Unit Name: Kaskapau Formation
Unit Type: Lithostratigraphic
Rank: Formation
Status: Formal
Usage: Currently in use
Age Interval: Turonian - Coniacian (93.6 - 85.8 ma)
Age Justification: Oysters are common in the transition zone with the underlying Dunvegan Inoceramus is found throughout the Kaskapau with the cosmopolitan Inoceramus (Mytiloides) labiatus within the midportion. Dunveganoceras is common near the base, especially in the Pouce Coupe Sand. Watinoceras is found in the midportion and Scaphites s.l. is common in the uppermost portion. Benthonic arenaceous Foraminiferal suites are common throughout with a minor calcareous component with planktonic elements.
Province/Territory: Alberta; British Columbia

Originator: McLearn, 1926

Type Locality:
Base exposed on the Peace River (55 deg 55'N, 118 deg 38'W) in the vicinity of Dunvegan at the top of the cliffs; on the Smoky River below the Puskwaskau River (55 deg 28'N, 118 deg 12'W) to 20 km (12.5 mi) below Racing Creek (55 deg 50'N, 117 deg 30'W); the formation is exposed on the valley sides.

The Kaskapau Formation is about 160 m (525 ft) thick on the Smoky River and about 170 m (558 ft) in the Sturgeon Lake area. It is 477 m (1,565 ft) in the Pouce Coupe River area, and thickens to around 900 m (2,952 ft) in the foothills of British Columbia. The Kaskapau is found throughout the Peace River area of Alberta and throughout northeastern British Columbia south of the Peace River.

The Kaskapau is predominantly dark grey, fissile, carbonaceous shale. It is friable near the base on the Smoky River and near Dunvegan, but is quite sandy on the Pouce Coupe River. Clean sandstone tongues and lenticles are present near the base: the Doe Creek Sand, followed by the Pouce Coupe Sand occur on the Pouce Coupe and Kiskatinaw rivers, and the somewhat later Howard Creek Sand is known in the Spirit River area. Thin volcanic ash beds occur sporadically throughout the formation in the foothills of the Pine River in British Columbia additional sandstone tongues, such as the Wartenbe and Tuskoola Sandstone, and additional Cardium Sandstones appear in the middle and upper Kaskapau.

Belonging to the Smoky Group. The Kaskapau is conformable with the underlying continental Dunvegan Formation in northeastern British Columbia and most of the Alberta Peace River area, with a transitional lithology except in the vicinity of Watino, Alberta, where the contact is abrupt and the Dunveganoceras Zone seems to be missing. The Kaskapau Formation is conformably overlain by the Bad Heart Formation in the Smoky River area. It carries an unconformity in the Pouce Coupe Area, where the Baytree Member lies on the lower Cardium Sandstone. In the foothills the full Cardium sequence is present in the upper part of the Kaskapau, but there it is preferable to limit the term Kaskapau to pre-Cardium beds. The Kaskapau Formation (type) is equivalent to the post-Sunkay portion of the Blackstone Formation, the Cardium Formation, and the Muskiki Member of the Wapiabi Formation in the Alberta Foothills. The Muskiki is given formational status where the Kaskapau is limited to pre-Cardium beds. The Kaskapau is approximately equivalent to that portion of the Colorado shale from the base of the Second White Specks to the base of the First White Specks in the western plains, and to part of the Labiche Formation of northeastern Alberta.

The Smoky River Group was subdivided in 1919 by McLearn into the following members: upper shale, Bad Head Sandstone and lower shale. In 1926 McLearn assigned the name Kaskapau to the lower shale. In the British Columbia-Alberta border area, where Cardium Sandstone equivalents are dominant and the Bad Heart Sandstone developed, Stelck (1955) restricted the term Kaskapau to shales underlying the Bay Tree and Cardium Sandstone.

Other Citations:
Also see Stone, 1960

Gleddie, Joseph, 1949. "Upper Cretaceous in western Peace River Plains, Alberta"; American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), AAPG Bulletin, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 511-532.
McLearn, F.H., 1919. "Cretaceous, Lower Smoky River, Alberta"; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report 1918, Part C, pp. 1-7.
McLearn, F.H., 1926. "New species from the Coloradoan of lower Smoky and lower Peace rivers, Alberta"; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report 1926, Part B, pp. 117-127.
Stelck, C.R. and Wall, J.H., 1954. Kaskapau Foraminifera from Peace River area of western Canada; Res. Counc. Alberta, Rept. 63.
Stelck, C.R. and Wall, J.H., 1955. Foraminifera of the Cenomanian Dunveganoceras Zone from Peace River area of western Canada; Res. Counc. Alberta, Rept 70.
Stelck, C.R., 1955. Cardium Formation in the foothills of northeastern British Columbia; Can. Inst. Min. Met Trans., vol. 58, p. 132-139.
Stelck, C.R., 1962. Upper Cretaceous, Peace River area, British Columbia; Edmonton Geological Society, 4th Annual Field Trip Guide Book, pp. 10-21.
Wall, J.H., 1960. Upper Cretaceous Foraminifera from the Smoky River area, Alberta; Research Council of Alberta, Alberta Geological Survey, Bulletin 6, 43 p.
Warren, P.S. and Stelck, Charles Richard, 1955. "New Cenomanian ammonites from Alberta", Appendix of Foraminifera of the Cenomanian Dunveganoceras Zone from Peace River of Western Canada, Stelck, C.R. and Wall, J.H.; Province of Alberta, Research Council of Alberta, Report No. 70, pp. 63¿75.

Source: CSPG Lexicon of Canadian Stratigraphy, Volume 4, western Canada, including eastern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba; D.J. Glass (editor)
Contributor: C.R. Stelck; G.E. McCune
Entry Reviewed: No
Name Set: Lithostratigraphic Lexicon
LastChange: 16 Feb 2009