We have four amazing field trips planned (costs will be presented in the Registration page):

  • Pre-conference: Glacial Geomorphology of Palaeo-Ice Streams of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan (August 14-18)
  • Half-day, post-conference: The Avonlea Badlands: Exploring Holocene Badland Evolution in the Prairies (August 21)
  • Half-day, post-conference: Quaternary Landscapes of the Qu'Appelle Valley (August 21)
  • Post-conference: Late Tertiary to Quaternary Landscapes of the Cypress Hills and Southwestern Saskatchewan (August 22-24)

Glacial Geomorphology of Palaeo-Ice Streams of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan

The field meeting will be the first to be co-sponsored by the QRA and CANQUA. It is a pre-conference meeting that will lead into the CANQUA bi-annual conference to be held in Regina, Saskatchewan from 18-21 August 2024. It will also form a GLWG-facing field meeting as the subject and focus is on the glacial geomorphology of the former bed and receding margins of the SW Laurentide Ice Sheet. The themes will be: 1) palaeoglaciological reconstruction of the SW Laurentide Ice Sheet from the LGM to the Bolling-Allerod; 2) glacial sedimentology and stratigraphy pertaining to the deposition of ice sheet tills and glacitectonites and their relationships to preglacial topography; 3) ice sheet subglacial and marginal landform genesis, ranging from large scale glacitectonic structures in soft bedrock to push moraine and hummocky moraine and associated glacifluvial assemblages; 4) engineering geology applications of deposits and structures pertaining to ice sheet beds and dynamic margins. The audience comprises the membership of the QRA and CANQUA, specifically those interested in glacial sediments and landforms, landsystems and palaeoglaciological reconstruction at all academic and professional levels of engagement. Engineering geologists will also be interested in the access to a terrestrial palaeo-ice sheet bed and margins and the interpretation of the geological and geomorphological records as an aid to understanding their potential impacts on ground conditions with respect to major offshore infrastructure developments: e.g. windfarms, carbon capture and storage in the North Sea and Irish Sea basins.

Field trip leaders: David Evans (Durham University), Nigel Atkinson (Alberta Geological Survey), Sophie Norris (University of Victoria) and Emrys Phillips (British Geological Survey)

Dates: August 15-18, 2024

Glacial Geomorphology of Palaeo-Ice Streams of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan

The Avonlea Badlands: Exploring Holocene Badland Evolution in the Praries

This 1/2 day field trip traverses the southern part of the Glacial Lake Regina Basin which forms a large part of the Assiniboine River Plain. On our route westwards around Avonlea we are crossing the Avonlea plain with local outcrops of the Upper Cretaceous Eastend Formation in which the badlands are developed. The Avonlea Badlands, located along the Avonlea Creek, 60 km southwest of Regina, Saskatchewan, is a typical badland characterised by rugged dissected topography developed in unconsolidated and poorly cemented materials. The development of the badlands was triggered by rapid post-Pleistocene incision of a meltwater channel in the marine and lagoonal sediments of the Upper Cretaceous. During this field trip we will explore badlands landforms and erosion and deposition processes which created them. We will also explore exposed soil profiles in the badlands documenting environmental conditions of the area.

Field trip leader: Ulrike Hardenbicker (Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Regina)

Date: August 21

The Avonlea Badlands: Exploring Holocene Badland Evolution in the Praries

Quaternary Landscapes of the Qu'Appelle Valley

Join us for a half-day tour of the picturesque Qu’Appelle Valley as we explore surface features, landforms and geotechnical challenges along the way. The Qu’Appelle valley, which is less than 30 km from Regina, evolved as a massive melt water channel that carved through thick glacial deposits during the Wisconsinan deglaciation. Today, the valley area is laden with wide variety of glacial and post-glacial landforms and terrain features that offer opportunities to explore geotechnical and environmental challenges to resource and infrastructure development and water management. Rich in history, the 425-km-long valley, with its lazy winding river, cool lakes and wooded coulees, was long home to First Nation peoples and provided a gateway for early explorers and settlers. Its floodplain hosts fertile farmland and the natural terrain creates a backdrop for southern Saskatchewan’s beautiful and popular cabin country. We will discuss a variety of Quaternary, terrain and geotechnical features as they relate to practical applications of terrain analysis and geotechnical engineering while offering several opportunities to lace up your walking shoes and explore the landscape.

Field trip leader: Dr. Jason Cosford (JD Mollard and Associates)

Date: August 21

Quaternary Landscapes of the Qu'Appelle Valley

Late Tertiary to Quaternary Landscapes of the Cypress Hills and SW Saskatchewan

This three-day field trip with traverse southwestern Saskatchewan to view and discuss glacial landforms and structures, outwash and lacustrine deposits reworked into dune fields, meltwater channels up to three km wide, saline lakes, and sites of paleoecological and paleoclimatic research. We will spend a full day in the West Block of the Cypress Hills, where Late Tertiary erosion left uplands and escarpments in the path of Pleistocene ice sheets. Unglaciated plateaus rise to the highest elevations in southern Canada outside of the Cordillera. The field trip also will explore the Indigenous and settler/agricultural history of the region with stops at locations of historical and cultural significance, where we will also discuss adaptations to climate variability and change. Accommodation for two nights will be in Maple Creek, “Canada’s Greatest Western Town”.

Field trip leaders: David Sauchyn (Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, University of Regina) and Michelle Hanson (Saskatchewqn Geological Survey)

Dates: August 22-24, 2024

Late Tertiary to Quaternary Landscapes of the Cypress Hills and SW Saskatchewan
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