The central Red Deer River area lies between latitudes 51o 30'' and 52o 30'' north and longitudes 112o 30'' and 114o west. This report on the coal resources of the Ardley coal zone in the area, part of a continuing coal survey of the Province of Alberta, is based on outcrop and oil well studies made between 1955 and 1960. No information whatsoever is used here that accrued from industrial exploration in the area.
The Ardley, the first coal zone above the Kneehills Member of the Edmonton Formation, lies in central Alberta, at the stratigraphic level that records the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is 22 to 78 feet thick and consists of 4 more or less distinct units: a coaly top 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 with interbedded lenses of bone and coal and grey, green and carbonaceous shale and siltstone; and a lower coaly seam 1 to 4 feet thick. The geological setting of the Ardley coal zone is discussed, and representative analyses of mined coal are presented. Mines in the area have always recovered between 3.5 and 6 feet of Ardley coal. In a 60-mile-long region between Alix and Swalwell, as much as 350 million tons of Ardley coal may be recoverable under less than 100 feet of overburden.
Campbell, J.D. (1965): Strip coal assessment survey, Ardley coal zone, central Red Deer River area, Alberta; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Open File Report 1965-04, 50 p.