components are the nonliving components of the biosphere. Chemical and
geological factors, such as rocks and minerals, and physical factors, such as
temperature and weather, are referred to as abiotic components.
|The continental ice sheet retreated from this area about 9
thousand years ago. It left an area of ground up rock material on the land
surface with a tremendous amount of melt water. This caused the formation
of a huge lake in which many layers of sediment, composed mostly of silt
and clay, were deposited. This formed what is known as a lacustrine plain. It is
through these layers that the relatively young Smoky River carves its
credit: Canadian Soil Information Service
(Non-profit Educational use only)
||Since the early days, the parent rock material has been
modified by the environmental factors existing in the area. These factors
include climate, native vegetation, microorganisms and water movement. As
a result of these various actions, the original rock material has been
changed physically, chemically, and biologically into soil. Soil is
a major component of the abiotic factors of this valley.
Average Rainfall (mm/month)
Average Temperature (C/month)
Data courtesy of Environment Canada
|Cirrus clouds are high clouds are
composed of ice crystals and are normally based above 20,000 feet. They
appear as white curly streaks across the sky.
||Altocumulus is a series of patches of
rather flattened rounded masses of clouds composed of water droplets or
ice crystals. These are middle clouds and are based between 6,500 and
||Stratus is a uniform layer of very low
cloud that may appear in extensive sheets or patches. It resembles fog but
does not rest on the ground. Drizzle or freezing drizzle may fall from it.
||Cumulus are fluffy white clouds that
form at the top of convection currents, and are a common sight during hot
|Nimbostratus is the main precipitation
cloud. Continuous rain, snow or freezing rain are in store from this type
of cloud. It is an extensive, uniformly dark layer.
||Towering cumulus is an example of
'heap' clouds that can be isolated or embedded within layer clouds. These
are cumulus clouds that have grown to considerable height but still have
clear-cut rounded tops.
||Cumulonimbus is a towering cumulus
that has grown to a great height, and the top spreads out into a
widespread anvil or thunderhead. Heavy precipitation is usually the
||And of course, clouds provide the back drop
for some of the best sunsets!
When spring runoff begins so does the
process of eutrophication. Eutrophication is the filling in of a
lake or slough by organic matter and silt. Water runs off of the hills and
carries with it dirt and other matter to the lake which starts filling in
the sides. The rate of this depends on both natural and human factors.
Water running off of a ploughed field carries with it a lot of silt that
then carried down to the body of water.
These lakes will slowly start to get shallower and
shallower. As the lake gets shallower plants begin to grow at the bottom
of the lake and the sunlight begins to warm up the water which in turn
makes it a suitable environment for plants to grow in. When the plants die
they break down and cause a sediment on the bottom of the lake and thus
also giving off nutrients for other plants to grow and feed off of. This
is a cycle that repeats itself over and over until the lake is finally