регистрация / вход

Physical Geography Of Saskatchewan Essay Research Paper

Physical Geography Of Saskatchewan Essay, Research Paper Introduction Saskatchewan is situated in the central Prairie between Alberta on the west and Manitoba on the east. Its neighbour

Physical Geography Of Saskatchewan Essay, Research Paper

Introduction

Saskatchewan is situated in the central

Prairie between Alberta on the west and Manitoba on the east. Its neighbour

on the north is the North West Territories, and on the south it borders

with the United States. Saskatchewan is rectangular in shape–it is the

only Canadian province none of whose borders was determined by the landform

feature like river or mountain range. The province is located in the Central

Standard Time and doesn’t switch on Daylight Saving Time in summer. The

population of Saskatchewan is around one million people with the area of

651 900 km2.

Physical and Natural Description

Geologic History–Land Formation, Types

of Rocks, and Minerals

The northeastern part of Saskatchewan is

a part of the Canadian Shield that was formed during Precambrian era and

features some of the oldest rocks in the world. The border that separates

the Canadian Shield from the rest of the province runs across Saskatchewan

from south-east to north-west. This part of the province was formed during

Precambrian era and contains igneous and metamorphic rocks. From the minerals

found in that part of the Shield the most abundant and the most important

for Saskatchewan is the metallic mineral uranium that can be used for building

the nuclear reactors or exported to the other countries.

The rest of the province, except for the

extreme southwest which is occupied by the Hills, is situated on the Saskatchewan

Plain which is a part of the Interior Plains that are, in turn, part of

the Great Plains of North America. This part was formed under water when

the mountains of the Canadian Shield eroded and deposited on the bottom

of the shallow seas that it was surrounded by. The process was completed

during the Mesozoic era. This part is relatively flat with gently rolling

hills and occasional valleys. The most important minerals that are found

in this area composed of soft and hard sedimentary rock are the non-metallic

minerals like potash which is widely used as a fertilizer and some oil.

Major Landform Features

The major landform feature of the province

is the escarpment created by erosion that separates Saskatchewan Plain

from Alberta Plain and Manitoba Plain. Except for the Cypress Hills near

the U.S. border, Saskatchewan lies on a plain. Its landscape is not absolutely

flat–Saskatchewan is the province of gently rolling rounded hills.

Climate

Saskatchewan is a part of the two climatic

regions: Prairie on the south and Boreal on the north. The climatic characteristics

of both are somewhat similar, but there are certain differences. For example,

being situated farther north the Boreal region has colder winters and cooler

summers. Both regions receive little precipitation, but the Prairie region

tends to be drier than Boreal.

Saskatchewan climate is sharply continental.

Since there is no mountain range on the north or on the south, the province

is open to both cold Arctic air masses and warm air coming from the Gulf

of Mexico. This results in long cold winters and hot summers. The annual

temperature range in Saskatchewan, therefore, is one of the highest in

Canada.

There is very little precipitation in Saskatchewan

because the air that is brought to the province from the Pacific coast

is dry–it loses all its moisture before it crosses the mountain range

in form of relief precipitation. The air that comes from the other directions

is also dry. Thus, not only does Saskatchewan have little precipitation,

it also receives more sunshine than any other province. The Saskatchewan

town of Estevan–a “sunshine capital” of Canada –gets 2540 hours of sunshine

per year.

No description of Saskatchewan climate

will be complete without mentioning of the blizzards–prairie storms with

winds of ~11m/s that can last for six hours or more. It is most likely

to occur in February, in southwestern Saskatchewan. Right after those storms

the transportation and communication systems are disrupted, so the whole

cities can be paralyzed for several days.

Soil and Natural Vegetation.

Vegetation Regions.

Saskatchewan has three natural vegetation

regions–the grassland, the parkland, and the boreal forest. Each one has

different soil and different natural vegetation.

The very south of Saskatchewan is occupied

by the grassland–the driest area of the province and one of the driest

in the country–where only grass can grow. The general trend is that the

more precipitation the area receives the taller the grass that can grow

in that area. The trees can only grow near the rivers so that they can

get enough moisture.

Another vegetation region of the province

is the parkland that separates the grassland and the boreal forest. This

area is covered with trees–deciduous trees grow in the southern part,

while the coniferous trees occupy the north of the region. Parkland is

a transitional point between the grassland and the boreal forest.

Finally, the most northern of the three

boreal forest occupies the largest area of Saskatchewan. The coniferous

trees are the most abundant in that region because they are much more adaptive

and can survive harsher conditions as compared to the broad-leaved trees.

However, some broad-leaved trees can also be found there.

As the glaciers moved from north to south

during the Ice Age, the thick layer of soil was brought to the southern

part of the province. Therefore, Prairie (grassland and parkland) has a

very good soil and is an ideal region for the certain crops like wheat.

