Waterton Lake

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Waterton Lake
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Seen from Goat Haunt
Location Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada / Glacier National Park, Glacier County, Montana, United States
Coordinates 49°03′01″N113°52′53″W / 49.05028°N 113.88139°W / 49.05028; -113.88139 Coordinates: 49°03′01″N113°52′53″W / 49.05028°N 113.88139°W / 49.05028; -113.88139
Primary outflows Waterton River
Basin  countriesUnited States, Canada
Surface area10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi) +1.5 km2 (0.58 sq mi)
Average depth80 m (260 ft)
Max. depth150 m (490 ft)
Surface elevation1,280 m (4,200 ft)

Waterton Lake is a mountain lake in southern Alberta, Canada and northern Montana, United States. The lake is composed of two bodies of water, connected by a shallow channel known locally as the Bosporus. The two parts are referred to as Middle Waterton Lake, and Upper Waterton Lake, the latter of which is divided by the Canada–United States border with Canada having about two thirds of the lake while the United States has the Southern third. The United States Geological Survey gives the geocoordinates of 49°03′00″N113°54′03″W / 49.05000°N 113.90083°W / 49.05000; -113.90083 for Upper Waterton Lake. There is also Lower Waterton Lake which is located to the north of Middle Waterton Lake, it is separated by a channel known as the Dardanelles.[ citation needed ]

Lake A body of relatively still water, in a basin surrounded by land

A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land, apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drain the lake. Lakes lie on land and are not part of the ocean, and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are also larger and deeper than ponds, though there are no official or scientific definitions. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams, which are usually flowing. Most lakes are fed and drained by rivers and streams.

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier is Jason Kenney as of April 30, 2019.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

The northern, lower end of the main lake lies in Waterton Lakes National Park while the upper, southern part of the lake is located in Glacier National Park. In 1979, UNESCO established the Waterton Biosphere Reserve to protect the diverse habitats including prairie grasslands, aspen parkland, subalpine forests, alpine tundra and freshwater fens that surround the lake. [1]

Waterton Lakes National Park Improvement district in Alberta, Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada. It borders Glacier National Park in Montana, United States. Waterton was the fourth Canadian national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist Charles Waterton. Its range is between the Rocky Mountains and prairies. This park contains 505 km2 (195 sq mi) of rugged mountains and wilderness.

Glacier National Park (U.S.) national park located in the U.S. state of Montana

Glacier National Park is an American national park located in northwestern Montana, on the Canada–United States border, adjacent to the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres (4,000 km2) and includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem," a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles (41,000 km2).

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park was created by the US and Canada in 1932, and in 1976 it was designated an International Biosphere Reserve. [2] Later, in 1995, it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. [3]

Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park international park

The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is the union of the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and the Glacier National Park in the United States. Both parks are declared Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO and their union as a World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Site place listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or natural significance

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

The upper and middle Waterton Lake system has a surface of 10.1 km2 (3.9 sq mi), while the lower lake, which is in Canada only, has 1.5 km2 (0.58 sq mi) and lies at an altitude of 1,274 m (4,180 ft). Two soundings of the lake were 210 feet (64 m) and 317 feet (97 m), done in 1910. More recent soundings have revealed a depth of 490 ft (150 m). [4]

Highway 5 has its westernmost point on the shores of the lake.

Alberta Highway 5 highway in Alberta

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 5, commonly referred to as Highway 5, is a 129-kilometre (80 mi) highway that connects Lethbridge to Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta, Canada. It begins as an east–west highway in Waterton and transitions to a north–south route before ending at Crowsnest Trail (Highway 3) in Lethbridge.

Prince of Wales Hotel building in Alberta, Canada

The Prince of Wales Hotel is a historic hotel located in Waterton, Alberta, Canada. The hotel is situated within Waterton Lakes National Park, overlooking Upper Waterton Lakes. The Prince of Wales Hotel was designed by, and was built for the Great Northern Railway company. The hotel is presently managed by the Glacier Park Company.

Mount Richards

Mount Richards is a 2,377-metre (7,799-foot) summit located in Waterton Lakes National Park, in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta, Canada. It is situated just north of the Canada–United States border, with the south footing of the mountain at Boundary Creek just within Glacier National Park of the United States. Its nearest higher peak is Mount Alderson, 2.0 km (1.2 mi) to the northwest. Bertha Lake and Bertha Peak are situated immediately to the north.

49th parallel north circle of latitude

The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49° north of Earth's equator. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Waterton River

The Waterton River is part of the South Saskatchewan River Basin, and the Oldman River Sub-Basin.

Waterton River flows north from the Lower Waterton Lake for approx. 32 km to reach the Waterton Reservoir (Est. 1964) by the village of Hill Spring.

