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

Technical Sessions

Click on the title for session details.
The deadline to submit abstracts (21 Feb) has passed.

Principal Organizers: Dave Eaton, University of Calgary, eatond@ucalgary.ca; Katherine Boggs, Mount Royal University, kboggs@mtroyal.ca
Now that EarthScope’s Transportable Array is in its final stages in Alaska and northwestern Canada, it is critical to begin coordination of the Canadian Cordillera Array (prototype for the pan-Canadian EarthsCAN research initiative). This session welcomes emerging results focused on tectonics and structure from Alaska and northwestern Canada, in addition to other areas of the North American Cordillera and presentations on the new Canadian Cordillera Array.
Coordinated Field Trip: (Pre-meeting)
FT3. Effects of Sedimentology and Facies on Structural Styles in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt. (Wed.-Thurs. 7-8 Jun, 2017)

Fieldtrip leaders: Byron Veilleux, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, Inc, bveilleux@repsol.com; Normand Begin, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, Inc, nbegin@repsol.com
This two day trip field trip will investigate the structural styles in the Foothills, Front ranges, Main Ranges and Western Main Ranges of the Rocky Mountains, and how sedimentary facies and stratigraphy influence fault terminations and result in profound variations to deformation styles. This trip will discuss the southern Cordillera Lithoprobe transect, providing a reference for the future Canadian Cordillera Array.
Coordinated Workshop: (Post-meeting)
W3. Planning for the future of the Canadian Cordillera Array and EarthsCAN. (Sat. 11 June, 2017)
In the spirit of the collaboration that was central to coordinating the Lithoprobe transects, during this workshop we will be planning out the initial phases of the Canadian Cordillera Array. This workshop is intended to expand on the presentations from session T1. From Earthscope to EarthsCAN and the Canadian Cordillera Array. Are you curious? Would you like to be involved? Do you have suggestions for innovative sensors or applications for an array of telemetered observatories? If so, please come to this workshop.
Principal organizer: Brian Pratt, University of Saskatchewan, brian.pratt@usask.ca.
Description: The enormously thick Meso- and Neoproterozoic successions of the Rocky Mountain region represent a critical interval in Earth history, with shallow- to deep-water deposition, igneous activity, and syntectonic mineralization. This session welcomes presentations on the sedimentology, paleogeography, paleontology, and structural history.
Invited Speakers:Rob Rainbird, Geological Survey of Canada, rob.rainbird@canada.ca; Derek Thorkelson, Simon Fraser University, dthorkel@sfu.ca
Coordinated Fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT7. Geology of the Waterton-Glacier National Parks Area. (Sun.-Tues. 11-13 June, 2017)

Fieldtrip leader: Brian Pratt, University of Saskatchewan, brian.pratt@usask.ca
This three-day trip will examine the Mesoproterozoic belt stratigraphy and structural geology through Waterton and Glacier National Parks in Alberta and Montana. Outcrops of the Altyn, Apekunny, and Grinnell formations will be viewed as well as the related structures. 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.
Principal organizers: Paul Johnston, Mount Royal University, pajohnston@mtroyal.ca; Robert B. McNaughton, Geological Survey of Canada, robert.macnaughton@canada.ca
Description: The Rocky Mountains and Cordillera of North America expose thick Cambrian platformal to basinal sequences, famous for fossil lagerstätten and economically important ore deposits. This session welcomes studies on the tectonic evolution, mineralization, paleogeography, depositional environments and paleoecology of the western margin of Laurentia during the Cambrian.
Invited Speakers: Patricio Desjardins, Shell Houston, patricio.desjardins@gmail.com; Gabriela Mángano, University of Saskatchewan, gabriela.mangano@usask.ca
Coordinated Field Trip: (Post-meeting)
FT5. More Than Trilobites—The Geology and Paleoecology of the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale at the Mount Stephen Trilobite Beds. (Sun.-Mon. 11-12 June, 2017)

