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HETHERINGTON ERRATICS FIELD

Near Fort MacLeod, Alberta, T0L, Canada

Reconnu formellement en: 1978/09/15

Hetherington Erratics Field, near Fort Macleod (2008); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch
Erratics looking east
Hetherington Erratics Field, near Fort Macleod (2008); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch
Striations
Hetherington Erratics Field, near Fort Macleod (2008); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch
Quartzite blocks

Autre nom(s)

HETHERINGTON ERRATICS FIELD
Chester's Field Erratic

Liens et documents

Date(s) de construction

Inscrit au répertoire canadien: 2009/03/02

Énoncé d'importance

Description du lieu patrimonial

The Hetherington Erratics Field is situated roughly 17 kilometres south-west of Fort Macleod. The site comprises roughly 58 hectares of land and features a collection of large and small glacial erratics scattered over the summit and eastern slope of a hillside.

Valeur patrimoniale

The heritage value of the Hetherington Erratics Field lies in the insights it provides into prehistoric glacial flows and the migrations of the early inhabitants of North America.

The Hetherington Erratics Field is one of several major sites located within the Foothills Erratics Train, a long, narrow chain of erratics (glacially-transported rocks) stretching from Jasper south to Montana. Geologists believe that a rockslide in the mountains of the Jasper area dropped large quartzite boulders onto the surface of the passing Athabasca valley glacier during the last ice age. The glacier initially moved eastward before being deflected to the south by the massive Laurentide Ice Sheet. As the glacier flowed south, it deposited a wealth of boulders along its path, including the mammoth "Big Rock" Erratic at Okotoks. The Hetherington Erratics Field is situated at a point in the Foothills Erratics Train where the belt of glacially transported rocks bottlenecks, narrowing from several kilometres to a single kilometre wide. It appears that a steep hillside prevented the boulders from being distributed further west. The site contains roughly twelve large erratics plus dozens of smaller glacially-transported rocks. The larger erratics feature polished corners and substantial surrounding depressions, evidence of their use as rubbing stones by buffalo and, more recently, by cattle. The site offers vital insights into the direction of the glacial flows of the Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets. It also provides compelling evidence about the period in which an ice-free corridor appeared on the eastern slopes of the Rockies and in the Foothills. Emerging at the end of the last ice age, roughly 10,000 years ago, this corridor is believed to have been one of the primary passageways used by the earliest inhabitants of North America to penetrate the interior of the continent.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 793)

Éléments caractéristiques

The character-defining elements of the Hetherington Erratics Field include such features as:
- mass, form, and scale of the erratics;
- cracks in the erratics;
- spatial arrangement of the erratics;
- polished surfaces of the erratics and surrounding depressions;
- distinctive circular depressions under larger, exposed erratics;
- stony soil in the vicinity of the erratics;
- information potential for further insights into glacial flows and the migrations of early North Americans.

Reconnaissance

Juridiction

Alberta

Autorité de reconnaissance

Province de l'Alberta

Loi habilitante

Historical Resources Act

Type de reconnaissance

Ressource historique provinciale

Date de reconnaissance

1978/09/15

Données sur l'histoire

Date(s) importantes

s/o

Thème - catégorie et type

Un territoire à peupler
Les premiers habitants du Canada
Un territoire à peupler
Les habitants et l'environnement naturel
Exprimer la vie intellectuelle et culturelle
Les sciences

Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction

Actuelle

Environnement
Élément naturel

Historique

Architecte / Concepteur

s/o

Constructeur

s/o

Informations supplémentaires

Emplacement de la documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 793)

Réfère à une collection

Identificateur féd./prov./terr.

4665-0117

Statut

Édité

Inscriptions associées

s/o

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