A report on Bearpaw Formation

Contact (red arrow) between the underlying marine shales of the Bearpaw Formation and the coastal Horseshoe Canyon Formation.
Bearpaw shale being excavated to recover ammonites for ammolite production.
A specimen of Placenticeras ammolite from the Bearpaw Formation.

Geologic formation of Late Cretaceous age.

- Bearpaw Formation
Contact (red arrow) between the underlying marine shales of the Bearpaw Formation and the coastal Horseshoe Canyon Formation.

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Alberta

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One of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.

One of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada.

A topographic map of Alberta, showing cities, towns, municipal district (county) and rural municipality borders, and natural features
Moraine Lake at Banff National Park. The Alberta Mountain forests makes up the southwestern boundary of Alberta.
Köppen climate types in Alberta
Southeastern Alberta features a semi-arid steppe climate.
The wild rose is the provincial flower of Alberta.
A bighorn sheep in Kananaskis Country. The bighorn sheep is the provincial mammal of Alberta.
Specimens at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, located in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation at Dinosaur Provincial Park. Some of the specimens, from left to right, are Hypacrosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Gorgosaurus (both in the background), Tyrannosaurus, and Triceratops.
Blackfoot Confederacy warriors in Macleod in 1907
Fort Chipewyan, a trading post and regional headquarters for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1820
Downtown Calgary was one of several areas afflicted during the 2013 Alberta floods.
Population density of Alberta
Petroleum resources in Alberta
Cows in Rocky View. Nearly one-half of Canadian beef is produced in Alberta.
A canola field in Alberta
The Three Sisters at Bow Valley Provincial Park in Canmore
Bronco riding at the Calgary Stampede. The event is one of the world's largest rodeos
Distribution of Alberta's 6 specialized municipalities (red) and 74 rural municipalities, which include municipal districts (often named as counties) (orange), improvement districts (dark green) and special areas (light green) (2020)
The Alberta Legislative Building serves as the meeting place for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in St. Albert. The RCMP provides municipal policing throughout most of Alberta.
The University of Alberta in 2005. The institution is the oldest, and largest university in Alberta.
Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary is the largest hospital in Alberta.
Calgary International Airport, the province's largest airport by passenger traffic.
A Via Rail passenger train passing by freight trains in the background, at Jasper station
Highway 1 (the Trans-Canada Highway) at Alberta Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail).

The Bearpaw Formation represents strata deposited during a marine transgression.

Dinosaur Park Formation exposed along the Red Deer River in Dinosaur Provincial Park, southeastern Alberta, Canada.

Dinosaur Park Formation

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Uppermost member of the Belly River Group , a major geologic unit in southern Alberta.

Uppermost member of the Belly River Group , a major geologic unit in southern Alberta.

Dinosaur Park Formation exposed along the Red Deer River in Dinosaur Provincial Park, southeastern Alberta, Canada.
Restoration of the megafaunal dinosaurs of the Dinosaur Park Formation. From left to right: Chasmosaurus, Lambeosaurus, Styracosaurus, Scolosaurus, Prosaurolophus, Panoplosaurus, and a herd of Styracosaurus in the background

It was deposited in alluvial and coastal plain environments, and it is bounded by the nonmarine Oldman Formation below it and the marine Bearpaw Formation above it.

"Leonardo," a rare intact mummified Brachylophosaurus canadensis uncovered in the Judith River Formation.

Judith River Formation

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Fossil-bearing geologic formation in Montana, and is part of the Judith River Group.

Fossil-bearing geologic formation in Montana, and is part of the Judith River Group.

"Leonardo," a rare intact mummified Brachylophosaurus canadensis uncovered in the Judith River Formation.
"Leonardo," a rare intact mummified Brachylophosaurus canadensis uncovered in the Judith River Formation.

It is overlain by the Bearpaw Formation.

A broken concretion with fossils inside; Late Cretaceous Pierre Shale near Ekalaka, Montana

Pierre Shale

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Geologic formation or series in the Upper Cretaceous which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains in the Great Plains, from Pembina Valley in Canada to New Mexico.

