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Some notes on the Sooke formation, Vancouver Island Logie, Russell Moore. 1929

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Some Notes on the Sooke Formation, Vancouver Island. by Russell Moore Logie A Thesis submitted for the Degree of MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of GEOLOGY The University of British Columbia April, 1929 INDEX Introduction page I General Statement " 1 Acknowledgements " 2 Geology " 3 General " 3 Sooke Formation " 4 Historical " 4 Distribution " 5 Lithology " 6 Structure " S Origin of Sediments " 9 Palaeontology " 10 List of Species " 10 Summary of Molluscan Species " 13 Correlation and Age " 15 Bibliography " 21 - 1 -INTRODUCTION General Statement The Tertiary sediments on the west coast of Vancouver Island are of great interest and many conflicting opinions regarding their age have been advanced. The main difficulty in correlation is that the fossils in these beds are, in general, distinct from those found elsewhere. The writer did not have the opportunity to study the beds and so the ideas advanced regarding their age and correlation are formed by a review of the available literature and an examination of the collection in the possession of the University of B. C., 7 Department of Geology. The conclusion of Clark and Arnold "that the Sooke formation is either upper Oligocene or lower Miocene probably the former, and that it is to be correlated with the general period of the deposition of the "Blakley horizon (Acila gettysburgensis zone) in Oregon and Washington" is the best that has been offered so far and will probably not be fundamentally changed by further work. The fauna of the Sooke formation is a typical strand line facies and as a whole indicates temperate conditions much like those prevailing today. None of the species so far found is living now but some have close resemblances to the Recent species and. there can be little doubt as to their direct genetic relationships. (7) Refer to bibliography for references. -2-Acknowledgements In the writing of this paper the writer wishes to thank Dr. Μ. Y. Williams, of the Department of Geology, of the University of British Columbia for help and advice in its pre-paration. The previous papers on the Sooke area especially those of C. H. Clapp, "Southern Vancouver Island" and "The Sooke and Duncan Map-areas", and that of Bruce L. Clark and Ralph Arnold, "The Fauna of the Sooke Formation, Vancouver Island", were of very great material assistance, the paper by Clark and Arnold for the Palaeontology and correlation and those by Clapp for descriptions and relations of the formation to the underlying rocks. The collection on which this paper is based was donated to the University of British Columbia by the Rev. Robert Connell of Victoria B. C. He is greatly interested in the Sooke deposits and has given much assistance to those who have worked on them. 2 Table of Formations ( after Clapp C. H. ) Age Lower Miocene or Upper Oligocene Formation Sooke Formation Character of rock Chiefly coarse sandstone and cong'l:thin beds of sandy sh. and marl. Lower Oligocene Sooke intrusives t&) granite (b) anorthosite (c)olivine and augite gabbro Upper Eocene Metchosin volcanics Basalt, diabase tuff and chert Carboniferous Leech River formation Slaty and quartosose schist -3-GEOLOGY General The formations in the foregoing table are those found in the general area under discussion along the south-western coast of Vancouver Island. The Leech River formation is found in the more northerly 3 part and are considered by Clapp to be Carboniferous in age and the oldest rocks on Vancouver Island. Mesozoic rocks are not found along the part of the coast included but do occur to a large extent further inland and to the north. They are mainly igneous rocks with some limestone which however may be late Palaeozoic in age. The Tertiary rocks are the Metchosin volcanics, the Sooke intrusives, and the sedimentary Sooke formation. The Metchosin volcanics are chiefly basalts varying widely in texture and structure and with fine cherty tuffs, breccias and coarse agglomerates. The Sooke intrusives are made up of granite, some anorthosite and olivine and augite gabbro. The gabbro occurs in large much eroded stocks while the granite occurs in 3 smaller less eroded stocks. According to Clapp the granite is a differentiated from the gabbro magma, differentiation being controlled by gravity. The sediments of the Sooke formation are chiefly coarse sandstones and conglomerates, with some sandy shale and marl and occur in small isolated basin-like areas along the coast, resting unconformably on the older rocks. - 4 -SOOKE FORMATION Historical The first mention of the Tertiary rocks at Sooke was made 12 by James Richardson who was making an exploration of the coal-fields of B. C. for the Geological Survey of Canada. He gives two sections and stated that the beds were Tertiary or Post-Tertiary in age. 8 J. C. Merriam was the first to publish a faunal list and to discuss the age of the beds. His conclusions as summarized 7 by Clark were "that the faunal evidence indicated that the Sooke beds are of middle Miocene age and that the time of their deposition was considerably later than that of the Carmanah Point beds of western Vancouver Island, and that the fauna of the Sooke is so different from the fauna of the Carmanah as to show that the former had not been derived directly from the latter, and the greater difference between them was, in the part at least, the result of immigration and emigration caused by climatic and topographic changes." 9 Merriam, in 1897 published descriptions of several species from the Tertiary of Vancouver Island, all but one being from the Sooke formation. The following year the same 10 writer republished the descriptions and figured the species, also adding a check list of the fauna. Little was done after this time until 1912 when C. H. - 5 -2 Clapp published a paper entitled "Southern Vancouver Island", in which he includes a short discussion of the Tertiary deposits. His conclusion as to their age is essentially that of Merriam and states that it is probable that the Carmanah Point beds should be correlated with the Clallam formation in Washington along the southern shores of Juan de Fuca Strait. The next publication dealing in any detail with the 3 area was "The Sooke and Duncan Map-Areas" also by C. H. Clapp in 1917* The fossils were determined by C. E. Weaver and he placed the beds in the lower Miocene correlating them with the Clallam series of Washington. The latest work on the subject is a paper by Clark and 7 Arnold, "The Fauna of the Sooke Formation, Vancouver Island." These writers give descriptions add figures and include a faunal check list. They correlate the Sooke formation with the Blakeley (Acila gettysburgensis) horizon of upper Oligocene or lower Miocene age belonging to the Clallam series of Washington. Distribution The Tertiary sediments of the Sooke and Carmanah formations occur in small isolated basins fringing the south-west coast of Vancouver Island for a distance of approximately seventy miles. Those southeast of Port San Juan are made up almost entirely of the Sooke formation, while those further up the coast belong to the Carmanah formation. The sediments -6-do not extend far inland as a rule, but the Muir creek basin stretches inland for over- four miles, this however being the largest of the basins. Litholog; The Sooke formation is composed mainly of sandstones and conglomerates with some thin beds of sandy shale and marl. 12 Richardson, speaking of an exposure about one-quarter of a mile up the Sooke river says "the base consists of soft greyish-brown sandstone interstratified with conglomerates and overlain by twenty feet of green porous sandstone, in beds of from two to four feet thick, succeeded by conformably overlying beds of clay, of from 150 to 200 feet thick." The deposits are those typical of strandlines, the sandstones being yellow to gray in color with small rock fragments and pass rapidly from pebbly sandstones to coarse conglomerates and sometimes the sandstones are cross-bedded* The conglomerates are generally coarse with the included fragments predominating over the matrix which usually has a calcareous cement. The shales are all sandy, there being very little true shale and that occurring as thin beds and lenses in the.sandstones. The shale beds are seldom fossiliferous but both the conglomerates and sandstones carry fossils, the former usually having more than the latter, although a larger proportion of the fossils are broken. 