Living with our Geological Landscape
We live where the Fraser River, with the gathered waters from a vast interior watershed, breaches the coastal mountains to reach the inland sea of the Strait of Georgia. This dynamic landscape is underlain by a variety of earth materials and is continually shaped by earth processes - our geological landscape or geoscape. Local mountains were born of colliding crustal plates, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, processes that continue today. Glaciers and streams have carved deep valleys and deposited their sediment load in lowlands, lakes, and sea. Landslides displace rock and soil, often catastrophically. Waters dissolve, transport, and deposit metals and minerals.
The resource and land needs of our rapidly expanding population demand decisions as to where and how we accommodate growth. By understanding our geoscape we promote its wise use: protecting vital resources, avoiding hazards, and reducing the risk of hazards that cannot be avoided. It is here that geologists, geographers, and geological engineers make their contribution. The liveability of the Vancouver area will, in part, depend on how well we incorporate geological knowledge into our land-use decisions.