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Physical Geography

Geography of Canada

Planet Earth

1.
2.
3.
4.

Plate Tectonics
Geologic History
Earths Interior
Rock Cycle

Note 2.1

Continental Drift and


Plate Tectonics

Continental Drift was a theory proposed by


Alfred Wegener in 1915.
He was a Meteorologist in Germany.
He stated that the continents had moved, but
could not explain what made them move.
He proposed the idea of Pangea, meaning All Land.
This is the meeting of the continents.

Note 2.1

Continental Drift and


Plate Tectonics

Wegener used the following evidence


to support his theory:
1. The jigsaw puzzle fit of the continents
2. Similar fossils in South America and Africa
3. Similar mountains in both Atlantic Canada and the U.K.
4. Evidence of ice sheets in India, Africa, and South America

Alfred Wegener

Movement of the Plates

Write an article as if you


were a reporter from 1915.
The subject is Alfred
Wegener. You either support
him, are curious about him,
or think he is a nutcase.
Marks for discussing his theory, and
stating a clear opinion.

So-called Scientist found buried in research

Alfred Wegener
Respected Scientist

THE CONTINENTS TODAY

Antarctica

Note 2.2

Plate Tectonics

In 1967, J. Tuzo Wilson, proposed the


idea of Plate Tectonics.
He proposed that the continents are on
top of plates, or large masses of rock. The
plates are moved by a force called
Convection currents.
He used earthquake data to determine
where the boundaries of plates are.
Plate Tectonics is widely accepted among
scientists today.

Plate Tectonics Map

Earths Interior
HYDROSPHERE
Crust
- 8-64 km thick
- cold & fragile
- Granite and
Basalt

Mantle
- 1800 km thick
- hot & molten
- Magnesium
and Silicon
Outer Core
- 2000 km thick
- 3 - 4000C
- liquid Nickel
and Iron
Inner Core
- 1400 km thick
- 5 - 6000C
- solid Nickel
and Iron

Air

Water

ATMOSPHERE

Land

LITHOSPHERE

Plate Tectonics Processes

Plate Tectonics Separating

Plate Tectonics Separating

Plate Tectonics Separating

Plate Tectonics Colliding

Plate Tectonics Colliding

Plate Tectonics Sliding

Plate Tectonics Sliding

Plate Tectonics Sliding

Plate Tectonics Sliding

Plate Tectonics
Earthquakes and the Richter Scale
Less than 3.5
3.5-5.4
Under 6.0
6.1-6.9
7.0-7.9
8 or greater

Generally not felt, but recorded.


Often felt, but rarely causes damage.
At most slight damage to well-designed
buildings.
Can be destructive in areas up to about
100 kilometers across.
Major earthquake. Can cause serious
damage over larger areas.
Great earthquake. Can cause serious
damage in areas several hundred
kilometers across.

Note 2.2

The Rock Cycle


SEDIMENT

W.E.D.

Pressure

W.E.D.

SEDIMENTARY
ROCK

IGNEOUS

W.E.D.

Heat &
Pressure

METAMORPHIC
ROCK

Heat &
Pressure

Melts

Cools

Melts

MAGMA
W.E.D. = Weathers, erodes, and deposits

Melts

Igneous Rock

Granite

Sediment

Sedimentary Rock

Metamorphic Rock

Note 2.3

Geologic History

Precambrian Era
During this era, the hot earth cooled to form mounds of
rock called Shields. Volcanic activity continued to change
the landscape.
Volcanism

Fault
Ancient Sea
Igneous Rock

Note 2.3 Geologic History

During this era, water, wind and glaciers eroded the


Shield, creating sediments that fell into the sea around the
rock. These sediments built up and were compressed into
sedimentary rock.
Erosion

Erosion

Igneous Rock

Sediments

Paleozoic Era

Mesozoic Era

Note 2.3 Geologic History

Tectonic forces pushed weaker sedimentary rock against


the igneous rock, causing it to buckle, creating
mountains.
Sediments
Erosion
Sediments
Igneous Rock
Mountains
Forming

