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In this case study:
In this section: • Northern Range watershed area: contribution to Trinidad’s freshwater resources • Ecosystems: forests, freshwater and biodiversity
In 1952 William Beebe undertook a study on the Arima Valley . His studies yielded very important information 1 on the ecology and ecosystems in the area, and are still extensively used in work on the Arima Valley. Many of the descriptions provided in the sections on Location and Topography, Climate, Vegetation, and Fauna, are drawn from this study.
Location & Topography
The Arima Valley lies parallel and midway between approximately fifteen valleys that transect the southern side of the Northern Range. All of these valleys are oriented north-south. The Arima Valley is located north of the town of Arima, and extends from the foothills of the Northern Range to the ridge of the Northern Range for a distance of about 8.45km along the ground. More specifically, the Valley is located between 10o37’ and 10o43’ N latitude and 61o16’ and 61o18’ W longitude. The Valley rises to a height of about 840m, with steep hillside gradients of 1:3 in some areas.
Figure 1: Map of Arima Valley !
Source: Ordnance Survey (1930)
William Beebe, “ Introduction to the Ecology of the Arima Valley”, Zoologica 37 (1952)
Rainfall Rainfall in the Arima Valley is influenced by two distinct seasons: the wet season (from June to December) and the dry season (from January to May). The pattern of the wet and dry seasons is determined by the movement of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) – a global weather system that influences the climate of many areas. The average annual rainfall ranges between 2000 and 2400mm. Approximately 70% to 80% of all precipitation occurs in the rainy season, with a major contribution of this from the ITCZ. 2 Orographic rainfall generated from the upward movement of the Northeast Trade Winds on contact with the Northern Range also contributes to rainfall in the Valley, and is more significant in the dry season.
!Figure 2: Isohyetal Map of the Northern Region of Trinidad
Source: Piarco Meterological Office (unpublished; pers comm.. 2004) in NRA (2005)
Temperature varies along the valley, usually decreasing from the valley bottom to the top of the valley. This temperature change is caused by adiabatic cooling due to the differences in elevation of the land. Temperature in the Valley averages between 18 – 30oC but can fall as low as 17 oC at higher elevations in the Valley. Humidity and Winds
Humidity in the Arima Valley also varies with a direct relationship to temperature. Humidity in the Valley is usually in the upper 70s or lower 80s. The prevailing winds are the Northeast Trades, which generally blow in a south-west direction. Note that winds are named after the direction from which they blow.
EMA, “State of the Environment Report”, 1998.
Geology & Soils
3 The formation of the Andean mountain chain occurred in the middle of the Miocene period. The tectonic forces building the Andean mountain chain were also influencing the northern part of Trinidad. Trinidad became highly disturbed by the compressional and tangential tectonic movements, leading to the formation of all types of structures including simple anticlinal mountains like those of the Northern Range. 4 Two geological rock formations are found in the Arima Valley: the Mayaro formation and the Maracas formation. The rocks that make up these formations are comprised of quartzites, hard massive limestones, marbles, schists, sandstones, sands and clays. 5 The hard massive limestones are extensively mined in the Arima Valley, and several other valleys of the Northern Range. 6
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! Figure 3: Geology of the Northern Range
Source: Brown and Bally (1966) in NRA (2005)
The soil type varies within the Valley because of differences in parent materials and situation in the Valley. 7 The Diego Martin soil series overlies much of the steeper areas of the Arima Valley. These soils are coarse, loamy and carbonatic with good internal drainage. Erosion is a potential problem with these soils, primarily because of the steep slopes on which they are situated. The soils in the valley bottom comprise colluvial and alluvial deposits and are also freely drained. These soils tend to be quite fertile and are good for agriculture.
3 4 5 6 7
A.G.A. Sutton, “Report on the general geology of Trinidad to accompany Geological map”, (Trinidad: Government Printing Office, 1955). Ibid
Hans G. Kugler, “Treatise on the Geology of Trinidad Part 4: The Paleocene to Holocene Formations”, H.M. Bolli and M. Knappertsbusch, (Basel: The Museum of Natural History). NRA, “Report of an Assessment of the Northern Range, Trinidad and Tobago”, Environmental Management Authority 2005. Ibid
Drainage Area & Water Resources
The Arima Valley is part of the larger Western Peninsula Caroni watershed, but forms a watershed or catchment area of its own. The Arima River flows through the Arima Valley, and drains the majority of the water captured in the Arima Valley catchment southwards into the Caroni River. The Arima River also contributes to water recharge in the Northern Range.
