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

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Data Extent Index Map

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

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

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

Identification Information
Abstract

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

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Graphic

Data Extent Index Map

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 Polygons

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

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 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,

Ecological land classification study areas

The information supplied is an integration of the following study areas:

  • 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.

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Graphic

Data Extent Index Map

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)

Distribution Information

Format Name

Coverage Index File: ESRI – File Geodatabase / Shapefile

ELC Scans: Tag Image File Format CCITT Group 4 (.tif) and Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf). Some of the .tif maps have been geo-referenced.

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

 

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 and are highlighted in the Resource Data Product Catalogue under the Biophysical category.

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

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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: Physical Land Classification (PLC)

Distribution Information

Format Name

Coverage Index File: ESRI – File Geodatabase / Shapefile

PLC Scans: Tag Image File Format CCITT Group 4 (.tif) and Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf). Some of the .tif maps have been geo-referenced.

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Brazeau – Pembina Study Area

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 Brazeau-Pembina PLC study area (RIB# 90) covers approximately 3 350 square kilometres in west-central Alberta and is characterized by a cold subhumid climate with a short growing season. The study area lies mainly within the Western Alberta Plains of the Interior Plains Region and includes some portion of the Rocky Mountain Foothills of the Western Cordillera Region.

The physiographic subregions consist of the Wolf Lake and Cynthia Uplands and the Brazeau Plain. The vegetation is characterized as coniferous and mixedwood forest dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce with aspen and black spruce as subdominant species.

The parent geological material generally consists of:

  • glacial deposits with some local areas of weathered bedrock,
  • eolian,
  • alluvium, and
  • organic materials.

The predominant soils are:

  • Brunisolic Gray Luvisols,
  • Eluviated Eutric Brunisols and,
  • Orthic Gray Luvisols with some Eluviated Dystric Brunisols, and
  • Orthic Regosols on coarser materials.

Poorly drained soils consist of:

  • Orthic or Humic Gleysols and organics, usually Mesisols, are found in very poorly drained areas.

Browse
Graphic

Data Extent Index Map - Download

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) Polygons of the Brazeau – Pembina Study Area

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Chungo-Cline-Nordegg Study Area

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 Chungo-Cline-Nordegg PLC study area (RIB# 88) covers approximately 3 900 square kilometres in west-central Alberta and is characterized by a cold subhumid climate with a short growing season. The study area lies mainly within the Rocky Mountain Foothills of the Western Cordillera Region and the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains.

The physiographic subdivisions consist of;

  • the Rocky Mountain Foothills Region,
  • the Bighorn Range Subregion, and
  • the Rocky Mountain Region.

The vegetation is characterized as coniferous and mixedwood forest dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce and, to a lesser extent, by aspen and black spruce.

The bedrock in the area is predominantly sedimentary and metamorphic and includes mainly;

  • limestones,
  • shales,
  • dolomites, and
  • sandstones.

The glacial deposits, which are minor, consist of;

  • till and saprolite, as well as
  • glaciofluvial,
  • colluvial,
  • fluvial, and
  • organic materials.

The predominant soils are;

  • Eluviated Eutric Brunisols, and
  • Brunisolic Gray Luvisols.
  • Regosolic soils prevail on recent fluvial and fluvial fan deposits and on colluvium.
  • Organic soils, usually Mesisols, are found in very poorly drained areas.

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Graphic

Data Extent Index Map - Download

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) Polygons of the Chungo-Cline-Nordegg Study Area

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

Request this digital product

For detailed instructions, see:

Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Coal Branch Study Area

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 Coal Branch PLC study area (RIB# 19) covers approximately 8 400 square kilometres in west-central Alberta and includes portions of four physiographic regions:

  • Western Alberta Plains,
  • Southern Alberta Uplands,
  • Rocky Mountain Foothills, and
  • Rocky Mountains.

Mountain building processes have deformed and uplifted the rock strata such that the bedrock is progressively older and more deformed moving from east to west.

The Rocky Mountains Physiographic Region is composed of rugged, sharply peaked, north-westerly trending ranges and valleys while the Rocky Mountain Foothills is characterized by distinct parallel ridges trending in the same direction.

