Unit Name: Saline River Formation
Unit Type: Lithostratigraphic
Rank: Formation
Status: Formal
Usage: Currently in use
Age Interval: Late Cambrian - ? Middle Cambrian (499 - 499 ma)
Age Justification: No fauna reported; but some stromatolites.
Province/Territory: Northwest Territories

Originator: M.Y. Williams, 1923.

Type Locality:
On Saline River, 2.5 km (1.5 mi) above its confluence with the Mackenzie River, upstream from Fort Norman (64 deg 18'N, 124 deg 28'W). The section is redescribed in Aitken, Macqueen and Usher (1973a).

The Saline River Fm is only 39 m (118 ft) thick at the type section (base not exposed). Greatest known thickness is 848 m (2,590 ft) (178 m, 542 ft, of shale above 670 m, 2,040 ft, of salt and anhydrite), in the Vermilion Ridge No. 1 well, near Norman Wells. The formation persists eastward to a Recent erosional edge along the westward limit of the exposed Canadian Shield. To the west and northwest, it pinches out against the eastern flank of the (Late Cambrian) Mackenzie arch.

Outcrop mainly red and green, gypsiferous shale and pink to grey gypsum, with thin beds of brecciated and stromatolitic dolomite. Salt-crystal casts and ripple marks are prominent. Near the southwestward pinchout, quartz sandstone is prominent. Thick halite, anhydrite and gypsum have been encountered in the subsurface over an extensive region.

The Saline River rests unconformably on older Cambrian formations (Mount Cap Fm) and is overlain gradationally and conformably by the Franklin Mountain Fm. The Saline River Fm is limited on the west by the Mackenzie arch; equivalents west of the arch bear none of the evaporitic character of the Saline River. Saline River is equivalent to the lower Dodo Canyon of the older literature. In the subsurface west of Lac La Martre in the southwestern part of the Great Slave Plain the term La Martre Falls Fm is applied to erosional remnants of the Mount Cap Fm, Saline River Fm and the Franklin Mountain Fm equivalents (Meijer-Drees, 1975).

Other Citations:
Aitken, Macqueen and Usher, 1973a; Balkwill and Yorath, 1970b; Gilbert, 1973; Meijer-Drees, 1975; M.Y. Williams, 1923.

Source: CSPG Lexicon of Canadian Stratigraphy, Volume 2, Yukon Territory and District of Mackenzie; L.V. Hills, E.V. Sangster and L.B. Suneby (editor)
Contributor: J.D. Aitken; D.W. Morrow
Entry Reviewed: Yes
Name Set: Lithostratigraphic Lexicon
LastChange: 29 Apr 2003