Figure 4: Northern Range Major Water-catchment areas Source: NRA (2005)
Figure 5: Arima Valley
On its way to the Caroni River, the Arima River flows over and recharges the Arima Gravels aquifer located along the southern foot of the Northern Range. The Arima Gravels aquifer is a part of the larger Northern Gravels aquifer. The Northern Gravels is a major aquifer in the Northern Range, and consists of wedge-shaped alluvial deposits and gravel fans along the southern foot of the Northern Range. These extend from east Port of Spain to approximately three kilometres east and southward to the Caroni Plains. 8
The Arima River and other surface rivers in the Northern Range have been identified as major sources 9 of water for human use. Of the surface water exploited in Trinidad and Tobago by the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA), 80% originates within the Northern Range. 10 However the water quality in many of the rivers in the Northern Range – including the Arima River - is being degraded. The water quality of the Arima 11 River has declined since the 1970s due to the impacts of pollution. Some existing and potential sources of pollution to the Arima River: Domestic refuse - includes garbage and leachates from solid waste disposal sites Domestic sewage - includes seepage from cesspools and pit latrines Farm wastes - waste water from animal farms, runoff of fertilisers and pesticides Industrial effluents including wash waters from quarries12 Currently, water is not extracted directly from the Arima River by WASA for public consumption. However, the Arima River contributes to the water that flows into the Caroni-Arena Water Treatment Plant which is used for public consumption.13
A detailed classification of the vegetation of Arima Valley was done by J.S. Beard in 1946 and later by William Beebe in 1952. Since then no such detailed classification has been undertaken and we still rely on data obtained from their studies. This highlights a need for new studies of this kind particularly because the Northern Range vegetation (mainly forests) harbour large stores of biodiversity, and also because these forests play a key role in water recharge and freshwater provision. The Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) continues to play a key role in the conservation of existing forests in the Arima Valley: this will be discussed later when we look at conservation efforts in the Arima Valley. The vegetation in Arima Valley changes from the base of the valley to the top of valley as a result of changing abiotic conditions like soil, temperature, rainfall and slope.
Information for this section is drawn from William Beebe’s study in 1952. 14
At the base of the valley on the foothills of the Northern Range, the vegetation type is secondary seasonal evergreen forest comprising some prolific survivors of the original seasonal evergreen forest like cocorite palms. This original forest is thought to have been a climax community. A list of trees found in the seasonal evergreen forest formation is provided in Appendix A. Higher up the valley the vegetation transitions to a deciduous seasonal forest. Lower montane forest occupies most of the valley northward of the deciduous seasonal forest. A list of trees found in the lower montane forests in provided in Appendix A. On the highest slopes and ridges true montane forest occurs in small areas.
Figure 6: Lower Montane Forest in Arima Valley
9 10 11 12 13 14
EMA 1998 Ibid NRA 2005
Information for this section is drawn from William Beebe’s study in 1952. 15 The forests and freshwater ecosystems found in the Arima Valley provide general and specialized habitats and a variety of food sources, for the large diversity of fauna that it supports.
