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The Montane Subregion

Montane LandscapeMuch of the southerly portion of the Montane Subregion occurs on east-west trending ridges that extend out from the Foothills Belt from the United States border to the Porcupine Hills. The Porcupine Hills are underlain by relatively flat-lying sedimentary rocks. To the north, the Montane Subregion occurs mostly along major river valleys. Along the Bow River, it extends from the lower reaches of the Ghost River to about Castle Junction and, along the North Saskatchewan River from Kootenay Plains to Saskatchewan Crossing. The most northerly outlier is along the Athabasca River and adjacent valleys from Yellowhead Pass to Brule Lake. A small, disjunct area is the Ya-Ha-Tinda along the Red Deer River west of Sundre. Portions of the Cypress Hills are also included here.

Sandstone outcrops are typical of the main, southerly portion. The Cypress Hills are capped by Tertiary gravels and were unglaciated during the last glaciation. The landforms of the major valleys are primarily fluvial and glaciofluvial terraces and fans with smaller areas of glaciolacustrine, Aeolian and morainal deposits. Elevations range from 1000-1350 metres in Jasper National Park, to 1350-1600 metres in Banff National Park, to more than 1600 along the Eastern Slopes south of Calgary.

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