The Grasslands of Alberta

 

I am going to be taking about how the Grasslands of Alberta look. Alberta has six regions: the Grasslands, Boreal forest, Aspen parklands, Foothills, Canadian Shield and Rocky mountains. The grasslands take up 14% of Alberta .You can find the Grasslands in the southeastern corner of Alberta

The Grasslands today

     The grasslands are made of rolling hills and large flat plains. Big glaciers went over  the plains of Southern Alberta and smoothed them out .Now most of the Grasslands are covered by houses in Calgary and outside most cites in Alberta the Grasslands are mostly farmland.

Land Use: Grasslands

     The Grasslands in around the North West of Calgary are mostly Foothills Fescue which are filled with rolling hills, long valleys, long grasses, bushes and hollows of trees usually found on hill slopes and shady, well watered area. We build roads down the center of valleys in the Grasslands region because it is the flattest and easiest place to build. The roads are curved so that the road isn’t too steep while driving up the hills. In the Grassland region, houses are usually built on top of the hills or in the valley floors. This is done because building on slopes is too expensive and not very practical, and because the valleys are usually flat and a source of water. In the Grassland region (as in many regions in the World) people and animals need water to live. Water is used for drinking, making power & for transportation. 

 

Igneous rock

            You don’t see much igneous rock in the grasslands. A long time ago glaciers picked up igneous rock from the Canadian Shield and dropped them off in the grasslands.  The minerals in igneous rock show you the chemistry of the magma found deep in the earth.   The crystals in igneous rock can be big or small and they can even be microscopic.  The size of the crystals tells you how long it took for the magma to cool.  The slower the magma cooled the bigger the crystals are. Granite has big crystals because the magma cooled slowly.  Igneous rock had two types.  Some have hardened under the earths’ surface; these are called intrusive or plutonic.  Some have hardened on the surface of the earth these are called extrusive or volcanic.

  Sub-regions

            There are four smaller regions in the grasslands; these are called sub-regions.  They include dry mix grass, mixed grass, northern fescue and the foothills fescue.

 

            The dry mixed grass sub-region is the hottest and has the least water in Alberta.  This area has short and medium grasses. This area also has the most different types of animals in the whole province (some are only found here and nowhere else in Canada).

 

History

 

            A long time ago two tectonic plates caused an earthquake.  There was so much pressure that mountains were formed and the foothills buckled up.  Erosion brought minerals from the mountains and the foothills into the grasslands.  This is what makes it very good for crops to grow.

Interesting Facts

            The Alberta grasslands are part of a larger area called the Great Plains.  The great plains go from southern Alberta all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

  

 

            In the Milk River area you can see seven different places where igneous rock comes out of the earth.  This is the only place where you can see this rock in all of western Canada.

 

Conclusion

The geology of the grasslands is very interesting.  The grasslands are a very nice place to be.  Houses and farms are slowly covering the grasslands.  In Calgary, Nose Hill Park is a great example of the grasslands (it is the grasslands).  I hope you enjoyed my report.

 

 

Bibliography

 

 

1.     http://www.collections.ic.gc.ca/

2.     http://www.raysweb.net/specialplaces/pages/grassland.html

 

 

 

 

All photos taken by Matthew

 

 

This webpage was created by Matthew

all photos taken by Matthew