Department of Earth SciencesWestern Science

Dr. Guy Plint

Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis

Guy Plint

D.Phil. Oxford, 1981
Office: BGS 1072
Lab: BGS 1077
Phone: 519-661-3179
Fax: 519-661-3198

Research Interests

The primary research of my group is focused on the Cretaceous rocks of the Western Canada foreland basin. Fundamentally, we are interested in understanding the processes (tectonism, eustatic change, sediment supply) that controlled deposition, erosion and depositional cyclicity. We have access to all public drilling records (well logs) for the basin, which allows construction of very detailed stratigraphic cross-sections. We employ an allostratigraphic (sequence stratigraphic) approach which permits division of the basin fill into genetic units, related to relative sea-level changes. Mapping of sequence-bounding surfaces allows isopach maps to be constructed, which reveal the complex subsidence history of the basin. This approach also permits mapping of facies belts, and hence regional paleogeography can be reconstructed. The excellent subsurface stratigraphic framework allows correlation to outcrop on the periphery of the basin, allowing sedimentological detail from outcrop to be integrated into the regional picture.

Recent projects have involved both marine and nonmarine units ranging in age from late Albian to early Campanian. Several projects focused on thick mudstone successions which, although superficially monotonous, preserve a very detailed history of tectonic movement of the basin floor. Other studies have revealed evidence for small scale (~10 m) but high frequency (20-100 ky) relative sea level oscillations which are most reasonably explained in terms of glacio-eustasy - despite the popular notion of a mid-Cretaceous ‘greenhouse’ climate. Other studies have examined the relationship between subsidence rate and the character of alluvial environments, including the nature of fluvial systems, and paleosols. Major paleovalley and interfluve systems have been mapped in detail, and drainage patterns can be related to flexural tectonics and to more localised fault movement.

Selected Publications


Dr. David Ulicny (Prague), in order to develop high-resolution sequence stratigraphic models by which to compare high-frequency relative sea-level changes in Bohemia and western Canada.

Dr. Claudia Schröder-Adams (Carleton), leading to integration of an allostratigraphic framework for the western Canada basin with regional foraminiferal biostratigraphy.

Dr. Desmond Moser (UWO) and Dr. Sandra Kamo (Toronto), in order to obtain high-precision U-Pb radiometric ages from zircons in bentonite beds distributed through the Cretaceous section in western Canada.

Dr. Brad Singer (Wisconsin-Madison) and Dr. Brad Sageman (Northwestern) as part of a continenent-wide effort to re-calibrate Cretaceous bentonite geochronology using modern methods and standards.

Dr. Darren Gröcke (Durham, UK) & Dr. Ian Jarvis (London, UK), to establish a carbon isotope stratigraphy for the Middle Albian through Santonian Stages in western Canada. In the absence of biostratigraphically useful fossils, this approach offers the possibility of correlating globally to other Cretaceous strata.

Dr. Ireneusz Walaszczyk (Warsaw) is working with us to develop a new molluscan biostratigraphy in the Upper Cretaceous, in order to facilitate detailed inter-continental correlation.

Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley (Peace Region Palaeontological Research Centre, BC) are integrating vertebrate tracks (dinosaur, bird) with our stratigraphic, sedimentologic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

Courses Taught

Earth Sciences 2260a: From Beds to Basins – an Introduction to Sedimentology and Stratigraphy.

Earth Sciences 4450y: Regional Geology Field School. Ten day field course in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Earth Sciences 4460a: Clastic and carbonate facies and environments.

Geology 9564a/b: Basin Analysis and Sequence Stratigraphy (Graduate course, lectures, labs, research paper, seminar).

Geology 9571a/b: Selected Topics in Sedimentary Geology. (Research paper, seminar)


Omar Al-Mufti, PhD candidate

Matea Drljepan, PhD candidate

El Mahadia Ibrahim Mohammed, PhD candidate

Elizabeth Hooper, PhD candidate

Katharin Pavan, MSc candidate

Kathleen Vannelli, MSc candidate