areas had been removed prior to glaciation a deep 
weathering zone should be found. It is also douotful 
that glacial action could have destroyed this high re¬ 
lief since glaciers appeared to have little effect on 
the Swan, Hand and Cypress Hills. 

In conclusion, perhaps some of the peoole portions 
of these Tertiary conglomerates, which remained as lag 
deposits, could have formed gravels but It is doubtful 
that the sand portion was so derived. Pettijohn (1949, 
p. 429) says pebbles reflect local character whereas the 
sands are indicative of the source beds of the headwater 
area. 

(2) Rocky Mountains east of the present divide. 

Much of the material doubtless was derived from 
the Eastern Rockies. However, could this area also have 
been the source of the metamorphics recognized? It is 
very doubtful that metamorphism of Rocky Mountain beds has 
proceeded far enough to produce these minerals. This is 
especially true in the southern section wiiere no known 
metamorphics are found east o, the divide. This could 
be checked oy collecting samples of i/he material eroded 
by the present streams within the mountains, for example, 
the Miette River at Jasper, and the nead waters of the 
Athabaska River, here though there is a risk ol contami¬ 
nation due to glaciation. 

(5) Mountains west of the divide containing the 


metamorphic series. 










. 


■ 










































• 








• 




' 


' 






. 





. ‘ 

















45 


Metamorphic horizons are known west of the 
divide and these could provide a source for the meta- 
morphic minerals found in the Saskatchewan sands and 
gravels. 

The Basal Paskapoo sandstone. Hand Hills conglom¬ 
erate, and Saskatchewan sands and gravels appear to have 
a similar source. The Paskapoo sandstone is paieocene. 

At this time the.Rocky Mountains had just started to 
form and the Selkirk Mountain area was probably higher 
at the time and rivers originating in the Selkirk Moun¬ 
tains could drain eastward. These east flowing streams 
could cut down as fast as the Rocky Mountains rose. This 
condition may have existed during deposition of the Hand 
Kills conglomerate through to the deposition of the 
Saskatchewan sands and gravels, hollowing this, the 
faster eroding streams flowing to the west (because of 
the steeper gradient) may have captured the head waters 
of the old eastward flowing streams, forming the present 
divide. 

Yellowhead Pass was the only pass seen by the author 
This is a remarkably low pass with respect to the present 
main streams. It does not seem inconceivable that this 
may have been the old valley of an antecedent stream. 

Writers in the past, eg. Alden (1924, 1952), Allan 
and Rutherford (1934), have postulated uplift during 
Pleistocene time within the Rocky Mountain chain. Thus 
capture by the Pacific streams eg. Columbia and Eraser 
Rivers, plus latest uplift may have set the present divide. 































■ 

. 





' 




























■ 





























43 


The age of the Saskatchewan sands and gravels 
cannot be definitely answered. However, the lack of a 
weathering zone indicates a period of deposition just 
pr::or to glaciation of the area. 



47 


BIBLIOGRAPHY 

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J 

ALLAN, J.A. and RUTHERFORD, R.L. (1934): Geology of Central 

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j CALHOUN, R.H.H. (1906): Montana Lobe of the Keewatin Ice 

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COLEMAN, A.P. (1909): The Drift of Alberta and the Relations 

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.(1895): Note on die Glacial Deposits of South- 







" 




* 

. 

* 







• . 


- 



• 

■ » 


•’ ♦ * ■ 







. . 

1 . 

.. 

-I, 

. 




«*•' 

V- 



















• - 

. - 

. 




. . 









- 






. 




• 1 

■ 




■* ■» 








43 


DOEGLAS, D 


' DUFF, D.A. 


HITCHCOCK, 


1 HORBERG, L 


1 

HOUGH, J.L 

JOHNSTON, 


KRUMBEIN, 


i 


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49 


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* 




















* 


. 

„ 































* 


* - 









' • a 4 . 


, . . 

' 







50 


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« , „, „ ' 




. 


. 

« » <1 , I 


. 






















- 




- - 


. 









51 


UDDEN, J.A. (1914): Mechanical Composition of Clastic 

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Mineralogy, Part 11 J. Wiley and Sons, pp. 197- 
203, 373-529. 













- 


" 

- 

. . 





- 52 - 


Plates I-IIIs Photographs taken in the field, showing 
Saskatchewan sands and gravels sections. 

Plates IV-VI: Photomicrographs showing individual 
grains of heavy minerals. 