Fieldtrip leaders: Paul Johnston, Mount Royal University, pajohnston@mtroyal.ca; Chris Collom, MacCallum Geological Consulting, Calgary, cjcollom@shaw.ca; Patricio Desjardins, Shell Houston, patricio.desjardins@gmail.com
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; 7.5 hours total, 5 hrs. hiking); not recommended for persons with significant health challenges.
Principal organizers: Dale Leckie, University of Calgary, leckied@shaw.ca; Jenni Scott, Mount Royal University, jescott@mtroyal.ca
Description: The Cretaceous foreland basin of the Rocky Mountain region records an incredible dataset for understanding relationships between stratigraphic packaging, allogenic controls on foreland successions, and the paleontological record in changing environments through time. This session welcomes presentations on topics related to the Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Rocky Mountain foreland, from biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy, to tectonics and geochronology.
Invited speakers: Lauren Birgenheier, University of Utah, lbirgenheier@egi.utah.edu; Federico Fanti, University of Bologna, federico.fanti@unibo.it Coordinated fieldtrip: (Pre-meeting)
FT4. Late Cretaceous geology and fossils of the Red Deer River Valley. (Wed.-Thurs. 7-8 June, 2017)
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.
Principle organizer: Robert Young, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, robert.young@ubc.ca.
Description: Landscapes of the Cenozoic in the western U.S. and Canada illustrate the transition from the latest stages of tectonic activity in the Rocky Mountains to tectonic quiescence and the evolution of the dominantly terrestrial, lacustrine, and fluvial to glacial environments in the Tertiary and Quaternary. This session welcomes presentations in geomorphology and paleontology and all topics related to the development of landscapes, particularly in the Tertiary and Quaternary east of the Rocky Mountains.
Coordinated fieldtrips: (1) (Pre-meeting) FT11. New Looks at Old Paradigms – Semi-radical Interpretations of Geomorphology and Cenozoic Rocks and Sediments in the Red Deer River Valley
Fieldtrip leaders: Milovan Fustic, University of Calgary, mfustic@ucalgary.ca; Kalina Malowany, University of Calgary, kalinamalowany@gmail.com; Gerald Osborn, University of Calgary, Osborn@ucalgary.ca
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; (2) (Post-meeting) 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, 2017)
Fieldtrip leader: Robert Young, University of British Columbia Okanagan, robert.young@ubc.ca
This two-day trip will look at some newer radiocarbon dates in western Alberta, the zone of a purported Ice-Free Corridor that was used as a migration route for the first Americans. It will look at dated Quaternary vertebrate fossil sites that give a glacial history of the region, as well as glacial landforms, including hummocks, eskers, and tunnel valleys, produced by catastrophic subglacial processes.
Principal Organizer: Kirk Osadetz, CMC Research Institutes, Inc., kirk.osadetz@cmcghg.com.
Co-organizers: Luc Rock, Shell, luc.rock@shell.com, and Alwynne Beaudoin, Royal Alberta Museum, alwynne.beaudoin@gov.ab.ca.
Description: Western Canada has become a global centre for industrial action on atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. Geoscience is key to the success of these activities, from carbon capture utilization and storage, grid scale electrical power storage and new material technologies and more efficient, lower emitting upstream petroleum technologies. The session is focused on geoscience contributions to technological and scientific solutions to the industrial emission problem.
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
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, 2017)

This three-day post-meeting trip departs Calgary to visit the Upper Cretaceous succession and world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology prior to staying in Edmonton (Day 1). We will visit Shell’s Quest project, the world’s first commercial CO2 capture and storage project associated with oil sand operations. We proceed from Hanna (Day 2) to visit the Sheerness mine-mouth coal-fired power Plant, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and CMC Research Institutes’ Field Research Station (FRS) near Brooks, where CO2 injected from above simulates a leak from below. The landscape seen on this trip, its municipalities and its agricultural industries are sites of leading efforts to manage industrial, and understand natural, CO2 and CH4 emissions.
Principal organizer: Steve Grasby, Natural Resources Canada, steve.grasby@canada.ca.
Description: Geothermal energy and hydrothermal systems illustrate the intimate relationships between Earth’s crust, fluids, and climate, and together they affect life in the associated ecosystems as well as providing a potential source of non-petroleum-based energy. This session welcomes presentations investigating the geothermal and hydrothermal systems in the Fold and Thrust Belt and adjacent areas of the U.S. and Canada.
Coordinated fieldtrip (pre-meeting): FT1. Hot and Cold Running Water in the Canadian Rockies. (Thurs. 8 June, 2017)
Fieldtrip leader: Steve Grasby, Natural Resources Canada, steve.grasby@canada.ca
This one-day trip will examine several shallow to deep circulating spring systems in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies, ending at the famous Banff Hot Springs. The focus will be to examine controls on deep crustal circulation, climate change influence on local hydrogeology, and water/rock interactions that influence the spring chemistry. Microbial communities and endangered animals in the spring outlets will also be discussed.
Principal organizers: Per Kent Pederson, University of Calgary, pkpederson@ucalgary.ca; Francois Marechal, Geo-Libre Inc., Calgary, www.geo-libreinc.com
Description: Fine-grained sedimentary systems are not simply represented by “layer-cake” geology. They exhibit complexities related to down-dip and along-strike variability that can be understood by investigating the stratal relationships and other characteristics of the fine-grained deposits as well as associated coarser-grained deposits. This session focuses on the integration and application of stratigraphic techniques, process sedimentology and facies analysis, geophysical attribute analysis, and rock/petrophysics to characterizing fine-grained successions.
Invited speaker: Sven Egenhoff, Colorado State University, sven.egenhoff@colostate.edu
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT9. Montney Analogue Field Trip: The Sulphur Mountain Formation around Canmore and Kananaskis. (Sun. 11 June, 2017)