The Southern and Western Alberta Plains have more subdued topography and the landscape has been modified by glacial activity. The vegetation of the area is dominated by Engelmann spruce in the upper elevations with white spruce, black spruce and lodgepole pine in the mid elevations. Aspen is found at the lowest elevations.

The soils in the mountains and foothills vary considerably with the vegetation and elevation. Bare rocks with some Regosolic soils are found in the upper elevations above tree-line, where conditions are harsh and there is little vegetation cover. Below tree-line, conditions are less severe and Brunisols have developed.

The parent geological material generally consists of bedrock in the upper elevations, sometimes with a thin veneer of soil that has developed in situ. In the lower elevations of the plains regions, where morainal and glaciolacustrine deposits are located, Luvisols can be found as well as Organic soils. Fluvial, glaciofluvial and organic deposits are often found in the valley bottoms.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Cold Lake Study Area

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 Cold Lake PLC study area (RIB# 158) covers approximately 5 180 square kilometres in east-central Alberta. The study area lies mainly within the Eastern Alberta Plains Physiographic Region. Four Physiographic Subregions, designated as A, B, C and D, are identified in the study area.

The surficial geological deposits of the Cold Lake Study Area consist primarily of:

  • ground and hummocky disintegration moraine, and
  • glaciofluvial material.

These glacial deposits are extensively overlain by organic material. There are some localized deposits of glaciolacustrine and lacustrine sediments overlying the ground moraine.

The predominant soils are:

  • Orthic Gray Luvisols,
  • Eluviated Eutric Brunisols, and
  • Organic Soils.

The physiographic subregions consist of the Wolf Lake and Cynthia Uplands and the Brazeau Plain.

The vegetation is characterized as:

  • coniferous and mixedwood forest dominated by lodgepole pine and white spruce with aspen and black spruce as subdominant species.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Deep Basin Study Area

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 Deep Basin PLC study area (RIB# 11) covers approximately 14 500 square kilometres in west-central Alberta. The study area includes portions of:

  • the Wapiti Plains,
  • Western Alberta Plains,
  • Rocky Mountain Foothills, and
  • Rocky Mountains physiographic regions.

There are six ecoregions within the study area. In order from highest to lowest elevations, these ecoregions include the:

  • Alpine,
  • Subalpine and,
  • Montane,
  • Boreal Uplands,
  • Boreal Foothills, and
  • Boreal Mixedwood.

The Alpine ecoregion vegetation consists of heather and shrubland vegetation. The Subalpine vegetation is composed of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir while the Montane is characterized by lodgepole pine intermixed with grasslands. The Boreal forest grades from dominantly lodgepole pine and spruce forest in the Boreal Uplands to spruce and pine with some aspen forest in the Boreal Foothills. The Boreal Mixedwood, at the lowest elevations, is dominated by aspen forest intermixed with spruce and pine.

Glaciation has produced morainal, glaciofluvial and glaciolacustrine deposits throughout much of the area. Post glacial reworking of these materials has resulted in the presence of colluvial, fluvial and eolian deposits.

Organic deposits are found in depressional areas, particularly where the terrain is flat and non-draining. The soils are dominantly Brunisols with some Luvisols in the well drained areas. Gleysols and organic soils occur in the poorly drained areas. Regosols can be found on the plateaus where the bedrock is close to the surface and the soils are thin. Extensive Organics are found in these areas as well. The foothills are characterized by bare rock in the upper elevations and Regosols are often found on steeper slopes where colluviation has occurred.

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Fees

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Ghost River Study Area

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 Ghost River PLC study area (RIB# 187) covers approximately 2 800 square kilometres in south-western Alberta. The study area includes portions of three physiographic regions:

  • the Rocky Mountains Plains,
  • Rocky Mountain Foothills, and
  • Western Alberta Plains.

The regions were subdivided into a total of 16 physiographic subregions which were not named. The mountains, foothills and plains are distinguished on the basis of differences in bedrock and the variance in the structure of the disturbed strata.

  • The Rocky Mountains are characterized by south-westerly dipping limestone and dolomite with inclusions of sandstone, siltsone and shale.
  • The Rocky Mountain Foothills consist of south-westerly dipping strata with tight narrow folds and larger fold structures. Sandstones, shales, mudstones and siltstones with coal and bentonite seams characterize this region.
  • The Western Alberta Plains are composed of relatively undisturbed, generally horizontally bedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone strata.

