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TitleLithostratigraphic revision and biostratigraphy of Upper Hauterivian-Barremian strata from the Kugmallit Trough, Mackenzie Delta, Northwest Territories
AuthorMcNeil, D HORCID logo; Dixon, JORCID logo; Xiu, Z; Fowler, S P
SourceBulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology vol. 68, no. 4, 2022 p. 141-157,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20190288
PublisherCanadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS106M/09; 106M/10; 106M/11; 106M/12; 106M/13; 106M/14; 106M/15; 106M/16; 106N/09; 106N/10; 106N/11; 106N/12; 106N/13; 106N/14; 106N/15; 106N/16; 107B; 107C; 116P/09; 116P/16; 117A/01; 117A/08; 117A/09; 117A/16; 117D/01
AreaMackenzie Delta
Lat/Long WENS-137.0000 -130.0000 70.0000 67.5000
Subjectsregional geology; stratigraphy; paleontology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; Lower Cretaceous; Barremian; Hauterivian; systematic stratigraphy; lithostratigraphy; biostratigraphy; stratigraphic nomenclature; stratigraphic analyses; stratigraphic correlations; tectonic history; subsidence; crustal uplift; erosion; depositional history; depositional environment; fossils; microfossils; micropaleontology; palynology; palynomorphs; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; shales; sandstones; siltstones; coal; fossil assemblages; fossil zones; fossil lists; Kugmallit Trough; Siku Formation; Kipnik Formation; Mount Goodenough Formation; Canada Basin; Shell Kipnik O-20 Well; Gulf Mobil Ogruknang M-31 Well; Ostracods; Foraminifera; Galliaecytheridea postsinuata; Convallina mcneili; Clithrocytheridea spp.; Phanerozoic; Mesozoic; Cretaceous
Illustrationslocation maps; stratigraphic charts; gamma ray logs; sonic logs; lithologic sections; correlation sections; biostratigraphic charts; correlation charts
ProgramGEM: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Sverdrup Sedimentary Basin
Released2021 12 01
AbstractThe Kipnik Formation, named herein, is defined from the Late Hauterivian to Barremian Kugmallit Trough in the Mackenzie Delta, Arctic Canada. The trough was formed by extensional tectonics associated with the opening of the Canada Basin and was infilled by kilometre-thick accumulations of clastic sediments. Samples from the Kugmallit Trough are known only from two exploration wells - Shell Kipnik O-20 and Gulf Mobil Ogruknang M-31. Examination of palynomorphs, foraminifera, and ostracods from cuttings of these wells, integrated with regional subsurface and outcrop correlations, indicated that the existing subsurface stratigraphic interpretations [Upper Jurassic to Barremian] of the Kugmallit Trough were in need of revision. The revised Upper Hauterivian-Barremian succession thus consists of the Siku, Kipnik (new), and Mount Goodenough formations. The Siku and Kipnik formations are known only from the subsurface, but the Mt. Goodenough Formation is widespread and was deposited over a regional unconformity. The Siku to Kipnik deposition is a large-scale transgressive-regressive succession that represents deposition during a period of initial subsidence (transgression) followed by uplift and erosion (regression). The shale dominant Siku Formation contains a distinctive unnamed foraminiferal assemblage that consists of agglutinated species typical of offshore or deeper water. Ostracods of the Siku Formation are contained in the informal Galliaecytheridea postsinuata zone, which is confined to the Siku Formation. Ostracods of the G. postsinuata zone suggest shelf environments. The Kipnik Formation is sand-dominant with thin beds of shale, siltstone and coal. Agglutinated foraminifera occur sparsely because of coarse, rapid sedimentation. Inner shelf environments are suggested by the foraminifera. The lower half of the Mount Goodenough Formation is shale-dominant and the upper half consists of intercalated shale and sandstone. Foraminifera and ostracods occur abundantly in the Mt. Goodenough subsurface and outcrops of the Richardson Mountains. The foraminiferal Convallina mcneili Zone of Barremian age occurs in the Mt. Goodenough Formation and its composition of agglutinated and calcareous benthic foraminifera suggests outer shelf or deeper environments. Ostracods of the Mt. Goodenough Formation in subsurface and outcrop are assigned to the informal Clithrocytheridea spp. zone. Ostracods suggest an outer shelf or deeper-water environment. Palynomorphs indicate that the Siku Formation is Late Hauterivian, the Kipnik Formation is probably latest Hauterivian to Early Barremian, and the Mount Goodenough Formation is Barremian.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
More than 270 petroleum exploration wells have been drilled in the Mackenzie Delta area of Arctic Canada. Sixty-three significant discoveries establish this area as an important future hydrocarbon resource for Canada, but in one particular region of deeply buried sediment, the 'Kugmallit Trough', only two exploration wells have been drilled. These two wells penetrated kilometre-thick sediments that are unknown elsewhere in the Mackenzie Delta. For decades, the geology of the Kugmallit Trough was poorly known in spite of potential economic significance. Paleontological analysis of these enigmatic rocks has helped to resolve their age as approximately 128 to 132 million years old, thereby enabling a revised geological interpretation. With this information, a new sedimentary formation has been recognized and formally named the 'Kipnik Formation.' The Kipnik Formation is composed mostly of sandy sediments that are porous and are thus potential reservoirs for oil and gas.

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