Biophysical

Alberta Ground Cover Classification Mosaic

Identification Information
Abstract

The Alberta Ground Cover Classification Mosaic is a composite of the Alberta Ground Cover Classification (AGCC) created by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and the Land Cover for Agricultural Regions of Canada, circa 2000 created by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The AGCC is an inventory produced for the Green Area of the province. This dataset was merged with the landcover inventory produced for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for the White Area of the Province. The Land Cover for Agricultural Regions of Canada, circa 2000 is the most accurate dataset for the White Area of the Province and it was recoded to the AGCC system in order to facilitate modelling for the entire province.

The Alberta Ground Cover Classification (AGCC) represents the Government of Alberta's comprehensive biophysical, anthropogenic and land-use inventory for the Green area of the Province of Alberta.

The compilation of the inventory commenced in 1999 in the north east area of the province. The project used satellite imagery captured by the United Stated Geological Survey using the Landsat 5 satellite for the time period between July 21, 1999 and August 23, 2002. Data was created by the classification of six project areas beginning in the North-east ending in the south until all of the vegetation in the green zone of the Province was captured.

The AGCC product is a comprehensive and detailed geospatial representation of land cover that is intended to meet a multitude of business needs integral to land-use planning and management in Alberta. The AGCC is a biophysical and land-use inventory rather than a purely vegetation inventory. The AGCC is a classified landscape raster dataset compiled from the Landsat 7 and Landsat 5 satellite bands.

The Alberta Ground Cover Classification Mosaic is intended for use in:

  • wildfire prevention,
  • wildlife habitat assessments, and
  • land use decisions

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Alberta Ground Cover Classification Mosaic- downloadable .zip file

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile
Georeferenced TIFF

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Alberta Ground Cover Classification Mosaic

Alberta Land Inventory (ALI) and Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Landform

Identification Information
Abstract

Alberta Land Inventory (ALI) and Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Landform consist of a single polygon feature class with associated attributes.

These attributes describe the landform polygons in terms of:

  • parent geologic material
  • surface form
  • generalized texture and slope

The attribution includes the original ALI/CLI coding as well as the equivalent Physical Land Classification (PLC) codes.

CLI and ALI landform polygons were photo interpreted in the 1960's and 70's. The linework was transferred to mylar overlay and 319 maps were published at a scale of 1:63360, using the National Topographic Series (NTS) maps as a base.

The structure of the map symbols is slightly different for the two series. There is additional free-form text on the CLI landform maps to describe the direction of glacial movement and presence of specific geomorphic features such as eskers, but the information is essentially the same for the two series.

In some cases, a single base map may have both the initial CLI landform mapping on part of the map sheet and subsequent ALI landform mapping on the remainder of the same sheet.

These published hardcopy maps and mylars were later scanned into .tif images and then processed into a single ArcInfo coverage. Scanned images were georeferenced, cleaned and vectorized.

The resulting landform polygons were attributed and merged into a single coverage, using permanent water bodies from Alberta's Base Features Hydrography Polygons as a base.

The ALI and CLI landform polygon feature class is derived from this merged coverage.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Alberta Land Inventory (ALI) and Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Landform- Polygons - downloadable .zip file

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Image Product Download

Alberta Land Inventory (ALI) and Canada Land Inventory (CLI) Landform - Scanned Images - .zip files listed below for download

Format Name

Georeferenced TIFF

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search"box, type in: Alberta Land Inventory ALI and Canada Land Inventory CLI Landform

Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory

Identification Information
Abstract

Note that the latest version of the Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory product replaces the previously released Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory of July 26, 2016.

The Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory depicts wetlands within the province of Alberta for the period 1998 to 2015 classified to the Canadian Wetland Classification System (CWCS) at the major class level:

  • marsh,
  • bog,
  • fen
  • swamp, and
  • open water (note the CWCS only includes shallow open water)

There are 32 component wetland inventories that were merged to create this wetland inventory product. These individual wetland inventories utilized four different wetland classification systems with different source imagery and different resolutions. They have been reclassified to the CWCS five major classes. Information on the component wetlands can be found in the Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory Status attribution.

Funding Partners include:

  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Ducks Unlimited Inc.
  • Government of Alberta (Environment and Sustainable Resource Development - ESRD)
  • United States Forest Service (USFS)
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • North American Waterfowl Conservation Act (NAWCA)
  • The PEW Charitable Trusts
  • Canadian Boreal Initiative
  • Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. (Al-Pac)
  • Environment Canada
  • Canadian Space Agency
  • Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA)
  • Imperial Oil Resources
  • Shell Canada
  • Suncor Energy Foundation
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
  • Encana Corporation

Coverage Map

Data Coverage Map - Download (WinZip .zip file)

This shapefile is only an extent of the coverage and not the actual data. The Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory data must be requested as indicated below in the Distribution Information.

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI – File Geodatabase

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory

Alberta Satellite Land Cover

Identification Information
Abstract

Alberta Satellite Land Cover (ASLC) raster is a land cover dataset for the province of Alberta. It is a set of individual projects completed in the last decade for wildfire historical burns and various areas.

As the remote sensing technology and related information extraction approaches have made significant advancements during last 20 years the process naturally evolved from classification schema targeting Landsat 5 to one integrating various sources of remote sensing data, information extraction procedures, different open and commercial toolboxes for processing and more automation.

Integration of multiple data types includes various optical and radar data free of charge as well as GOA's purchased LiDAR data swaths. Since raster values in products from individual projects are identical with values of initial Alberta Ground Cover Classification product, it was possible to merge all those into new ASLC raster.

The ASLC raster was originally created for Alberta Wildfire Management needs. It is being used as a source to update provincial Fire Behaviour Potential (FBP) forest fuel types data in the areas where Alberta Vegetation Inventory is outdated or non-existent.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Alberta Satellite Land Cover (ASLC)- downloadable .zip file

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile Index

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Alberta Satellite Land Cover

Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section

Identification Information
Abstract

Note that the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section replaces the Relative Wetland Value Assessment Unit (RWVAU) Wetlands By Section data from June 11, 2015.

The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section feature class represents a summary of the wetlands captured within the Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory by Alberta Township System Version 4.1 sections.

The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section feature class contains the estimated areas in hectares rounded to the nearest whole number of;

  • total wetlands, and
  • A (highest) value, B value, C value and D (lowest) value wetlands within the province of Alberta, Canada.

There are two associated feature classes:

  • the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section Index feature class and
  • the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Relative Wetland Value Assessment Units (RWVAUs) feature class.

The extent of the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section feature class is captured as the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Estimate of Relative Wetland Value By Section Index feature class and the boundaries for the component ABWRET RWVAUs are captured within the Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Relative Wetland Value Assessment Units feature class.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Alberta Merged Wetland Inventory

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI – File Geodatabase

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Ecodistricts of Alberta 1995 Polygons (includes Ecorivers of Alberta 1995 Polygons)

Identification Information

Abstract

The Ecodistricts of Alberta 1995 Polygons dataset is one of two provincial level ecological datasets that were created in 1995 as a package. The associated map in this package is the Ecorivers of Alberta 1995 Polygons. These two datasets represent broad ecological zones within the province of Alberta.

The Ecodistricts of Alberta 1995 Polygons GIS dataset was created in 2003 from an existing digital map that was generated by Forest Management from the 1995 Terrestrial Ecodistricts map (available as part of RIB Report#657).

The Ecodistricts digital map has been standardized to RIB Report #657 and to the Base Features GeoAdministrative boundary for the province. There is no accuracy assessment available for this map at this time.

The Ecodistricts dataset is composed of 281 Alberta terrestrial polygons stratified according to natural subregions. The dataset was produced in order to provide the biophysical characteristics of ecodistricts in a GIS-ready electronic format. The polygon attributes are generally grouped into five broad categories:

  • polygon identification and code information,
  • biophysical characteristics such as parent materials, soils and vegetation cover,
  • wetland characteristics,
  • water body characteristics, and
  • river drainage basins.

The source information for the original database used to produce the Ecodistricts of Alberta map was derived from ecological classification maps, surficial geology maps, landform maps, soil survey maps and vegetation inventory maps. In addition, some use of aerial photography was made. The terrestrial ecodistrict polygon boundaries are based on 1:1 000 000 scale landscape units developed as part of a national effort by Environment Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and agencies in each province to develop a standard ecological reference base for Canada.

Polygon attribute data are summarized for ecodistricts but can be aggregated by natural subregions or natural regions. The associated GIS digital dataset, Ecorivers of Alberta 1995 Polygons, shows the distribution of fluvial ecodistricts. There is a report, tiffs and georeferenced tiffs associated with this digital dataset.

These data are being used as input into a number of sustainable resource initiatives, including (but not restricted to);

  • forest fire prediction,
  • integrated resource planning,
  • wildlife habitat mapping, and
  • forest management.

In particular, these digital databases are used to address;

  • annual allowable cuts,
  • biodiversity concerns, and
  • land use.

This type of information is intended for use in broad scale/reconnaissance level analyses only.

Browse Graphic

Data Extent Index Map – Download (WinZip .zip file)

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Ecodistricts of Alberta 1995 Polygons or Ecorivers of Alberta 1995 Polygons

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Ecological Land Classification (ELC)

Identification Information

Abstract

Ecological Land Classification (ELC) is an approach which endeavours to subdivide the landscape into significant ecological units and to organize complex interrelationships into identified geographical areas with similar properties.

It is a hierarchical system that captures information at the following scales as per the Ecological Land Classification and Evaluation Reference Manual (1980):

  • Ecoprovince - >1:3 000 000
  • Ecoregion - 1:1 000 000 - 1:3 000 000
  • Ecodistrict - 1:250 000 - 1:1 000 000
  • Ecosection - 1:100 000 - 1:250 000
  • Ecosite - 1:10 000 - 1:20 000
  • Ecoelement - 1:1 000 - 1:5 000

Note that the upper two levels are referred to as Natural Region and Natural Subregion in the more recent Ecological Land Classification reports. There are also some variations in this hierarchy for individual study areas.

The objective of the Ecological Land Classification mapping program is to delineate relatively homogeneous land units, based on their ecological characteristics and to describe these units such that their suitability for various land uses could be assessed in a standardized manner using a documented methodology.

Ecological Land Classification information is input into planning:

  • wildlife habitat suitability,
  • agricultural capability, and
  • forest capability assessments.

It should be noted that the Ecological Land Classification mapping projects range from broad reconnaissance type inventories to more detailed studies at a larger scale. The use of these maps needs to be adjusted according to the scale.

Small scale inventories (1:100 000 and smaller scale) will not provide the detailed information required for intensive management of individual parcels of land, nor for land use planning in small watersheds, local government units, or other small areas.

GIS-ready data are not available for this map series. Geo-referenced rectified images exist for some of this map series and are included in the product.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Ecological Land Classification (ELC) Data and Reports - .zip files listed below for download

Please note: each zipped product package varies in size with 750 MB being an average size.

