2017 GSA Rocky Mountain Section Meeting

69th Annual Meeting

9–10 June 2017 • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Mount Royal University

Submit Your
Abstract Online

Join us in the heart of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the gateway to the Canadian Rockies


Abstract deadline: 21 February 2017

Submit your abstract online. Abstract submission fee: US$18 for students and US$30 for all others. For additional information, please contact the Technical Program Chair, Jenni Scott.

Technical Sessions

Click on the title for session details.

Principal Organizers: Dave Eaton, University of Calgary, eatond@ucalgary.ca; Jeff Freymueller, University of Alaska Fairbanks, jfreymueller@alaska.edu.
Co-organizers: Rick Aster, Colorado State University; Katherine Boggs, Mount Royal University; Julie Elliott, Purdue University; Roy Hyndman, Natural Resources Canada; Lucinda Leonard, University of Victoria, Kristin Morell, University of Victoria, Mike Schmidt, University of Calgary; Derek Schutt, Colorado State University.
Now that Earthscope's Transportable Array is in its final stages in Alaska and northwestern Canada, it is critical to begin coordination of the Canadian Cordillera Array (prototype for the pan-Canadian EarthsCAN research initiative). This broad session welcomes emerging results focused on tectonics and structure from Alaska and northwestern Canada, in addition to other areas of the North American Cordillera and presentations on the new Canadian Cordillera Array.
Coordinated Field Trip: (Pre-meeting)
FT3. Effects of Sedimentology and Facies on Structural Styles in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt.
This field trip will discuss elements of the southern Cordillera Lithoprobe transect, providing a reference for the future Canadian Cordillera Array.
Coordinated Workshop: (Post-meeting)
W3. Planning for the future of the Canadian Cordillera Array and EarthsCAN.
In the spirit of the collaboration that was central to coordinating the Lithoprobe transects, during this workshop we will be planning out the initial phases of the Canadian Cordillera Array.
Principal organizer: Brian Pratt, University of Saskatchewan, brian.pratt@usask.ca.
Description: The enormously thick Meso- and Neoproterozoic successions of the Rocky Mountain region represent a critical interval in Earth history, with shallow- to deep-water deposition, igneous activity, and syntectonic mineralization. This session welcomes presentations on the sedimentology, paleogeography, paleontology, and structural history.
Coordinated Fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT7. Geology of the Waterton-Glacier National Parks Area.
This three-day trip will examine the Mesoproterozoic belt stratigraphy and structural geology through Waterton and Glacier National Parks in Alberta and Montana (respectively). Outcrops of the Altyn Formation, Apekunny Formation and Grinnell Formations will be viewed as well as the related structures.
Principal organizer: Paul Johnston, Mount Royal University, pajohnston@mtroyal.ca.
Description: The Rocky Mountains and Cordillera of North America expose thick Cambrian platformal to basinal sequences, famous for fossil lagerstätten and economically important ore deposits. This session welcomes studies on the tectonic evolution, mineralization, paleogeography, depositional environments and paleoecology of the western margin of Laurentia during the Cambrian.
Coordinated Field Trip: (Post-meeting)
FT5. More Than Trilobites—The Geology and Paleoecology of the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale at the Mount Stephen Trilobite Beds.
This two-day trip provides an overview of Cambrian stratigraphy from Exshaw, Alberta, to Field, British Columbia, and culminates with a hike to examine the unusual geology of the famed Trilobite Beds of the Burgess Shale in Yoho National Park. Thanks to permission from Parks Canada, the hike will include areas normally inaccessible to visitors to the site.
Principal organizer: TBD; Contact Jenni Scott, Mount Royal University, jescott@mtroyal.ca.
Description: The Cretaceous foreland basin of the Rocky Mountain region records an incredible dataset for understanding relationships between stratigraphic packaging, allogenic controls on foreland successions, and the paleontological record in changing environments through time. This session welcomes presentations on topics related to the Cretaceous stratigraphy of the Rocky Mountain foreland, from biostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy to tectonics and geochronology.
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT4. Late Cretaceous geology and fossils of the Red Deer River Valley.
