Open File Report 2018-08

Open File Report 2018-08

OFR 2018-08

An Update to the Glacial Landforms Map of Alberta

Author(s) Atkinson, N. Utting, D.J. Pawley, S. Date 2018-06-27

This report provides an overview of the methods and results of an update to the digital dataset that accompanied Alberta Energy Regulator / Alberta Geological Survey (AER/AGS) Map 604. It focuses particularly on the morphology of each of the landform feature classes, and highlights areas where significant revisions were required and what implications these have for future work.

AER/AGS Map 604 and accompanying digital dataset portrayed ~74 000 glacial landforms derived from previously published maps and reports, as well as new mapping based on a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) covering 46% of the province. The acquisition in 2017 of a 15 m LiDAR DEM for all remaining areas of Alberta, excluding federally controlled lands, has enabled AGS mappers to provide an updated, comprehensive inventory of ~143 500 glacial landforms across the province.

The update’s mapping focus remained on landforms that constrain former ice margins (moraines, ice-marginal channels), ice sheet geometry and flow dynamics (streamlined subglacial bedforms, ice-thrust moraines, glacially overridden moraines, crevasse-fill ridges) and hydrology (meltwater channels and eskers). An additional thematic layer included in the updated digital dataset depicts the distribution of eolian dunes across Alberta.

Such work is of interest to the glaciological community, and also to those mapping glacial deposits to determine mineral dispersal patterns, as well as near-surface material properties, particularly relating to hydrogeology, geo-engineering, natural resources management, infrastructure planning, and environmental protection.

Atkinson, N., Utting, D.J. and Pawley, S.M. (2018): An update to the glacial landforms map of Alberta; Alberta Energy Regulator, AER/AGS Open File Report 2018-08, 24 p.