Donation of a Massive Track Slab From Chetwynd

At the end of January the District of Chetwynd delivered a ~9,000kg slab of rock with two sets of natural cast trackways to the PRPRC. This was a very generous donation and an important recognition of the PRPRC's reputation as a respected museum and research facility. The District of Chetwynd and the PRPRC collaborated on the design and construction of a high-quality outdoor exhibit featuring a full-size replica of the donated track slab.

 While technically not a field project, much of this activity occurred out of doors.

The track slab was discovered in 2004 during the construction of a logging road to the southwest of Chetwynd. It was nice to see the tracks finally arrive in a museum that could preserve and study them.

A good way to start a new year, with the arrival of the biggest fossil donation the PRPRC has accepted to date.


The massive slab looks pretty fractured, but actually the tracks are at the other end are were unnaffected.


To make a replica of the track slab it had to be covered so that the palaeontologists and technicians could put in heaters to bring the temperature above freezing.


The track surface undergoes a little preparation to get rid of extraneous material. The layers that are being removed are part of the original natural mould track layer, but they possess no tracks and were in fact masking relief of the tracks which are preserved as natural casts.


Halogen lights and propane heaters being used to cure the latex peel.


Once the latex mould had cured a two part support jacket was made for it using aluminum foil, and plaster-soaked burlap.


The cured latex mould is peeled away from the track surface. This is why such moulds are referred to as 'latex peels'.


The completed latex mould sits on its support jacket in the museum's fabrication room.


PRPRC technician Tammy Pigeon experiments with applying silicone onto the latex mould after multiple layers of epoxy separator have been applied. Silicone won't set up in direct contact with latex and just stays a gooey mess when it does.


A successful silicone mould made from a latex mould to be used to create a natural mould replica for the District of Chetwynd's outdoor exhibit.


The completed trackway exhibit in Cedar Park, Chetwynd.