Unit Name: Pelican Formation
Unit Type: Lithostratigraphic
Rank: Formation
Status: Formal
Usage: Currently in use
Age Interval: late Albian (106.4 - 99.6 ma)
Province/Territory: Alberta

Originator: McConnell, 1893; Badgley, 1952.

Type Locality:
At the mouth of the Pelican River, in Twp. 79, Rge. 17W4M, northern Alberta.

The unit is of widespread distribution in northern Alberta. Its thickness is in the order of 12.2 m (40 ft).

Locality Data:
Thickness(m): Typical 12.2.

Relatively well-washed and variably shaly, fine- to medium-grained glauconitic sandstone, with interbedded siltstone and mudstone and subordinate conglomerate and pebbly sandstone. The well-washed sandstones are cross-laminated and incorporate minor thin intercalations of shale and mudstone. The shaly sandstones include bioturbated deposits several metres thick, with variable proportions of mudstone as discontinuous partings, and sequences made up of thin graded sandstones and siltstone, regularly alternating in vertical succession with thin mudstones and shales. Chert pebbles are abundant in conglomeratic layers which occur near the top of the unit. The mudstone and shale are dark grey and noncalcareous. Coalified plant fragments are locally abundant. The main lithologies are arranged in coarsening-upward sequence.

The contact with shales of the underlying Joli Fou Formation is probably disconformable; there is a gradational relationship with the overlying Labiche (Big River) shales and mudstones. The Pelican Formation is approximately equivalent to the Viking Formation of southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan and the Flotten Lake Sand of central Saskatchewan, and to the Paddy Member of northwestern Alberta.

The name Pelican was applied by McConnell (1893) to each of two lithologically distinct units: the Pelican sand and the underlying Pelican shale. Wickenden (1949) assigned formation status to each of these units, retaining the name Pelican for the sand and naming the shale sequence the Joli Fou Formation.

Other Citations:
Rudkin, 1964, McLearn, 1917.

Badgley, Peter C., 1952. Notes on the subsurface stratigraphy and oil and gas geology of the Lower Cretaceous series in central Alberta (Report and seven figures); Geological Survey of Canada, Paper No. 52-11, 12 p.
McConnell, R.G., 1893. Report on a Portion of the District of Athabasca comprising the Country between Peace River and Athabasca River, North of Lesser Slave Lake; Geological Survey of Canada, Annual Report 1891 (new series), 1890-91, Volume V, Part D, pp. 1-67.
McLearn, F.H., 1917. Athabasca River Section, Alberta; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report 1916, pp. 145-151.
Rudkin, R.A., 1964. Lower Cretaceous; in, Geological history of western Canada; McCrossan, R.G and Glaister, R.P (Eds.); Alberta Soc. Petrol. Geol.
Wickenden, R.T.D., 1949. Some Cretaceous sections along the Athabasca River from the mouth of Calling River to below Grand Rapids, Alberta (Report and Figure); Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 49-15, 31 p. and Figure 1, Sketch map of area along Athabasca River in Alberta, showing positions of bedrock outcrops and geological sections examined, Scale: 1 Inch to 4 Miles.

Source: CSPG Lexicon of Canadian Stratigraphy, Volume 4, western Canada, including eastern British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba; D.J. Glass (editor)
Contributor: F. Simpson
Entry Reviewed: Yes
Name Set: Lithostratigraphic Lexicon
LastChange: 17 Mar 2011