2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
Paper No. 155-2
Presentation Time: 1:25 PM-1:45 PM

MOUNTAINOUS KARST OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES AND COLUMBIA MOUNTAINS

YONGE, Chas1, BRUNS, H.2, CORLETT, A.2, GRAHAM, K.2, HORNE, G.2, LAVIGNE, J.2, LOWE, D.3, MCKENZIE, I.2, POLLACK, J.4, and SAFFORD, K.4, (1) Yonge Cave and Karst Consulting Inc, 1009 Larch Pl, Canmore, AB T1W 1S7, Canada, chas-karst@telus.net, (2) Alberta Spelological Society, Canmore, T1W 1S7, (3) British Cave Research Association, Radcliffe-on-Trent, NG 12 2 AQ, United Kingdom, (4) British Columbia Spelological Federation, BCSF@cancaver.ca, BC, Canada

This presentation focusses on the known karst areas of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains, describing the hydrogeological geological settings by endeavouring to classify them by their geology (formation, age and structure) and geographic setting (elevation, extent and orientation of karstic drainage basins). From north to south in the Canadian Rockies these area include the: Bocock Peak Provincial Park, Kakwa Provincial Park , Bastille Karst, Evanoff Provincial Park, Dezaiko Peak, Betty Rubble Plateau, Mount Robson synclinal karst unit, Mount Castleguard, Kananaskis karst, Crowsnest, and Mounts Doupe and Bisaro karst regions. The marble karst includes the stripe karsts of the Rogers Pass and Monashee Mountains.

The mountainous karst of the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains, comprise the massive carbonate platforms of the Front Ranges of the former (which extends south into Montana, USA) and the marble stripe karsts in the metamorphic belts of the latter. However the majority of caves and associated drainage systems in this region are contained in the massive carbonates (limestones and dolomites) of the Front Ranges where karst drainage is in the order of 10’s of km2 within elevations ranges of 500-3000 m AMSL. The marble karst is less well explored but tends to comprise drainages of a few km2within elevations of 800-1800 m AMSL. The Canadian karst rocks of this region range in age from Holocene tufa (Banff Cave and Basin, Banff National Park) to pre-Cambrian marbles (Tupper - Raspberry cave system, Glacier National Park).

Mountainous karst has been studied in Western Canada for over 50 years with most research emanating from McMaster University. Since 1991 little directed research has been done in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains with the exception of a small area (Small River Caves Provincial Park) in the Canadian Rockies until 1997, which was introduced to the scientific community by the Alberta Speleological Society (ASS). In fact, volunteer groups such as the (ASS) and the British Columbia Caving Federation (BCCF) have continued exploration of western Canadian karst to the present day, providing baseline cave surveys, photographic records and exploration reports. The majority of this work has been published in the Canadian Caver Magazine, ASS and BCCF newsletters.

2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 155
Karst Systems and Processes in Mountainous and Alpine Terrain
Vancouver Convention Centre-West: 109
1:00 PM-5:00 PM, Monday, 20 October 2014


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