physiography of British Columbia.
British Columbia, the westernmost province in Canada, has a diverse physiography
composed of the Cordillera and Great Plains Region.
The Cordillera in British Columbia consists of three broad units-the Western
System, the Interior System of scattered plateaux and mountains, and the
Rocky Mountain System in the east.
The Western System consists of:
(1) the Insular Mountains appearing in the Queen Charlotte Islands and
Vancouver Island, and the St. Elias Mountains in the northwest corner
of the province where Mt. Fairweather (4,663 metres), the highest peak,
(2) the Coastal trough forming the east coastal plain of Vancouver Island
and the delta plain of the Fraser River;
(3) the Coast Mountains which extend northwesterly and average 160 kilometres
(4) the Cascade Mountains which rise to the east and south of the Fraser
River in the southeast corner of the Western System.
The Interior System is further inland and is dominated by the extensive
The southern section of the Interior Plateau is 50-65 kilometres wide
and ranges between 1,200 and 1,800 metres above sea level.
It extends 800 kilometres in a northwesterly direction, broadening to
320 kilomeetres and ranging between 600 and 1,200 metres elevation in
the northern section.
It is bordered on the east by the Columbia Mountains and the Rocky Mountain
Trench, and on the west by the Coast and Hazelton Mountains.
The northern third of the Interior System, surrounded by a series of mountain
systems, comprises the smaller Yukon and Stikine Plateaux.
The Rocky Moutain Trench runs in a northwesterly direction to the Yukon
border from the southeast sector of the province.
It is 3 to 25 kilometres wide and contains a series of rivers and lakes
as well as the Peace River reservoir (Lake Williston) and Mica reservoir
The Rocky Mountain System forms the eastern wall of the Trench and separates
the province of Alberta from British Columbia south of the 54th parallel.
Mt. Robson, reaching an elevation of 3,957 metres, is the highest peak
in the British Columbia portion of the Rockies.
The northeast corner of the province east of the Rocky Mountains is a
relatively flat region.
It is part of the Great Central Plains of North America.
The province has many rivers which rise in glacial and snowcapped mountains
and drain the interior regions.
The Fraser and Columbia Rivers originate in the Rocky Mountain Trench
and flow southwestward.
The Fraser enters the Pacific Ocean near Vancouver. The Columbia extends
south of the border and reaches the ocean in the United States.
The Skeena River rises in north Central British Columbia, runs southwest
and empties into the Pacific Ocean near Prince Rupert.
The Peace and Liard Rivers originate in the Rocky Mountain Trench and
are tributaries of the Mackenzie River which flows north to the Arctic
There are many large and beautiful lakes in the province.
Some of the largest natural ones include: Babine, Kootenay, Atlin, Stuart
and Okanagan Lakes. Williston Lake, created behind Bennett Dam on the
Peace River, is now the largest body of water in British Columbia.
Other large man-made (or enlarged) lakes include the Nechako reservoir,
Kinbasket Lake and Arrow Lakes.
Library: Canada Facts: British Columbia
mountains, British Columbia, island, rivers, interior, lakes,
land, Pacific Ocean, Rocky Mountain, mountains rise, valleys, plateaus,
southern interior, Coastal Mountains, Vancouver Island.
The average width, from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the
province of Alberta on the east, is about 640 kilometres.
It is the largest island on the coast of the Americas.
East of the Coastal Mountains rolling upland forests, as well as natural
grasslands and lakes predominate.
The Cariboo plateau is a series of high plateaus and rolling ranchland,
while the southern interior is made up of lush and fertile valleys that
produce fruits and vegetables.
The Rocky Mountain Trench lies between the Rockies and the Interior System.
Lakes and rivers dominate the interior valleys of British Columbia.
river, lakes, mountains, Columbia, concentrations, watersheds,
reservoir, streams, Quesnel, trench, Rocky Mountains, TDS, sediment, Dam,
The Southern Interior Mountains includes Quesnel Highlands,
the Columbia Mountains, Purcell Range, Shuswap Highlands, and Southern
Rocky Mountains all located in the southeastern part of B.C.
All these reservoirs are river impoundments and all are in the Columbia
The Rocky Mountain Trench leads north to the Nechako lowlands and to the
south in penetrates well into Montana.
Although originally deep, the trench filled in with moraine and other
erosional debris during and after glaciation, forming a wide valley that
now is the flood plain for upper reaches of the Columbia and Fraser watersheds.
Median TDS is 36 mg·L-1 (Murtle Lake watershed) to 96 mg·L-1
(Columbia Reach of Kinbasket Reservoir) in the Quesnel Highlands lakes
and 60-142 mg·L-1 in lakes of the Shuswap area.
Distribution and occurrence
western snowberry, wheatgrass, forest, pine, Mountain, habitat
type, fescue, prairie, common, sagebrush, ponderosa, Black Hills, plains,
American, North Dakota.
Western snowberry is common in floodplain and riparian habitats.
In Montana western snowberry is found along the floodplain of the Yellowstone
A green ash/western snowberry habitat type has been described.
Western snowberry often forms dense monotypic stands with little understory.
Some common understory species include rough fescue (Festuca scabrella),
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratense), and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum
Western snowberry is an important species in native shortgrass and mixed-grass
prairies of the northern Great Plains.
Columbia Basin, grasses, zones, Mountains, biogeoclimatic zones,
Interior, Rocky Mountains, River system, lake, British Columbia, Spruce,
slopes, alpine, forests, Cordilleran.
The Columbia Basin region, as described in this treatment,
and represented by the Living Landscapesprogram (Figure 1a) is bounded
to the west by the ridge line of the Monashee and Columbia Mountains and
to the south by the Canada/U.S.
On the eastern boundary is the British Columbia/Alber-ta border through
the Rocky Mountains and the northern limit is at Valemont.
The region falls within the Southern Cordilleran and the Interior Cordilleran
Grasses of the biogeoclimatic zones According to the biogeoclimatic ()
mapping of forested ecosystems (Meidinger and Pojar, 1991) there are seven
biogeoclimatic zones (Figure 1b), located in the Living Landscapesstudy
area of the Columbia Basin region.