Stratigraphic range: Triassic to Jurassic
|Sub-units|| Upper Watrous |
|Thickness||up to 110 metres (360 ft)|
|Named for||Watrous, Saskatchewan|
|Named by||R.L. Milner and G E. Thomas, 1954|
The Watrous Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Triassic to Jurassic age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
Stratigraphy is a branch of geology concerned with the study of rock layers (strata) and layering (stratification). It is primarily used in the study of sedimentary and layered volcanic rocks. Stratigraphy has two related subfields: lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy.
The Triassic is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic is the first and shortest period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events.
The Jurassic period was a geologic period and system that spanned 56 million years from the end of the Triassic Period 201.3 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period 145 Mya. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic Era, also known as the Age of Reptiles. The start of the period was marked by the major Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Two other extinction events occurred during the period: the Pliensbachian-Toarcian extinction in the Early Jurassic, and the Tithonian event at the end; however, neither event ranks among the "Big Five" mass extinctions.
It takes the name from the town of Watrous, and was first described in well Tidewater Davidson Crown No. 1, located south-west from the settlement, by R.L. Milner and G E. Thomas in 1954.
Watrous is a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada. It is 106.9 km east of Saskatoon and has an economy is based on agriculture and tourism because of its proximity to Manitou Beach, home of the Mineral Spa and Danceland dance hall. Watrous was named after Frank Watrous Morse. The town has many restaurants, a hospital, medical clinic, two schools, community college, bowling alley, RCMP detachment, banks, grocery stores, co-operatives, tea store and motels.
The Watrous Formation is divided into a lower and an upper member. The Lower Watrous is composed of red shale and mudstones with laminated anhydrite interbeds and sandstone and conglomerate in the base. The Upper Watrous is composed of massive anhydrite and only occurs at the rims of the depositional pool.
Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. Shale is characterized by breaks along thin laminae or parallel layering or bedding less than one centimeter in thickness, called fissility. It is the most common sedimentary rock.
Anhydrite, or anhydrous calcium sulfate, is a mineral with the chemical formula CaSO4. It is in the orthorhombic crystal system, with three directions of perfect cleavage parallel to the three planes of symmetry. It is not isomorphous with the orthorhombic barium (baryte) and strontium (celestine) sulfates, as might be expected from the chemical formulas. Distinctly developed crystals are somewhat rare, the mineral usually presenting the form of cleavage masses. The Mohs hardness is 3.5, and the specific gravity is 2.9. The color is white, sometimes greyish, bluish, or purple. On the best developed of the three cleavages, the lustre is pearly; on other surfaces it is glassy. When exposed to water, anhydrite readily transforms to the more commonly occurring gypsum, (CaSO4·2H2O) by the absorption of water. This transformation is reversible, with gypsum or calcium sulfate hemihydrate forming anhydrite by heating to around 200 °C (400 °F) under normal atmospheric conditions. Anhydrite is commonly associated with calcite, halite, and sulfides such as galena, chalcopyrite, molybdenite, and pyrite in vein deposits.
Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.
The Watrous Formation occurs in southern Saskatchewan to the border with Manitoba and stretches south into North Dakota. It reaches a maximum thickness of 110 metres (360 ft) on the North Dakota border, and thins out to zero at the margins of the depositional pool.
Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in western Canada, the only province without a natural border. It has an area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi), nearly 10 percent of which is fresh water, composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province's 100,000 lakes.
Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is often considered one of the three prairie provinces and is Canada's fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi) with a widely varied landscape, stretching from the northern oceanic coastline to the southern border with the United States. The province is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the U.S. states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.
North Dakota is a U.S. state in the midwestern and northern regions of the United States. It is the nineteenth largest in area, the fourth smallest by population, and the fourth most sparsely populated of the 50 states. North Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 3, 1889, along with its neighboring state, South Dakota. Its capital is Bismarck, and its largest city is Fargo.
The Watrous Formation fills in the Paleozoic erosional surface, resting disconformably on older strata. It is equivalent to Amaranth Formation in Manitoba and represents a northern extension of the Spearfish Formation in North Dakota. The Upper Watrous can be correlated with the Nesson Formation.
The PaleozoicEra is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, lasting from, and is subdivided into six geologic periods : the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian. The Paleozoic comes after the Neoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon and is followed by the Mesozoic Era.
An unconformity is a buried erosional or non-depositional surface separating two rock masses or strata of different ages, indicating that sediment deposition was not continuous. In general, the older layer was exposed to erosion for an interval of time before deposition of the younger, but the term is used to describe any break in the sedimentary geologic record. The significance of angular unconformity was shown by James Hutton, who found examples of Hutton's Unconformity at Jedburgh in 1787 and at Siccar Point in 1788.