This two-day trip will visit some of the exceptional exposures of Late Cretaceous sedimentary rocks that record a variety of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments, as well as the impressive dinosaurs and other fossils that have been collected at sites along the Red Deer River valley since 1910. Highlights will include guided tours to quarries in Dinosaur Provincial Park and a behind-the-scenes tour of the collections and lab facilities at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.
Principle organizer: Robert Young, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, robert.young@ubc.ca.
Description: Landscapes of the Cenozoic in the western U.S. and Canada illustrate the transition from the latest stages of tectonic activity in the Rocky Mountains to tectonic quiescence and the evolution of the dominantly terrestrial, lacustrine, and fluvial to glacial environments in the Tertiary and Quaternary. This session welcomes presentations in geomorphology and paleontology and all topics related to the development of landscapes, particularly in the Tertiary and Quaternary east of the Rocky Mountains.
Coordinated fieldtrips: (1) (Pre-meeting) FT2. Glacial Events and Environments in the Region of the Purported Ice Free Corridor. This three-day trip will look at some newer leading-edge ideas on the chronology and development of glacial landscapes in and around the Hand Hills and McGregor Lakes Area. It will look at dated Quaternary vertebrate fossil sites the give a glacial history of the region, which is the zone of a purported Ice-Free Corridor migration route; (2) (Post-meeting) FT8. Tertiary and Quaternary Landscapes of Alberta. This two-day trip will visit Hand Hills and related Miocene Mammalian Fauna found in the hilltop fluvial gravels, and a discussion of landscape evolution style and timing. A stay in the Drumheller area would follow, and a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum for the morning/early afternoon of the second day.
Principal Organizer: Kirk Osadetz, CMC Research Institutes, Inc., kirk.osadetz@cmcghg.com.
Co-organizers: Luc Rock, Shell, luc.rock@shell.com, and Alwynne Beaudoin, Royal Alberta Museum, alwynne.beaudoin@gov.ab.ca.
Description: Western Canada has become a global centre for industrial action on atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. Four major projects: Shell Quest, Boundary Dam-Weyburn-Aquistore, NW Upgrader-Alberta Carbon Trunk Line-Enhance, and CMC Research Institute’s Newell County Field Research Station. There are also many projects, both proposed and underway, to increase sustainable electrification of industry and communities, as well as to find new ways to use carbon as an industrial material. Geoscience is a key to the success of all these activities, from carbon capture utilization and storage, grid-scale electrical power storage and new material technologies, and more efficient, lower emitting upstream petroleum technologies. The session is focused on geoscience contributions to technological and scientific solutions to the industrial emission problem.
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT6. Carbon Capture and Storage: A Trip to Visit Past and Recent Changing Environments in Alberta’s Plains and Shell’s World-Leading Quest CCS Project.
This three-day trip departs Calgary to visit the Upper Cretaceous succession and world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller (Day 1). In addition to visiting the Quest Facility, this trip travels through badlands and open prairies that are sculpted into the Upper Cretaceous Interior Seaway cyclothemic succession by the combination of Paleogene and younger epeirogenic uplift and erosion modified by Quaternary glacial processes.
Principal organizer: Steve Grasby, Natural Resources Canada, steve.grasby@canada.ca.
Description: Geothermal energy and hydrothermal systems illustrate the intimate relationships between Earth’s crust, fluids, and climate, and together they affect life in the associated ecosystems as well as providing a potential source of non-petroleum-based energy. This session welcomes presentations investigating the geothermal and hydrothermal systems in the Fold and Thrust Belt and adjacent areas of the U.S. and Canada.
Coordinated fieldtrip (pre-meeting): FT1. Hot and Cold Running Water in the Canadian Rockies. This one-day trip will examine several shallow to deep circulating spring systems in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies, ending at the famous Banff Hot Springs. The focus will be to examine controls on deep crustal circulation, climate change influence on local hydrogeology, and water/rock interactions that influence the spring chemistry. Microbial communities and endangered animals in the spring outlets will also be discussed.
Principal organizer: TBD; contact Jenni Scott, Mount Royal University, jescott@mtroyal.ca.
Description: Fine-grained sedimentary systems are not simply represented by “layer-cake” geology. They exhibit complexities related to down-dip and along-strike variability that can be understood by investigating the stratal relationships and other characteristics of the fine-grained deposits as well as associated coarser-grained deposits. This session focuses on the integration and application of stratigraphic techniques, process sedimentology and facies analysis, geophysical attribute analysis, and rock/petrophysics to characterizing fine-grained successions.