Fieldtrip leader: Jon Noad, Sedimental Services, jonnoad@hotmail.com
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. Our 1-day field trip will visit a series of outcrops in Canmore and Kananaskis that demonstrate the character and variety of this stratigraphic interval.
Principal Organizers: Murray Gingras, University of Alberta, mgingras@ualberta.ca; Jenni Scott, Mount Royal University, jescott@mtroyal.ca
Description: Transitional environments between the continental and marine realms can be challenging to interpret using sedimentology alone. The integration of paleontology and paleoecology for recognizing variability in sedimentary processes and hydrochemical conditions, along with sedimentology, leads to more robust reconstructions of facies belts in marginal marine settings. This session welcomes presentations focusing on new examples and new techniques to revisit this age-old problem, particularly in the fluvio-deltaic and fluvio-estuarine to open marine transition zones.

Invited speaker: John Holbrook, School of Geology, Energy, and the Environment, Texas Christian University, john.holbrook@tcu.edu
Principal Organizer: Glenn Dolpin, University of Calgary, glenn.dolpin@uncalgary.ca.
Description: Research demonstrates that active engagement by students in geoscience classes yields better and longer-lasting learning outcomes. However, the traditional lecture style format remains the predominant instructional strategy. The signs of geological processes abound in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, ranging from microscopic cement fabrics to mountain-sized folds and thrust belts. Almost all subdisciplines of geology can find their “lessons in the rocks.” This session highlights how leaving textbook illustrations behind for the great outdoors can help students develop a better understanding for our current geological knowledge, and also for how we approach solving problems “in the field.”
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting) FT10. Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt for Geoscience Educators. (Sun. 11 June, 2017)
Fieldtrip leaders: Glenn Dolpin, University of Calgary, glenn.dolpin@uncalgary.ca; Katherine Boggs, Mount Royal University, kboggs@mtroyal.ca
The Canadian Rockies form a world famous geological backyard to Calgary. We will explore the spectacular vistas, geological structures and geomorphological features from Calgary to Field along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Coordinated workshops: (1) (Pre-meeting) W1. Clastic Sedimentology Workshop—Applications and Examples from the Energy Industry (Students and Geoscience Educators only). (Thurs. 8 June, 2017) This one-day workshop provides an overview of the use and importance of sedimentology in the energy industry. It will cover a broad range of clastic depositional settings in both lecture and core display/exercise format with emphasis on the applied use of sedimentology and stratigraphy in the spatial reconstruction of reservoirs in the subsurface. Examples and case studies will include examples from Western Canada, South-east Asia, and South America; (2) (Pre-meeting) W2. Digital Field Methods for Sed/Strat and Structural Geology: Use of Tablet-Based Apps for Mapping and Measurements in Undergraduate Courses. (1/2 day, Thurs. 8 June, 2017) This half-day workshop will explore the use of tablet applications for digital field mapping; (3) (Post-meeting) W4. Using Virtual Field Experiences (VFEs) to Enhance Learning in Undergraduate Geology Courses. (1/2 day, Thurs. 8 June, 2017)In this workshop, we will give participants experience with some of our newly developed VFEs, in an inquiry setting, asking “Why does this place look the way it does?” and then we will describe some of the techniques used collect, curate data from the field and, finally, how to put it together into a VFE format.
Principal organizer: Katherine Boggs, Mount Royal University, kboggs@mtroyal.ca.
Description: This poster session is designed to showcase undergraduate research efforts. The session is open to students working in all areas of the geosciences. All submissions should include a faculty mentor as co-author.
Coordinated Workshop: (Pre-meeting) W1. Clastic Sedimentology Workshop – Applications and Examples from the Energy Industry (Students and Geoscience Educators only) (Thurs. 8 June, 2017) (Sponsored by Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, Inc.)
Workshop leader: Mark Radomski, Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, Inc, mradomski@repsol.com
Description: This one-day workshop provides an overview of the use and importance of sedimentology in the energy industry. It will cover a broad range of clastic depositional settings in both lecture and core display/exercise format with emphasis on the applied use of sedimentology and stratigraphy in the spatial reconstruction of reservoirs in the subsurface. Examples and case studies will include examples from Western Canada, South-east Asia, and South America.
GSA workshops: (1) Roy J. Shlemon Mentor Program in Applied Geoscience; (2) John Mann Mentors in Applied Hydrogeology Program; (3) Geoscience Career Workshops: Career Planning and Informational Interviewing; Geoscience Career Exploration; Cover Letters, Résumés, and CVs.

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