Sequence Stratigraphic Architecture of the Grand Rapids Formation and Equivalents, East-Central Alberta and West-Central Saskatchewan, Canada
Understanding of Earth history involves many approaches. In the case of this project, the focus is understanding the distribution (paleogeography) of ancient shallow-marine and coastal environments of Alberta and Saskatchewan during the Lower Cretaceous. The Grand Rapids Fm represents an important interval that occupies a crucial location for resolving the history of such environments, particularly those relevant to the oil sands-bearing McMurray Fm and the heavy oil-bearing Lloydminster area units. With respect to the McMurray Fm, the Grand Rapids deposits may give insights into the types of shorelines and the styles of river sediment supply that operated during McMurray time, but which, unfortunately, were eroded away by glaciation during the Pleistocene. With respect to the Lloydminster heavy oil deposits, the Grand Rapids Fm is roughly time equivalent and showcases the along-strike shoreline configurations that will assist in placing those deposits into their proper paleogeographic context. These paleogeographic distributions are closely associated with relative changes in sea level during the Lower Cretaceous and allows meaningful correlation of stratigraphic units. This study will assist in improving our understanding of two important hydrocarbon units in Canada.