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Canada's 7 Landform Regions

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stephanie eliseo

on 29 March 2011

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Transcript of Canada's 7 Landform Regions

Canada's 7 Landform Regions We are able to study Canada's topography (natural and human features of the landscape) by focusing on the regions landforms. Landform is the term given to the physical features of the earth's crust. The three distinct landforms of Canada are:

1) Shield
The Canadian Shield

2) The Highlands (mountains)
Innuitian Mountains
Western Cordillera

3) The Lowlands (plains)
Hudson Bay / Arctic Lowlands
Great Lakes / St. Lawerane Lowlands
Interior Plains Canadian Shield THE CANADIAN SHIELD
- Geographical foundation of Canada --- more than half of Canada is covered by the Shield
- Underlies much of Canada and 2 small parts of the United States
- Oldest rocks (3.96 billion years old)
- Today, most of the Shield is rounded hills of rock that are actually roots of ancient mountains
- Shield has been eroded for billions of years, thus, it is relatively FLAT.
- Much of the shield is rugged and rocky
- It has thousands of lakes and some of Canada's longest rivers
- Has the highst mountains in eastern Canada
- Long Stretches of bare rock
- Marshy wetlands and swampy areas
- The many lakes and rivers make it an excellent source of water-generated energy

Igneous and metamorphic. Contain minerals in great quantities. Because of the vast deposits of lead, gold, nickel, copper, zinc, the Canadian Shield is often called the storehouse of Canada’s metallic minerals

How has the Landscape affected Life in the Canadian Shield?
Key transportation routes (linking Aboriginal peoples all across the region to create large trading networks)
The waterways remain important for transportation today
Important source of food (fishing)
Because of the rocky terrain and large marshy areas, agriculture is not good in the Shield
Rocks contain valuable minerals
Mining is one of the most important activities in the Shield
The Shield attracts mining companies because of its abundance of metallic minerals. Cities and town on the Shield, including Sudbury in Ontario, Thompson in Manitoba, and Yellowknife in Northwest Territories rely on the mining industry for jobs

Natural Resources
The Shield is filled with natural resources, both renewable and non-rewable
Not much farming takes place on the Shield because most areas have very thin soil
Wood, metal (gold, silver, nickel, iron, zinc), diamonds, paper products and even electricity may have started in this resource rich region Lowlands Interior Plains INTERIOR PLAINS
Located in west-central Canada
It includes: most of Alberta, large parts of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories
A region of flat plains with gently rolling hills, lowlands, plateaus, and foothills
Also has escarpments, which are steep slopes or cliffs that seperate flat lands of different heights
Has many shallow ponds and large areas of marshy wetlands
Rolling hills and deep wide river valleys
Land slopes gently downward from west to east

Natural Resources:
The Interior Plains is rich in natural resources:
Oil, natural gas, coal
Potash (type of salt)
Lake, rivers and streams
Largest source of fossil fuel -- we rely on them to run cars, heat homes and run machinery
Much wheat is grown in the southern part of the Plains, thus, the region is known as "Canada's breadbasket"

Sediments from the Shield and Rocky Mountains were deposited in these areas over millions of years, eventually, these sediments were compressed by the weight of the layers above into sedimentary rock
Rock layers are several thousand metres thick and took millions of years to form
Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Lowlands GREAT LAKES ST. LAWRENCE LOWLANDS
• The St. Lawrence Lowland is a narrow strip of low, flat land along the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River
• Region consists of two parts: the Great Lakes to the west and St. Lawrence Lowlands to the east.
• Mostly flat lowland, but it also has rolling hills
• Land includes plains, hills, and rivers
• The Region is often called a ‘basin’ because it is shaped like a tub

• Have bedrock formed of sedimentary rocks from the Palaeozoic Era ---- best known is the Niagara Escarpment, which was formed by differential erosion. Niagara Falls
• In Great Lakes, glaciations have created a rolling landscape. The glaciers carried huge amounts of material (soil, sand, gravel) from the Shield and dumped them throughout the region