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting)
FT9. Montney Analogue Field Trip: The Sulphur Mountain Formation around Canmore and Kananaskis.
The Canadian Rockies are famous for their outstanding scenery as well as for oil and gas production. Most of our knowledge regarding the highly productive Triassic Montney Formation has been garnered in the subsurface, but there are excellent age equivalent outcrops, such as the Sulphur Mountain Formation, which can provide valuable data and discussion points. This one-day field trip will visit a series of outcrops in Canmore and Kananaskis that demonstrate the character and variety of this stratigraphic interval.
Coordinated workshop: (Pre-meeting)
W1. Clastic Sedimentology Workshop—Applications and Examples from the Energy Industry.
This one-day workshop will provide an applied overview of the use and importance of sedimentology in the energy industry. This session will cover a broad range of clastic depositional settings in both lecture and core display/exercise format with emphasis placed on the applied use of sedimentology and stratigraphy in the spatial reconstruction of reservoirs in the subsurface. Examples and case studies will include examples from Western Canada, Southeast Asia, and South America.
Principal Organizer: TBD; Contact Jenni Scott, Mount Royal University, jescott@mtroyal.ca.
Description: Transitional environments between the continental and marine realms can be challenging to interpret using sedimentology alone. The integration of paleontology and paleoecology for recognizing variability in sedimentary processes and hydrochemical conditions, along with sedimentology, leads to more robust reconstructions of facies belts in marginal marine settings. This session welcomes presentations focusing on new examples and new techniques to revisit this age-old problem, particularly in the fluvio-deltaic and fluvio-estuarine to open marine transition zones.
Principal Organizer: Glenn Dolpin, University of Calgary, glenn.dolpin@uncalgary.ca.
Description: Research demonstrates that active engagement by students in geoscience classes yields better and longer-lasting learning outcomes. However, the traditional lecture style format remains the predominant instructional strategy. The signs of geological processes abound in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, ranging from microscopic cement fabrics to mountain-sized folds and thrust belts. Almost all subdisciplines of geology can find their “lessons in the rocks.” This session highlights how leaving textbook illustrations behind for the great outdoors can help students develop a better understanding for our current geological knowledge, and also for how we approach solving problems “in the field.”
Coordinated fieldtrip: (Post-meeting) FT10. Canadian Rocky Mountain Fold and Thrust Belt for Geoscience Educators. The Canadian Rockies form a world famous geological backyard to Calgary. We will explore the spectacular vistas, geological structures and geomorphological features from Calgary to Field along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Coordinated workshops: (1) (Pre-meeting) W1. Clastic Sedimentology Workshop—Applications and Examples from the Energy Industry. This session will cover a broad range of clastic depositional settings in both lecture and core display/exercise format with emphasis placed on the applied use of sedimentology and stratigraphy in the spatial reconstruction of reservoirs in the subsurface.; (2) (Pre-meeting) W2. Digital Field Methods for Sed/Strat and Structural Geology: Use of Tablet-Based Apps for Mapping and Measurements in Undergraduate Courses. This half-day workshop will explore the use of tablet applications for digital field mapping; (3) (Post-meeting) W4. Using Virtual Field Experiences (VFEs) to Enhance Learning in Undergraduate Geology Courses. In this workshop, we will give participants experience with some of our newly developed VFEs, in an inquiry setting, asking “Why does this place look the way it does?” and then we will describe some of the techniques used collect, curate data from the field and, finally, how to put it together into a VFE format.
Principal organizer: Katherine Boggs, Mount Royal University, kboggs@mtroyal.ca.
Description: This poster session is designed to showcase undergraduate research efforts. The session is open to students working in all areas of the geosciences. All submissions should include a faculty mentor as co-author.

2017 Committee

General Chair:
Katherine Boggs

Technical Program Chair:
Jenni Scott

Field Trip Chair:
Jean Hsieh

Student Volunteer Chair:
Susan Reid

Meeting Flyer

2017 Rocky Mountain Meeting Flyer