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

Originator: Dowling et al., 1919.

Type Locality:
No type section designated. The name is that of the producing unit of the Viking-Kinsella field, located near Viking, Alberta.

The unit occurs in central and eastern Alberta and adjacent west-central Saskatchewan, as well as in southeastern and east-central Saskatchewan. The maximum thickness in the west is in the order of 50 m (164 ft) in eastern Alberta; in southeastern Saskatchewan it is about 40 m (131 ft). The unit thins gradually to the north and east and pinches out in central Saskatchewan and along the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border.

Locality Data:
Thickness(m): Minimum 0, Maximum 50.

Relatively well washed and variably shaly, fine- to coarse-grained sandstone, with subordinate conglomerate and pebbly sandstone. The well-washed sandstones are characteristically composed of tabular cross-laminae, but ripple drift, sinusoidal and trough types and horizontal laminae also occur. The shaly sandstones include both bioturbated deposits several metres thick, with variable proportions of mudstone as discontinuous partings and sequences made up of thin, graded sandstones and siltstones, regularly alternating in vertical succession with thin mudstones and shales. Varicolored chert and reworked relict, nodular phosphorite and concretionary siderite and noteworthy coarse components of the conglomerates, the identity of which is frequently obscured by a dark, brown-black patina. Phosphoritized wood and coalified plant fragments are locally common. The mudstones and shales are dark grey and noncalcareous. Bentonites and concretionary layers of siderite are also present. The principal lithologies form multistorey arrangements of sandstone bodies, characterized by dominance of coarsening upward sequences in southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, but displaying prominent fining upward sequences in southeastern Saskatchewan. The composite sandstone successions are replaced northward and eastward by solitary sandstone sequences. Composite sandstone sequences of western locations are frequently further subdivided into discrete sandstone units alphabetically designated A through D in order of increasing age. At some petroleum production locales the Viking succession has been subdivided into members, for example, the Provost and underlying Hamilton Lake Sandstones at the Provost gas field in southeastern Alberta, and the Merrington, St. Eloi, Crystal, Hoosier and Smiley Clinobeds, listed in order of increasing age, which occur in the Dodsland-Hoosier production trend in west-central Saskatchewan. In the Wainwright-Westlock production trend of east-central Alberta upper, main and lower Viking Sandstone units are distinguished. Conglomeratic units within the Viking Formation carry separate names at particular production locales, for example, the Viking Conglomerate of the Wayne-Rosedale gas field in southeastern Alberta and the Viking Chert of the Dodsland-Hoosier trend in west-central Saskatchewan.

The western occurrence of the Viking Formation forms the thin distal part of the northeastward thinning Bow Island-Viking coarse siliciclastic wedge. Thus in southwestern Saskatchewan and southern Alberta the Viking Formation is replaced by a thicker sequence of sandstones and interbedded mudstones and shales referable to the Bow Island Formation. The Viking Formation of southeastern and east-central Saskatchewan, on the other hand appears to display lithological affinities to the Newcastle Formation of North Dakota. The unit displays gradational contact with the mudstones of the overlying Big River Formation. However, in some locations unconformable relations with the underlying Joli Fou Formation can be demonstrated. The eastern Viking succession appears to be at a stratigraphically higher level within the lower Colorado succession than the western Viking sequence. The Ashville Sand is the approximately equivalent unit in Southern Manitoba, whereas the corresponding sequence in northeastern Alberta is termed the Pelican Sandstone. The Flotten Lake Sand is an approximately equivalent succession which thickens northeastwards in west-central Saskatchewan.

Dowling et al., 1919; Evans, 1970; Gammell, 1955; Gillard and White, 1970; Jones, 1961a, 1961b; McNeil and Caldwell, 1981; Price, 1963; Reasoner and Hunt, 1954a, 1954b; Rudkin, 1964; Simpson, 1975, 1979a, 1979b, 1979d; Simpson and O'Connell, 1979; Tizzard and Lerbekmo, 1975.

Dowling, D.B., Slipper, S E., and McLearn, F.H., 1919. Investigations in the gas and oil fields of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Geol. Surv Can., Memoir 116.

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: 12 Feb 2009