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Interior Plains

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Megan Park

on 15 June 2015

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Transcript of Interior Plains

Physical Characteristics
Land Shape
Size
Minerals/Rocks
Water Bodies
Soil
Vegetation
Climate

Economic Characteristics
Issue
ALBERTA OIL SANDS
Issue Question
Should Canada continue the expansion of oil companies within the Alberta Plains?
Analysis on Both Sides
Valid Recommendation
Canada should not expand the oil sand industries...
Ramifications if Implemented
Sources
The End
Interior Plains
By: Megan, Alisha, and Jia
Inudstries
Agriculture
Energy
Saskatchewan
Oil: second largest
Natural gas: third largest
Alberta
Provincial GDP - 24% from energy
Tourism
Dinosaur Provincial Park: UNESCO World Heritage Site
Riding Mountain National Park: 286189 visitors 2013-2014
Calgary Stampede: 1.26 million visitors in 2014
Key Cities
Greenhouse Gas
Sulfur Dioxide
Cancer Risk
50 million tons of greenhouse gas in 2011
23% of Albertan emissions
8% of Canadian emissions
Annual sulfur dioxide level – 20 times as high as natural (2012)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) - 2.5 to 23 times increase in Namur Lake compared to early 1960s
23/94 local First Nations examined have cancer (2014 report)
Interior Plains - heavy crop production
Wheat Approx. 89.6%
Oat Approx. 88.0%
Canola Approx. 98.9%
Barley Approx. 93.5%
Crop
% of Canadian production
Regina, Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Edmonton, Alberta
Calgary, Alberta
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

The Interior Plains are relatively flat in elevation, yet consist of 3 levels, with each level significantly higher in elevation as the region continues westward

The first level of elevation is the Manitoba Plain
The second level of elevation is the Saskatchewan Plain
The third level of elevation is the Alberta Plain

Most of the human population within the Plains is scattered throughout the southern part of the Interior Plains or found near a large water body. The reason being, water helps with irrigating the crops, which refers to the artificial technique of applying water to land.

The Interior Plains are the fourth largest physical region in Canada
This region covers an area of 1 900 000 km2
The Interior Plains spreads across the Laurentian Craton of central North America; the topographical core of the North American continent
500 million years ago, shallow seas covered a significant portion of the Interior plains, mainly Saskatchewan, and the rivers that drained into these seas deposited sediments that eventually began to build up as layers and form the sedimentary rock found today.
Sediments came from the Canadian Shield and the Rocky Mountains and were brought to the Plains through landslides and avalanches
Mineral deposits were created once the shallow seas evaporated during the Mesozoic Era, about 252 to 66 million years ago
As an example, potash is a mineral that is mined for within the Interior Plains and is used as fertilizer in Canada and also overseas, which supports the mining industry as well as increases trading
Most of the sedimentary rocks found within the Interior Plains are located near coral reefs that formed during the Paleozoic Era, about 541 to 252 million years ago
Erosion has been shaping the surface over a long period of time and has left some sedimentary rock hard while others soft, which is known as differential erosion, erosion that occurs at an irregular rate
Minerals/Rocks
Land
Size
Water Bodies
Great Slave Lake
Great Bear Lake
Lake Winnipeg
Lake Manitoba
Cedar Lake
When discussing about the advantages created by the Alberta oil sands, all the answers relate to money

In 2012, the oil companies produced 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day. This number is expected to rise to 3.8 million barrels per day in 2022, stabilizing the economy for the near future
Currently, energy companies in Alberta manage the royalty received by the oil sands: royalties help towards everyday services such as health care and education
From 1967 to the beginning of 2006, approximately 59 billion dollars were made through royalty, and approximately 80 billion dollars were made in the project that extended from 2007 to 2010
Advantages
Lastly, oil is a limited resource around the globe, and crude oil is expected to run out in the next 55 years if 86 million barrels of crude oil is consumed globally, daily. As a result, oil prices are rising, However, since Canada consists of one of the largest oil reserves, Canadian citizens receive cheaper oil prices while oil industries also earn billions of dollars simply by exporting oil to the U.S.

Disadvantages
When discussing the disadvantages for expanding the oil companies within the Alberta Plains, all the answers relate towards the negative environmental impact.

The Alberta oil sands contribute to three times as many greenhouse gases released in the air compared to a conventional oil company does: each year, more than 27 megatons of greenhouse gases are produced by the oil companies in Alberta
Producing crude oil depletes water: For the production of conventional oil, an average of 3 barrels of water is used, though for the production of crude oil at the Alberta oil sands, an average of 7 barrels is used
Tailing ponds cover a large area of 15 km squared
The Alberta oil sands are close to being the cause towards the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world
Soil
Vegetation
Climate
Conclusion

Thank you for coming along with us
on our trip to the Interior Plains!
known as Brown Soil Zone (very fertile)
Climate: the water from snow recharges groundwater, and leaching occurs when there is extra water
Vegetation: carbon fixed by photosynthesis, roots bind soil particles which improves water storage, plants add moisture and controls temperature, and humus returns carbon to the atmosphere
Parent Material
shows impact of glaciation
glaciation till covers 2/3 of the region
40% more calcium in Manitoba with limestone bedrock
till becomes lower in carbonate around northwestern Alberta
central southern part has a typical continental climate
very cold winters, hot summers, and relatively sparse precipitation
interior plains is farthest from open water so has one of the coldest climates
average temperature range from -18 to 19 degrees Celsius
more than 400 mm of precipitation a year
snowfall is light because cold air is very dry
snow is hard and dry and falls in small amounts
snow is packed down by the constant wind
driest areas are southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta
known as the Palliser triangle
also known as Mixed Grassland Ecoregion
Alberta: Boundless Opportunity in Alberta. (2015, February 11). Retrieved from The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/cities-villes/west-ouest/alberta.aspx?lang=eng

