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Showing 1 - 200 of 1205 Journals sorted alphabetically
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Chaos : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
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Chinese Journal of Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Chinese Journal of Engineering     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Chinese Science Bulletin     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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Ciencia en su PC     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
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Journal Cover Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology
  [SJR: 0.273]   [H-I: 27]   [14 followers]  Follow
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 0007-4802
   Published by GeoScienceWorld Homepage  [16 journals]
  • Introduction: The Devonian beneath the oil sands
    • Authors: Schneider, C. L; Cotterill, D.
      Pages: 1 - 3
      Abstract: Devonian strata beneath the oil sands have been acknowledged and studied since the early explorers of the 1800s. The focus on the Devonian shifted from the original emphasis on correlation and age, to evaporite resources in the early to mid-1900s, to stratigraphy of the oil sands underburden in the 1950s and 1960s, and finally to the current emphasis on geohazards and disposal. Devonian and later strata in the oil sands mining area have been impacted by the dissolution of the Prairie Evaporite Formation, a 200+ m thick succession of mostly halite. This special issue on "The Devonian beneath the Oil Sands" presents some of the current research and sets a baseline for future investigation.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.1
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • Stratigraphy of the Middle Devonian Keg River and Prairie Evaporite
           formations, northeast Alberta, Canada
    • Authors: Rogers M. B.
      Pages: 5 - 63
      Abstract: Northeast Alberta is the location of one of the world’s largest petroleum deposits, the Athabasca Oil Sands, hosted in Lower Cretaceous McMurray Formation sandstones. The McMurray Formation was deposited on a deeply eroded Upper Devonian unconformity surface that was strongly influenced by underlying carbonate and evaporite units. Development of the oil sands has resulted in a significant increase in new data related to the underlying Devonian of northeast Alberta. In particular, the requirement for deep disposal of water has resulted in a number of wells being drilled into and through the porous dolomites of the Middle Devonian Keg River Formation that is a few hundred metres below the McMurray bitumen deposits. In addition, the acquisition of large areas of high-resolution 3D seismic data to assist the delineation and development of the oil sands reserves has provided powerful insights into the depositional patterns and later dissolutive geometries of the underlying carbonate and evaporite deposits.The Keg River and overlying Prairie Evaporite formations that are the focus of this paper were deposited in the intracratonic Elk Point Basin that covered most of the area now delineated by the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. These units and their lateral equivalents have been extensively studied in Saskatchewan, northwest Alberta, southern Northwest Territories and northeast British Columbia. In contrast, the two formations have been lightly studied and rarely published upon in northeast Alberta. The current detailed study of several areas with abundant new data, combined with a review of the regional dataset in northeast Alberta has provided new insights into the geology of these units. A revised stratigraphy for the two formations is presented which includes the formal definition of the proposed Aurora Member, a significant anhydrite unit within the Prairie Evaporite Formation that was previously included as a sub-unit of the Whitkow Member.The Keg River Formation is divided into the Lower and Upper Keg River members. The Lower Keg River Member is a thin, regionally consistent unit composed of an upward deepening transgressive systems tract. In most places, the Lower Keg River is overlain by the Upper Keg River Member which has two distinct facies. At the base is a widespread shallowing upwards microbial oncolitic facies, here referred to as the Keg River Ramp, which provided the foundation for more aerially restricted overlying deposits of shallow water carbonate. On the edge of the basin, a Basin Margin Platform formed and prograded out over the Keg River Ramp. In the centre of the basin, biogenic build-ups developed. Integrated interpretation of the seismic with the wells shows that the build-ups often have well established but aerially restricted reef margins of frame-building organisms. However, the bulk of these build-ups consist of loosely consolidated peloidal grainstones and packstones.A drop in sea level in conjunction with the development of a continuous barrier reef trend, the Presqu’ile Barrier, across the mouth of the Elk Point Basin caused restriction of the basin resulting in widespread laminites forming at the transitional contact between the Keg River and overlying Prairie Evaporite formations.As sea-level continued to drop, evaporitic drawdown converted the Elk Point Basin into a vast inland saline sea with an exposed marginal platform and emergent carbonate build-ups. The Prairie Evaporite Formation deposits of dolomite, anhydrite, gypsum, halite and potash were deposited in and around this sea. During this evaporitic phase almost all of the underlying Keg River limestone was converted to dolomite. The dolomitization resulted in the development of excellent porosity in most of the Keg River strata.The Prairie Evaporite is divided into two major brining upward cycles of deposition. The lower Prairie Evaporite