The Peace-Athabasca Delta

"In the delta, water is boss, change is the only constant, and creation and destruction exist side by side." The Peace-Athabasca Delta in northern Alberta is a globally significant wetland that lies within one of the largest unfragmented landscapes in North America. Arguably the world's largest boreal inland delta, it is renowned for its biological productivity and is a central feature of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet the delta and its indigenous cultures lie downstream of Alberta's bitumen sands, whose exploitation comprises one of the largest industrial projects in the world. Kevin Timoney provides an authoritative synthesis of the science and history of the delta, describing its ecology, unraveling its millennia-long history, and addressing its uncertain future. Scientists, students, leaders in the energy sector, government officials and policy makers, and conscientious citizens everywhere should read this lively work.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover Page 1
Title Page 4
Copyright 5
Dedication 6
Contents 8
Foreword 10
1 Introduction 12
A | The Delta as a Physical and Biological System 24
2 The Delta's Physical Environment and Landforms 26
3 Natural History: Flora and Vegetation 68
4 Natural History: Fauna and Wildlife 130
B | Process of Change in the Delta 158
5 Climate and Climate Change: Principles and Processes 160
6 Physical and Hydrological Processes of Change 178
C | History of Environmental Changes in the Delta 212
7 The Natural Record of Change in the Delta 214
8 The Historic Record of Change in the Delta 238
D | Human Activity in the Delta 300
9 Human History Prior to the 20th Century 302
10 Human History After 1900 326
11 Human Effects Upon the Delta Region 372
E | The Future 450
12 The Future 452
Acknowledgements 466
References 470
Glossary 502
Appendices 512
A The Physical Delta 514
B The Ecological Importance of the Delta 520
C Biota of the Delta 530
D Gazeteer and Map of the Peace-Athabasca Delta 588
Index 599
About the Author 608
Other Titles from University of Alberta Press 610