Harper, John R. and Haggarty, James and Morris, Mary C.
Broughton Archipelago Clam Terrace Survey : final report.
Sidney, B.C., Canada,
Coastal & Ocean Resources Inc.,
During a 1995 aerial video survey of the coastline
of Johnstone Strait, an unusual shoreline feature
was noted and termed “clam terraces” (inset)
because of the terrace-type morphology and the
apparent association with high clam productivity
on the sandflats. Typical alongshore lengths of the
terrace ridges are 20-50m, and across-shore widths
are typically 20-40m.
An area with an especially high density of clam
terraces was noted in the Broughton Archipelago,
between Broughton and Gilford Islands of
southeastern Queen Charlotte Strait. Clam terraces
in this area were inventoried from the aerial video
imagery to quantify their distribution. The terraces accounted for over 14 km of shoreline and
365 clam terraces were documented.
A three-day field survey by a coastal geomorphologist, archeologist and marine biologist was
conducted to document the features and determine their origin. Nine clam terraces were
surveyed. The field observations confirmed that: the ridges are comprised of boulder/cobblesized
material, ridge crests are typically in the range of 1-1.5m above chart datum, sandflats are
comprised almost entirely of shell fragments (barnacles and clams) and sandflats have very high
shellfish production. There are an abundance of shell middens in the area (over 175) suggesting
that the shellfish associated with the terraces were an important food source of aboriginal
The origin of the ridges is unknown; they appear to be a relict feature in that they are not actively
being modified by present-day processes. The ridges may be a relict sea-ice feature, although the
mechanics of ridge formation is uncertain. Sand accumulates behind the ridge because the supply
rate of the shell fragments exceeds the dispersal rate in these low energy environments.
The high density areas of clam terraces correspond to high density areas of shell middens, and it
is probable that the clam terraces were subjected to some degree of modification by aboriginal
shellfish gatherers over the thousands of years of occupation in the region. (Document contains 39 pages)
Monograph or Serial Issue
||Broughton Archipelago Clam Terrace Survey : final report
|Harper, John R.||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Morris, Mary C.|
||Coastal & Ocean Resources Inc.
|Place of Publication:
||Sidney, B.C., Canada
||Canada; British Columbia; North Pacific; Broughton Archipelago; Tapes philippinarum;clam culture; aquaculture techniques; artisanal fisheries; archaeology; Coastal & Ocean Resources Inc.; Shoreline Archeological Services; Kallahin Surveying; British Columbia. Land Use Coordination Office
||23 May 2008 20:28
||28 Apr 2015 20:42
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