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.
Map of the Area
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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 .
|Site Name||Brazeau Tufa (CNT)|
|Site Type||Natural Area|
|Subtype||Consultative Notation (CNT)|
|Natural Region(s)||Lower Foothills|
|O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)||N/A|
|PASite ID (Map Ref #)||467|
|Site # (Parks Website)|
|Total Area||62.98 ha. (155.63 ac.)|
|Notes and Comments|
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- Aubrey, Merrily K., ed. Concise Place Names of Alberta. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2006.
- Marl and Tufa, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta.