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Glaciation, stratigraphy, structure and micropaleobotany of the Princeton coalfield, British Columbia Hills, Leonard Vincent

Abstract

Glacial, stratigraphic, mineralogical, structural and palynologic studies were carried out in the Princeton coalfield, B. C. Three late Pleistocene lakes on the Tulameen River, Whipsaw Creek and Granite Creek are described for the first time. Previous workers have described the Princeton Group as being made up of three units, an upper and lower volcanic rock unit separated by a sedimentary unit. Shaw (1952) names these units; the Lower Volcanic Formation (oldest), the Allenby Formation (sediments), and the Upper Volcanic Formation (youngest). The present work indicates that the Upper Volcanic Formation is interbedded with basal Allenby Formation sediments and is transitional downward into the Lower Volcanic Formation. The revised stratigraphic sequence herein proposed is the Lower Volcanic Formation (oldest), the Upper Volcanic Formation, and the Allenby Formation (youngest). The Allenby Formation is composed of interbedded conglomerates, arkosic and tuffaceous sandstones, shale, coaly shale, coal, and minor amounts of limestone, bentonite, diatomite and ash. Except for the basal Allenby Formation sediments which apparently formed as talus accumulations, the bulk of the coarse clastic sediments were derived from a granitic terrane. The shales contain silt size grains of microcline, quartz and plagioclase similar to the coarser clastics, suggesting that they are fine grained equivalents of the coarser elastics. Evidence is presented to show that the arkosic sediments were derived from the Osprey Lake Intrusion. A section of the Allenby Formation at Vermilion Bluffs is unique in that it is composed of a basal silicified diatomite overlain by a silicified dolomitic limestone and shale. Evidence is presented to show that the sequence represents an ancient spring deposit. The Princeton coalfield consists of two structural lows, separated by a small transverse anticline. Ninety-three plant microfossil species are described and illustrated. Some of these are identical with previously described material from the Green River Formation and the Fort Union Formation of the United States, and the Burrard Formation of British Columbia. Forty species of spores and pollen are abundant in the Princeton material.

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