The Influence of the Quaternary Geology of Canada on Man’S Environment
J-Y. Chagnon, S.G. Evans, J.S. Gardner, L.E. Jackson, Jr., J. Locat, J.S. Scott, O.L. White, 1989. "The Influence of the Quaternary Geology of Canada on Man’S Environment", Quaternary Geology of Canada and Greenland, R.J. Fulton
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Quaternary geology and geomorphology play a major role in controlling the nature and distribution of surface materials and in controlling the processes active at the surface. Consequently Quaternary geology and geomorphology influence the pattern of man’s land use activities and are valuable in determining where geological hazards might occur.
High relief, steep slopes, past and present glaciation, seismic activity, and a montane climatic regime make mass wasting processes ubiquitous geological hazards in the Cordillera. These range in increasing magnitude and decreasing frequency from low magnitude rockfall, which may be a daily occurrence during the spring and summer, through debris flow, which may have a recurrence frequency of 20 years or less, to debris avalanches in excess of 106 m3. Only eleven of these latter events have been recorded in the southern Canadian Cordillera during the historic period. Alpine areas have the additional hazard of snow avalanches which have high recurrence frequencies, large volumes, and move at high velocities. All of these hazards can be most economically managed through identification of hazardous areas and avoidance of them. Except for large debris avalanches, protective structures are generally an effective protection if it is necessary to make use of a hazardous area. In the case of avalanches, forecasting and induced release are additional effective management techniques.
Figures & Tables
The three major sections of this volume include six chapters describing the regional Quaternary geology of Canada, two describing the Quaternary geology and climatic history of Greenland, and six that review applied Quaternary geology in Canada, including chapters on paleobotanical analysis, geodynamics, geomorphic processes, terrain geochemistry, Quaternary resources, and the influence of the Quaternary on the present environment. Of the five accompanying plates, three depict eleven stages of Quaternary paleogeographic change between 18,000 B.P. and 5,000 B.P.; one depicts the retreat of the ice from between 18,000 B.P. and the Recent; and another reviews the status of Quaternary geologic mapping in Canada, with an extensive bibliography on the back.