Physical Regions Of Western Canada


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Physical Regions Of Western Canada

  1. 1. Geography of Physical Regions of Western Canada Western Canada
  2. 2. Geological features • The physical geography of Western Canada has made development a challenge • Each region has distinct landforms, climatic conditions, and geological features • Three physical regions of Western Canada: the Canadian Shield, the Interior Plains, and the Western Mountains
  3. 3. The Canadian Shield
  4. 4. The Canadian Shield • The Canadian Shield was once a volcanic mountain range as high as the Himalayas • Millions of years of weathering and erosion have wore it down into a landscape of exposed rocks and lakes
  5. 5. • Originally made of igneous rock • Igneous rock: formed by the solidification of molten material • Over time, changed by heat and/or pressure into metamorphic rock
  6. 6. • The Canadian Shield is • The exposed rock makes rich in minerals such as the land unsuitable for copper, gold, lead, and agriculture and nickel settlement
  7. 7. The Interior Plains
  8. 8. The Interior Plains • The area between the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian Shield • Formed as eroded material from the Canadian Shield was deposited in layers • Layers of sedimentary rock
  9. 9. The Interior Plains • Millions of years ago, the Interior Plains had a tropical climate • Covered by water, plants, and animals • Over time, these deposits were compressed in layers of sedimentary rock to form rich deposits of fossil fuels and evaporites
  10. 10. The Western Mountains
  11. 11. • The Western Mountains are a cordillera • Parallel mountain ranges, separated by a series of plateaus and valleys • Formed by tectonic plate collisions, causing the Earth’s crust to buckle
  12. 12. • Tectonics caused the terrain to form valleys, plateaus, and trenches • Erosion from rivers and glaciers formed the jagged, rugged, and mountainous landscape we know today • Alluvium (sediments carried by off rivers) formed fertile river valleys, such as the Fraser River Valley • Rich in minerals, copper, gold, molybdenum, and coal The Western Mountains
  13. 13. Ancient State Canadian Shield Interior Plains Western Mountains • Volcanic • Tropical • Series of plates mountains climate moving • As high as the • Covered by toward one Himalayas water another • Igneous rock
  14. 14. Significant Changes Canadian Shield Interior Plains Western Mountains • Eroded • Plate collision • Millions of material laid years of down at edges • Pressure of plate tectonics weathering • Occasional and erosion flooding • Erosion from rivers and • Heat and • Deposits glaciers pressure compressed
  15. 15. Result of Changes Canadian Shield Interior Plains Western Mountains • Worn down • Flood deposits • Earth’s crust into an buckled, lifted of plants and exposed into the air animals landscape of • Valleys, rocks and lakes • Deposits of plateaus, and fossil fuels and • Changed to trenches evaporites metamorphic formed rock • Fertile valleys
  16. 16. Appearance Today Canadian Shield Interior Plains Western Mountains • Cordillera: • Horizontal series of layers of parallel sedimentary mountain • Hard, rigid, rock ranges exposed rocks • Flat and rolling separated by a grasslands series of plateaus and valleys