Fish found in the Arima River Frogs and toads - 16 species of frogs and toads were recorded by Beebe. Lacertian species - 15 of the known lacertilian species were recorded by Beebe. Iguanas and Tegu lizards are common reptile species found in Arima Valley. Snakes - of Trinidad’s 38 species of snakes, 27 had been found in the Arima Valley by Beebe. Birds - 164 species of birds were observed by Beebe and 170 species noted by Garraway et al.16 Two common species observed at AWNC are manakins and wattled bell birds. Thirteen species of hummingbirds have been recorded at AWNC. An oilbird colony lives in the Arima Valley. The nocturnal oil bird is the only nocturnal, fruit-eating bird in the world. It is found in northern parts of South America and in Trinidad. The oil birds live in caves often in precarious steep cliffs. Several caves in the Northern Range have colonies including in Dunston Cave in Arima Valley and Cumaca Caves. Contributions have been made by the World Wildlife Fund for protection on the colony at AWNC.17 Mammals - Beebe recorded a large diversity of mammals in the Arima Valley. A list of these is provided in Appendix A. No research or studies have been undertaken to determine if these species are still present in the Arima Valley. However, Garraway et al notes that some of these species can be observed at AWNC including ocelots, brocket deer, agouti, paca or lappe, and nine-banded armadillo or tattoo. Some of the activities currently occurring in the Valley have the potential to alter the forest and freshwater ecosystems there and as a result may alter or destroy habitats. For example, the increased turbidity of the Arima River as a result of upstream quarrying activities reduces the quality of the habitat of freshwater organisms. Although AWNC protects large areas of the Arima Valley through its conservation efforts, some parts of the Valley are still subject to some human activities and are potential threats to the fauna and flora in the Valley. We will discuss conservation efforts in the Arima Valley in greater detail in the following sections.
Beebe 1952 Jasmin Garraway, Carol James and Howard Nelson, “Ecotourism as a Strategy for Sustainable Development: The Experience of the Asa Wright Centre Trinidad and AWNC, “Asa Wright Nature Centre” http://www.asawright.org/
Tobago”, (UNDP Trinidad and Tobago, 1999).
Topics covered in this section: : • Conflicting human uses and impacts on ecosystem services • Land-use planning as a management option
This section will focus on the varying types of land-use that occurs in the Arima Valley, and how the impacts of these land uses on each other create challenges for management. This is only a glimpse into the issues that surround land-use management. Dr. Mary Alkins-Koo of the Life Sciences Department of the University of the West Indies developed case studies for use in courses at the University. Among these was a case study on the Arima Valley. Section 2 draws heavily on the information from this case study on Arima Valley. 18
There are four main categories of land use activities occurring in the Arima Valley: residence or settlement; quarrying; agriculture; and conservation/ research/ ecotourism/ recreation. In the following sub-sections, each of these categories of land use is described. How these land use activities interact is explored in the final sub-section. Residence or Settlement Residential settlement occurs mostly in the lower parts of the Arima Valley: from the town of Arima up to the 2 mile mark along the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road. Two other pockets of settlement occur at Temple Village and Verdant Vale at the 4 mile mark and 4.5 mile mark respectively along the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road. The majority of land in the Arima Valley is state-owned. When residential structures are built on state land without the permission of the government, the housing structures are illegal and the residents are described as “squatters”. In 1998 the government attempted to protect squatters on statelands through the passing of The State Land (Regularisation of Tenure) Bill. The State Land (Regularisation of Tenure) Bill, 1998 is an act of Parliament to protect squatters in certain areas from ejection from state land through acquisition of a leasehold title by squatters. The Arima Valley was not one of the areas originally designated for protection of squatters. However, an amendment to the act provides the opportunity for squatters living outside the designated areas to become regularised. Small-scale farming also occurs alongside residences. These include chicken farms, as well as christophene (Sechium edule) and banana cultivation. The runoff from these farms, can introduce mainly nutrients and faecal coliform into the groundwater and Arima River. Pit latrines are also common in some of these residences, and these also have the potential to pollute the groundwater and Arima River with faecal coliform.
Alkins-Koo, “Case Study - Arima Valley”, (Dept. of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, 2003-2007).
Agriculture in the Arima Valley occurs in the lower valley adjacent to residential settlements up to Verdant Vale higher up in the Valley. Hillside slash-and-burn agriculture is practised in relatively small plots by small agricultural-squatters. The major problem with this type of agriculture is that it weakens the slope stability making it highly susceptible to wind and water erosion. At the 6.5 mile mark along the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road, there is an extensive christophene farm.