The Waterton Reservoir diverts water of about 20 m3/s to the Belly River just upstream from the Belly's own diversion weir which diverts water to the St. Mary River. The Waterton continues north from the reservoir for approx. 39 km until it reaches the confluence with the Belly River, which is a tributary of the Oldman River.

Waterton River has relatively reduced sediment concentrations due to the lakes and the reservoir acting as a sediment-settling trap.

The total length of the river is 80 km (50 mi).

Waterton River's mean peak discharge averages about 80 m3/s.

Tributaries to the Waterton River include:

  • Yarrow Creek
  • Cottonwood Creek

Waterton Reservoir has a Full Supply Level (FSL) of 1,185.67 metres, and an Irrigation Capacity of 114,334 dam3.

Related Research Articles

St. Mary River (Alberta–Montana) river in Canada

The Saint Mary River is a cross-border tributary of the Oldman River, itself a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River. The Saint Mary together with the Belly River and Waterton River drains a small portion of Montana, in the United States, to the Hudson Bay watershed in Canada.

Transboundary protected area protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity, where the political border sections that are enclosed within its area are abolished

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks.

Ross Lake (Washington)

Ross Lake is a large reservoir in the North Cascade mountains of northern Washington state, United States, and southwestern British Columbia, Canada. The lake runs approximately north-south, is 23 miles (37 km) long, up to 1.5 miles (2.5 km) wide, and the full reservoir elevation is 1,604 feet above sea level.

The Oldman River is a river in southern Alberta, Canada. It flows roughly west to east from the Rocky Mountains, through the communities of Fort Macleod, Lethbridge, and on to Grassy Lake, where it joins with the Bow River to form the South Saskatchewan River, which eventually drains into the Hudson Bay.

Williston Lake reservoir

Williston Lake is a reservoir created by the W. A. C. Bennett Dam and is located in the Northern Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada.

The Oldman Formation is a stratigraphic unit of Late Cretaceous age that underlies much of southern Alberta, Canada. It consists primarily of sandstones that were deposited in fluvial channel and floodplain environments. It was named for exposures along the Oldman River between its confluence with the St. Mary River and the city of Lethbridge, and it is known primarily for its dinosaur remains and other fossils.

Kluane / Wrangell–St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek international park system in British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska, USA; a UNESCO World Heritage site

Kluane / Wrangell–St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek is an international park system located in Canada and the United States, at the border of Yukon, Alaska and British Columbia.

Babb, Montana Census-designated place in Montana, United States

Babb is a small unincorporated farming and ranching community in Glacier County, Montana, United States, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The community experiences a large influx of tourist in the summer months as it is the gateway to the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. Babb is a census-designated place (CDP) and had a population of 174 at the 2010 census.

Kimball, Alberta Hamlet in Alberta, Canada

Kimball is a hamlet in southern Alberta, Canada within Cardston County. It is located on Highway 501, approximately 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) southeast of Cardston between the St. Mary River and the Milk River Ridge. The community is named after the Mormon ward which was named after the descendents of Heber C Kimball.

Belly River river in Canada

Belly River is a river in northwest Montana, United States and southern Alberta, Canada. It is a tributary of the Oldman River, itself a tributary of the South Saskatchewan River.

Under UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme, there are 302 biosphere reserves recognized as part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in Europe and North America. These are distributed across 36 countries in the region.

Outline of Glacier National Park (U.S.)

The following articles relate to the history, geography, geology, flora, fauna, structures and recreation in Glacier National Park (U.S.), the U.S. portion of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

Lake Sherburne Dam

Lake Sherburne Dam is a 107-foot (33 m) high compacted earthfill dam built between 1914 and 1921 built just outside the boundary of Glacier National Park, Montana, its reservoir extending into the park. The dam impounds Swiftcurrent Creek as it flows out of the park. Water stored in Lake Sherburne is released to flow down Swiftcurrent Creek to the St. Mary River, from which it is diverted to the Milk River, flowing through Canada for 216 miles (348 km) before returning to the United States. Use of these waters is governed by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. Water from the Milk River is used for irrigation in north central Montana.

Waterton Biosphere Reserve Biosphere reserve in Canada | designated in 1979

Waterton Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve encompassing Waterton Lakes National Park in the extreme south-west of the Province of Alberta, Canada. The reserve includes a section of the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains extending from the Continental Divide to the edge of the Canadian Great Plains to the east. The Glacier Biosphere Reserve and National Park in Montana, USA is located to the south of the area. The reserve is administered by Waterton Lakes National Park and the Waterton Biosphere Association.

The landscape of the Manicouagan – Uapishka Biosphere Reserve is dominated by the Saint Lawrence River to the south and the Manicouagan reservoir to the north, forming a circle visible from great distances, even from space. They are linked by a web of rivers, which flow through vast woodlands.

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