Athabasca Oil Sands. (2015, April 7). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands

Calgary Stampede Attendance Bounces back after 2013 Flood. (2014, July 14). Retrieved from CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-stampede-attendance-bounces-back-after-2013-flood-1.2706281

Deforestation in Canada: Key Myths and Facts . (2015, April 7). Retrieved from Natural Resources Canada: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/inventory/13419

Greenhouse Gases. Retrieved from Alberta Government: http://www.oilsands.alberta.ca/ghg.html

Interior Plains. Retrieved from Canadian Geographic: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/themes.aspx?id=canadianlandforms&sub=canadianlandforms_land_plains&lang=En

Interior Plains . (2009, April 15). Retrieved from Parks Canada: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/v-g/nation/sec2.aspx

Krueger, R. R. (2014, November 3). Canada. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/91513/Canada/43271/Climate

Landform Regions of Canada. Retrieved from Lakefield District Intermediate Secondary School: http://lakefield.kprdsb.ca/teachers/JGrimwood/Canada%27s%20Landforms.pdf

Location and Landscape. Retrieved from Weebly: http://interiorplains.weebly.com/location-and-landscape.html

Manitoba: We Mean Business. (2015, February 11). Retrieved from The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/cities-villes/west-ouest/manitoba.aspx?lang=eng

McDiarmid, M. (2013, January 7). Alberta Lakes Show Chemical Effects of Oilsands, Study Finds. Retrieved from CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alberta-lakes-show-chemical-effects-of-oilsands-study-finds-1.1331696

Northwest Territories. (2015, February 11). Retrieved from The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/cities-villes/north-nord/territories-territoires.aspx?lang=eng

Oil Sands of Canada. Retrieved from Oil-Sands-of-Alberta: http://oil-sands-of-alberta.wikispaces.com/

Oilsands Cause Food Contamination and Higher Cancer Rates: Report. (2014, July 7). Retrieved from Global News: http://globalnews.ca/news/1436636/oilsands-cause-food-contamination-and-higher-cancer-rates-report/

Oilsands to Exceed Alberta's New Pollution Limits, Say Documents. (2012, September 11). Retrieved from CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/oilsands-to-exceed-alberta-s-new-pollution-limits-say-documents-1.1254418

Parks Canada Attendance 2009-10 to 2013-14. (2014, July 11). Retrieved from Parks Canada: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/docs/pc/attend/table3.aspx

Physiographic Regions. Retrieved from Historica Canada: Physiographic Regions Places to Go: Dinosaur Provincial Park. Retrieved from Alberta Canada: http://travelalberta.com/Places%20to%20Go/Parks/Dinosaur%20Provincial%20Park.aspx

Royalty Income Trust. Retrieved from Investopedia: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/royaltyincometrust.asp

Saskatchewan: Rich in Resources. Rich in Opportunity. (2015, January 07). Retrieved from The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service: http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/cities-villes/west-ouest/saskatchewan.aspx?lang=eng

Soil Formation in the Canadian Prairie Region. University of Saskatchewan, Department of Soil Science, Saskatoon. Retrieved from http://www.prairiesoilsandcrops.ca/articles/volume-3-8-print.pdf

Table 2.4 Principal Field Crop Production, by Province, 2011. (2012, December 20). Retrieved from Statistics Canada: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-402-x/2012000/chap/ag/tbl/tbl04-eng.htm

Tar Sands 101. Retrieved from Oil Sands Truth: http://oilsandstruth.org/



Thanks for Listening!
area is known as Canada’s “breadbasket”
cattle are raised in places where climate is too dry for crops
Low Arctic/Tundra Zone
On the well-drained sites of the low Arctic there are woody species such as dwarf birch, willow, Labrador tea, alder, and different species of blueberry clan
On the wet sites of this area, there are many sedges and willows
Forest-Tundra Zone
mixture of trees and the stunted black spruce, white spruce, and tamarack over a ground cover the dwarf tundra vegetation
two-thirds of annual precipitation comes during the early growing season which is helpful for growing crops and natural vegetation
southern part has grass and herbs
northern part has a belt of coniferous trees (Boreal forest)
Pros
Cons
Canada will lose a large fraction economically
Alberta is 3rd as a world-leading energy supplier
Oil sands production is expected to increase from 1.9 million barrels per day in 2012 to 3.8 million barrels per day in 2022, keeping pace with demand, providing jobs to Canadians, and creating a sound economic basis for the future
$30-billion per year in capital investment
largest single private investment made in Canada to that date
The environment will be benefited and Canada will work to be a low-carbon economy
the environment will be saved and Canada will try to use other renewable gases
750 square kilometres of Boreal forest (major vegetation area in Interior Plains) has been impacted by oil sands mining operations
Full transcript