Bow River Basin

December 20, 2007

The Bow River Basin is fed by ouflow glaciers of the Wapta Icefield which rests along the Continental divide. Wapta Icefield’s glaciers the Bow Glacier (37 km northwest of Lake Louise) at Bow Lake (altitude 1920m 51°40′18″N 116°27′22″W) and the Lake Vulture Glacier, which feeds into Hector Lake (51°34’43.21″N 116°22’3.38″W), both feed into the Bow River. Bow Lake lies south of the Bow Summitt, east of the Waputik Range (views including Wapta Icefield, Bow Glacier, Bow Peak, Mount Thompson, Crowfoot Glacier and Crowfoot Mountain) and west of the Dolomite Pass, Dolomite Peak and Cirque Peak. Bow Lake is one of the lakes that line the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. Bow Lake is the closest lake to the headwaters of Bow River, and has a total area of 3.21 km².

The Bow River Basin runs through the Rocky Mountains from Bow Lake (51°40′18″N 116°27′22″W) to Lake Hector past Lake Louise, Banff (51°10’19.21″N 115°33’59.86″W), Seebee (51° 5’48.44″N 115° 3’51.19″W), Chief Hector Lake Nakoda Lodge and Conference Centre, Stoney Nation , Morley, (51° 9’43.60″N 114°50’55.68″W), Cochrane (51° 2’42.25″N 114° 3’47.48″W), Calgary (population 1,107,200 – 2006), Carseland, Arrowwood, Bassano (near Bow River), Bow City (50°25’59.03″N 112°13’39.55″W), Scandia, Rolling Hills and Ronalane where the Bow River joins the Oldman River join at “The Grand Forks” to form the South Saskatchewan River (R.J.W. Turner, GSC 2005-194 ). The Bow, Red Deer, and Oldman rivers are tributaries of the South Saskatchewan River. This family of rivers carries water from the Rocky Mountains across the dry southern prairies of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers meet east of Saskatoon then continue to merge with other rivers emptying into Hudson Bay.


1850 End of the Little Ice Age

1850-1953 Bow Glacier retreated an estimated 1,100 meters (3,600 ft).

1994 Bow River Basin report

Calgary installed a state of the art sewage system

1980s In the 1980s the Wapta Icefield, on the Continental Divide in the British Columbia and Abertan Rockies covered an area of approximately 80 km² (30 miles²).

2005 Turner, R.J.W., Franklin, R.G., Grasby, S.E., and Nowlan, G.S. 2005. “Bow River Basin Waterscape.” Geological Survey of Canada. Miscellaneous Report 90, 2005.

Webliography and Bibliography

Bivouac.com. “Wapta Icefield.” Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia.

Turner, R.J.W., Franklin, R.G., Grasby, S.E., and Nowlan, G.S. 2005. “Bow River Basin Waterscape.” Geological Survey of Canada. Miscellaneous Report 90, 2005.

State of the Canadian Cryosphere. Peyto Glacier Case Study. Past Variability of Canadian Glaciers.


Tag cloud: hydrogeology; environmental geology; educational geology; watersheds; rivers; surface waters; lake water; reservoirs; groundwater; water utilization; water quality; groundwater circulation; groundwater flow; groundwater resources; groundwater discharge; groundwater regimes; groundwater movement; climate effects; climatic fluctuations; conservation; environmental impacts; environmental controls; hydrologic environment; environmental studies; urban planning; wildlife; pollution; resource management; pollution; resource management; Bow River basin; water cycle

Area: Bow River; Rocky Mountains; Rocky Mountain Foothills; Prairies; Bow Lake; Lake Louise; Banff; Canmore; Stoney Nakoda Reserve; Morley; Cochrane; Bragg Creek; Tsuu T’ina Reserve; Crossfield; Airdrie; Calgary; Longview; High River; Turner Valley; Black Diamond; Okotoks; Strathmore; Siksika Reserve; Gleichen; Cluny; Standard; Bassano; Brooks; Tilley; Vauxhall; Bow Island; South Saskatchewan River Rolling Hills (near Bow River)

Flynn-Burhoe Maureen. 2007. Bow River Basin. > Google Docs

One Response to “Bow River Basin”

  1. Science Dude 101 Says:

    How can i protect watersheds

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