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Manitoba from the Air
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Gravel Pits in the Birds Hill Esker Northeast of Winnipeg

“Perhaps the best known esker [in Manitoba] is that at Birds Hill, 16 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. Here a high narrow ridge of sand and gravel extends 6.5 kilometres east from Birds Hill and then merges into a delta-shaped plateau that extends over a broad area underlying Birds Hill Park. The esker is the main source of aggregate material for the city of Winnipeg.”[i] The esker/delta is composed of sands and gravels which when exposed in excavations appear light-toned. This large-scale photo covers too small an area for the landform of the deposits to be revealed, but several large gravel pits excavated into the southern part of the complex 1 are obvious. In several cases abandoned excavations have filled with water to produce shallow, light-toned lakes2 and deeper, dark-toned, lakes 3. There is little obvious surface drainage in the area, but in two cases it looks as if small streams have been directed into artificial channels 4. The long narrow medium-toned areas 5 are the fairways of a golf course—the Pine Ridge course. Some arable agriculture is practised in fields surrounding the excavations 6. PR 213 7 runs along the section line between townships 11 and 12 west to Birds Hill, just off the photo, and a railway line 8 crosses the northwestern corner of the photo.

Two questions remain for the interpreter: what are the white dots in the northeast 9 and what are the white streaks 10 in the south.


[i] Corkery, T M. op. cit. 1996, 11-22.

Figure 3.64

Gravel Pits in the Birds Hill Esker Northeast of Winnipeg