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Landscape Evolution

Summary

Calvert Island hosts a number of landforms formed during recent geological time, including stranded and relict beaches and dunes, glacial moraines and glacio-fluvial outwash terraces. Our research will help understand how these were formed and how they have evolved since formation.

Geomorphic map of Calvert Island. Latest version available at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j5j8q4wt7s35ueq/Hakai Geomorphology v2.tif?dl=0
Progress Updates

We have compiled new data and interpretations on the landforms, sedimentary deposits and inferred geomorphic processes that have shaped the landscape of Calvert Island through recent geological time. To date, over 30 sites on Calvert Island have been visited and sampled for sedimentological, paleoecological, pedological, geomorphic, and/or geochronological interpretations. This, combined with data from our field ground truthing surveys, LiDAR mapping, and aerial photography analyses were combined with ancillary data on bedrock geology and tectonic setting to produce a map of the geomorphology of Calvert and Hecate Islands. This map, produced by PhD student Jordan Eamer, is constantly being updated and is available as a GIS database with shapefiles for the geomorphology and geological data.  This map and related datasets are to be used only for research or teaching purposes in collaboration with the Hakai Institute.

This mapping campaign was informed by several methods and datasets including: i) the Geologic Survey of Canada Rivers Inlet (92M) - Queens Sound (102P) geologic map, ii) a ruggedness index (Riley et al. 1999) derived from a 2-m resolution, LiDAR-derived, bare Earth digital elevation model (DEM), iii) aerial photograph interpretation, iv) principal components analysis (PCA) of sun azimuths that provided greatest variance in the hillshaded bare Earth DEM (cf. Challis et al. 2011), and iv) ground-truthing field survey campaigns from 2011-2014. This mapping subsequently led to the discovery of relict dune systems, late-glacial moraines, stranded embayed beaches, glaciofluvial outwash terraces, and other intriguing landforms of yet unknown origins. This map and related interpretations provide foundational information for many other research programs at the Hakai Institute including the Kwakshua Watershed, Coastal Sand Ecosystems, Archaeology, and other ecological programs.

Lidar ‘bare Earth’ maps showing locations of geochronological (optical, OSL; radiocarbon, RC) dating sites and sediment cores, as of summer 2014. Locations of key sites referred to in text are indicated.