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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Climatic and geomorphic techniques and their application to regional resource planning Loney, Thomas William


The human race exists and progresses by virtue of a sum of knowledge, with which it is able to maintain a measure of control over the physical world. The real wealth of any region, race or nation is drawn from the land and today much of this land is bankrupt. Through overpopulation and misuse of his natural resources, man is rapidly backing himself into an ecological trap. The solution to this problem is to increase what may be termed the "carrying capacity" of the land. The only way this may be done is by national land use planning and development of resources on a regional basis. In developing land for any purpose, man faces certain physical limitations. The two most obvious and important are climate and land forms. Throughout history these fields have been studied and today are large and complex branches of science - they have remained, however, largely separate fields. Only very recently have some advances been made in the field of climatic geomorphology. The investigators in this field have tried to show some of the complex interrelationships that exist between climate and geomorphology. Unfortunately, although it shows great promise, most work to date has been on a highly academic level and its practical application has been piecemeal at best. This thesis is a modest attempt to define, on one hand, some fundamental interrelationships between climatology and geomorphology and then, on the other hand, to apply these defined principles to selected types of resource development regions. In this presentation, it is recognized that other factors, economic, political, administrative, technological, etc. may be equally, if not more important, in determining the patterns and nature of regional resource development; these factors, however, are only referred to in passing. The overall presentation is as follows: firstly, the need for regional resource planning is discussed in the light of pertinent physical factors. This is followed by two chapters which present an introduction into climatology and land forms. In these chapters the basic concepts and terms of these fields are explained and provide the essential background for the discussion to follow. To conclude the discussion of the physical elements, the two fields are interrelated and fundamental principles applicable to regional resource development, are developed. In the next section of the paper these principles are applied to selected types of resource development regions. In this connection, two major areas of development are examined as "case studies". These areas include: (1) the Kitimat-Kemano region as an example of the development of one resource; (2) the Lower Mainland region as an example of complex resource development which is influenced by a large urban area. Finally, the general applications of climatic and geomorphic principles to regional resource development which emerge from the examination of the two case studies are discussed.

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