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The Canadian Shield, Highlands and Lowlands Characteristics

The Canadian Shield
-The foundation of Canada (and parts of the US)
-Some of the oldest rocks
-Today looks like mostly rounded hills of rock
-It is a storehouse of Canada’s metallic minerals - minerals were present in the molten rock beneath the Earth’s
crust. As the minerals cooled they separated into layers according to their density
-The soil is very thin so not much farming can be done there.
-Glacial lakes have left thick deposits of clay
-The Canadian Shield is ideal for recreation because of its scenic rivers, waterfalls and lakes.(p.132)
-The glaciers carved into the bedrock which then filled with water creating the many lakes and rivers
-Lots of hydroelectric power occur in this area.
Interior Plains
-covered by a shallow inland sea (in prehistoric times)
-the plains were formed by erosion of the Canadian Shield
- mostly composed of rolling hills and deep wide river beds - mostly flat lands
-part of the great plains of North America
-the plains are located in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, NWT, and a part of Yukon
-fertile land to mostly grow wheat — called the Bread Basket of the World
-oil and gas found in Alberta and Saskatchewan
Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Lowlands
-separated by a small section of the Canadian Shield - around Kingston Ontario
-climate is well suited for agriculture (fruits and vegetables, wheat, corn etc)
-very humid and warm during the summer, during winter it is cold
-most southern region of Canada
-majority of the population of Canada
-large industrial area
-flat plains and river valleys
-rolling landscape with a bedrock formed from the paleozoic era
-rich valleys were formed by faulting (Niagara escarpment)
Hudson Bay - Arctic Lowlands
-flat and low area covered by swampy forests (clay in the ground)
-layers of sedimentary rock on top of the Canadian Shield
-waters of Hudson Bay once covered all these lowlands
-not good for agriculture
-long cold winters and short warm/cool summers
-islands in the north have a gentle rolling landscape
-contains natural gas, lignite and oil (very expensive to mine)
Appalachian Mountains
-oldest highlands region in North America (300 million years ago)
-more rounded mountains now caused by erosion
-lots of iron, zinc, coal and many other minerals found in the mountains
-sloping ridges, valleys and forests
-stretch from the US (state of Georgia) up to the Maritime provinces (PEI, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick) and
into Newfoundland.
Western Cordillera
-lightly populated areas due to cold and extreme height
-young by geological age - great height and rugged appearance (no big erosion yet like the Appalachians)
-formed at the end of the mesozoic and beginning of the cenozoic eras
-consist of range after range of mountains with valleys in between
-no vegetation on the mountains (barren)
-run north and south
-large ore deposits
- formed when the Pacific plate and the North American plate collided
-glaciers still found in the mountains
-located on the western side of the continent
-when the ice melted, many fjords were created
Innuitian Mountains
-located in Canada’s northeast
-formed when the North American plate moved north
-very young by geological times
-formed in the mesozoic era
-lots of ore and minerals but too expensive to retrieve
-no plant life due to extreme cold and height
-very tall and rugged due to no erosion
-covered in snow and ice year round
-various rock groups (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary)