MIST MOUNTAIN FORMATION

(Tithonian/Berriasian)


The Mist Mountain Formation is one of western Canada's oldest terrestrial vertebrate-bearing formations that is found in outcrop. It is also one of the most diverse of the vertebrate ichnofaunas of western Canada. Tracks are often excavated by the process of open pit coal-mining in the Elk Valley Coal District of southeastern British Columbia. Few in situ outcrops bearing tracks or trackways have ever been exposed, but there have been at least two occurrences of large footwalls with impressive trackways on them (see below).

A sloping footwall surface showing large (est. 50cm length) theropod tracks in a trackway (note smaller theropod tracks to the right of the trackway)

Most other track finds are of individual prints or blocks (small to very large) showing a variety of track and preservation types. Few institutions have collections of this important track fauna, and the size of some of the track blocks would be a challenge for many palaeontology museums to store properly.