Cenozoic Era

Note 2.3 Geologic History

Continuous forces of erosion and mountain-building have


created Canada as we know it.
Sedimentary
Mountains
Eroding
Mountains
Forming

PACIFIC
ROCKY
OCEAN MOUNTAINS

Sedimentary
Plains
Igneous Rock
INTERIOR
PLAINS

CANADIAN
SHIELD

APPALACHIAN
MOUNTAINS
ATLANTIC
OCEAN

Page 100 # 2-8

Note 2.4

- Climate and Weather

Weather

is the condition of the atmosphere which lasts over a


short time period and for a small area
consists of characteristics such as temperature,
precipitation, wind, humidity, cloud cover, visibility, and
air pressure.

Note 2.4

- Climate and Weather

Climate

is the condition of the atmosphere which lasts over a


long time period (usually many years) and for a large
area.
consists of the same characteristics as weather (such
as temperature, precipitation, air pressure, etc.)

Note 2.4 - Climate and Weather


What's the difference?
The time period considered - weather describes
atmospheric conditions over a few days, or it can change
hour by hour, while climate describes conditions over
many years (usually 20 years is the standard).
The land area involved- weather is localized (it can be
raining in Brampton but sunny in Mississauga) but
climate is regionalized (all of Southern Ontario has the
same climate).
Climate is "average weather"

Note 2.4 - Climate and Weather


Great terms to know:
Precipitation any form of water that falls from
the sky
Average Annual Temperature daily average
temperatures added up and averaged over a year.
Temperature Range The highest temperature
minus the lowest (e.g 25 - 5 = a 20 range)

Total Precipitation Add up the precipitation

Continental Climate - climate away from a large


body of water
Higher Temperature Range (more than 25 degrees)
Cold winters and hot summers
Less precipitation (less than 1000 mm per year)
e.g. Winnipeg
Maritime Climate - climate near a large body of
water (and I mean big!)
-Low temperature range
-Mild winters, cooler summers
-More precipitation (more than 1000 mm per year)
-E.g. Vancouver

Note 2.6 - Factors Affecting Climate


L
O
W
E
R

Latitude
Ocean Currents
Winds
Elevation
Relief

Near Water

Urban
Centres

Latitude
Closer to the EQUATOR the HOTTER the weather will
be.
The FURTHER away from the Equator, the colder the
weather will be.

Ocean Currents
Cold ocean currents make the weather COLD. Even
close to the Equator.
Warm ocean currents make the weather warmer.

Winds
The strength and direction of winds can change
PRECIPITATION (Rain & Snow).
Winds also carry clouds. Clouds carry precipitation (Rain &
Snow).

Elevation:
The HIGHER above sea level you get (UP a MOUNTAIN),
the COLDER it gets.
Often why there is SNOW on tops of MOUNTAINS.

Relief:
The SHAPE of the land affects precipitation patterns.
On the windward side of mountains and hills, there is more
rain. e.g. Vancouver is a very rainy place.

Near Water:
The closer you are to water, the more MODERATE your
weather is. This means WARMER WINTERS and COOL
SUMMERS.
Provinces closer to
the Ocean:
1. British Columbia
2. Nova Scotia
3. P.E.I.
4. New Brunswick
5. Newfoundland

Urban Centres
Concrete and asphalt retain heat, warming up the city
The heat creates thunderstorms

Note 2.6
Types of
Precipitation

Thermal Precipitation

Cool air descends


and replaces
warm air

Movement of Storm

Thermal Precipitation
A.K.A. Convectional Precipitation
Warm areas of land or water heat the air above.
Hot air rises and cools. Cooler air is pushed
down. Clouds form and rain falls.
This is the cause of most thunderstorms.
Thermal
Precipitation

Warm air rises over cold air;


it expands and cools, condenses,
clouds form and it rains/snows

Frontal Precipitation
Warm air
This line
represents the
front separating
warm air from
cold air

Rain

Cool air

the ground

Frontal Precipitation
A.K.A. Cyclonic Precipitation

Cool and warm air meet. Warm air cools.