Geologic formation or series in the Upper Cretaceous which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains in the Great Plains, from Pembina Valley in Canada to New Mexico.

A broken concretion with fossils inside; Late Cretaceous Pierre Shale near Ekalaka, Montana

It is correlative with other marine shales that occur farther west, such as the Bearpaw Shale, Mancos Shale and the Lewis Shale.

Strata of the St. Mary River Formation at the St. Mary Reservoir spillway.

St. Mary River Formation

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Geologic formation of Late Cretaceous age of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in southwestern Alberta and northwesternmost Montana.

Geologic formation of Late Cretaceous age of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in southwestern Alberta and northwesternmost Montana.

Strata of the St. Mary River Formation at the St. Mary Reservoir spillway.

The St. Mary River Formation conformably overlies the Blood Reserve Sandstone, or the Bearpaw Formation where the Blood Reserve Sandstone is absent, and it is conformably overlain by the Willow Creek Formation.

Belly River beds exposed along the Oldman River

Belly River Group

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Stratigraphical unit of Late Cretaceous age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Stratigraphical unit of Late Cretaceous age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

Belly River beds exposed along the Oldman River

The Belly River Group is conformably overlain by the Bearpaw Formation and gradually overlies the Wapiabi Formation, the Colorado Group shale or the Lea Park Formation shale.

A ridge capped by a sandstone bed of the Fox Hills Formation west of Limon, Colorado

Fox Hills Formation

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Cretaceous geologic formation in the northwestern Great Plains of North America.

Cretaceous geologic formation in the northwestern Great Plains of North America.

A ridge capped by a sandstone bed of the Fox Hills Formation west of Limon, Colorado

In its eastern extents, the formation is underlain by the marine Pierre Shale in the United States and by the equivalent Bearpaw Formation in Canada, while in western ranges in Montana and Wyoming it overlies the Lewis Shale.

Unprocessed sample of ammolite; a "dragon skin" pattern is apparent

Ammolite

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Opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of North America.

Opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of North America.

Unprocessed sample of ammolite; a "dragon skin" pattern is apparent
An iridescent ammonite from Madagascar
Map of North America highlighting the shallow inland sea present during the mid-Cretaceous period.
Korite's mechanized mining operations are fairly basic, involving the excavation of shallow pits with backhoes.
Another view of Korite's open-pit mining operations in Alberta, Canada.
Placenticeras ammolite specimen, from Bearpaw Formation, Campanian Stage, upper Upper Cretaceous, ~70-75 Ma.
The iridescent flashes (labradorescence) of labradorite may lead to its confusion with ammolite by the unfamiliar, but the overall appearance is unconvincing as an imitation.
Ammolite jewelry by Korite. The ammolite gems are triplets, as evidenced by their convex profiles. Ammolite is best used in pendants, earrings, and brooches due to its fragility.

Significant deposits of gem-quality ammolite have only been found in the Bearpaw Formation that extends from Alberta to Saskatchewan in Canada and south to Montana in the USA.

McCann Butte in the Bearpaws, view to the west across glacial moraine. 1920 USGS photograph.

Bears Paw Mountains

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Insular-montane island range in the Central Montana Alkalic Province in north-central Montana, United States, located approximately 10 miles south of Havre, Montana.

Insular-montane island range in the Central Montana Alkalic Province in north-central Montana, United States, located approximately 10 miles south of Havre, Montana.

McCann Butte in the Bearpaws, view to the west across glacial moraine. 1920 USGS photograph.
Bearpaw Mountains. View south near Clear Creek, Blaine County, Montana. July 31, 1920.

The Cretaceous Bearpaw Formation outcrops in these mountains, and is named for the range.

Albertonectes

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Life restoration
Size of Albertonectes vanderveldei relative to a human

Albertonectes is an extinct genus of elasmosaurid plesiosaur known from the Late Cretaceous (middle upper Campanian stage) Bearpaw Formation of Alberta, Canada.