Report Names A to C

Download includes:

  • Athabasca River Sand Hills
  • Bear River Wapiti Area, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park, Berland, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Big Knife Provincial Park, Big Owl Country Residential Study, Big Horn Canyon Development Node, Birch Hills Land Use, Bistcho Lake, Blueberry Mountain, Bob Creek Elk Winter Range Habitat, Bonnie Lake, Bow Corridor Integrated Resource Planning Area, Brazeau – Pembina, Brazeau Reservoir Area, Brown – Lowery Provincial Park, Burnstick Lake
  • Cache Percotte Area, Canmore Corridor, Carcajou, Castle River, Christina Lake Shoreline Area, Chungo – Cline – Nordegg, Clear River Area, Coal Branch, Cold Lake, Cold Lake – Beaver River, Crowsnest Corridor, Crowsnest Pass, Cypress Hills Recreation Lease

Report Names D to G

Download includes:

  • Deep Basin, Deep Basin Area (NTS 83L), Dillberry Lake Provincial Park, Dixonville
  • Eagle Butte Sensitive Area, East Peace Area, Ecodistricts of Alberta – 1995, Ecoregions of Alberta – 1981, Ecoregions of Alberta – 1992, Edson – Peers, Elinor Lake Country Residential Study
  • Faust Country Residential Study, Fawcett Lake Shoreline Area, Fawcett – Moose Portage Area, Fort Assiniboine, Fort Chipewyan Fringe Area, Fort McMurray Energy Corridor, Fort McMurray Fringe, Fort McMurray – Gregoire Lake Area, Fort Smith – Fort Fitzgerald Corridor, Fourth Creek Natural Area, Fox Creek – Knight Area, Frost Hills
  • Georges Lake Shoreline Area, Ghost River, Goldeye – Shunda Lake Shoreline Area, Goose Mountain, Grande Prairie County West, Grouard Country Residential Study, Gull Lake

Report Names H to M

Download includes:

  • Haig Lake, Hand Hills Ecological Reserve, Hay – Zama Lakes Shoreline Areas, High Level, Highwood – Sheep, Holmes Crossing, Hutch Lake Shoreline Area
  • Iosegun and Smoke Lake Shoreline Areas
  • Jackpines, Jean D’Or Prairie
  • Kakwa Falls Area, Kananaskis Country, Kananaskis – Spray Drainage District, Keg River – Volume I, Keg River – Volume II, Kennedy Coulee Ecological Reserve, Kimiwan – Winagami, Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve
  • Lake George, La Crete, La Saline Natural Area, Lac La Biche – McClelland Multiple Use Corridor River/Stream Analysis, Lac La Nonne, Lakeland, Lawrence Lake Shoreline Area, Lesser Slave Lake, Lister Lake, Little Smoky, Livingstone – Porcupine, Lost River Sensitive Area, Lubicon Lake
  • Mackay, Manning Grazing Reserve, Many Islands Potential Natural Area, Manyberries Sensitive Area, Marshybank Ecological Reserve, McLennan Area, Medicine Lake Land Use Plan, Milk River Natural Area, Ministik Lake Bird Sanctuary, Mount Livingstone Natural Area, Musreau Lake Shoreland Area

Report Names N to P

Download includes:

  • Namur Lake, Natural Regions of Alberta, Nordegg Corridor, Nordegg Townsite, Northern East Slopes Integrated Resource Management Zone
  • Obed Lake Shoreland Area, Orloff – Otter Lakes Shoreland Area
  • Pakowki Sandhills Sensitive Area, Peace River Corridor Recreation, Pembina Grazing Reserve, Pine Lake, Police Outpost Provincial Park and Outpost Wetlands Natural Area, Poll Haven Area, Ponton River Natural Area, Purple Springs Sensitive Area, Puskwaskau Land Use Plan, Puskwaskau East Land Use

Report Names R

Download includes:

  • Ram – Clearwater, Ram River – Nice Creek, Red Deer – James, Red Deer – Panther Corners Area, Red Deer River Corridor, Rochester Area, Rocky Mountain House Grazing Reserve, Rocky – North Saskatchewan, Rumsey Aspen Parkland Geomorphic System Classification

Report Names S to T

Download includes:

  • Saddle Hills Land Use Plan, Saddle Hills, Saunders – Alexo Development Node, Sawn Lake and Russell Lake, Scalp Creek Natural Area, Smoky – Peace Point, Snipe Lake Area, Sturgeon Lake Area, Sturgeon Lake – Puskwaskau East, Suffield Block – A, Suffield Block – B, Suffield Region, Sundre Area, Swan Hills Townsite Area, Swartz Lake, Sylvan Lake
  • Three Creeks Grazing Reserve, Touchwood Lake Shoreland Area