Figure 7: Christophene farm in Arima Valley
The christophene is cultivated on steep slopes, and looks like a smooth green sheet covering the hills. 19 The precise area of the farm is not known, but aerial photos suggest that the cultivated area is expanding. Large quantities of manure are used for fertilising and conditioning the soil, erosion control appears to be nonexistent, and the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road is in danger of landslips in critical areas around the christophene farm. Water for irrigation is drawn from a small adjacent tributary through a complex network of pipes which is visible from the road. A number of problems may arise from this type of cultivation. • Erosion of the hillside is possible with cultivation on such steep slopes. The lack of ground cover and root networks that help to bind the soil may help to increase soil erosion. The problem is compounded if the eroded material gets into the Arima River, increases the turbidity and decreases the overall water quality of the river. Alternatively, the cover of the christophene plantation may act as a forest canopy, and protect the soil from the rain splash erosion. Rain splash erosion is caused by the impact of rainwater striking the soil surface, and dislodging soil particles. • Misuse or overuse of fertilizers can introduce nutrients and pollutants to the groundwater and subsequently to the Arima River. • With such a large cultivation in the middle of what used to be lower montane forest, the problem of habitat fragmentation arises. This can further lead to loss of biodiversity in the Arima Valley, particularly for mammals. Tree crop cultivation of cocoa was extensive in the past, but many estates are now abandoned. Some cultivation of citrus and anthuriums still occurs
Garraway et al. 1999
There are three active quarries in the Verdant Vale area extracting limestone. In the section on Geology and Soils, massive limestone was noted as one of the minerals comprising the rock formations underlying the Arima Valley. This limestone exists in a band across the Northern Range: its quarrying is not limited to the Arima Valley but takes place in other Northern Range valleys. The limestone is high quality blue limestone and is used for road and building construction, and blue limestone products like paving tiles.
Figure 8: One of the quarries in Arima Valley
The quarrying process for limestone includes blasting to weaken the rock structure and to separate the massive limestone rock into blocks; and excavation of blocks from the rock face. Washing is not part of the quarry production process in the Arima Valley so quarry effluents are not a major problem. However, there have been several problems that may be linked. These include: Noise and Vibrations – The AWNC is concerned that the noise associated with blasting activities at the quarry may disturb the oilbird colony and other organisms located in the forests surrounding the AWNC. Residents lower in the valley have complained that the vibrations from the blasting activities may be causing cracks in their walls. Dust – Dust from the quarries is particularly visible on the vegetation that grows alongside the ArimaBlanchisseuse Road. No studies have been done to determine the effects of the quarry-dust on plants, human well-being, or on the water quality of the Arima River. Quarry-floor runoff – During rainfall events runoff from quarries enters the surface water sources in the area and may decrease the water quality.
Figure 9: Dust from quarries on vegetation
Conservation, Research, Ecotourism, Recreation
The AWNC is responsible for major conservation efforts in the Arima Valley.
Figure 10: Ducks at Asa Wright Nature Centre
AWNC was first purchased by Joseph Holmas from the government in 1934, and resold to Dr. Newcome Wright and his wife Asa in 1946. The William Beebe Tropical Research Station – run by Dr. William Beebe – was also located in the Arima Valley in close proximity to the Wright property. By the 1960s the Wrights were accommodating birdwatchers and naturalists who came to visit the research station. In 1967, the property was sold and in that same year the Asa Wright Nature Centre was established as a non-profit trust. With closure of the research station in 1970, the research facility was handed over to AWNC as a gift in 1974. AWNC’s overarching goal is natural resource conservation in the Arima Valley and other areas of Trinidad and Tobago. AWNC has maintained its ability to accommodate visitors to the valley, and is currently recognised as one of the best ecotourist lodges in the world. One of its priority issues is conservation of the rare oilbird. In 1995, the government leased 250 acres of forest reserve to AWNC, specifically for management of the forest ecosystem of the lands surrounding AWNC. Through donations of land, the current area managed by AWNC is 735 acres. By channelling most of its efforts towards conservation and management of this forest ecosystem, the AWNC has been successful at protecting a number of species of flora and fauna in the Arima Valley. Conservation of the forest ecosystem also maintains the crucial services provided by forests which include freshwater recharge, water purification and soil stability. AWNC also manages the William Beebe Tropical Research Station at Simla, where numerous studies were conducted on the natural history of Trinidad’s flora and fauna. Scientific groups use the station on a regular basis for biological and ecological studies. The Arima River is also extensively used for recreation. For example, Manette’s Ranch – at the 1.5 mile mark along the Arima-Blanchisseuse Road – is used for picnics and other recreational activities. 20
Mary Alkins-Koo, “Environmental, Evaluation and Impact Assessment”, (Dept. of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, 2007).
