2017 GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

69th Annual Meeting

9–10 June 2017 • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mount Royal University

Join us in the heart of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the gateway to the Canadian Rockies


For additional information, please contact the Field Trip Chair, Jean Hsieh, jhsieh@repsol.com.


FT1. Hot and Cold Running Water in the Canadian Rockies.
Thurs., 8 June.

FT3. Effects of Sedimentology and Facies on Structural Styles in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt.
Wed-Thurs., 7-8 June.

FT4. Late Cretaceous Geology and Fossils of Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Fieldtrip Leader: Don Henderson, Royal Tyrrell Museum, don.henderson@gov.ab.ca.
Wed-Thurs., 7-8 June. Cost: $210.
Description: This two-day trip will visit the exceptional exposures of Late Cretaceous sedimentary rocks in Dinosaur Provincial Park that record a variety of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments, and host impressive dinosaurs and other fossils that have been continually collected in the Park since 1910. Highlights will be guided tours to quarries in the Park and a behind the scenes tour of the collections and lab facilities at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology where many impressive fossils from the Park are housed and displayed.

FT11. New Looks at Old Paradigms – Semi-radical interpretations of geomorphology and Cenozoic rocks and sediments in the Red Deer River Valley
Thur., 8 June. Cost: $150.
Fieldtrip leaders: Milovan Fustic, University of Calgary, mfustic@ucalgary.ca; Kalina Malowany, University of Calgary, Gerald Osborn, University of Calgary, Osborn@ucalgary.ca
Description: This one-long-day trip will examine (a) large- and small-scale valley geomorphology and (b) superbly exposed outcrops of both the Cretaceous Horseshoe Canyon Formation and Quaternary glacial-age sediments along the Red Deer River Valley near Drumheller. Although classical stratigraphic, sedimentologic, and geomorphological concepts will be discussed, the focus of the trip is on rather enigmatic, poorly documented features that contradict some commonly held beliefs. Emphasis will be on:
> Horseshoe Canyon Point Bar Facies Models
Contrary to popular belief, mudstone-clast breccias are NOT diagnostic of basal channel-lag deposits, and higher-energy cross-beds at the channel base are NOT the cleanest part of the channel fill, and may contain stratified mud.
> Incised river valleys on the Alberta Plains
Previous literature refers to post-glacial isostatic rebound as the reason all major plains rivers flow in valleys cut below the plains surface. The actual reason(s) may be more complicated.
> Quaternary sedimentology
The basic sediment types blanketing plains bedrock are till, recognized by unsorted texture, glacial lake sediments, recognized by sorted, fine-grained texture, and alluvium, recognized by moderately sorted sand and gravel. We will examine outcrops of diamict radically more unsorted than till (silt to 5-m boulders), interpreted to be alluvium.
Toward the end of the day discussions will continue in the famous and historic Last Chance Saloon in Wayne (population 42) located in the heart of dramatic badlands. Late-evening return to Calgary.

Post- Meeting Trips

FT5. Biota, brines, sandstones and mines: geology of the early-mid Cambrian of the Canadian southern Rocky Mountains
Sun-Mon., 11-12 June. Cost: $375.
Fieldtrip leaders: Paul Johnston, Mount Royal University, pajohnston@mtroyal.ca; Chris Collom, MacCallum Geological Consulting, Calgary, cjcollom@shaw.ca; Patricio Desjardins, Patricio.desjardins@gmail.com.
Description: This two-day trip provides an overview of Cambrian stratigraphy from Exshaw, Alberta to Field, B.C. and culminates with a hike to examine the unusual geology of the famed Trilobite Beds of the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. Thanks to permission from Parks Canada, the hike will include areas normally inaccessible to visitors to the site. This is a rigorous hike (Elevation gain: 795 m [2610 feet]; 8 km [5 miles] round trip; steep trail and 30 degree mountain slope; 7.5 hours total, 5 hrs. hiking); not recommended for persons with significant health challenges.

FT6. Carbon Capture and Storage: A Trip to Visit Past and Recent Changing Environments in Alberta’s Plains and Shell’s World-Leading Quest CCS Project.
Sun-Tues., 11-13 June.

FT7. Geology of the Waterton-Glacier National Parks Area.
Sun-Tues., 11-13 June. Cost: $330.
Fieldtrip leader: Brian Pratt, University of Saskatchewan, brian.pratt@usask.ca.
Description: This three-day trip will examine the Mesoproterozoic belt stratigraphy and structural geology through Waterton and Glacier National Parks in Alberta and Montana (respectively). Outcrops of the Altyn, Apekunny, and Grinnell formations will be viewed as well as the related structures. A possible itinerary could be: Day 1: Drive from Calgary across border and hike to Apikuni Falls. Day 2: Outcrops on Going-to-the-Sun Road including Apekunny Formation at Dead Horse Point, Sunrift Gorge and Sun Point (Appekunny and Grinnell formations), below Logan Pass for Helena Formation and St. Mary Visitor's Center walls. Day 3: Drive to Waterton Lakes National Park to see Waterton Formation in townsite and Red Rock Canyon (Grinnell Formation). Return to Calgary. Note: Participants must be prepared with passports and required visas.

FT8. Evidence for Catastrophic Subglacial Processes across Alberta, and a refined Deglacial Chronology in the Zone of the Purported Ice-Free Corridor.
Sun-Mon., 11-12 June. Cost: $260.
Fieldtrip leader: Robert Young, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, robert.young@ubc.ca.
Description: This two-day trip will look at some newer radiocarbon dates in the western Alberta, the zone of a purported Ice-Free Corridor that was used as migration route for the first Americans. It will look at dated Quaternary vertebrate fossil sites that give a glacial history of the region, which will indicate when the area was and was not available for migration. The second major theme will relate to a series of glacial landforms, including hummocks, eskers, and tunnel valleys. The features, taken individually and as an integrated landscape indicate catastrophic subglacial processes occurred. The catastrophic nature of this landscape will become apparent, and is recognizable in part because of similarities with those found in the Channeled Scablands, yet can be considered an order of magnitude larger.

FT9. Montney Analogue Field Trip: The Sulphur Mountain Formation around Canmore and Kananaskis.
Sun., 11 June. Cost: $100.
Fieldtrip leader: Jon Noad, Sedimental Services, jonnoad@hotmail.com.
Description: The Canadian Rockies are famous for their outstanding scenery, and also for their oil and gas production. Most of our knowledge regarding the highly productive Triassic Montney Formation has been garnered in the subsurface, but there are excellent age equivalent outcrops, such as the Sulphur Mountain Formation, which can provide valuable data and discussion points. Facies range from upper shoreface sandstones, through lower shoreface HCS sandstones and coarse siltstones, to finely laminated lower shoreface sandstone and offshore siltstone beds, as well as turbidites. All of these depositional settings can be explored in the Sulphur Mountain Formation in the field. This one-day field trip will visit a series of outcrops in Canmore and Kananaskis that demonstrate the character and variety of this stratigraphic interval.

FT10. Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt for Geoscience Educators.
Sun., 11 June.

2017 Committee

General Chair:
Katherine Boggs

Technical Program Chair:
Jenni Scott

Field Trip Chair:
Jean Hsieh

Student Volunteer Chair:
Susan Reid

Meeting Flyer

2017 Rocky Mountain Meeting Flyer