3 The following section quoted from Clapp "The Sooke and Duncan Map-Areas" is fairly typical of the formation. "The sandstones and conglomerates usually alternate rather rapidly both vertically and laterally. A conception of the character of the sedimentation may be gained from the following section, the best exposed one, measured along Kirby creek and extended to include the beds exposed along the shore to the east of Kirby creek." Character of rocks thickness in feet Unconsolidated, stratified sand and gravel, Pleistocene 20 Sandstone:soft, ferruginous, banded yellow and red, concretionary 10 Conglomerate, fossiliferous 5 Sandstone: coarse to medium grained, buff colored, cross-bedded and concretionary 65 Sandstone: grey, argillaceous, fossiliferous 4 Alternating soft sandstone and marl 10 Unexposed (mouth of Kirby creek to road crossing) 173 Sandstone 20 Lignite, sandy and impure 8inches Unexposed 42 Conglomerate 10 Sandstone 5 Shale, sandy and micaceous 7 Conglomerate 2 Unexposed 17 Sandstone, with two highly carbonaceous layers 5 Conglomerate, find-grained 32 Sandstone 18 (Protuberating knob of meta-basalt) Conglomerate: with thin layers of sandstone 36 Sandstone 4 Fine conglomerate 2 Unexposed ? Basal conglomerate --10 to 30 Total thickness of section 497 to 517 - 8 -Structure The structural relations of the Sooke formation are fairly simple, having a strike to the northwest and a dip to the southeast at low angles. The larger basins are synclinal with a dip of from 2 to 3 degrees towards the center. The rocks are broken by small faults which are all normal faults with a small displacement of from 5 to 15 feet. The exposed sections are thin, the thickest being only 3 about 500 feet, that is the one quoted above (p. 7). Clapp states that a bore-hole was put down near the mouth of Muir creek in search of oil and penetrated to a depth of 1,560 feet without passing out of the formation. He says "this shows that the sediments were deposited in deep embayments in the crystalline rocks and that the upper sediments of the formation, the only ones exposed, over-lap the crystalline rocks." The Sooke formation is unconformable with the older rocks, the basal conglomerate containing boulders of the underlying formations and resting on rounded wave-polished ledges of the crystalline rocks. Jave-cut, dyke and shear-zone chasms (plate II) of these rocks are filled with conglomerate and coarse sandstone and in places rock ridges project through the Sooke formation and these are not caused by folding but were left by erosion before the conglomerate and sandstone were laid down. -9-The overlying formations are of Pleistocene age and while conformable with the Sooke formation differ in degree of consolidation and the fossils contained in the two formations. Origin of Sediments The sea in which the Sooke and Carmanah beds were laid down evidently did not extend far inland from the present coast-line, the greatest inland extent of the sediments at present is in the Muir creek basin and is only about four 3 miles. Clapp says "the steep mountainous coast of today with its bold promontories, coarse boulder beaches, accumulations of driftwood, and wave-eroded shore-line is strikingly similar to the coast recorded by the unconformity of the Sooke formation with the under-lying crystalline rocks and by the course basal conglom-rates." The crystalline rocks of the older formations surmount steeply the basins of sedimentaries and no outliers of the Sooke beds occur on the upland and so it is improbable that the Sooke formation ever did extend far inland over the present upland surface. PALAEONTOLOGY List of Species Several collections of fossils have been made from the Sooke formation, some are in the possession of the Canadian Geological Survey, some in the collections of the Department of Geology, Leland Stanford Junior University, and still others in the California Academy of Sciences. The material upon which this paper is based was collected by the Rev. Robert Connell of Victoria, B. C. who presented it to the University of British Columbia. It contains about 40 species as shown by the following list; Yoldia cf. cooperii Gabb Glycymeris vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Ostrea sookensis Clark and Arnold Pecten columbianum Clark and Arnold Pecten (Chlamys) cornwalli Clark and Arnold Pododesmus newcombei Clark and Arnold Mytilus (Mytiloconcha ) mathewsonii Clark and Arnold Mytilus sammamishensis Weaver Mytilus (Mytiloconcha) vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Modiolus sp. Saxidomus newcombei Merriam Tellina vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Macoma sp. Solen clallamensis Clark and Arnold Myadesma dalli Clark Teredo