The Ardley, the first coaly zone above the Kneehills Member (Lower Edmonton Formation, sensu Sternberg) is believed to extend from Three Hills in central Alberta northwestward across the province to Nose Mountain southwest to Grande Prairie. This report discusses Ardley zone coal resources in the central Red Deer River area lying between longitudes 112 degrees 30' and 114 degrees west and latitudes 51 degrees 30' and 52 degrees 30' north, an area within which lies the type section of the zone, and also a number of coal deposits that have received commercial attention from time to time. The report is based solely on outcrop studies made between 1955 and 1960, augmented by data from selected oil well electric logs.
In central Alberta, the Ardley zone is 22 to 78 feet thick and consists of 4 units: a coaly shale; an upper coal seam 4 to 6 feet thick with a thin bentonitic clay parting below the middle; a thick, very variable middle part consisting of grey, green and carbonaceous shale and siltstone, with interbedded lenses of bone and coal; and a lower coaly seam 1 to 4 feet thick. The geologic setting of the Ardley coal zone is discussed, and representative analyses of mined coal are presented. Mines in the area recover between 3.5 and 6 feet of Ardley coal. Pockets scattered along a 60 mile belt between Alix and Swalwell may contain as much as 350 million tons of Ardley coal recoverable under less than 100 feet of overburden.
Campbell, J.D. (1967): Ardley coal zone in the Alberta Plains: central Red Deer River area; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Earth Sciences Report 1967-01, 36 p.