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Elk River (Alberta)

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Elk River (Alberta)

Elk River
Origin Elk River Headwaters
Mouth Brazeau Reservoir
Basin countries  Alberta  Canada
Source elevation 1,372 m (4,501 ft)
Mouth elevation 976 m (3,202 ft)

The Elk River is a short river rising in the eastern portion of the Alberta foothills. The river begins south of the ghost town of Coalspur and heads East before draining into the Brazeau Reservoir created by the Brazeau Dam on the Brazeau River, a tributary of the North Saskatchewan River.

The river follows the Elk River Road for much of its course. The Elk River Provincial Recreation Area is also located on the river.[1]

Physical Characteristics

Alberta Environment, a Ministry of the Government of Alberta, undertook a survey of the Elk River in the 1980s. The following data was generated from the survey:[2]

Reach Number 1

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Wide, stream cut valley
  • Terraces: 2 fragmentary levels

Valley Flat

River Channel

Reach Number 2

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Broad glacial spillway channel now occupied by a smaller underfit stream
  • Terraces: None

Valley Flat

River Channel

  • Pattern: Irregular to tortuous meanders
  • Islands: None
  • Bar Type: Point bars
  • Bed Material: Sand with local gravel
  • Bank Material: Sand and gravel overlain by silt, occasional till where channel is confined

Reach Number 3

  • Terrain Surrounding Valley: Rolling hills, fluted ground moraine

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Wide, stream cut valley
  • Terraces: None

Valley Flat

River Channel

Reach Number 4

  • Terrain Surrounding Valley: Fluted ground moraine, some outwash

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Narrow stream cut valley
  • Terraces: None

Valley Flat

  • Width: >100 m
  • Description: Highly variable

River Channel

  • Pattern: Irregular
  • Islands: None
  • Bar Type: Point bars, side bars
  • Bed Material: Sand with local gravel
  • Bank Material: Sand, gravel, and till

Reach Number 5

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Narrow stream cut valley
  • Terraces: None

Valley Flat

  • Width: >100 m
  • Description: Fragmentary

River Channel

  • Pattern: Irregular to sinous
  • Islands: None
  • Bar Type: Side bars
  • Bed Material: Gravel
  • Bank Material: Gravel, outwash, and till

Reach Number 6

  • Terrain Surrounding Valley: Rolling upland, ground moraine

Valley Characteristics

  • Description: Wide, stream cut valley
  • Terraces: None

Valley Flat

  • Width: 400 m
  • Description: Wide alluvial flat marked by oxbow cutoffs

River Channel

  • Pattern: Tortuous meanders
  • Islands: None
  • Bar Type: Point bars
  • Bed Material: Sand
  • Bank Material: Sand overlain by silt

References

  1. ^ Mussio Ventures. Central Alberta Backroad Mapbook. Burnaby: Backroad Mapbooks (2002), pp. 7-8
  2. ^ Alberta Environment, Environmental Engineering Support Division. Brazeau-Pembina River Classification Study. Edmonton: Alberta Department of the Environment, 1980.

See also

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