See Page 7 for section numbers.. 



53 


PLATE I 


Section at Lethbridge, Alberta, showing 
the relief on the Cretaceous bedrock. 


Section at ■‘-•ethbridge , Alberta, (S10) showing 
the sand channels at the top of the Saskatchewan 
gravels « 




r i w< lie . t’ 



gnlwods (0.12) r iacfli , ; . t«icf£fcfeil cfB noidoeg 
1 

fi.'3v/j.nc,j-.e>Ia i ;.c siij 2o .qoct srf# dx el©rm.8rfc> ’ a?e art? 




„ c,Ie 'j V; ; 



■ 



























54 


PLATE II 





Big Bend section, Edmonton area, showing 
the springs coming out of the bank at the 
base of the Saskatchewan sands and gravels „ 







Crossbedding shown in the Saskatchewan 

sands of the Big Bend section, Edmonton, 


Alberta 












gniworia .ss-ib nojnomb^ t noido©s. bne€ gi8 
arid d'B rinad 9rid lo duo gnxmoo agninqa ©rid 


. alsvsiQ bn a abnaa r 1 sw 9 riod.eria.ee; ' 9rid lo eaecf 







flSWSilod fiiBBC; 91W FIX flWOrfS : Uxbb90 38 OnD 

t nodnombri ,n:oidosa bn ©a S xS ©rid lo abas a 


. J8d*l@dIA 










v ' 

8ask sand; 





















PLATS III 



The Basal Paskapoo sandstone outcropping 
along the Pembina River just above 
Highway too. 16 crossing. 






The section as seen in the abandoned 

Blue Flame Coal Pit on the north shore 


of Lake Wabamun 





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©lorfa rid ion ©rid no dll IboO ©rnBlll ©jjII 

. ajJiiBdBli: ©>IbJ lc 




















- 56 - 

PLATS IV. 

Magnification: X145* 


Hornblende; PI Hornblende: S10-A 

showing angularity showing hole due 

and inclusions. to alteration. 


Hornblende: PI Hornblende: S12-A 

showing jagged edges, showing inclusions 
(cockscomb structure?) 


Garnet: S10-A. Garnet: S12-II. 

Yellow-brown showing pitted 

variety from surface. 

Lethbridge. 


Hornblende: S12-D 
showing cleavage and 
incipient alteration. 


Garnet: S12-A 
showing dodecahedral 
form. 


Garnet: S12-A. 
showing inclusions 
and conchoidal 
fracture. 





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ms ei webLo , : :' t o I.- • 
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• .£ 







- 57 - 

















































Hornblende: PI 
showing angular 
grain. 


Stau.rolite: S12-H 


- 51 - 

PLATE V. 


Magnification: Xlh5* 




Gold: Panning. Under 
reflected light and 
crossed nicols. 


Kyanite: S3-A® 

Showing angular grain. 


Chloritoid: S12-D. 


Epidote: S12-K; 


Epidote: S12-A 


Epidote: S12-A 


Epidote: S10-C 









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x ' s ... 





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usliraas gnlworis 

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A~Sia : 9^obxqa A-SI3 :9.:i 































































58 - 


PLATE VI. 


Magnification: X145. 























Zircon: From panning 
tailings. Showing 
euhedral form. 


Zircon and Garnet. 
Sio-C. 


Zircon: From panning 
tailings. Showing 
euhedral form. 


Titanite: S12-A Tourmaline: SIO-C. Tourmaline: S12-L 

Showing inclusions. 


Rutile: SIO-C. Apatite: S12-J. Show- Apatite: S12-J. 

Well rounded, pro- ing aligned inclusions. Showing rounded 
bably secondary. character. 



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< 1*1 1 X £ c ;' = 


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59 


APPENDIX 

DESCRIPTION OF SECTIONS 

LETHBRIDG-E SECTION: (much of description taken from Horberg 

(1952)). 


Thickness Total Depth 

Belov/ Surface 

40» 40' 

60« 100' 


56' 136* 

5' 141' 

0-4' (S10-A) 145' 

16-20' (S10-B) 161' 


(S10-C) 

50» 191' 


Bed 

bpper Till 

- grey-brown, calcareous; 
lower 20 feet'Unoxidized; 
rude layering and silt in¬ 
clusions in lower part; 
local sand at base. 

