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The Alpine Tundra Zone occurs on mountains throughout British Columbia, but especially along the Coast Mountains, in the north of the province

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  • Essay length: 5089 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Environmental Sciences

The first 200 words of this essay...

The Alpine Tundra Zone occurs on mountains throughout British Columbia, but especially along the Coast Mountains, in the north of the province, and in the southeast corner. It also extends beyond the borders of British Columbia to the north, east, and south. In southeastern British Columbia, alpine elevations start at about 2250 m, in the southwest at 1600 m, in the northeast at about 1500 m, and in the northwest at about 1500 to 1000 m.

with limited areas of continuous vegetation cover. Soils are typically shallow and derived from weathered bedrock. Since cold retards the process of weathering, soils develop slowly in this zone. Occasional areas of permafrost also occur here.

Terrain

At the high altitudes typical of this zone, the terrain is often steep and rugged, with tall cliffs and rocky, snow-capped peaks. Much of the landscape is rock, ice, and snow, but some areas have stretches of flatter, gently rolling terrain, probably smoothed by glacial action. Glaciers also scoured out valleys and shaped steep cliffs and valley walls. When they melted, glaciers left a variety of special alpine landforms such as basin-like cirques. Talus slopes occur where gravity has caused frost-shattered fragments of

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