GEOG 2OC3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Hudson Bay Lowlands, Glacial Landform, Quaternary

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2OC3
Week 2
The Ice Age
Pleistocene
Beginning of Quaternary Period (2.5MYA Present)
Humans evolve into anatomically modern forms
Most recent glacial episode in the Northern Hemisphere
o Up to 40 degrees N and 3km thick
Orbital Controls on Glaciation
Orbital Eccentricity
o Elliptical orbit impacts summer/winter solstices/equinoxes
Axial Precession
o Earth’s rotatioal ais shifts slightl due to graitatioal pull of su + oo
Axial Tilt (23.5 degrees)
o The angle of tilt between rotational axis and orbital axis
o Reason we have seasons
Glacial Cycles
Large glaciers formed at poles over thousands of years
3km thick glaciers covered all of Canada (18KYA 25KYA)
Millions of Lakes created by retreating glaciers
o Great lakes: % of orld’s surface fresh ater
Glaciers caused sea level to drop by 120m
Glacial landforms result from erosion or deposition by ice/meltwater
o Drumlins: elongated hills formed by the advance of glaciers acting on the
underlying unconsolidated material
o Moraines: ridges or mounds of glacial material deposited close to the ice margin
often associated with uneven topography
o Eskers: winding ridges of stratified sand & gravel frequently kilometers long,
possibly formed from meltwater running through glacial waters
o Retreat of glaciers
Northern Canada contains continuous (always frozen) or discontinuous (sometimes
frozen) permafrost
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2OC3
Week 2
Paleogeography
Paleogeomorphology of Canada
Earth is 4.5 BYA vs North American landmass is 66 MYA
Hadean Period: Earth is a fiery ball of lava
o Canadian Shield formed
Supercontinents: Rodinia and Pangaea
Precambrian: Canadian Shield
Paleozoic: Appalachian + Uplands + Arctic Lands
Mesozoic: Interior Plains
Cenozoic: Cordillera
Quaternary: Great Lakes/ St Lawrence Lowlands
Pleistocene: Hudson Bay Lowlands
Mountain Belts (Orogonies)
Formed by convergent stress and strain
Two tectonic plates squeeze together rock is piled in between forming mountains
Canada contains 3 principle mountain chains:
o Rocky Mountains to the West
o Innutian Mountains to the North
o Appalachian Mountains to the East
Epeiric Seas
Inland sea caused by high sea levels
Leads to limestone caps of lowlands (Alberta Badlands + Niagara Escarpment)
Ancient Animals
Woolly Mammoths
Sabre-toothed Cats
Glyptodons
Dinosaurs
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Document Summary

Beginning of quaternary period (2. 5mya present) Most recent glacial episode in the northern hemisphere: up to 40 degrees n and 3km thick. Orbital eccentricity: elliptical orbit impacts summer/winter solstices/equinoxes. Axial tilt (23. 5 degrees: earth"s rotatio(cid:374)al a(cid:454)is shifts slightl(cid:455) due to gra(cid:448)itatio(cid:374)al pull of su(cid:374) + (cid:373)oo(cid:374, the angle of tilt between rotational axis and orbital axis, reason we have seasons. Large glaciers formed at poles over thousands of years. 3km thick glaciers covered all of canada (18kya 25kya) Millions of lakes created by retreating glaciers: great lakes: (cid:1006)(cid:1005)% of (cid:449)orld"s surface fresh (cid:449)ater. Glaciers caused sea level to drop by 120m. Northern canada contains continuous (always frozen) or discontinuous (sometimes frozen) permafrost. Earth is 4. 5 bya vs north american landmass is 66 mya. Hadean period: earth is a fiery ball of lava: canadian shield formed. Paleozoic: appalachian + uplands + arctic lands. Two tectonic plates squeeze together rock is piled in between forming mountains.

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