Lenzie Silt 

- mainly a buff to tan silt; 

p 8 feet is varved with 3-18 
inch beds below this some sand 
layers and pebbles present. 
Majority of the section is 
composed of indistinct bedded 
and cross-bedded silts with a 
possibility of some wind 
deposits. Near the bottom a 
3 foot black clay bed Is pre¬ 
sent. This is underlain by a 
5 foot calcareous, grey-tan 
sand bed. 

Lower Till 

- dark grey; upper 20' is 
oxidized to a brown grey; 
has a crumbly break; (see 
Frontispiece). 

Basal Till 

- dark grey; topped by a 2 
inch rusty weathering zone; 
compact and cliff forming 
showing a columnar jointing. 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 

- sand channels present at 

the top of the Saskatchewan 
gravels. Sands are a light 
olive grey; cross-bedding is 
distinct (see plate I). 

- gravels with sand filling 
interstices. The gravels are 
well rounded, dominantly 
quartzite and cherts. Bedding 
is indistinct; Upper contact is 
fairly regular; lower contact 
Is irregular and relief present 
on bedrock (see Plate I). 

Cretaceous Bedrock 

- Bedrock formed by the Bear- 
paw shale, a black carbonaceous 
shale. 
























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. - ■ £ 

- 

■ 

. 

. 







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• - 

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60 


RED DEER 

SECTION: 

Total Depth 


Thickness 

below surface 

Bed 

Brown Till 

15* 


15' 

-pale to moderate brown till; 
upper 5 feet clearly weathered; 
boulders common often up to 8 
inches in diameter. The brown 
till is compact, forming verti¬ 
cal cliffs. Thickness is variable 
later Laid Sand 

i — i 

i 

o 


CO 

1—1 

-lens of water laid sand be¬ 
tween the Brown and Grey tills. 
This sand is discontinuous. 

Grey Till 

10' 


26' 

-olive grey till. Thickness is 
variable. Boulders are present 
but not common. Till exhibits a 
crumbly appearance. 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 

i — i 

i 

o 

(S7-B) 

27' 

-sand lens; present only in 

depressions in the gravels below. 

7' 

(S7-C) 

34' 

-poorly sorted gravels with some 
pebbles 5 inches in diameter; 
contains interstitial sand; 
Dedding indistinct. 

1* 

(S7-D) 

35' 

-gravel bed containing pebbbles 
0.5 to 1 inch in diameter and 
usually disk shaped. Noted are a 
lack of any interstitial sand 
and a distinctive rusty weathered 
coating on the pebbles. 

8' 

(S7-E) 

43' 

-poorly sorted gravels with in¬ 
terstitial sand; bedding indis¬ 
tinct . 

1* 

(S7-F) 

44' 

-bed containing gravels as above 
but interstitial material is 


predominantly clay from the 
shales below. 

Bedrock 

Bedrock formed by shales of the 
^dmonton formation. 


LAKE WABAMUN (Blue Flame Coal Pit) 

6 ' 6 * 


Brown Till 

-grey-brow r n till containing 
pebbles up to 6 inches diameter. 
Top 3 feet weathered; crumbly 
character evident. The till is 
disseminated with a white 
alkaline material. 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 

-ouff-grey, water laid sand 

showing a distinct crossbedding. 
Several discontinuous 2 inch 
gravel beds were noted in the 
sand. 


6 ' 


(S2-A) 


12» 















f. 
















- 







- 







. 









- 














. 








, 

. 

. 

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* 








• 












• 




























. 




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. 


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- 

. 

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- 61 


LAKE WABAEUN (Blue Flame Goal Pit) 

Thickness Total Depth 

Below Surface Bed 


7 * 

(S2-B) 

IS' 

-poorly sorted gravels 
composed dominantly of a 
light colored quartzite 
and containing interstitial 
sands; bedding indistinct. 

0-3 1 

(S2-C) 

22' 

-buff-brown sand with bedding 
indistinct; numerous coal 
and shale fragments preset. 

A higher percentage of black 
chert noted here than in S2-A. 
Bedrock 

20' 


42' 

Bedrock formed by Edmonton 
shales and coal seams. 

LAKE WABAMUN (Victory Strip 

Mine) 

Top beds removed by stripping 
operations. 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 

8' 


8' 

-bed of gravel, dominantly 
light coloured quartzite and 
interstitial sand. The bed is 
leached giving a light grey 
color to the sands. 

