|Title||Geomorphic systems of the Palliser Triangle, southern Canadian Prairies: description and response to changing climate|
|Author||Lemmen, D S; Vance, R E; Campbell, I A; David, P P; Pennock, D J; Sauchyn, D J; Wolfe, S A|
|Source||Geological Survey of Canada, Bulletin 521, 1998, 72 pages (1 sheet), https://doi.org/10.4095/210076 (Open Access)|
|Links||Palliser Triangle Global Change Project|
|Links||Le Projet sur le changement à l'échelle
planétaire dans le triangle de Palliser|
|Publisher||Natural Resources Canada|
|Maps||Publication contains 2 maps|
|Map Info.||surficial geology, lithology, 1:3,000,000|
|Map Info.||soils, soil types, 1:3,000,000|
|Media||paper; on-line; digital|
|NTS||72E; 72F; 72G; 72H; 72J; 72K; 72L; 82G/01; 82G/08; 82G/09; 82G/16; 82H; 82I; 82J/01; 82J/08; 82J/09; 82J/16|
|Area||Medicine Hat; Cypress Hills; Swift Current; South Saskatchewan River|
|Lat/Long WENS||-112.5000 -104.0000 51.0000 49.0000|
|Subjects||environmental geology; surficial geology/geomorphology; soils science; Nature and Environment; climatic fluctuations; climate; erosion; landslides; mass wasting; soils; vegetation; landforms; tills;
glaciofluvial deposits; glaciolacustrine deposits; eolian deposits; loess; dunes; drainage systems; glacial deposits; Quaternary|
|Illustrations||cross-sections; aerial photographs; photographs; sketch maps; analyses|
|Released||1998 11 01; 2014 01 15|
|Abstract||The Palliser Triangle of southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan is characterized by a variable climate, strong annual moisture deficit, and recurrent drought. Geomorphic systems in such
environments are often sensitive to even minor changes in climate. Since climate changes in the twenty-first century are expected to include more frequent drought, geomorphic systems are likely to be affected in ways that threaten sustainable
activities in some areas.|
This review considers four geomorphic systems: eolian, fluvial, mass wasting, and soil redistribution. Soil redistribution integrates a number of lower-level systems, and is of greatest importance with respect to
sustainable land management. A qualitative assessment of the potential impacts of four climate change scenarios on each of these geomorphic systems indicates the following:
1. Eolian landscapes are the most sensitive to climatic variability, with
the region lying near the threshold of extensive eolian activity.
2. Fluvial systems are the least predictable in terms of response to climate change.
3. Climate influences the frequency of mass wasting processes by modifying the regional
groundwater table and determining antecedent moisture conditions.
4. The principal agents of soil redistribution are wind, water, and tillage. Both wind and water erosion are closely related to extreme climatic events. Human activities remain
the most critical factors influencing agricultural soils.
Identification of possible responses to climate change sets the stage for proactive land management: facilitating rapid adaptation or implementation of mitigation procedures when reliable,
long-term regional climatic projections are available, or when trends can be clearly defined through monitoring.