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Chapter 3: Geologic Structure and Landforms

3.78: Souris Spillways South of Melita

In this area, just north of that shown in figure 3.77, the Souris spillway splits into a series of channels. The present-day Souris 1 occupies one of them; another to the east 2 known locally as Blind River Valley, is occupied by a small intermittent stream—Blind River 3. The higher land between the main channel and Blind River Valley 4 is known as “The Peninsula.” A similar piece of land 5 between Blind River Valley and another spillway channel 6 is “Granite Hill.” Clearly at one time water occupied all the spillway channels—probably simultaneously—but it eventually concentrated into what is now the Souris Valley, the floor of which is at a slightly lower level than the others. The main Souris spillway is steep-sided (7 and 8) and flat-floored with the river meandering freely across the floor. Several cutoffs 9 can be seen and another is imminent. Recent satellite images show that the river has now cut through this narrow meander neck 10. One cutoff 11 is peculiar in that it “faces the wrong way”—it was abandoned when the Souris flowed on the west side of the spillway rather than on the east side as it does today. The Souris is joined from the southwest by the Antler River 12 which has a more nearly v-shaped valley.

Most of the area has been cleared for agriculture with little natural vegetation remaining except patches of deciduous woodland in some meander loops on the spillway floor 13, in the Antler River Valley 14, and in bluffs on the spillway sides 15. It is noticeable that arable agriculture tends to avoid Blind River Valley; it is probably used for pasture, hence the dugouts 16 located in it. In this windy dry area of southwestern Manitoba, dugouts—small black rectangles on the photo—for water supply are ubiquitous 17, and in two locations 18, field shelterbelts planted to reduce wind erosion, can be seen. Farms, almost always with shelterbelts are distributed throughout the area 19.

Aspects of the DLS system are printed on to the landscape. The border between township 2 and 3 20 runs through the area. It is a correction line and in this western location (ranges 26 and 27) is about 1.25 miles (2 km) 21. The correction accounts for the bend in PTH 83 22. Note that the jog is only 0.25 mile 23 rather than the whole 1.25 miles. PTH 83 is joined by PTH 3 24 from the west. In the north PTH 83 veers northeast to parallel the pre-existing CP line 25.

Figure 3.78: Souris Spillways South of Melita

Figure 3.78: Souris Spillways South of Melita

Figure 3.78

Vertical air photo: A24966-09

Flight height: 16,783 feet a.s.l.; lens focal length: 85.32 mm

Date: June 28, 1978

Scale: 1:54,200 (approx.)

Location: Townships 2 and 3; Ranges 26 and 27 WI

Map sheets: 1:250,000 62F Virden

1:50,000 62F/3 Gainsborough

62F/2 Waskada