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Rock Chips Spring 2008

Rock Chips Spring 2008

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Quarterly newsletter by the Alberta Geological Survey
Quarterly newsletter by the Alberta Geological Survey

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Published by: Alberta Geological Survey on Apr 18, 2008
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06/16/2009

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The Digital Atlas of Alberta Geology — A New AGSInitiative
The Mapping Section of the AlbertaGeological Survey (AGS), part of the EnergyResources Conservation Board (ERCB), hasinitiated work on a digital atlas of Albertageology. Products from the rst version areslated to be available via the internet in 2012.Unlike its predecessor (the 1994 Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin),which was in a paper format, the new atlaswill be updated online as new information isincorporated.
 Near-Surface Geology
The digital atlas will provide a consistent, province-wide representation of the near-surface geology of Alberta, includingsurcial geology, bedrock geology, bedrock topography and drift thickness. Surcialgeology and bedrock geology are commonlyrepresented as two-dimensional maps.Bedrock topography maps depict thethree-dimensional variability of theuppermost bedrock surface, analogous tosurface topographic maps. Drift thicknessmaps are isopach maps representing thethree-dimensional volume of unconsolidatedsediment lying above bedrock and are derived by subtracting top of bedrock elevations fromsurface elevations.
 Bedrock Stratigraphy Beneath the Alberta Plains
This atlas will depict the strata of theWestern Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) beneath the Interior Plains of Alberta to arelatively shallow depth of approximately500 m below surface. This will be done in athree-dimensional environment representinglithostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphicsurfaces and selected province-wide cross-sections.The surfaces will be built from well-log picks fromattributed sources, including the 1994 Atlas of theWestern Canada Sedimentary Basin, and from existingand future picks by AGS staff, with a data densityof approximately one well per township. Subsequentversions of the atlas will incorporate deeper WCSB
Till sampling during surcial geology mapping southwest of FortMcMurray.Resolving surcial map boundary discrepancies north of Nordegg.
 
Rock Chips
is published four times a year by the Alberta Geological Survey in the spring,summer, fall and winter.Individual articles, statistics and other information in this publication may bereproduced or quoted without permission aslong as the ERCB/AGS is credited.Past and present issues of 
Rock Chips
may beviewed on the AGS website located atwww.ags.gov.ab.ca.To receive the paper version of 
Rock Chips
, askto be placed on our complimentary mailing list.Contact our Edmonton ofce bye-mail: EUB.AGS-Infosales@ercb.ca• Fax: (780) 422-1918• Tel: (780) 422-1927If you are currently receiving the paper editionand have a change of name or address, pleaseforward corrections to one of the contactsabove. All AGS reports are available for purchase fromthe AGS Information Sales ofce in Edmonton.Orders may be placed in person or by phone,fax, or e-mail at the following address:Energy Resources Conservation Board Alberta Geological SurveyInformation Centre4th Floor, Twin Atria Building4999 - 98th AvenueEdmonton, AlbertaCanada T6B 2X3Tel: (780) 422-1927Fax: (780) 422-1918e-mail: AGS-Info@ercb.caPrepayment is required. We acceptVisa/Mastercard, cheque or money order or acurrent ERCB account number. GST is includedin our prices.Most reports can be downloaded from our website at
www.ags.gov.ab.ca.
Clients in the Calgary area may view AGSpublications at the Energy ResourcesConservation Board Library, 640 - 5th Avenue SWTel: (780) 297-8242.
geological strata. The development of this deeper viewof bedrock geology is focused on the WCSB beneaththe Interior Plains because (i) these rocks host the vastmajority of Alberta’s oil and gas resources and may become important receptors of CO
2
; (ii) over 80% of Alberta’s geographic area lies within the Interior Plains;and (iii) data of sufcient quality and quantity exist to build an accurate three-dimensional geological model(geophysical well logs).The focus of the rst version of the digital atlas will be on the shallow bedrock strata and drift in Alberta because understanding these rocks and sedimentsis crucial to sustainable development of many earthresources in Alberta, including bitumen, coal, coalbedmethane, shallow gas, sand and gravel, uranium,
Geology near Elliot Peak in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges westof Abraham Lake.Examining Cretaceous stratigraphy in the Birch Mountains.
2 Rock Chips Spring 2008
 
diamonds and geothermal energy. This geologicalknowledge is also necessary to support regulation and public-policy development surrounding groundwater,land use, environmental protection, waste disposaland public safety from natural geological hazards.Following delivery of version 1.0 in 2012, additionalwork will improve the resolution of existing geologicalrepresentations, extend the geological framework togreater depths, and see the incorporation of thematicinformation produced by AGS and others (e.g., aquifer locations, geothermal properties, CO
2
storage capacityof reservoirs, geohazard evaluations, mineral resourceinformation and geochemical survey data).Initial ofce work on the digital atlas includes compilingsurcial geology maps of west-central Alberta withvarying legends and scales, a pilot study to investigatemethodologies for extending bedrock topographymapping into areas with inadequate coverage,construction of provincial-scale bedrock cross-sections,and compilation of bedrock geology maps in theAbraham Lake – Nordegg area of the Rocky Mountainsand Foothills. Field work in 2007 that will contribute tothe atlas included surcial geology mapping in northernAlberta, eld reconnaissance to resolve surcial geologymap boundary discrepancies north of Nordegg and bedrock geology investigations in the Abraham Lakearea, the Nordegg area and in the Birch Mountains.
v
Luscar Formation exposed in canyon cut by the Bighorn River southwest of Nordegg.
Recently Released
Publications
Digital Datasets
DIG 2007-0077
Surcial Geology, Alberta Foothills andRocky Mountains (GIS data, polygon features).
DIG 2007-0078
Surcial Geology, Alberta Foothills andRocky Mountains — Glacial Features (GIS data,line features).
Earth Sciences Reports
ESR 2007-08
Preliminary Water Well Sampling toAssess the Uranium Potential in the Whiskey GapArea of Southern Alberta (NTS 82H/2, 3). 32.2 MBPDF. $20.00.
ESR 2007-10
Sandstone-Hosted Uranium Potential of Southern Alberta — Preliminary Assessment. 62.6MB PDF. $20.00.
Geo-Notes
GEO 2007-01
Chemistry and Mineralogy of Kimberlite-Indicator Mineral Grains From a TillSurvey of the Sawn Lake Area (NTS 84B/13),Southern Buffalo Head Hills, Alberta. 10 MB PDF.$20.00.
Special Reports
SPE 096
Sphalerite and Kimberlite Indicator Mineralsin Till from the Zama Lake Region, NorthwestAlberta (NTS 84L and 84M). $20.00 (also releasedas Geological Survey of Canada Open File 5692).
www.ags.gov.ab.ca/publications/
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