The area was glaciated and ice accumulations can be found in the mountains. Morainal, glaciolacustrine and glaciofluvial deposits are present and have been recently modified to produce colluvial, fluvial and eolian deposits as well as accumulations of organic material in poorly drained areas. Colluvial processes have resulted in slope failures and the accumulation of scree at the base of steep slopes. Bare rock and poorly developed Regosolic soils with some Brunisolic soils are found in the Rocky Mountains.

The Rocky Mountain Foothills are dominated by Brunisols in well-drained areas and Gleysols in poorly-drained areas with Regosolic soils where slopes have failed.

The Western Alberta Plains are characterized by Chernozemic soils in flatter areas and Regosols in areas where there are active processes.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Livingstone-Porcupine Study Area

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 Livingstone-Porcupine PLC study area (RIB# 82) covers approximately 4 100 square kilometres in south-western Alberta. The study area includes four physiographic regions:

  • the Rocky Mountains, which is divided into seven subregions,
  • the Rocky Mountain Foothills, which has three subregions,
  • the Porcupine Hills, and
  • a small extension of the Western Alberta Plains.

These regions have been delineated according to their bedrock structure and general relief.

  • The Rocky Mountains are characterized by high elevations and extensive upward thrusting to create high relief.
  • The relief and elevations in the Rocky Mountain Foothills region are less extreme and some glaciation has occurred.
  • The Porcupine Hills include gently dipping strata composed of sandstone and shale that have been glaciated.
  • The Western Alberta Plains are underlain by sandstone and have subdued, extensively glaciated topography.

Bare rock characterizes most of the study area, particularly in the areas of high relief. There are surficial deposits consisting of veneers and blankets of saprolite and colluvium over bedrock, thin deposits of till over bedrock in the valleys and alluvium deposited by recent streams at higher elevations. Glacial till overlain with rubbly loam and sandy clay loam can be found in the valleys, at lower elevations and on gentle slopes. Regosolic soils are common in the mountains and foothills where soils form a thin layer over bedrock and where materials tend to slump down steep slopes. Brunisols have developed where the terrain is less severe and where till predominates. At lower elevations in the east, well developed Chernozems are found under the grasslands that vegetate the moraine and glaciofluvial deposits. Cumulic Regosols may develop in the alluvium associated with floodplains. Gleysols and Gleyed Regosols tend to be found in imperfectly drained depressional areas.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Notikewin South Study Area

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 Notikewin South PLC study area (RIB# 340) covers approximately 15 000 square kilometres in northwestern Alberta and is characterized by long cold winters with little precipitation and short warm summers.

The study area lies mainly within the Northern Alberta Lowlands and the Northern Alberta Uplands physiographic regions. The physiographic regions have been subdivided into a number of sections and districts.

There are two ecoregions:

  • the boreal mixedwood, and
  • the boreal foothills

The boreal mixedwood is dominated by:

  • aspen, and
  • balsam poplar with lesser amounts of,
  • white spruce, and
  • jack pine

The boreal foothills vegetation consists of a mixture of:

  • aspen,
  • poplar,
  • lodgepole pine, and
  • white spruce

Black spruce is frequently found on poorly drained sites.

The parent geologic material generally consists of lacustrine materials that vary in thickness from veneers to blankets over morainal materials.

The bedrock is generally shale.

The soils consist of:

  • Solonetzic soils in the lower elevations,
  • Luvisolic soils in the uplands, and
  • organic soils in the poorly drained areas.

Regosols can be found where deposition is still active in areas adjacent to rivers and streams.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Pembina Grazing Reserve Study Area

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 Pembina Grazing Reserve PLC study area (RIB# 79) covers approximately 290 square kilometres in west-central Alberta. The study area lies within the Western Alberta Plains Physiographic Region which is further subdivided into:

  • the Cynthia Upland, and
  • Brazeau Plain Physiographic Subregions.

The Western Alberta Plains consist of a level to undulating lowands separating northwest to southeast trending broad, rolling ridges. The area was glaciated and consists of morainal and glaciolacustrine deposits. These deposits have been reworked by eolian and fluvial processes and may have developed organic deposits.

