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Stratigraphy and Sedimentology

Stratigraphic cross section of sedimentary basin formations.

Studies of sedimentary basins crossed by the transects are devoted to the understanding of the nature, mode of formation and tectonic setting of the basins. Remember our discussion of the WCSB? What was it? Well, it is the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin which overlies the Alberta Basement and adjacent regions. Now we remember.
The focus in stratigraphy and sedimentology is on questions such as: how deeply and at what rate did the basin subside? By what sedimentary processes did the basin fill? Where did the sediment come from? What caused the basins to form where they did and how are their histories related to the development of the continental crust of Canada? How has water moved and migrated hydrocarbons within the sediments?

A whole host of established stratigraphic and sedimentological approaches can be applied and coupled with data on the temperatures and pressures to which the sediments have been subjected. [Such P-T data can be derived from the geochemistry of contained hydrocarbons, vitrinite reflectance of coals, kerogen studies of organic matter, colour alteration of conodonts (a type of fossil), fission track and 40Ar/39Ar (argon isotopes) dating of detrital and authigenic (original) components, clay mineralogy and other low-grade mineral assemblages. At any rate, we can use many indicators here.]

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