Report 67

Author(s) Date 1954-12-31

The St. Ann map area, containing approximately 4,000 square miles, lies 55 miles west of Edmonton, Alberta, between longitudes 114° and 116° West, and latitudes 53° 7' and 54° North. Map 24, "Preliminary Map, Glacial Geology, St. Ann Area", accompanies this report.

Three lines of the Canadian National Railways pass through the area. The main line to Jasper runs east and west through the center of the map sheet and branch lines pass through Onoway and Sangudo in the north and through Thorsby and Sunnybrook in the southeast.

The Edmonton-Jasper highway parallels the main line of the C.N.R., and another highway (No.41) turning from carvell Corner through Onoway gives access to the northeastern section of the area. Other gravelled and improved roads services the eastern part of the area, but west of Pembina river transportation becomes a problem. However, there is a road north from Carrot Creek which partly parallels the McLeod river connecting with highway 41 near Whitecourt; recently, a new forestry road has been completed which runs south from Carrot creek and gives access to the sparsely settled country around Rat creek.

The McLeod, Pembina and North Saskatchewan rivers flow through the map area. The first two rivers are tributaries of the Athabasca river, which continues north into the Mackenzie River system and onto the Arctic Ocean. The North Saskatchewan River follows an easterly course and eventually empties into Hudson's Bay. Thus, within the map area there exists a narrow watershed between two great river systems. It is worthy of note that south of Evansburg this watershed is only about ten miles wide. All major rivers are passable by canoe, although the Pembina river in the vicinity of Evansburg has many shallow places where portaging is necessary.

Mixed farming forms the predominant industry, with some lumbering operations centered around Wildwood and Granada villages and open-pit coal mines in operation near Entwistle and on the north shore of Wabamun lake.

Widespread geophysical surveys have been made during the past few years and as a result some exploratory wells have been drilled in the search for oil in the region between Majeau lake and Glenevis and south of Chip lake. The Majeau Lake wells are known to be producers of heavy crude oil and gas.

After this survey was completed, a major petroleum field was developed in the Cardium sandstone in the Drayton Valley area. This report presents the results of an investigation of the geology of the Pleistocene and recent ages in the St. Ann area. It describes the stratigraphic relationships of the various glacial and interspatial deposits; a map was prepared to show the distribution of the glacial deposits and the topographical features with which the deposits are associated.

Glacial deposits are of considerable economic importance as they contain materials useful for heavy construction and it is possible that they may provide the necessary ingredients for the manufacture of bricks, tile, cement, etc. A study of the glacial deposits is important as they sometimes form the parent materials of the soils.

An attempt has been made to describe the preglacial drainage pattern of the major rivers. These patterns are of interest not only from the academic standpoint but also because they contain large gravel and sand deposits. In 1952, H. Hominiuk and V. Sweetnam, student assistants, performed their duties in a capable manner. J.S. Groot, draftsman for the Research Council, prepared the accompanying map. Dr. P.S. Warren, Chairman, and Advisory Committee on Geology, Research Council of Alberta, and head of the Department of Geology, University of Alberta, suggested the glacial problem of central Alberta.

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Collins, G.A. and Swan, A.G. (1955): Glacial geology, St. Ann area; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Report 67, 21 p.