The lower Brazeau Plains subregion has extensive glaciolacustrine and organic deposits and a lesser amount of fluvial sediments. The dominant soils are moderately well drained Orthic Grey Luvisols in glaciolacustrine and till deposits and Orthic Dystric Brunisols in well drained eolian sands. Recent alluvial sediments form the parent material for moderately well drained Orthic Regosols. Extensive areas of organic deposits are found in the western half of the study area.

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Ram-Clearwater Study Area

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 Ram-Clearwater PLC study area (RIB# 144) covers approximately 3 500 square kilometres in central Alberta. The study area lies within portions of the:

  • Rocky Mountains,
  • Rocky Mountain Foothills, and
  • Western Alberta Plains Physiographic Regions.

The Rocky Mountain region is subdivided into two sub-regions:

  • the Mountain Massifs, and
  • the Glacially Eroded Terrain.

The Rocky Mountain Foothills is subdivided into:

  • the Foothill Ridges, and
  • the Mountain Outliers subregions.

The Western Alberta Plains is comprised of the:

  • Burnstick Benchlands,
  • the Medicine River Plain, and
  • the Shunda Benchlands subregions.

The terrain is extremely variable with high relief mountains in the west, strongly folded and faulted ridges in the foothills that lie in the central portion and rolling to level topography in the east where the plains and benchlands are found.

The dominant material in mountainous areas is exposed bedrock. Glacial deposits predominate in the plains and a combination of exposed rock, saprolite and glacial materials are found in the foothills. The bedrock is largely limestone, dolomite, shale and sandstone.

The surficial deposits include:

  • till,
  • colluvium,
  • glaciofluvial outwash, and
  • saprolite.

These materials are usually found in the mountain valleys and terraces as well as within the benchlands. Ground moraine dominates and is usually associated with undulating to strongly sloping topography.

Organic materials are found in depressions and fluvial materials are associated with streams and rivers. Aeolian materials have developed from wind action on sand and silt and form a very minor component of the study area. The soils are dominantly Brunisols and Regosols in the areas of high relief. Gleysols are found in depressions and adjacent to present day water courses. In the benchlands, the soils are dominantly Brunisols and Luvisols with Gleysols and Organic soils in the level and depressional areas.

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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) Polygons of the Ram-Clearwater Study Area

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

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Physical Land Classification (PLC) Polygons of the Rocky-North Saskatchewan Study Area

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 Rocky-North Saskatchewan PLC study area (RIB# 84) covers approximately 6 950 square kilometres in central Alberta and is characterized by moderately warm summers and relatively cold winters. The study area lies within the:

  • Western Alberta Plains Physiographic Region, and
  • includes some portions of the Rocky Mountains Foothills Physiographic Region.

The physiographic subregions consist of the:

  • Shunda Benchland,
  • O'Chiese and Buck Lake Uplands, and
  • Brazeau and Crimson Lake Plains.

The vegetation is characterized as coniferous and mixedwood forest. The dominant tree species are lodgepole pine, white spruce and, to lesser extent, aspen and balsam poplar. In low lying areas, black spruce, dwarf birch and tamarack are common.

The plains and portions of the foothills were glaciated resulting in glacial deposits that include mostly:

  • morainal (till),
  • glaciolacustrine, and
  • glaciofluvial materials.

Post-glacial erosion, transportation and deposition have influenced the landscape of the area and are responsible for the presence of fluvial and eolian materials. Weathered bedrock, eolian, alluvium and organic materials can be found as localized deposits.

The predominant soils are Brunisols with lesser amounts of Luvisols. Soils developed on coarse-textured materials are Brunisols or Regosols. Depressional areas contain poorly drained Gleysols and Organic soils.

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Data Extent Index Map - Download

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) Polygons of the Rocky-North Saskatchewan Study Area

Distribution Information

Format Name

ESRI - File Geodatabase / Shapefile

Fees

Free of Charge (Electronic Delivery)

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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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For detailed instructions, see:

2005 Natural Regions and Subregions of Alberta

Information on these regions can now be found at:

Many other geospatial data products are offered by other Government of Alberta ministries. GeoDiscover Alberta offers a discovery service to search for geospatial products.

 

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Updated: NOv 22, 2017