KASKAPAU FORMATION

(Cretaceous: late Cenomanian - early Turonian)

Tumbler Ridge Museum Website

CBC Radio interview

Sediments of the Kaskapau Formation are primarily marine, but there are deposits of terrestrial environments as well. Terrestrial deposits from the Turonian are uncommon on a global scale. The majority of Turonian deposits are marine and indicate an overall marine transgressive phase at that time. Footprints, trackways and recently skeletal material of dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertebrates are known from the Kaskapau Formation of northeasern British Columbia. The worldwide record of fossil footprints is almost non-existant for Turonian-age deposits, so the tracks and trackways from a handful of canyons in northeastern British Columbia are virtually all there is for the vertebrate ichnology record.

The first discovery of footprints from the lower Doe Creek Member of the Kaskapau Formation were made by two young boys in the summer of 2000 near the town of Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia. The trackway was that of a large quadrupedal dinosaur with five digits impressions on the hands and four digit impressions on the feet.

Tetrapodosaurus borealis trackway near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia

(Mark Turner left, Daniel Helm right)

The morphology of the prints was nearly identical to those described by C.M. Sternberg from the Peace River Canyon which were named Tetrapodosaurus borealis, an ichnotaxon linked to the armored ankylosaurs.

   Natural cast of a large ornithopod track (in situ) near Tumbler Ridge

from the middle of the Kaskapau Formation

An ornithopod track from under a small waterfall in a creek near Tumbler Ridge