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Saskatchewan: Location and Land

Location

Located in the prairie region of Canada, Saskatchewan is in the heart of North America, neighbouring the provinces of Manitoba to the east and Alberta to the west. To the south it borders the American states of Montana and North Dakota. To the north are the Canadian territories of Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Saskatchewan is the only province or territory in Canada that has no natural borders.

Landmass

Saskatchewan is the fifth largest province in Canada covering 651,900 sq kms. The province is roughly in the shape of a rectangle. Saskatchewan is 1200 km from north to south and 655 km in width from west to east along the Trans Canada highway.

The Land

Known for its flat southern plains, over half of Saskatchewan is covered in forests. The northern third of the province rests on a formation of Precambrian rock, a westerly extension of the great Canadian Shield. One-third of the province is cultivated lands, and one-eighth is covered with water. The southern part of the province is relatively flat, with occasional valleys created by erosion from the glacial era. The flat southern prairie is broken by the Qu'appelle Valley system of lakes. This prairie zone is where most of the people live. Saskatchewan's highest point, is the un-glaciated Cyprus Hills in the southwest portion of the province (and Alberta) At their summit the Cyprus Hills are 1392 m above sea level. In the Northwest, the Athabasca Provincial Park has sand dunes 30 m high with semi-arid vegetation. Rolling sandhills are found in southwestern Saskatchewan.

Rivers

In Saskatchewan there are over 100 000 lakes, rivers, and bogs. The Province has three major river systems all of which empty into Hudson Bay; the Assiniboine, the North and South Saskatchewan and the Churchill.

Forests

Over one-half of the province, or approximately 3450 000 km2, is covered by forests. Of the total forest area, 2165000 km2 are classified as commercially productive forest land and contain both hardwood and softwood species.


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