Clouds form and rain falls where the two
fronts meet.
Frontal
Precipitation

Relief Precipitation
When air rises the
pressure on it decreases;
it expands and cools

Rain
Shadow

Moist
wind

Sea

the ground

Pressure increases

Rain

When the air


descends the
pressure on it
increases; the
air contracts
and warms

Relief Precipitation
A.K.A. Orographic Precipitation
Warm moist air is forced up by a mountain
or hill. Air is cooled and rain or snow falls.

Relief
Precipitation

Vegetation near Vancouver

Rain Shadow near Drumheller Alberta

Note 2.5 - Climate Graphs


Climate Graphs are used to show average monthly
temperature and total monthly precipitation.

They are a quick way to learn about an area's climate.


Temperature is always shown with a red
line.
Precipitation is always shown with a blue
bar graph.

With many climate graphs, we also include


the temperature range, average monthly
precipitation, and total annual precipitation.

Note 2.5 - Climate Graphs (continued)


For an area with a maximum average monthly temperature
of 25C and a minimum average monthly temperature of 16C, calculate the temperature range.

25 C (-16 C) = 41 C
Try another one!
Maximum temperature is 15C
Minimum temperature is -3C

15 C (-3 C) = 18 C

Note 2.8 Components of Soil


M - Minerals
(tiny rock fragments)

O - Organic Materials
(bacteria, fragments of dead organisms,
dried up roots, poo, etc)
M Moisture
A - Air

Note 2.9
Coniferous and Deciduous Trees
Coniferous Trees
- Often know as "evergreens" and as "softwoods"
- Usually covered in needles
- Often bear cones
- Include pine, spruce, cedar

Deciduous Trees
- Lose leaves in autumn
- Often known as "hardwoods"
- Covered in broad leaves
- Include maple, oak, birch

Note 2.10 National Parks


National Parks are a country-wide system of
representative natural areas of Canadian
significance. By law, they are protected for
public understanding, appreciation and
enjoyment while being preserved in an
unimpaired state for future generations.

Extent of National Parks


Currently, there are over 45 National Parks
and Reserve Areas in Canada.
The smallest park is 8.7 km2 and the largest is
44 802 km2.
Currently, 2% of Canada's land mass is
protected in National Parks. The goal is 3%.

Types of Parks
Preservation

a) little human activity


b) research is on-going
c) protects the environment

Conservation

a) limited human activity (supervised)


b) educates the public about the
environment

Recreation

a) often involves camping / beaches


b) humans enjoying nature

Morraine Lake, Banff National Park

Polar Bear at Cape Churchill (Wapusk National Park)

Forillon National Park

Mountains of Glacier National Park of Canada

Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Prince Edward Island National Park

Sirmilik Glacier, Sirmilik National Park

Riding Mountain National Park

Flowerpot Island, part of Fathom Five National Marine Park.

Notes/Handouts you can copy for students

Warm air

Rain

Cool air

the ground

Pressure increases

Rain

Moist
wind

Sea

the ground

Geologic History
Precambrian Era
Vulcanism

Fault
Ancient Sea

Igneous Rock

Geologic History
Paleozoic Era
Erosion

Erosion

Sediments
Igneous Rock

Sediments

Geologic History
Mesozoic Era
Sediments
Erosion
Sediments
Igneous Rock
Mountains
Forming

Geologic History
Cenozoic Era

Mountains
Forming Sedimentary
Plains
Igneous Rock
PACIFIC
ROCKY
OCEAN MOUNTAINS

INTERIOR
PLAINS

CANADIAN
SHIELD

Sedimentary
Mountains
Eroding
APPALACHIAN
MOUNTAINS
ATLANTIC
OCEAN

Note 2.3

The Rock Cycle

W.E.D. = Weathers, erodes, and deposits

Earths Interior
Air

Water
Land