After the extinction: Macrofossils of the Triassic Sulphur Mountain Formation in Kananaskis
SPEAKER: Dr. Jon Noad
LOCATION: Mount Royal University, Room B108
TIME: February 9, 2018, 7:30 pm
Outcrops in and around Kananaskis expose portions of the Sulphur Mountain Formation, dating back to the basal Triassic, just after the Permian extinction event that led to the eradication of 92% of life on Earth. The lowermost beds overlying the Permian extinction appear devoid of fossils, in contrast to the highly bioturbated limestone beds of the uppermost Permian Ranger Canyon Formation. However, the younger strata in the Sulphur Mountain Formation yield a diverse fauna that includes ammonites, bivalve beds and a variety of burrows and algal mats.
Most striking of the fossil assemblages is a bone bed, preserved in lower shoreface, marine sediments. It yields bone fragments, shark teeth and possible coprolites, preserved in a siltstone matrix. Some of the smaller bones are thought to belong to plesiosaurs. The fossil material is densely concentrated, forming a clast supported conglomerate. At least three species of shark teeth have been identified, and work is ongoing as to the best way to study the palaeontology of this unique discovery without destroying it. The Aust Bone Bed in the UK is slightly younger, but provides a suitable analogue, with a comparable fauna with similar preservation.
The bone bed occurs as pockets of fossiliferous sediment between concretionary ribs that are around 10 cm in diameter, oriented along three distinct axes. These are interpreted as Thalassinoides burrows, created by glass shrimps, and later overgrown by concretionary phosphatic material. The concretions occur within a laterally extensive bed that dips subvertically, and is overlain by a thick black mudstone interval. The depositional setting is interpreted as a storm deposit that was covered by sediment, allowing cementation to take place. A subsequent transgression removed the covering sediment, exposing the concretionary layer and depositing a transgressive lag or omission surface. A further transgression led to deposition of the thick mudstone interval.
The excellent exposures along creeks and road cuts in the Kananaskis region have allowed the bone bed horizon to be tied into the stratigraphy of the lower Sulphur Mountain Formation, and incorporated into a sequence stratigraphic framework that can be directly correlated to the Lower Montney Formation. The Montney Formation is a major shale gas and shale oil resource, one of the largest known gas resources in the world.
Jon Noad is an experienced Geologist, currently Director of the DigitCore Institute for Learning, where he trains geologists through classroom and field based courses.
Jon graduated from Imperial College, London in 1985 with a Geology degree. He worked in mining in South Africa for five years, and then as a marine geologist responsible for all subsea cable route planning for British Telecom. He completed a Masters in Sedimentology at evening classes, which led to a PhD. examining the sedimentary evolution of eastern Borneo. After graduating from the University of London in 1998, he joined Shell International in Holland, working mainly on Middle Eastern exploration. He moved to Calgary in 2006 with Shell Canada, working as Team Lead, Frontier and on the Orphan and Deep Basins. He joined Murphy Oil in 2010 as Exploration Manager, then Husky Energy in 2012 as Geological Specialist. Roles there included managing peer reviews, and the new graduate program. He left them in 2016 and set up his own consultancy, Sedimental Services, taking on a variety of Canadian and international projects, before joining DigitCore in 2017.
In addition to his technical experience, Jon has taught at several universities, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta. He is former President of British Sedimentology Research Group and the Nederlands Geology Circle. He has published numerous scientific papers as well as popular articles on the industry. He loves running, wildlife photography and hot chilis.
In addition to the main presentation by Dr. Jon Noad, Cory Gross fossil Discovery Centre
Sea monsters on the prairies: A visit to the Canadian fossil Discovery Centre
Cory Gross is an educator at the Glenbow Museum, part time interpreter at the Calgary Zoo, and President and Out Reach Coordinator of the Alberta Palaeontological Society.
LOCATION: Mount Royal University, Room B108
TIME: January 19, 2018, 7:30 pm
In the small town of Morden, Manitoba, in the basement of the recreation centre, lies the largest collection of marine vertebrates in Canada. The Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre displays 80 million year old finds from the Eastern side of the Western Interior Seaway, including Bruce the Mosasaur. At 13 metres long, this Tylosaurus pembinensis is the largest mosasaur on public display in the world.
Cory Gross started his undergraduate studies in geology at Mount Royal University, switching to the Museum and Heritage Studies program at the University of Calgary, in which he received his BA. He went on to receive a Masters of Theological Studies from the Lutheran Theological Seminary - Saskatoon. Currently he works full time as an educator at the Glenbow Museum, part time as an interpreter at the Calgary Zoo, and in between acts as president and public outreach coordinator of the Alberta Palaeontological Society.
This event is presented jointly by the Alberta Palaeontological Society, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, and the Palaeontology Division of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. For details or to present a talk in the future, please contact CSPG Palaeontology Division Chair Jon Noad at email@example.com or APS Coordinator Harold Whittaker at 403-286-0349 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the APS website for confirmation of event times and upcoming speakers: http://www.albertapaleo.org/