10' 

(S3-A) 

23» 

-poorly sorted gravels with 
interstitial sand. No leaching 
is evident. 

18' 

(S3-B) 

41» 

-light yellow brown sand. 
Bedding and crossbedding pre¬ 
sent but not distinct. 

Bedrock 

8' 


49' 

Bedrock composed of Edmonton 
shales and coal. 

EDMONTO N 

(Big Bend Section) 

• 


20' 


20' 

-covered area. 

Water Laid Silt 

8' 


28' 

-stratified silt of a moderate 
yellow-brown colour. Lower 
contact is irregular, upper 
contact covered. Underlain by 
an 8 inch rusty-weathered zone 
Brown Till 

25' 


53' 

-grey-brown till with numerous 
boulders, often up to 8 inches 
in diameter. A competent mem- 
oer forming vertical cliffs 
and exhibiting columnar 
jointing. 

Grey Till 

10' 


65' 

-light olive grey till lying 
below the Brown Till and 
grading into it so that con¬ 
tact difficult to recognize. 
Characterized by crumbly ap¬ 
pearance and a scarcity of 
pebbles and boulders. 











- 

. 

. 


. 

. 

. 

. 

* 

♦ 

- 


» 


' 

- 


- 



52 


EDMONTON 

(Big Bend Section) 


Thickness 

Total Depth 
Below Surface 

Bed 

1' 


64' 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 
-transitional bed containing 

1.5' 

(S12-A) 

65.5' 

alternating clay and sand hands. 
Sand bands rusty weathered; car- 
bonous fragments numerous, 
-distinct crossbedded, yellowish 

1.5' 


67' 

brown sand; no carbonaceous 
material or pebbles noted, 
-strongly crossbedded sand con- 

4 ' 

CS12-B) 

71» 

taining pebbles and much 
carbonaceous material, 
-fine-grained yellowish-brown 

8' 

(S12-C) 

79' 

sand. Bed stands up better to 
erosion than rest of sand 
suggesting clay content. 

-medium grained, crossbedded 

10' 

(S12-D) 

89« 

sand containing carbonaceous 
fragments. 

-as above but exhibiting extreme 

o 
.—1 

(S12-E) 

99' 

crossbedding. 

-as above; crossbedding less 

10' 

(S12-F) 

109' 

evident. 

-as above. 

10' 

(S12-0) 

119» 

-as above. 

2' 


121' 

-sand containing ironstone 

8' 

(S12-H) 

129' 

pebbles and armored mud balls, 
-medium grained, crossbedded, 

6' 

135' 

yellow brown sand. 

-sand as above. 

0.5' 


135.5' 

-iron oxide band present as a 

2.5' 

(S12-J) 

138' 

rusty colored zone. The iron 
oxide coats the sand grains. 

The band persists about 2.5' 
above a gravel bed and crosses 
the bedding. 

-sand as above the iron oxide 

2.3' 

(S12-K) 

140' 

band. 

-gravel bed containing ironstone 

30' 

170' 

and well-rounded qtzt. pebbles. 
Interstitial material composed 
of sand and clay from shales 
below. This bed is marked by 
seepage of water (see Plate II). 
Bedrock 

Bedrock composed of shales of 

EDMONTON (Groat 

Ravine Section) 

the Edmonton formation. 

8' 


8' 

Covered. 

Grey Till 

-olive grey till showing few 




boulders; carbonaceous material 


present. 


































. • • ■ —. - ..... ....... 






. . 


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* 

- 






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V. 

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63 


EDMONTON (Groat Ravine Section) 

Total Depth 

Thickness Below Surface 


3’ 



11' 

6’ 

(S13-A) 


17' 

0.2’ 

(S13-B) 


17' 

5' 

(S13-0) 


22' 

10' 

(S13-D) 


32' 

10' 

(S13-E) 


42' 

5' 

( S13-F) 


47' 


Bed 

Saskatchewan Sands and Gravels 
-transition bed of mixed sand 

and clay. 

-yellowish-brown crossbedded 
sand; some carbonaceous material 
present. 

-indurated sand (suggestion of 
cement); resistant to erosion, 
-yellowish-brown sand containing 
a few 1 inch clay bands. 

-sand as above, no clay bands 
noted. 

-sand as above 
-sand as above. 

Base of exposure but not base of 
the Saskatchewan sands and gra¬ 
vels . 






. 

: . ; e ■ c ■ - It ® v| 


- 








.