cycle began with anhydrite and gypsum deposits forming adjacent to the exposed Keg River build-ups. These anhydrite units have been recognized and described in other parts of the Elk Point Basin but have never been formally defined stratigraphically. The paper provides detailed description and stratigraphic definition for this unit as the proposed Aurora Member. In the deeper parts of the basins between the reefs, evaporitic laminites accumulated. Eventually, the brines became supersaline and the remaining topography between the reefs was filled up with the Whitkow Member which consists mainly of halite. The upper Prairie Evaporite brining upward cycle began when a renewed rise in sea-level breached the Presqu’ile Barrier and allowed mesohaline brine to flood back across the basin. Continuing sea-level rise allowed reef growth to re-establish on top of the barrier which again led to restricted marine water flow into the basin. The vertical aggradation of the Presqu’ile Barrier as sea-level rose provided the accommodation space for the upper Prairie Evaporite cycle. The anhydrite portion of the cycle is represented by the widespread Shell Lake Member which transitions upward into the Leofnard Member which is composed predominantly of halite.In northeast Alberta, the Prairie Evaporite is capped by a thin clastic unit and the cycle of deposition is terminated by a significant unconformity at the base of the Watt Mountain Formation.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.5
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • The Steepbank Formation: a paleokarst diamictite deposit in the Athabasca
           Oil Sands region of northeastern Alberta, Canada
    • Authors: Hoffman G. L.
      Pages: 64 - 86
      Abstract: The name "Steepbank Formation" is proposed for a paleokarst diamictite deposit that is present along the margins of the Middle Devonian Prairie Evaporite Formation in the Western Canada and Williston sedimentary basins, including the eastern portion of the Athabasca Oil Sands region. This poorly lithified diamictite forms a mappable unit that is distinct in both age and lithology from all contiguous formations. The Steepbank consists of clasts of dolostone, limestone, and siltstone up to the size of boulders with a matrix of silty to sandy calcareous mudstone. The material shows little or no evidence of bedding or sorting. Most clasts are angular and their orientation is commonly random. The diamictite formed in response to the dissolution of thick (up to 300 m) sequences of halite, anhydrite, and gypsum in the Prairie Evaporite Formation and the subsequent failure and collapse of interbedded and overlying insoluble strata. The top contact occurs where the intact strata of an overlying formation can be identified and is commonly gradational. The basal contact with the underlying Keg River Formation is sharp. Both contacts are unconformable. Evaporite dissolution and diamicton deposition likely began in late Middle Devonian time, moving down dip toward the west, and are continuing today near the Athabasca River.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.64
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • New insights from regional-scale mapping and modelling of the Paleozoic
           succession in northeast Alberta: Paleogeography, evaporite dissolution,
           and controls on Cretaceous depositional patterns on the sub-Cretaceous
    • Authors: Hauck, T. E; Peterson, J. T, Hathway, B, Grobe, M, MacCormack, K.
      Pages: 87 - 114
      Abstract: The distribution and extent of Paleozoic strata within an area encompassing 874 townships in northeast Alberta have been updated based on detailed regional-scale lithostratigraphic mapping and modelling. Precambrian basement paleotopography strongly influenced the distribution of Keg River Formation carbonate buildups and interbuildup basins, which in turn largely controlled the depositional patterns in the overlying Prairie Evaporite Formation. Keg River paleotopography controlled the type of evaporites that were deposited, particularly at the Whitkow Member level of the Prairie Evaporite Formation. Keg River paleotopography continued to have an effect on the overlying sedimentary succession including the Cretaceous strata in areas where evaporites in the Prairie Evaporite Formation were removed by intrastratal dissolution. East of the regional Prairie Evaporite halite dissolution scarp, enhanced structuring of the sub-Cretaceous unconformity occurs by the draping of Waterways strata over Keg River paleotopography, especially along the Athabasca Arch.Structural mapping and modelling of the Prairie Evaporite Formation, and isopach mapping of halite and anhydrite therein using modern well control, provide the basis for an updated version of the location and extent of the Prairie Evaporite halite dissolution scarp. A new regionally correlatable marker bed, the Conklin, is introduced within the Prairie Evaporite Formation. Detailed correlation of this marker bed, along with previously established member and marker bed stratigraphy from the Prairie Evaporite Formation, reveals a well-defined pattern of evaporite karst within the halite dissolution scarp, and provides evidence for the top-down removal of halite throughout the study area. A regional Devonian subcrop model, together with a paleogeographic reconstruction of the sub-Cretaceous unconformity, highlight the control that karst processes in the Prairie Evaporite Formation and resulting Devonian structure have had on accommodation space and depositional patterns in the overlying lowermost formations within the Mannville Group.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.87
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • Hypogenic karst beneath the Athabasca Oil Sands: Implications for oil
           sands mining operations
    • Authors: Walker, J; Almasi, I, Stoakes, F, Potma, K, O'Keefe (nee Cranshaw), J.
