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Manitoba from the Air
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Sand/Gravel Pits in a River Terrace, Little Saskatchewan Valley

The valley of the Little Saskatchewan River 1 used to carry large quantities of melt water from Riding Mountain with the result that the present valley is much larger than the present discharge warrants. The wide, post-glacial channel shifted westward at this location leaving behind well-defined terraces 2, one of which has been extensively excavated for gravel 3. Gravel and sand pits are typically steep-sided but not vertical, in contrast to hard rock quarries, because unconsolidated materials tend to collapse. The main criterion for the identification of sand and gravel pits is their light tone in contrast to the surrounding landscape, as seen here. Gravel excavated in areas like this is mainly used for surfacing the many gravel roads along section lines so typical of southern Manitoba.

Other features of note on this photo are a) the Little Saskatchewan River with many abandoned channels 4, one of which has a dam across it 5; b) two fields partly combined 6, and in one, the combine and associated truck to receive the grain can be seen 7; c) a cemetery far removed from any settlement 8—Strathclair, six miles to the south is the nearest; and d) burned stubble in the northwest 9.


Figure 13.1

Sand/Gravel Pits in a River Terrace, Little Saskatchewan Valley