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The Mud Buttes EarthCache

Hidden : 10/14/2013
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Mud Buttes are a group of low hills 15 kilometers south east of Caronation. It is an isolated pocket of badlands about two kilometers long and 800 metres wide, and is one of North America's largest and best exposed site of glacially deformed bedrock.
The spectacular folds and faults seen here are formed by the push from advancing glaciers, and provide excellent information about thederection of flow of glaciers during the last Ice Age.

The Story
The rocks forming Mud Buttes are weakly cemented sandstones and mudstones from the Belly River Formation, and where deposited around 75 million years age during the Late Cretaceous Period.
These soft rocks were bulldozed into faults and rounded, toothpaste-like folds by the immense weight of an overriding glacier.

The advancing glacier tore loose large sheets of bedrock and shoved them about five kilometers to the southwest, stacking them against each other to produce Mud Buttes.
Measurements of the folds and fault,plus the presence of igneous and metamorphic rocks in nearby glacial sediment, indicate that the glacier advanced into the area from the notheast from as far away as the Canadian Shied, at least 700 Kilometres!

Rock equivalent in age th the Belly River Formation are found in many areas of the province as flat- lying beds; for example, the fossil-rich badlands at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
At Mud Buttes, however, the glacier thrust the beds up to an angle of nearly 30degress.
The nearby Neutral Hills, and Nose Hill all owe their origin to the push from an advancing glaccier.

To log this earth cache please email the owner with the answers to the following questions:
1) While at GZ look at the folds and faults and determine what direction the glacier was moving?.
2) Looking at the sandstones and mudstones is it uniform in size or mixed?, fine or coarse?
3) Looking at the Mud Buttes is there a dark carbon-rich soil band, and if so how thick is it.?
4) This part is optional as per GC guidelines) Please post a photo of yourself or your GPS with a distinguishing landmark in the background.
1. A Traveller's Guide to Geological Wonders in Alberta by Ron Mussieux and Marilyn Nelson

2.Alberta Environment

The Neutral Hill between Czar and Consort have also been formed by glacial push.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

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Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)