Note that originally the soils weren’t that good for agriculture, however,

as more humus was formed by the decayed vegetation, the wonderful black

soils that are ideal for agriculture (chernozem) were produced. Most of

the boreal forest, however, grows on the Canadian Shield that has very

thin layer of soil that is also less fertile than the black soil of the

Prairie region since trees that produce less humus than the grass does.

Wildlife

The wildlife of Saskatchewan was largely

influenced by people. The “anthropological factor” tends to bring instability

to the balanced ecosystem, and in case with Saskatchewan it’s not an exception.

Most of the wildlife that once was found in the province in abundance is

now very rare.

For example, the huge herds of bison–estimated

50 million in total–were once found in Saskatchewan. However by the end

of the 19th century, they were hunted out and now live only in protected

herds. Black-tailed prairie dog also used to live in southern Saskatchewan

in very large numbers. These animals’ population was significantly reduced

by the farmers because they harmed crops and livestock (their burrows are

dangerous for the livestock.) Today the only place where they can be found

in the local settings is the Frenchman River valley.

On the north, which is less densely populated,

more wildlife was preserved. The moose and beers as well as several smaller

mammals were found there. However, the populations of cougar and lynx in

Saskatchewan north are small and are currently decreasing.

Coyotes and deer are found all across the

province, and the herds of pronghorn live in southwestern part. In the

summer millions of ducks nest and breed in Saskatchewan leaving to the

south when winter comes. There are fish found in the many lakes of Saskatchewan;

nine species of are present in the province.

Not all of the wildlife is desirable. For

instance, the grasshoppers are a serious problem because they can harm

the farming significantly wiping out a lot of crop.

Ecozone Description–Prairie

Prairie occupies the southern part of

Saskatchewan. As it was mentioned earlier in the essay, it is not preserved

in its natural state because it’s a major agricultural area. There are,

however, many birds living in Prairie including Partridges, pheasants,

and sage grouse. The endangered species found in Saskatchewan are the Prairie

Falcon, the Ferrugionus Hawk, the Greater Prairie Chicken, and the Burrowing

Owl. Most of the Saskatchewan population lives here mainly working in agriculture,

mining and petroleum. Of course, there is much more to say about this ecozone,

but the information on climate, wildlife, landform features, and the characteristics

of vegetation regions can be found under these corresponding subheadings

in the other part of the essay.

Natural Resources

Agriculture is the major occupation of

the province and something it is famous for and proud of. The Prairie black

soil and climate are ideal for cultivation of crops, in particular wheat.

More than one half of all the Canadian wheat is grown in Saskatchewan,

for this reason the province is often called Canadian breadbasket. Mining

is also important in both north and south. The northern part situated on

the Canadian Shield possesses a lot of valuable metallic mineral uranium–estimated

on third of total Canadian known resources. On the south the non-metallic

minerals were left after the shallow seas that covered the region evaporated.

The most abundant one is potash that is mined in the southeastern part

of the province.

Salt, oil, gold, gravel, and sand are also

mined in the province as well as sodium sulphate that is used to make paper.

Since there are no oceans or seas anywhere near Saskatchewan fishing is

not very important industry of the province. However, there is some fishery

on the north because in the northern lakes there are walleye, whitefish,

lake trout, and pike present. Most of the Saskatchewan’s electricity is

produced by burning coal. The two major hydroelectric stations are found

on the Churchill River and on the South Saskatchewan River.

Famous Natural Features

On of the famous natural features of Saskatchewan

is the Cypress Hills. They are found in the extreme southwest of the province,

near the U.S. border. These hills rise several hundred metres above the

Prairie. Newcomers to the prairies described the Cypress Hills as an island

of forest in a sea of grass.

National Park

A National Park is an area of area where

wilderness is preserved. The most famous Saskatchewan national park is

Prince Albert National Park which 3875 km2 in area. It’s a region of aspen

parkland and boreal forest. It was established as a national park in 1927.

Being a preserved and protected area, the park is very rich in wildlife

including elk, caribou, moose, deer, lynx, otter, and plains bison. It

also features the only protected White Pelican colony in Canada. There

are 31 provincial parks and another National Park called Grassland National

Park Reserve that is one of the last areas where the colonies of Black-tailed

prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, pronghorn, and the Prairie Falcon are found.

Personal Opinion

I think that Saskatchewan is a wonderful

place to visit. Northern Saskatchewan is well known for its fishing and

hunting camps. Another attractions are summer rodeos. If you want to explore

Canada no tour will be complete without visiting the legendary prairies,

thousands of lakes, wonderful nature of Saskatchewan. Even though history

of Saskatchewan is not in the scope of this essay, I have to mention that

Saskatchewan is where a lot of Canadian history took place–an example

is the creation of the legendary North-West Canadian Mountain Police that

earned great respect and reputation for fairness.

ОТКРЫТЬ САМ ДОКУМЕНТ В НОВОМ ОКНЕ

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ [можно без регистрации]

Ваше имя:

Комментарий