      Pages: 115 - 146
      Abstract: The Athabasca Oil Sands, located in northeast Alberta, largely comprise a stacked succession of Early Cretaceous fluvial and marine sediments that were deposited directly above Middle and Late Devonian limestones, dolostones, calcareous shales and evaporites. Dissolution of halite and anhydrite from the Prairie Evaporite Formation by hypogenic karstification has resulted in the diachronous subsidence of overlying stratigraphic units and severe brecciation of important aquitards. These aquitards are required to protect oil sands mining operations from in-pit influxes of saline water sourced from Devonian aquifers. Sequence stratigraphic, palynologic and groundwater isotopic evidence suggests that karstification began prior to the Early Cretaceous, was active during deposition of the McMurray Formation and is still ongoing today in the Athabasca Oil Sands mining area.Groundwater flow associated with hypogenic karstification has important implications for the development of the Athabasca Oil Sands. For in-situ projects, Devonian aquifers are considered both as a resource for the moderately saline water required for steam generation and as a disposal zone for waste water. In open-pit oil sands mines, some of the most effective aquitards are removed by mining operations, thereby increasing the possibility that saline water from the Devonian aquifers could enter the mine pits. This poses safety, environmental and economic risks to mining operations that require a thorough understanding of the geologic, hydraulic and geomechanical controls related to hypogenic karstification. This paper, presents our current understanding of the hypogenic karst system in the vicinity of the Kearl mine.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.115
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • A review and new descriptions of Elk Point Group outcrops in the Athabasca
           Oil Sands mining region
    • Authors: Schneider, C. L; Grobe, M.
      Pages: 147 - 174
      Abstract: Elk Point Group outcrops in the Athabasca Oil Sands mining region (AOSMR) and adjacent areas include exposures of the La Loche, Contact Rapids, Keg River, and Prairie Evaporite formations. Here, we review prior investigations of these formations in outcrop, followed by new descriptions of some outcrops, including those previously unpublished or newly discovered.The fluvial to marginal marine sandstone and conglomerate of the La Loche Formation, informally known as the granite wash, outcrops along the Clearwater River in Saskatchewan, where it is sandwiched between the Precambrian basement and the Contact Rapids Formation. In Alberta, the La Loche Formation is exposed at a locality along Whitemud Falls, where it directly underlies the Keg River Formation as a lithic sandstone and fills paleokarst crevices in the Keg River dolostone. From these two outcrops we recognize three facies in the La Loche Formation: regolith, lithic conglomerate, and lithic to arkosic sandstone. The marginal marine shale, silt, and dolomite of the Contact Rapids Formation outcrops in Saskatchewan at its namesake Contact Rapids, but is exposed only as a slumped bank of grey to greenish mud. We examined Keg River Formation dolostone from three outcrops along the Clearwater River at Contact Rapids in Saskatchewan and Whitemud Falls and Cascade Rapids in Alberta. We also describe an outcrop on the Firebag River in Alberta. From these outcrops, we recognize three general facies: bedded to laminated cryptalgal dolomitized bindstone (originating from an intertidal paleoenvironment), coral and stromatoporoid-bearing dolomitized floatstone to rudstone (originally a reef), and crinoid and brachiopod dolomitized floatstone (from off-reef or inter-reef areas). A newly recognized outcrop of the collapse residue from the dissolved Prairie Evaporite Formation occurs along the Clearwater River, where cobbles and boulders of breccia and other less soluble Prairie Evaporite rock weather out of the river bank between several sulfur springs.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.147
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • Impact of the Prairie Evaporite dissolution collapse on McMurray
           stratigraphy and depositional patterns, Shell Albian Sands Lease 13,
           northeast Alberta
    • Authors: Barton, M. D; Porter, I, OByrne, C, Mahood, R.
