Unit Name: Cypress Hills Formation
Unit Type: Lithostratigraphic
Rank: Formation
Status: Formal
Usage: Currently in use
Age Interval: Oligocene (33.9 - 23.03 ma)
Province/Territory: Alberta; Saskatchewan

Originator: Williams and Dyer, 1930, p. 69.

Type Locality:
None designated. However, Vonhof (1965, p. 153) described in detail a section in Lsd. 1 and 2 of Sec. 28, Twp. 7, Rge. 21W3M, southwestern Saskatchewan (at Anxiety Butte), and Russell and Landes (1940, p. 96) based their description on an exposure in Lsds. 14 and 15 of Sec. 10, Twp. 8, Rge. 3W4M, southeastern Alberta.

Maximum thickness in Saskatchewan about 80 m (262 ft), average about 40 m (131 ft) (Vonhof, 1965, p. 143); the Anxiety Butte section is about 50 m (164 ft) thick; less is known about thicknesses in Alberta, but they probably are similar or somewhat greater. The formation is roughly co-extensive with the upland surface of the Cypress Hills in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but also caps several small plateau remnants south of Frenchman River.

Gravel and sand, locally cemented to a conglomerate; minor marl beds; stones mostly quartzites and hard sandstones, with minor content of cherts and quartz, a few bones; stones typically well rounded, many of the larger ones display chatter marks. Constituents generally finer grained in Saskatchewan than in Alberta.

Generally overlies the Ravenscrag Formation; commonly exposed at surface in unglaciated areas, elsewhere covered by drift or loess. Russell (1953, p. 110) and Christiansen (1959, p. 30) correlated the Cypress Hills and Swift Current Creek formations due to similar lithology and vertebrate fauna.

First referred to by McConnell (1885, p. 31C, 32C) as the Cypress Hills conglomerate and sand. Davis (1918) called this unit the Cypress Hills Beds, Williarns and Dyer (1930, p. 69) used the term Cypress Hills Formation, Fraser et al. (1935, p. 56) used both the terms beds and formation, Russell and Landes (1940, p. 96) and most subsequent authors have used formation.

Other Citations:
Christiansen, 1959; Davis, 1918; Fraser et al., 1935; McConnell, 1895; Russell, 1950, 1953; Russell and Landes, 1940; Williams and Dyer, 1930.

Williams, M.Y. and Dyer, W.S., 1930. Geology of southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan; Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 163.

Source: CSPG Lexicon of Canadian Stratigraphy, Volume 4, western Canada, including eastern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba; D.J. Glass (editor)
Contributor: A. MacS. Stalker
Entry Reviewed: Yes
Name Set: Lithostratigraphic Lexicon
LastChange: 02 May 2008