The Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin is a seminal publication that will prove invaluable to geologists and others who are interested in exploring and developing the mineral resources of Western Canada. It serves as a welcome update to the original atlas published in 1964.

This landmark publication and its associated database give geologists a comprehensive perspective on all aspects of the vast Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, a basin renowned for its mineral and energy wealth. The electronic database can be updated quickly as new well data are generated, thus ensuring a longer-term understanding of the basin and its potential for new development.

Since the acclaimed original atlas was published, theoretical understanding of the basin's evolution has advanced significantly. In addition, a vast amount of new well data has been gathered, accompanied by major advances in data management. The new Atlas brings together data from 146 000 wells in Alberta and over 50 000 in other western provinces. A cornerstone of Alberta's resource management policy is the requirement that drill cuttings, cores, petrophysical and other well data be available for examination by the public (following a one-year confidential period). The availability of these data permits the compilation of publications such as the Geological Atlas.

Many individuals contributed to the success of this project and are deserving of special commendation. The most notable contributor from the Department of Energy is Michael J. Day, P. Geol., former Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department and former co-manager of the Alberta Geological Survey. Mr. Day retired in 1993. He was a driving force behind the project and a tireless supporter of the compilation throughout its development and production.

The Department's contributions were part of a collaborative effort involving the Geological Survey of Canada, the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, the Alberta Research Council through the Alberta Geological Survey, oil and gas companies, universities and individual researchers. The Alberta Department of Energy greatly appreciates the dedication and commitment of the many organizations and individuals who made this publication a reality.

The Department of Energy congratulates all the participants in this complex, collaborative undertaking. The Atlas represents a huge contribution to geoscience infrastructure which should spawn new ideas for research and exploration well into the next century.

David J. Manning, Q.C.
Deputy Minister
Alberta Department of Energy