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Book Chapter

Quaternary Resources in Canada

By
D.F. Acton
D.F. Acton
Saskatchewan Soil Survey Unit
Land Resource Research Centre
210 John Mitchell Building
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 0W0
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W.A.D. Edwards
W.A.D. Edwards
Alberta Geological Survey
4445 Calgary Trail South
Edmonton, Alberta
T6H 5R7
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L.E. Jackson, Jr.
L.E. Jackson, Jr.
Geological Survey of Canada
100 West Pender Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 1R8
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S.R. Morison
S.R. Morison
Department of Indian Affairs and
Northern Development
200 Range Road
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 3H1
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E.W. Presant
E.W. Presant
Ontario Institute of Pedology
Guelph Agriculture Centre
Box 1030, Guelph, Ontario
N1H 6N1
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C. Tarnocai
C. Tarnocai
Land Resource Research Centre
Agriculture Canada
K.W. Neatby Building
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C6
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K.W.G. Valentine
K.W.G. Valentine
Land Resource Research Centre
Agriculture Canada
K.W. Neatby Building
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C6
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K. Webb
K. Webb
Canada Soil Survey Unit
Research Branch, Agriculture Canada
Nova Scotia Agriculture College
Truro, Nova Scotia
B2N 5E3
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

Soils are one of Canada’s premier Quaternary resources. They sustain agriculture, forestry, and wildlife resources. Soil is the product of the interaction of passive parent material (bedrock or Quaternary sediments) and physiography, and the active elements of climate, flora, and fauna. Most soils in Canada have formed since the end of the last glaciation (18 to 8 ka).

Many of the physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties of soils in Canada are inherited from the parent material. These, in turn, are the results of Quaternary geological events. For example, soils of the Interior Plains are almost stoneless where they have developed on glacial lake sediments, but are stony where they have developed on hummocky moraine or glaciofluvial gravels. Where the covering of glacial sediments has been removed by Holocene erosion, soils are commonly sodic because of the exposure of Cretaceous shales. Former glacial flow patterns may be reflected in the regional distribution of minerals, within the soil — carbonate minerals are an important example. Similar influences of parent material on the physical, mineralogical, and chemical properties of soils can be cited from all regions of Canada.

There is estimated to be more than 100×106 ha of peatlands in Canada. Because of great variations in climate and physiographic situations, peatlands occur in a wide range of types. The physical and chemical characteristics of peat materials associated with peatlands depend on their botanical composition and the region in which they were deposited. There are approximately 3×1012 m3 or 335×109 t of dry peat in Canada.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Quaternary Geology of Canada and Greenland

R.J. Fulton
R.J. Fulton
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Geological Society of America
Volume
K1
ISBN electronic:
9780813754604
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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