The Spearfish Formation is a geologic formation, originally described from the Black Hills region of South Dakota, United States, but also recognised in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska. It is a heterogeneous red bed formation, commonly with siltstone and gypsum low in the formation and sandstone and shale higher up. Other rock types include claystone, conglomerate, dolomite, and oil shale. It is typically regarded as Permian–Triassic in age, although its original description included Jurassic rocks.
The Nikanassin Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Jurassic (Portlandian) to Early Cretaceous (Barremian) age. It is present along the western edge of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in western Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. Its name was first proposed by D.B. Dowling in 1909 (Coal Fields South of Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain, Alberta Page 140 paragraph 4 " to this it is proposed to give the name Nikanassin, from the Cree word meaning outer range" Also it is noted on the map by D.B. Dowling.(Geological Survey of Canada. Incorrect info follows: It was named by B.R. MacKay in 1929 for the Nikanassin Range of the front-central ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Mackay did not designate a type locality for the formation, although he described outcrops near the hamlet of Brûlé, north of the Yellowhead Highway outside of Jasper National Park.
The Muskeg Formation is a geologic formation of Middle Devonian (Givetian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It extends from the plains of northwestern Alberta to northeastern British Columbia, and includes important petroleum and natural gas reservoirs in the Zama lake and Rainbow Lake areas of northwestern Alberta.
The Fernie Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Jurassic age. It is present in the western part of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in western Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. It takes its name from the town of Fernie, British Columbia, and was first defined by W.W. Leach in 1914.
The Wabamun Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Devonian (Famennian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It takes the name from Wabamun Lake and was first described in the Anglo Canadian Wabamun Lake No. 1 well by Imperial Oil in 1950.
The Exshaw Formation is a stratigraphic unit in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It takes the name from the hamlet of Exshaw, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies, and was first described from outcrops on the banks of Jura Creek north of Exshaw by P.S. Warren in 1937. The formation is of Late Devonian to Early Mississippian age as determined by conodont biostratigraphy, and it straddles the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary.
The Joli Fou Formation is a stratigraphical unit of middle Albian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. It takes the name from the Joli Fou Rapids on the Athabasca River, and was first described in an outcrop along the river, 8 kilometers (5.0 mi) downstream from Joli Fou Rapids, by RTD Wickenden in 1949.
The Palliser Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Devonian (Famennian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It is a thick sequence of limestone and dolomitic limestone that is present in the Canadian Rockies and foothills of western Alberta. Tall cliffs formed of the Palliser Formation can be seen throughout Banff and Jasper National Parks.
The Mist Mountain Formation is a latest Jurassic to earliest Cretaceous geologic formation in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin of southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. It was named for outcrops along a western spur of Mist Mountain in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta. It contains economically important coal reserves that are mined in southeastern British Columbia.
The Beaverhill Lake Group is a geologic unit of Middle Devonian to Late Devonian age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin that is present in the southwestern Northwest Territories, northeastern British Columbia and Alberta. It was named by the geological staff of Imperial Oil in 1950 for Beaverhill Lake, Alberta, based on the core from a well that they had drilled southeast of the lake, near Ryley, Alberta.
The Elk Point Group is a stratigraphic unit of Early to Middle Devonian age in the Western Canada and Williston sedimentary basins. It underlies large area that extends from southern boundary of the Northwest Territories in Canada to North Dakota in the United States. It has been subdivided into numerous formations, many which host major petroleum and natural gas reservoirs.
The Shaunavon Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Bathonian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
The Vanguard Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Callovian to Oxfordian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
The Saskatchewan Group is a stratigraphical unit of Frasnian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
The Manitoba Group is a stratigraphical unit of middle to late Devonian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
The Gravelbourg Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Bajocian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.
The Gypsum Springs Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Middle Jurassic age in the Williston Basin.
The Morrissey Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Jurassic (Portlandian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It is named for outcrops on Morrissey Ridge, 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of Fernie, British Columbia, and is present in southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta.
The Prairie Evaporite Formation, also known as the Prairie Formation, is a geologic formation of Middle Devonian (Givetian) age that consists primarily of halite and other evaporite minerals. It is present beneath the plains of northern and eastern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba in Canada, and it extends into northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana in the United States.
The Kootenay Group, originally called the Kootenay Formation, is a geologic unit of latest Jurassic to earliest Cretaceous age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin that is present in the mountains and foothills of southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. It includes economically important deposits of high-rank bituminous and semi-anthracite coal, as well as plant fossils and dinosaur trackways.
The La Loche Formation is a geologic formation of early Middle Devonian (Eifelian) age in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. It is present in northeastern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan and was first described by A. W. Norris in 1963, who named it for a Roman Catholic Mission at Lac La Loche. Its type section is located at Contact Rapids on the Clearwater River in Saskatchewan, northwest of Lac La Loche. It is not fossiliferous.