Brazeau Tufa Natural Area (CNT)

Brazeau Tufa NA is a quarter-section in size, lying north of, but not directly on, the Brazeau River. It is approximately 50 km due north of Nordegg.

Screen capture from the SAPAA-Google Map of Brazeau Tufa Natural Area.
Screen capture from the SAPAA-Google Map of Brazeau Tufa Natural Area (top right corner).

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

Brazeau river and surrounding features are named for Joseph E. Brazeau. A polyglot, he spoke Stony, Sioux, Saulteaux, Cree, Blackfoot, and Crow. He assisted the Palliser expedition and worked for the Hudson Bay Company in the mid-19th century. The Stony name for the river is Tum-wap-ta [1, p. 42].

Tufa is a type of limestone made of microscopic layers of microcrystalline calcite. Tufa may contain algae and larger fossils including leaves, wood, molluscs, and insect body parts, webs, and larval casings. Tufa forms in cold springs and areas of groundwater seepage. Removal of carbon dioxide during algal photosynthesis precipitates calcium carbonate which is thought to facilitate the formation of tufa. As the carbonate mineral precipitates, leaves and various life forms may become trapped within layers of mineral and fossilize. The rock is soft and easy to crush into powder.

A lower quality alternative to limestone, tufa has been used in the past in the manufacture of cement and fillers. Settlers used crushed tufa to plaster the walls of their dwellings and feed their chickens [2].

Site Statistics

Site NameBrazeau Tufa (CNT)
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeConsultative Notation (CNT)
Natural Region(s)Lower Foothills
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)N/A
PASite ID (Map Ref #)467
Site # (Parks Website)
Total Area62.98 ha. (155.63 ac.)
Recreation Activities
Operated By
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Brazeau Tufa (CNT)


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is: Government of Alberta.

  1. Aubrey, Merrily K., ed. Concise Place Names of Alberta. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006.
  2. Marl and Tufa, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta.

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