The Foothills Parkland Soils
Predominant soils in the Foothills Parkland
Subregion are Black Chernozems in the forested areas with Dark Brown and Black
Chernozems in the grasslands.
Chernozems are a typical prairie grass. They were formed only 100,000 years ago under aerobic conditions where water flowed freely through the upper layers. They were created by the sudden and rapid addition of organic matter,
in a humid environment.
If you were to look at a cross-section of a chernozem, you might see things like earthworm tracks and animal burrows filled in with different types of soils. Animals like these aerated the soils and were crucial in the formation of Chernozems.
Although there are many different kinds of Chernozems, there is very little difference between them.
It is interesting to note that Black Chernozems are formed in areas that
experience high levels of precipitation.
Chernozems are generally dry, and as such, can only support vegetation like tall grasses. Sometimes, though, patches of
deciduous woodlands can grow as well.
Regosolics occur on active stream floodplains while Gleysolics occur in
Information provided by and printed with the permission
of Alberta Community Development, Provincial
Parks and Protected Areas.