sp. rll-Antiplanes muirensis Clark and Arnold Searlsesia branneri Clark and Arnold Agasoma acuminatum Anderson and Martin Molomorphous newcombei Merriam Ancilla fishii Gabb Thais cornwalli Clark and Arnold Bursa vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Goniobasis sookensis Clark and Arnold Crepidula sookensis Clark and Arnold Calyptraea (Galerus) mammillaris (Broderip) subsp. vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Calyptraea sookensis Clark and Arnold Polynices (Nevertia) recluziana (Deshayes) subsp. vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Polynices (Ampullina) sookensis Clark and Arnold Polynices (Euspira) victoriana Clark and Arnold Acmaea gometrica Merriam Acmaea mitra (Eschscholtz) subsp. sookensis Clark and Arnold Acmaea victoriana Clark and Arnold Acmaea sp. Leptothyra vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Megathura vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Puncturella sp. Balanus sp. Serpula sp. Terebratella ? sookensis Clark and Arnold -12-Other species recorded by Clark and Arnold and not in the University collection are as follows; Pecten (Pseudamusium) vancouverensis (Whiteaves) subsp. sanjuanensis Clark and Arnold Mytilus hannibali Clark and Arnold Modiolus sookensis Clark and Arnold Diplodonta cf. stephensoni Clark Phacoides columbianum Clark and Arnold Cardium sookensis Clark and Arnold Antigona vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Chione vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Venus victoriana Clark and Arnold Cyrene (Corbicula) sookensis Clark and Arnold Tellina oregonensis Conrad Metis vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Semele vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Macoma sookensis Clark and Arnold Muliana newcombei Clark and Arnold Spisula (Hemimactra) hannibali Clark and Arnold Spisula (Hemimactra) sookensis Clark and Arnold Cryptonoma quadrata (Arnold) subsp. vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Platydon cf. cancellatus Conrad Panope cf. generosa Gould Zirgaea sp. Gadinia reticulata (Sowerby) subsp. sookensis eiark and Arnold -13-Fusinus (Priscofusus) hannibali Clark and. Arnold Rapana perrini Clark and Arnold Cerithidea newcombei Clark and Arnold Littorina sookensis Clark and Arnold Eudiolium sp. Acmaea hannibali Clark and Arnold Acmaea persona (Eschscholtz) subsp. vancouverensis Clark and Arnold Oligochiton lioplax Berry Scutella newcombei Kew Siderastrea vancouverensis Vaughan Terebratalia transversa Sowerby (n. subsp. ?) Desmostylus sookensis Cornwall. Summary of Molluscan Species There are 67 molluscan species known from the Sooke formation including those described by Clark and Arnold and that are not in the University collection. Among these there were seven which could not be determined specifically. There is only one specimen (Modiolus sp.) in the collection that is not described in the previous papers, and as this was rather imperfect it was impossible to determine it specifically. There are no definitely determinable Recent species but there are four which are compared to Recent forms. 7 Clark and Arnold give the following list of species found in other localities in rocks of like age. -14-"Mytilus mathewsoni G-abb, common in the upper Oligocene (Agasoma gravidum beds) of California. Mytilus sammamishensis Weaver, a common species in the Blakeley horizon (Acila gettysburgensis zone) of Oregon and Washington. Phacoides columbianum n. sp., a common species in the lower and upper Oligocene of Oregon and Washington. Platydon cancellatus Conrad, Miocene to Recent Pododesmus newcombei n. sp., lower Oligocene. Tellina oregonensis Conrad, a common species in the middle Miocene and lower part of the upper Miocene of California; described from the middle Miocene. Agasoma acuinatum And. and Martin, upper Oligocene (Agasoma gravidum zone) of California. Type from the vicinity of Scapoose, Oregon, where it is associated with a typical Sooke fauna. This species is also found in the upper portion of the Oligocene section in the vicinity of Carmanah Point where it is associated with a typical Acila gettysburgensis fauna. Fusinus hannibali n. sp., common in the Blakley horizon (Acila gettysburgensis zone) of Puget Sound district." - 1 5 -Clark and. Arnold also point out an interesting feature regarding the Sooke fauna in that a large number of the species have a genetic relationship to the Recent species living in the same general