      Pages: 175 - 199
      Abstract: The Cretaceous McMurray Formation in NE Alberta contains nearly a trillion barrels of bitumen, a significant portion of which is being developed via surface mining and in-situ thermal methods. The focus of this report is the structure and stratigraphy of the Cretaceous McMurray Formation and its relationship to the configuration of the underlying Devonian section in the area of Shell Canada’s Albian Sands Lease (Township 95, ranges 9 and R10W4M), a joint oil sands mining venture between Shell Canada (60%), Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Marathon Oil Canada Corporation (20%). The structural and stratigraphic relationships between the two intervals has been the source of several recent investigations due to industry related incidents that demonstrated the integrity of the underlying Devonian succession can be compromised by vertical pathways associated with faults, sinkholes, or other features.Key findings of this work include the following:
      The present morphology of the Pre-Cretaceous unconformity is primarily due to structural deformation (differential subsidence) related to dissolution and collapse of the underlying Prairie Evaporite Formation and overlying Devonian units of the Beaverhill Lake Group rather than erosion relief.
      Two types of collapse structures are recognized: a) large scale sag folds that are 1-to-10 kilometres in extent; and b) small scale breccia pipes that are 10-to-100 metres in diameter. The sag folds are interpreted to have formed in response to the dissolution of halite. The breccia pipes, which postdate the sag folds, represent sinkhole features that formed in response to the dissolution of gypsum.
      Rather than onlapping the unconformity, Lower McMurray strata thin and converge across structural highs and thicken and diverge across structural lows, demonstrating much of the dissolution driven subsidence was contemporaneous with the deposition. The subsidence produced up to 80 metres of accommodation and involved the coherent sagging and faulting of large intact segments of the underlying Devonian section.
      The arrangement of major stratigraphic packages indicates subsidence features shifted locations through time rather than persisting through the entire Lower McMurray.
      Changes in sedimentation style between sand-rich fluvial packages to mud-rich lacustrine dominated packages within the lower McMurray reflect changes in relative rates of subsidence. Sand-rich fluvial units are localized in settings with low-to-moderate subsidence rates, while mud-rich fluvial-lacustrine units are localized in settings with moderate-to-high subsidence rates.
      The Middle-to-Upper McMurray section is composed of four high relief unconformity bound units that display flat/horizontal stratal relationships with the underlying structure of the Pre Cretaceous unconformity. In contrast to the Lower McMurray, stratigraphic relationships indicate it was largely impacted by falls and rises in relative sea-level (cycles of negative and positive accommodation) rather than dissolution driven subsidence that, while still active, had begun to wane.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.175
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
  • Breccia pipe and sinkhole linked fluidized beds and debris flows in the
           Athabasca Oil Sands: dynamics of evaporite karst collapse-induced fault
           block collisions
    • Authors: Broughton P. L.
      Pages: 200 - 234
      Abstract: The Middle Devonian hypogene evaporite dissolution, karst collapse resulted in the fragmentation of the Upper Devonian strata into a mosaic of differentially subsided fault blocks underlying the northern area of the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit. Regional salt dissolution collapse developed structural troughs up to 50 km long on the sub-Cretaceous unconformity. The structural depressions formed above collapsed collinearly aligned, brine-filled, evaporite dissolution chimneys extending up to 100 m high within the Prairie Evaporite salt beds. Individual and coalesced arrays of dissolution chimneys developed along fault lineament dissolution trends that dissected the 10 km wide Prairie Evaporite salt scarp. 3D seismic images of chimney collapse structures in the Middle Devonian evaporite basin depocenter across central Saskatchewan are analogues used to interpret collapse structures evident in the Upper Devonian succession and the overlying Lower Cretaceous McMurray Formation. The Devonian-Cretaceous fault bound blocks located above the dissolution chimneys were gravity driven collapse structures. These structures included oblique rotational trajectories during the descents towards and into underlying dissolution voids. Breccia pipes were impinged along the deeper reaches of the inter-block fault planes as adjacent blocks obliquely rotated apart and towards each other, resulting in zones with compressional and extensional bed deformations during the variable but often rapid rates of vertical descent. The breccia pipes pass upward, along fault planes, into oblique shear zones with twisted beds and zigzag suture welding between adjacent blocks. Upper reaches of the collision zone, between adjacent blocks, were dominated by compressional deformations that resulted in sinkhole development bound on one side by the fault plane. Continued bed compression deformed and fragmented many sinkhole structures. Some of these collapse-induced fault block collisions suggest cataclysmic events, and caused seismicity triggered fluidization in the upper intervals of breccia pipes with mobilization as debris flows that spread across adjacent fault block surfaces.
      PubDate: 2017-05-05T14:51:04-07:00
      DOI: 10.2113/gscpgbull.65.1.200
      Issue No: Vol. 65, No. 1 (2017)
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