Report Names U to Y

Download includes:

  • Upper Bob Creek Ecological Reserve, Upper Red Deer River Corridor
  • Wandering River, Wapiti – Grande Prairie Sand Dunes, Wapiti Sand Dunes, Whaleback Area, Whitecourt Area, Whitecourt – Swan Hills, Whitegoat Lakes Development Node, Whitemud Falls Ecological Reserve, Whitemud Hills, Winefred Lake – Pelican Portage, Wolf Lake Area
  • Yamnuska Natural Area, Yellowhead Ecosystem, Yellowhead North

Format Name

ESRI File Geodatabase / Shapefile Index
Raw TIF Images (where available)
Georectified TIF Images (where available)

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Ecological Land Classification (ELC)

ECOSYS – Alberta Ecological Site Information System

Identification Information

Abstract

In 1993, the Alberta and Canadian governments joined efforts to standardize the storage of ecological site data in a single electronic database known as the Ecological Site Information System ECOSYS (formerly known as ESIS).

The Alberta Government has gathered ecological site data over a significant time period to support its renewable resource management activities in the province.

Data accessibility has been a concern as the information was stored in various formats by different agencies with resource management responsibilities. ECOSYS was created to address this concern.

Purpose

ECOSYS was developed to facilitate the input, storage, retrieval and analysis of ecological site data.

The database includes data collected as early as 1975 and stores over 26,000 point records from various sources including:

  • ecological land classification projects
  • range and land management projects
  • parks and recreation studies
  • permanent sample plots
  • stand dynamics studies

ECOSYS data is available to support local and regional resource management and planning activities as well as research initiatives where historical site data at a province-wide scale is required.

The site data in ECOSYS is extracted and formatted into 7 different ASCII spreadsheet reports. These reports are available individually.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Supplemental
Information

Supplemental reports for this dataset include:

  • Plot/Location Data
  • Vegetation Totals
  • Vegetation Species
  • Soil Horizon
  • Soils
  • Site
  • Forage Production
Distribution Information

Data Product Download

ECOSYS

Format Name

ASCII format

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on Open Government Portal.

Lotic Riparian - Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Derived

Identification Information
Abstract

Riparian areas consist of the lands adjacent to streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes that are strongly influenced by the presence of water. They are often distinct from the surrounding landscape as the vegetation growth is very lush. These areas form a transition between dry land and open water and are characterized by the presence of hydrophilic vegetation and specific soil types. Riparian areas are usually very productive in terms of biomass and form critical wildlife habitat. These areas often have standing water and are subjected to periodic flooding when high water levels fill the stream channel to the top of the bank. The term "riparian" is derived from the Latin word for river bank.

Riparian areas provide valuable food, shelter and travel corridors as well as close proximity to a water source for wildlife and livestock. These zones are often densely vegetated and serve as stabilization against the erosive forces associated with lotic systems. Riparian areas provide filtration for surface runoff from the surrounding land and protect the water quality of flowing streams. They trap sediment and reduce the velocity of stream flow, thus reducing erosion in downstream areas. These areas provide detritus to their associated aquatic systems as well as a moderating effect on surface temperatures.

