Browse "Geology"

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Bathurst Island Plant Fossils

Early land plants have long been known from Eastern Canada, thanks to pioneering work by Sir J. William Dawson, father of Devonian palaeobotany and principal of McGill University from 1855 to 1893. But this record poorly represented the earliest phase of land colonization.

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CESAR

The main objective of the multidisciplinary expedition was to carry out a geological survey of the ridge. Researchers, therefore, brought a veritable geotechnical arsenal to bear on the polar ice to gather seismic, gravimetric, bathymetric and other data.

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Canadian Shield

The Canadian Shield refers to the exposed portion of the continental crust underlying the majority of North America. The crust, also known as the North American Craton, extends from northern Mexico to Greenland and consists of hard rocks at least 1 billion years old. With the exception of the Canadian Shield, the rocks of the North American Craton are buried deep within the continent and covered by soil and other material. At 5 million km2, the Shield makes up roughly 50 per cent of Canada’s land mass. Shaped like a horseshoe — or the shields carried during hand-to-hand combat — the Canadian Shield extends from Labrador in the east to include nearly all of Québec, much of Ontario and Manitoba, the northern portion of Saskatchewan, the northeast corner of Alberta, much of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and into the Arctic Archipelago. (It also reaches into parts of the United States, in New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota.) While at times a barrier to settlement, the Shield has also yielded great resources, including minerals, coniferous forests and the capacity for hydroelectric developments.

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Cave

Origins Lava tube caves, an important minor class, are formed by channelled outflow of molten lava in congealing flows. Sea caves most commonly result from erosion by waves.

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Coal

Coal is a fossil fuel which has been used as a source of energy in Canada since the 18th century. Canada is home to a tenth of the world’s coal resources, the majority of which (over 90 per cent) are found in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

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Drumlin

Drumlin, smooth, half egg-shaped or ellipsoidal hill which formed beneath Quaternary GLACIERS. Drumlins [Gaelic druim, "hill"] were first described in Ireland. They lie parallel to the direction of ice movement, the blunt (stoss) end facing up-glacier, the lee sloping down-glacier.

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Earthquake

​An earthquake is a vibratory motion generated from the movement of rock along a fault line beneath the Earth’s surface.

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Esker

An esker is a ridge (Gaelic eiscir, "ridge") of gravel and sand emplaced during glacial melt by the deposition of sediments from meltwater rivers flowing on the ice (channel fills) or beneath a glacier (tunnel fills).

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Fossil

  Fossil [Lat fossilis, "dug up"], trace of an ancient animal or plant preserved in the Earth's crust. Palaeontology is the modern, scientific study of fossils, but these curious objects have attracted attention since ancient times.

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Fossil Animals

The first animals were microscopic in size and left no known fossil remains. The oldest animal fossils occur in sediments deposited under shallow equatorial seas over 600 million years ago.

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Fossil Plants

"Plant" refers to familiar land plants, and also to aquatic plants, mosses, liverworts and algae plants. Although not technically plants, fungi and bacteria are often included. Palaeobotany is the study of ancient plant life using fossil evidence. Plant fossils are found coast-to-coast in Canada, from 45-million-year-old mosses in British Columbia to fossil forests on Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere islands in the Canadian Arctic.

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Geological History

Fundamental to all ordering of events of the Earth's history is the principle of the positional relationships of rock and mineral bodies. For example, in any stratified rock sequence, younger rocks overlie older ones.