Elk Island National Park
Trip Leaders: Ben Rostron (University of Alberta), Jeanette Klassen (Alberta Geological Survey)
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Departure Location: Shaw Conference Centre
Cost: Before September 1 - $175 | On/After September 1 - $200
This scenic and technical tour will focus on Elk Island National Park, a Prairie refuge for bison, elk and birds. The park is located in the Beaver Hills (also known as the Cooking Lake moraine), which has a hummocky topography that creates ecologically significant natural areas. The tour will include a guided hike (approximately 10 km round trip) to view the "soap holes", where high pore pressure and consistent groundwater discharge has led to liquefied conditions, extensive phreatophytic vegetation and saline soils. The geological setting and hydrogeological conditions will be discussed, which establish the dynamic interaction of groundwater and its environment. The tour will also include the "Bison Backstage" experience, consisting of a guided tour of the bison handling facility to see how the experts at Elk Island have helped bring this animal back from the brink of extinction.