The Landforms of Alberta Database was created to record the geomorphic features of the province based on their process of formation. The database currently does not include such features as stratigraphic sections or rock formations (with the exception of those created as result of igneous activity). Information to develop the database was gathered from published and unpublished sources as well as from input and comments received from professionals in government and academia. The database currently has information on more than 3000 landform features in Alberta.
Landform feature data includes: its location, its name (e.g., esker), the process by which it was created (e.g., wind), its description along with a source reference, and whether a feature is a priority landform in Alberta (e.g., an outstanding example).
To provide a means to systematically identify Alberta's landforms and to facilitate the collection of data, it was necessary to develop a classification scheme covering the field of geomorphology. The classification scheme chosen to aid in the identification of Alberta's landform features was based on genesis, that is, their process of formation. Sixteen landform-forming processes were identified for Alberta and all landform features present or expected to occur in the province were listed beneath one of those processes.
The report entitled Classification of Alberta Landforms, lists the various landform features, the process by which they were formed (i.e., their genesis), and supplies a definition of each type of feature along with a reference source. Tables in the report also document the priority landforms and where they occur in relation to protected area
Landform Elements: Definitions Appendix 1c (2 MB)
A comprehensive review of Alberta landforms was done for the report Special Features in Alberta - Proposed Framework for Site Identification and Initial Evaluation of Potential Special Features Sites with the objective of identifying priority landforms in Alberta. Available information including surficial geology maps and reports, scientific publications and other maps were reviewed to determine the distribution and abundance of various landform elements in Alberta, augmented through interviews with experts.
Lists of special landform occurrences can be viewed here:
Appendix 1a nd 1b(1.1 MB)
Appendix 1a Landform Element Occurrences of Special Conservation Concern: ≤ 5 Occurrences in Alberta.
Appendix 1b Landform Element Occurrences of Special Conservation Concern: Outstanding Occurrences.
The list of special landform elements and element occurrences was developed in 1997 and has not been substantively worked on since then. Although for most special occurrences a generalized location is available, considerable work is needed on this project to bring the elements into a modern GIS.