Several areas of Alberta contain acidic soils which limit the agricultural potential in terms of production of such crops as alfalfa, sweet clover, rapeseed and barley. For this reason the Alberta Department of Agriculture sought the assistance of the Earth Sciences division of Alberta Research in an effort to delineate favourably located reserves of natural calcareous materials for treatment of such soils. The Peace River area was regarded as a major area for study and, as a result, a preliminary contact was made by Mr. Doug Penny of the Department of Agriculture with Mr. Orest Tokarsky of the Groundwater Division of Alberta Research to determine specific possibilities for investigation of calcareous deposits. Mr. Tokarsky compiled a list of locations of occurrences of marl of which one (Grimshaw deposit) is within the area of interest. Mr. Penny later became aware of two additional occurrences; one south of Demmitt and the other near Spirit River.
The writer learned of a fourth deposit (Bay Tree) through scanning of limestone leases on file with the Alberta Department of Mines and Minerals. Mr. Arnold Hennig of the Canada Department of Agriculture Station at Beaverlodge also had prior knowledge of the Demmitt and Bay Tree sites. Recently, the writer was informed of another deposit near Spirit River by Mr. Doug Hackbarth of the Groundwater Division, Alberta Research. The occurrences of the four deposits investigated are shown in enclosed figure 2.
Each of the sites were visited during October, 1973 by a party composed of Mr. Penny, Mr. Hennig and the writer. A number of shallow test holes were dug utilizing a 2-inch diameter Eykelkamp hand auger which proved extremely successful as a light, rapid and accurate sampling tool for the marl.