How landscape affects life?
• The St. Lawrence River is a transportation link between Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes
• Many industries are located in this region because they use the St. Lawrence River to transport raw materials
• Agriculture: fertile soil which is good to grow crops and raise animals
• Dairy farming is the most common type of farming
• Flat land is also ideal for transportation routes and development of cities

Natural Resources:
• Only has a few natural resources because of its small size and long history of human activity. It is well situated to agriculture because of its excellent routes and warm climate
• Fertile soil
• Forest
• Water
• Fish
• Limestone and sandstone Arctic Lowlands HUDSON BAY – ARCTIC LOWLANDS
•Northern Canada, and most of the Region is North of the Arctic Circle
•Rolling, rock covered plateaus
•Rugged mountains in the east. Low flat lands in the west
•Ground is permanently frozen (permafrost)

How landscape affects life:
•Most settlements are near the coast, where fiords and deep valleys provide shelter from the cold wind
•The ocean is a source of food and summer transportation

This region has layers of sedimentary rock that rest on top of the ancient rock of the shield
Waters of Hudson Bay covered much of the lowland at the end of the last ice age and deposited the sand, silt, and clay that became the layers of sedimentary rock

Natural Resources:
•Animals are used for food, clothing, and other important renewable resources
• Deposits of lead, zinc, silver, and other minerals THE HIGHLANDS
Canada’s three highland areas lie to the east, north, and west of the Shield and lowland areas. Each of these three striking mountainous areas has a different geological history and appearance Appalachian Highland • Region made up of ancient low mountains, beautiful coastal scenary, sandy beaches, and fertile soils
• Stretch from state of Georgia in the southern US through Maritimes to Newfoundland in the north
• Variety of landfroms; low rounded mountains, flat uplands, plains with rich farming soil, steep rocky cliffs along the regions coast, and large islands (Newfoundland, and PEI)

• Layers of sedimentary rock were uplifted and folded at the end of the Palaeozoic era when North America collided with Europe and northern Africa during formation of Pangaea – similar rocks found in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland where similar to those found in Wales and Scotland
• Layers of sedimentary rock are rich in deposits of non-metallic minerals (such as coal)

How landscape affects life:
• The waters provide many species of fish and mammals for food
• Rich soils in the valleys provide a suitable place to grow crops
• Fish and farming are important industries in the region
• Forest provides lumber for homes and ship building industries

Natural Resources:
• Fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas)
• Minerals (copper, gold, lead, silver, gypsum, salt)
• Fish
• Water
• Trees
• Land Innuitian Mountains INNUITIAN MOUNTAINS
• Vast areas covered in ice and permanent snow
• Stand like icy watchtowers in Canada’s far north

• Contain some igneous and metamorphic rock, but for the most part are composed of sedimentary rocks
- Younger than the Appalachians, erosion has not had time to wear them down as much
- BARREN (having no vegetation) because trees can neither survive the extremely cold winter temperatures nor grow during the short summer

• Made up of rugged high mountains, lush rain forests and powerful earthquakes
• Long mountain system that runs along the western edge of north and south America
• Consists of range after range of mountains separated by plateaus and valleys
• Great height and rugged appearance of these ranges tell us that they geographically young
• There are major divisions in the Western Cordillera:
Western (Coast Mountains)
Interior Plateaus (Columbia, Skeena, and Ogilive Mountains)
Eastern Mountains (composed of Mackenzie and Rocky Mountains)

How landscape affects life:
• People settle along the water ways because of the rich supply of fish and mammals for food
• Large fishing and tourism industries
• Mountains and valleys run in a north-south direction --- obstacle to transportation. Only few passes or gaps in the ranges of the Cordillera that are low enough to allow highways and railways to cross over
• Mountains are not good for farming or building, as a result farms and communities have crowded onto small areas of flat lands and good soil

Natural Resources:
• Rich in natural resources:
• Minerals (coal, copper, zinc, gold)
• Water
• Forest
• Fish
• Soil
Canada could be described as “a core of ancient rock surrounded by lowlands and then highlands on three sides”, simple description, yet, summarizes the diversity of Canada’s physical landforms
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