This riparian mapping project is intended to provide a geodatabase feature class of potential riparian areas associated with lotic features (steams and rivers) using the hydrologically corrected provincial digital elevation model as a base. Potential riparian areas associated with lentic features (wetlands and lakes) are not being captured at this time but wide rivers and lakes with flow through must be taken into consideration in order to give a more accurate representation of riparian areas. Isolated lakes are not included and no allowance for cultivated lands has been made.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Lotic Riparian - Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Derived

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Lotic Riparian - Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Derived

Lotic Riparian - Strahler Order Derived

Identification Information
Abstract

Riparian areas consist of the lands adjacent to streams, rivers, wetlands and lakes that are strongly influenced by the presence of water. They are often distinct from the surrounding landscape as the vegetation growth is very lush. These areas form a transition between dry land and open water and are characterized by the presence of hydrophilic vegetation and specific soil types. Riparian areas are usually very productive in terms of biomass and form critical wildlife habitat. Additionally, these areas often have standing water and are subjected to periodic flooding when high water levels fill the stream channel to the top of the bank. The term "riparian" is derived from the Latin word for river bank.

Riparian areas provide valuable food, shelter and travel corridors as well as an adjacent water source for wildlife and livestock. These zones are often densely vegetated and serve as stabilization against the erosive forces associated with lotic systems. Riparian areas provide filtration for surface runoff from the surrounding land and protect the water quality of flowing streams. They trap sediment and reduce the velocity of stream flow, thus reducing erosion in downstream areas. These areas provide detritus to their associated aquatic systems as well as a moderating effect on surface temperatures.

The function of riparian areas in the landscape is regarded to be sufficiently critical that they are given special consideration in terms of the impact assessment resulting from human activities such as:

  • recreation,
  • logging,
  • oil and gas exploration,
  • road construction, and
  • range management.

Resource Information Management Branch of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Government of Alberta has been assigned the task of developing a provincial map of riparian areas. This project represents the initial effort to map riparian areas for the province. The riparian areas map is intended as input into ALCES (A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator), which is software developed by Forem Technologies. ALCES is being used to project the cumulative effects of various types of human activity on the landscape. This is accomplished by generating aspatial snapshots of regions within the provincial landscape and assuming that the current level of human impact continues.

The methodology involved creating variable buffers by Natural Region based on Strahler Order coding for streams that had been merged with the associated perennial lakes. Higher Strahler Order codes were associated with wider buffers and drier Natural Regions were associated with narrower buffers. The result was a geodatabase of polygons that were intended to represent potential lotic riparian areas but the accuracy was poor. Landsat information and the Base Features Digital Elevation Model were incorporated to a minimal degree as refinements to the coverage but did not result in any improvement in the spatial accuracy of the data. This dataset is not recommended for use in riparian analysis. The Lotic Riparian - Digital Elevation Model Derived dataset, which was released in October 2011, is a better representation of the location and extent of riparian areas.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Lotic Riparian - Strahler Order Derived

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Lotic Riparian - Strahler Order Derived

Physical Land Classification (PLC)

Identification Information
Abstract

Physical Land Classification (PLC) is a mapping system that was designed to describe the landscape in terms of landform, soils, drainage and slope. It is a hierarchical system that captures physiographic information at the following levels:

  • Region - 1:3 000 000 or smaller,
  • Section - 1:1 000 000 to 1:3 000 000,
  • District - 1:500 000 to 1:1 000 000,
  • Geomorphic System - 1:100 000
    (can range from 1:50 000 to 1:250 000)
  • Geomorphic Unit - 1:10 000 to 1:50 000

There are some variations in this hierarchy for individual study areas.

The Land Classification Group (Resource Inventory Section), Alberta Energy and Natural Resources, adopted the initial physical land classification methodology in 1977 to meet the needs of resource planning and management agencies.

Many aspects of the methodology were developed from landform mapping schemes used by the System of Soil Classification for Canada (1976). The PLC system is essentially a geomorphic interpretation and classification system based on the principles of the inherent properties of the land and its forms.

Physical Land Classification (PLC) maps have been created largely during the 1980s and 1990s as part of a program to acquire background information for Integrated Resource Plans along the eastern slopes and across northern Alberta.

The data were generally mapped at the geomorphic unit level using the 1:50 000 scale National Topographic System maps as a base. The PLC hardcopy maps were scanned, georeferenced, rectified, cleaned, vectorized, merged and attributed to form GIS polygons. The polygons are attributed for:

  • parent geologic material,
  • landform / surface expression,
  • modifying process,
  • slope,
  • texture,
  • soil taxonomy, and
  • soil drainage.

This classification system was designed to enhance and replace the Canada Land Inventory (CLI) and Alberta Landform Inventory (ALI) Landform classification systems.

There is more attribution associated with PLC mapping than with ALI / CLI Landform mapping. There is some overlap with the ALI / CLI Landform maps but much of the PLC mapping was conducted in areas not covered by ALI / CLI Landform maps. PLC mapping is considered to be more reliable than ALI / CLI Landform mapping as field checking was more extensive.

The objective of the PLC mapping program is to delineate relatively homogeneous land units, based on their physical characteristics and to describe these units such that their suitability for various land uses could be assessed in a standardized manner using a documented methodology. PLC information is input into;

  • wildlife habitat suitability,
  • terrain sensitivity,
  • groundwater vulnerability,
  • agricultural capability, and
  • forest capability assessments.

It should be noted that the PLC landform mapping projects are broad reconnaissance type inventories and are designed for planning rather than management. These maps will not provide the detailed information required for intensive management of individual parcels of land, nor for land use planning in small watersheds, local government units, or other small areas.

GIS-ready data are not available for this complete map series, with the exception of a number of individual study areas that were converted into GIS-ready format.

Geo-referenced rectified images exist for some of this map series and are included in the product.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Physical Land Classification (PLC) - downloadable .zip file

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile
Georeferenced TIFF

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Physical Land Classification (PLC)

Primary Land and Vegetation Inventory (PLVI)

Identification Information
Abstract

The Primary Land and Vegetation Inventory (PLVI) is a photo-base digital inventory developed to identify the type, extent and conditions of vegetation in the forested and parkland areas of the province of Alberta. This includes portions of both the Green and White areas. It will include areas of the province extending north from the extent of the Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI) and will include areas where the detail and expense of Alberta Vegetation Inventory (AVI) are not warranted, or time and resources are limiting constraints.

Ecological site phase (ecosite phase) is the main level of classification used in PLVI. A polygon may be attributed with up to 3 ecological site phases, depending on complexity and extent. PLVI captures range site only within the Central Parkland Natural Subregion.

The most up to date Range Plant Community Guides (describing all of the ecological site phases) can be found in the Plant Community Guides. Guides are broken into individual Natural Subregions.

This data product is available as a fee free download under the Open Government Licence - Alberta.

Distribution Information

Data Product Download

Primary Land and Vegetation Inventory (PLVI) - downloadable .zip file

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

PLEASE NOTE: Your use of the information will be governed by the terms of the Open Government Licence - Alberta, in force as of the date you accessed the information.

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Primary Land and Vegetation Inventory (PLVI)

Seed Zones of Alberta

Identification Information

Abstract

This dataset defines the extent of the Seed Zones of Alberta, which is a subdivision of the 2005 Natural Regions and Subregions of Alberta.

A seed zone is a geographic area with relatively uniform ecology and genetic population structure. They limit seed movement to an area where native trees, and by extension native plants, of all species can be moved without risk of mal-adaptation or erosion of genetic integrity and where genetic biodiversity can be conserved.

Populations of forest plant species exhibit genetic variation associated with differences in the geography and climate of origin. Such variation is the result of long-term evolutionary processes and is key to biological adaptation to regional habitats and to maintenance of future evolutionary potential. For these reasons, movement of all seed to reforestation sites on public land is regulated.

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Data Extent Index Map - Download(.zip file, 1.2MB)

Metadata Reference Information

Detailed metadata for this product may be viewed on GeoDiscover Alberta.

To discover the metadata, click "Catalogue Search" and in the "Search" box, type in: Seed Zones of Alberta

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI – File Geodatabase

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

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2005 Natural Regions and Subregions of Alberta

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Page Information

Updated: Jun 25, 2018