area. They conclude that "the Sooke fauna contains the ancestral elements of the fauna now living off the coast of Vancouver Island, Washington, Oregon, and northern Claifornia, and that the temperature conditions under which it lived, were very similar to those in the same region at the present time." They give a condiserable list of the Sooke speicies and their Recent analogues which howey^arr will not be repeated here. CORRELATION AND AGE At the present time there are two major faunal zone, the Holopophorus lincolnensis zone (lower), and the Acila gettysburgensis zone (upper), recognized as making up the marine Oligocene of the Pacific coast. The Oligocene section in the vicinity of Puget Sound is between 10,000 and 14,000 feet thick and the two zones are present and are known as the Lincoln (lower) and Blakeley (upper). These horizons occur commonly throughout the Coast Ranges of Washington, and the Blakeley horizon occurs below the Tremblor horizon of themiddle Miocene age which is correlated with the upper part of the Monterey of California. 13 It was suggested by R. E. Dickerson that the difference in the two faunal zones may have been due more to a difference -16-in temperature rather than any great difference in age. Clark 4 and Arnold at first appeared to favour this view but later concluded that it is more due to a lapse of time than to climatic differences. In support of this latter position 7 they point out "That the two faunas are found in many localities from Vancouver Island to southern Oregon and everywhere in the same stratigraphic sequence, the Blakeley above the Lincoln, and in no locality interfingering, as would be expected had they represented different though contemporaneous facies." Temperature and climatic difference have, however, been important factors as the Blakeley faunas apparently lived in a more temperate climate than those of the Lincoln. 8 11 Merriam in 1896 and later in 1904 referred the Sooke beds to the lower Miocene correlating them with the Agasoma gravidum beds of California which are, however, now belived to be of upper Oligocene age. The difficulty in correlating the Sooke formations has been the distinctiveness of its fauna from that of the Blakeley, and a review of the species shows this with great clearness. The present evidence, however, tends to show that this has been the result of a difference in environment, rather than one of age. The typical Blakeley fauna is found in fine sandstones and shales and probably lived in marine waters some distance from shore. The Sooke fauna, on the other hand, represents a shore-line facies and the fossils occur in coarse sandstones and -17-eonglomerates and some of the faunal elements indicate brack-ish water conditions. In California the Agasoma gravidum horizon occurs stratigraphically below the Vaqueros formation which is con-sidered to be the lower part of the Monterey group of lower Miocene age. A vertebrate fauna has been obtained from continental beds associated with the Vaqueros and these beds have been tentatively correlated with the John Day horizon of Oregon but they may be transitional between the Oligocene and Miocene. As yet there has been no fauna, the equivalent of the Vaqueros of California, recognized in Washington and 7 Oregon. Clark and Arnold state that"The fauna of the Agasoma gravidum zone of the California Oligocene has more in common on the basis of identity of highly ornamented molluscan species with the fauna of the Blakeley formation of Washington and Oregon than with that of the Vaqueros. Thus the beds of the Agasoma gravidum zone and the Blakeley of Oregon and .Washington are referred to the upper Oligocene because they are older than the Vaqueros which is either upper Oligocene or lower Miocene." In the correlation of the Sooke formation, as stated in the introduction, the writer follows the conclusions of Clark 7 and Arnold who fefer it to the Blakeley horizon of the Clallam series of Washington. They base their conclusions on the highly ornamented gastropods and pelecypods common to the two as there are few species in common in the two -In-formations. As has been pointed out a great many of the species in the locality are unique, but a few, such as Mytilus mathewsonii Gabb, Mytilus sammamishensis Weaver, Phacoides columbianum Clark and Arnold, Agasoma acuinatum Anderson and Martin, and Fusinus hannibali Clark and Arnold, are common in certain localities of the Blakeley