Land-Use Planning in The Arima Valley as a Management Option
One aspect of land-use planning involves coordinating different land-use activities to minimize conflicts between these activities, and to reduce the impacts these activities may have on each other. A land-use management plan acts as a guide. There are a number of factors which a land-use plan must incorporate. These include: Land characteristics – Potential impacts of – activities on area these include soil type, drainage area, topography, area of land, geology and vegetation. these include both the positive and negative impacts of the activities on the land area. Positive impacts may include economic returns from an activity. Negative impacts may include the degradation of land by the activity.
Potential impacts of – activities on each other
Activities can have a positive, negative or neutral impact on each other. For example, where commercial activity is situated near to residences, the commercial activity may provide employment for nearby residents, and the residential area in turn may provide labour for the commercial area: that’s a positive impact. If factories are situated near to residences, pollution from the factory may cause people in nearby residences to become ill: that’s a negative impact.
It is not possible, in this case study, to discuss all of the factors that are considered in a land-use management plan. Instead, we will look at one of the factors used to create a management plan: potential impacts of activities on each other. Using the information from the above sections, we will create an activity-conflict matrix. This matrix will help us to identify the impacts of various activities on each other. It can also help to prioritize the impacts of activities, and think about the tradeoffs of reducing or stopping certain activities in favour of others. A tradeoff is a situation that involves losing one aspect of something in order to gain another aspect. For example, the government may use a parcel of land – previously used for recreation activities to build houses. The tradeoff in this case is recreation for housing.
Using the matrix • The vertical column of activities impacts on the horizontal row of activities, and impacts are not interchangeable. For example, the impact of quarrying on agriculture is not the same as the impact of agriculture on quarrying. • The impacts can be described as high, medium or low, and positive or negative. • The reason for the impact should be described. • It is possible for multiple impacts of one activity on another, and these should be included in the matrix. • After the matrix is complete the impacts should be prioritized to determine which is most important to deal with with. Students should be encouraged to think of ways to reduce impacts according to priority.
Table 1: Some ecosystem services provided by the Arima Valley 21
Source: NRA (2005)
• • • •
How do any the activities – conservation, recreation, agriculture, residential settlement affect the services provided by the Arima Valley? (See Table 1) Do any of the ecosystem services provided by the Arima Valley have substitutes or alternatives? Is sustainable quarrying possible? How is noise considered a pollutant under these circumstances and what regulations exist to prevent excessive impacts of noise?
Suggested Learning Activities
(See Generic Learning Activities) • SWOT Analysis and Strategic Matrix • Leopold Matrix • Five Whys
(See Sampling Methodologies) • Slope Angle and Gradient • Water quality testing – total suspended solids; turbidity; phosphates; nitrates; faecal coliform; dissolved oxygen • Stream depth, velocity and stream flow
Alkins-Koo, Mary. 2003-2007. Case Study – Arima Valley. BIOL 2461, Dept. Of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Alkins-Koo, Mary. 2005. Ecological Assessment and Human Impacts. BIOL 2461, Dept. Of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Alkins-Koo, Mary. 2007. Environmental Evaluation & Impact Assessment. BIOL 2461, Dept. Of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Anderson, Edric J. M. 1989. Real Estate Development in the Northern Range A developer’s Viewpoint. The Ministry of Environment and National Service, Trinidad and Tobago. Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC). (undated) Asa Wright Nature Centre. http://www.asawright.org/ (Accessed March 16, 2009) Beebe, William. 1952. Introduction to the Ecology of the Arima Valley. Zoologica 37:157-183. EMA. 1998. Trinidad and Tobago State of the Environment Report 1998. Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. Garraway, Jasmin, Carol James and Howard Nelson. 1999. Ecotourism as a Strategy for Sustainable Development: The Experience of the Asa Wright Centre Trinidad and Tobago. UNDP, Trinidad and Tobago. Google Earth. 2009. Kugler, Hans G. 2001. Treatise on the Geology of Trinidad Part 4: The Paleocene to Holocen Formations. Edited by H.M. Bolli and M. Knappertsbusch. Basel: The Museum of Natural History. Northern Range Assessment (NRA). 2005. Report of an Assessment of the Northern Range, Trinidad and Tobago: People and the Northern Range. State of the Environment Report 2004. Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. 184pp. Northstone Ltd. Quarrying Process and Quarry Products. http://www.northstone-ni.co.uk/aboutus/education/quarrying-process-and-quarryproducts/ (Accessed March 27, 2009). Sutton, A.G.A. 1955. Report on the general geology of Trinidad to accompany Geological map. Trinidad: Government Printing Office. Ritter, Michael. E. 2006. The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography. http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/ritter/geog101/ textbook/title_page.html (Accessed March 27, 2009) The Cropper Foundation (TCF). 2009. Sustainable Development Terms and Concepts: A Reference for Teachers and Students. Port of Spain, Trinidad. Trinidad and Tobago. Town and Country Planning Division. 1982. The National Physical Development Plan Trinidad and Tobago. Volume 1 Survey and Analysis. Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Flora and Fauna in Arima Valley
Table 1: List of Trees Found in the Seasonal Forest
Source: Beebe (1952)
Table 2: List of Trees Found in the Lower Montane Forest
Source: Beebe (1952)
Table 3: List of Animals Found in the Arima Valley
Source: Beebe (1952); Garraway et al (1999)
Note that these were undertaken by William Beebe in 1952 - it is possible that some species no longer exist in the Valley while new ones may have been introduced.
AWNC EMA NRA WASA WRA
Acronyms used in this case study Asa Wright Nature Centre Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad and Tobago Northern Range Assessment The Water and Sewage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago Water Resources Agency Glossary of terms used in the case study When a parcel of air rises it expands as a result of reduced atmospheric pressure. As it expands it cools at a rate of 0.65 oC decrease in temperature for every 100m rise in elevation. Sediment deposited by flowing water, as in a riverbed, flood plain, or delta. Ridges formed by a convex curve, turn or fold of the existing strata. An underground bed or layer of earth, gravel, or porous stone that yields water. The area drained by a river or body of water. When the vegetation of an area over time has reached a steady state and is composed of species best adapted to the conditions of the area. A loose deposit of rock debris accumulated through the action of gravity at the base of a cliff or slope An assemblage of species occurring the same space and/or time, and is often linked by biotic interactions such as competition or predation. This forest is typical of environments that are warm and receive high overall rainfall, such as in the tropics. These forests are considered deciduous because the trees drop their leaves during in the dry season. These are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. They include provisioning services such as food and water; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and regulating and supporting services such as flood and disease control; nutrient cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth. The concept of “ecosystem goods and services” is synonymous with ecosystem services. The rate of decrease of temperature with elevation in the atmosphere. This rate is usually taken as 0.65 oC decrease in temperature for every 100m rise in elevation.
Adiabatic cooling Alluvial deposits Anticlinal mountains Aquifer Catchment area
Climax community Colluvial deposits Community (ecological) Deciduous Seasonal Forest Ecosystem services Environmental lapse rate
Gravel fan Lacertian Miocene Montane Forest Precipitation Quartzites Orographic rainfall Rock formation Soil series Strata (stratum sing.) Tectonic forces Watershed
A deposit of materials (mainly gravel) from a river at the base of a valley. The gravel deposit spreads out from the base of the valley in a fan-like shape. Of or related to the suborder Lacertilia, which is a group of reptiles with overlapping scales. This suborder includes lizards but not snakes. 23.03 to 5.33 million years ago Forest that grows on mountains and above an altitude of 1,006 metres. Any form of water, such as rain, snow, sleet, or hail, which falls to the earth’s surface. Hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression between belts. Rainfall resulting from the vertical movement of moist air that is enforced by a mountain barrier in the air stream. A formation consists of a number of rock strata that have similar lithology or properties. A family of soils having similar profiles, and developing from similar original materials under the influence of similar climate and vegetation. The layers or beds found in sedimentary rock. Also refers to the different height groupings of trees in a forest. Forces which cause deformation or structural changes of the earth’s crust. These forces may originate from igneous activity or from movement of the plates that comprise the earth’s crust. An area of land that catches precipitation and drains or seeps into a marsh, river, stream, lake or groundwater.
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