Resource exploration in Alberta is critically related to knowledge of the location and age of structural features, particularly faults, which may have created hydrocarbon traps, acted as pathways for mineralizing fluids, or facilitated kimberlite emplacement. Moreover, natural fault locations are of paramount importance for public safety and environmental protection. Over the years, the Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) has studied the stratigraphic framework of the province and corroborated its own stratigraphic and structural data with relevant information published by both industry and academia in order to aid government and industry in their efforts to ensure responsible development of oil, natural gas, oil sands, geothermal, groundwater, and coal resources.

This report presents the AGS’s effort in acquiring structural data in the subsurface of the Alberta Plains (e.g., faults, shear zones, arches, escarpments), and offering the data to the public as an interactive web application. The web application comprises a province-wide (except the Rocky Mountains and Foothills) compilation of structural features observed or inferred east of the Foreland belt by different workers through different methods at different structural and stratigraphic levels, from the crystalline basement to the surface. Lineaments from various literature sources (digital and nondigital) were geospatially referenced, compiled digitally into Esri shapefiles, and individually tagged with attribute data stored in a database (also accessible on the AGS website). This report summarizes the compilation workflow and includes a succinct overview of the structural framework of the Alberta portion of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, in order to facilitate understanding of the geological significance of the compiled structural features with respect to the overall architecture of the basin.

Pană, D.I., Elgr, R., Waters, E.J., Warren, J.E., Weiss, J.A., Lopez, G.P. and Pawlowicz, J.G. (2021): Structural elements in the Alberta Plains; Alberta Energy Regulator / Alberta Geological Survey, AER/AGS Open File Report 2021-01, 33 p.