horizon in Washington and Oregon. The best evidence regarding the stratigraphic position of the Sooke formation obtained by 7 Clark and Arnold was from the beds near Carmanah Point, close to the village of Clo-oose, where a typical Lincoln fauna was found in the lower part and the Blakeley fauna in the upper. They give a list of species from the two localities which shows interfingering of the topical Blakeley and Sooke faunas, which list is quoted below; A Β Acila gettysburgensis Reagan x Acila muta Clark x Area sp. x x Cardium lorenzanum Arnold x Cardium sp. x χ Chione vancouverensis Clark and Arnold χ Diplodonta cf. stephensoni Clark x χ Glycemeris vancouverensis Clark and Arnold χ χ Mytilus sammamishensis Weaver x Panope generosa Gould x -19-_A B_ χ Phacoides columbianum Clark and Arnold χ Solen sp. x Tegula sp. χ Tellina oregonensis Conrad x Thracia condoni Dall x Yenericardia sp. χ χ Agasoma acuminatum Anderson and Martin χ χ χ Ancilla fishii Gabb χ χ Bursa vancouverensis Clark and Arnold χ χ Cerithidea newcombei Clark and Arnold χ χ Crepidula sookensis Clark and Arnold χ Eudiolum sp. x χ Fusinus hannibali Clark and Arnold χ Miopleiona n. sp. x x χ Molopophorus newcombei Merriam χ χ Olivella sp. - x χ Palynices recluziana vancouverensis Clark and Arnold χ Dentalium n. sp. x Asterias sp. x Balanus sp. ^ A - Locality of California Academy Sciences Νφ. 233 Β - Locality of California Academy Sciences No. 243 "Ten of the distinctive and common Sooke species (marked x^ are found in this fauna. Associated with - 2 0 -these are other species which are equally distinctive of the Blakeley horizon: Cardium lorenzanum Arnold, Mytilus sammamishensis Weaver, Phacoides columbianum n. sp., Eudiolium n. sp., Miopleiona n.sp., and 7 Fusinus hannibali n.sp." (Clark and Arnold) . From the evidence presented the writer believes that the Sooke formation is to be correlated with the Blakeley horizon of Washington, and is either upper Oligoeene or lower Miocene in age. It is probable that future work in the field and laboratory may show the Sooke fauna to be characteristic of the upper part of the Blakeley, but that is something only more, and detailed, work will show. - 2 1 -BIBLIOGRAPHY (1} Arnold, Ralph. Tertiary and Quaternary Pectens of California. U. S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 47 p.10 1906 (2) Clapp, Charles H. Southern Vancouver Island. Geol. Surv. Can. Memoir 13 pp.136-141 1912 (3) Clapp, Charles H. Sooke and Duncan Map-Areas. Geol. Surv. Can. Memoir 96 1917 (4) Clark, Bruce L. and Arnold, Ralph. The Marine Oligocene of the West Coast of North America.-Geol. Soc. Am. Bull, Vol. 29, pp. 297-308, 1918 (5) Clark, Bruce L. The San Lorenzo Series of Middle California. Univ. Calif. Publ., Bull. Dep. Geol. Sci., Vol. 11, no.2, pp. 45-234 1918 (6) Clark, Bruce L. Marine Tertiary of the West Coast of the United States its sequence, palaeogeography, and the problem of correlation. Jour. Geol., Vol. 29, pp. 583-614, 1921 -22-(7) Clark, Bruce L. Fauna of the Sooke Formation, Vancouver Island. Univ. Calif. Publ., Dept. Geol. Sci., Vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 123-234, pl+ 15-42, Nov. 6, 1923 (8) Merriam, J. C. Note on two Tertiary Faunas from the rocks of the Southern Coast of Vancouver Island. Univ. Calif. Publ., Dept. Geol. Sci., Vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 101-108, 1896 (9) Merriam, J. C. New Species of Mollusca from Vancouver Island. Nautilus, Vol. 2, no.6, pp. 64-65 1897 See Clark and Arnold (7) p.127. (10) Merriam, J. C. The Fauna of the Sooke Beds, Vancouver Island. Calif. Acad. Sci. (3) Geol., Vol. 1, no. 6, pp. 175-188, 1899 (11) Merriam, J. C. Lower Miocene in California. Univ. Calif. Publ., Dept. Geol. Sci., Vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 377-381, March 1904 -23-(12) Richardson, James. Report on the Coal-fields of Kanaimo, Comox, Cowichen, Burrard Inlet and Sooke, British Columbia. Geol. Surv. Can. Rept. Prog. 1876-77 pp.190-192 (13) Dickerson, R. E. See Clark and Arnold (7) Explanation of Plate I. Conglomerate an! sandstone of Sooke formation; on shore near Kirby creek. -24-PLATE I. Explanation of Plate II. Old dyke chasm of the Tertiary coast filled with the basal conglomerate of the Sooke formation; Sherin,;;ham Point. -25 PLATE II. ί.ίΑΡ Map, sho.'in,; ^ eolojy of southwest coast of Vancouver Island and distribution of the Sooke formation. 


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