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Detailed outcrop measured sections of the Eocene White Lake Formation, southern Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

The sedimentology of the Tertiary White Lake Formation of the Okanagan Valley of southern British Columbia has never been seriously studied, and is currently poorly-understood. For this preliminary study, three long outcrops were described in detail to provide an initial view of these
strata. Aside from minor hydrocarbon and coal exploration in the 20th C, little is known of the resource potential or groundwater potential, and these strata must be viewed as frontier prospects. However, the occurrences are located in an area of quickly increasing population and water use, near
important markets. The currently fault-bounded Okanagan Basin is narrow and elongate, geologically complex and the potential is poorly constrained. A relatively high regional geothermal gradient, abundant sandstone/conglomerate potential reservoir/aquifer facies and the location near populous
markets suggest significant potential. Facies observed in outcrop include 1) volcanic breccia debris flow conglomerate, 2) high energy braided fluvial conglomerate to pebbly sandstone, 3) fluvial sandstone, 4) pedogenically-altered overbank sandy siltstone, 5) pond/marsh carbonaceous mudstone, and
6) lahar sandflow deposits. Facies 2 and 3 represent potential hydrocarbon reservoir/groundwater aquifer facies. Further progress in analysis and understanding will require concerted geological and geophysical field work, and several stratigraphic test wells.

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