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GEOG 2RC3 (90)
Lecture

The Physical Environment.docx

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Department
Geography
Course
GEOG 2RC3
Professor
Walter Peace
Semester
Winter

Description
The Physical Environment Purpose:  To describe Canada’s physical geography  To consider the relationship between Canada’s physical and human geographies  To examine the nature of environmental issues in Canada Questions:  Where is Niagara falls?  Where was Niagara falls 10,000 years ago?  Why is the second question necessary? o Since the end of the last ice age (12,000 ya), Niagara falls has ‘retreated’ about 8km up the Niagara river o Since Father Louis Hennepin saw the falls in 1678, retreat=300m o Explanation for ‘retreat’/recession… geologic composition of Niagara escarpment The physical Environment:  “why is Canada’s physical geography so essential to and understanding of its regional geography? (Bone, 20122, 31)  Physical landscapes differ in terms of: o Landforms o Geology o Climate o Vegetation o Solid o Hydrology Definitions:  Physiographic region: an area with distinct surface landform features (geomorphology) and underlying rock structure (geology) see figure 2.1 p. 34  Geomorphology: the study of landforms and the process(es) of their genesis (from Greek root words: geo-earth; and morpho- form) Geology 101  Three basic rock types: o Igneous- rocks formed when minerals crystalize during the cooling of molten liquids (ex. Granite (heat)) o Sedimentary- rocks formed through the layering of mineral particles (ex. Limestone (deposition)) o Metamorphic- existing rocks are altered through heat/pressure (ex. Shale transformed into slate (heat/pressure)) Landform Processes  Erosional processes: the wearing away of something by a force o Water, ice, wind  Depositional processes: o Water, ice, wind
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