Muskwa Formation

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Muskwa Formation
Stratigraphic range: Frasnian
TypeGeological formation
Unit ofHorn River Formation
UnderliesFort Simpson Formation
OverliesOtter Park Member
Thicknessup to 34 metres (110 ft)[1]
Coordinates58°44′38″N 122°40′41″W / 58.7438°N 122.6781°W / 58.7438; -122.6781 (Western National Gas Fort Nelson a-95-J/94-J-10)Coordinates: 58°44′38″N 122°40′41″W / 58.7438°N 122.6781°W / 58.7438; -122.6781 (Western National Gas Fort Nelson a-95-J/94-J-10)
RegionBritish Columbia
Country Canada
Type section
Named forMuskwa River
Named byGray & Kassube
Year defined1963
Muskwa Formation is located in Canada
Muskwa Formation
Muskwa Formation (Canada)

The Muskwa Formation is a stratigraphical unit of Frasnian age in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin.

It takes the name from Muskwa River, and was first described in the Western National Gas Fort Nelson a-95-J/94-J-10 well by F.F. Gray and J.R. Kassube, in 1963.


The Muskwa Formation is composed of bituminous shale. Pyrite is a common accessory mineral.

Gas production[edit]

Gas is produced from the Muskwa Formation shales in the Horn River Basin in the Greater Sierra oil field in north-eastern British Columbia. Horizontal drilling and fracturing techniques are used to extract the gas from the low permeability shales (see Shale gas).


The Muskwa Formation occurs in northern Alberta, north-eastern British Columbia and in the southern part of the Northwest Territories, and typically has a thickness of 34 metres (110 ft).

Relationship to other units[edit]

The Muskwa Formation is a sub-unit of the Horn River Formation; it is conformably overlain by the Fort Simpson Formation and conformably underlain by the Otter Park Member.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lexicon of Canadian Geological Units. "Muskwa Formation". Retrieved 2009-02-10.