Sunday, October 28, 2012

Physical Regions of Ontario

The province of Ontario has four major regions:
Canadian Shield 
Hudson Bay Lowland 
Great Lakes Lowland 
St. Lawrence Lowland 

  • The Canadian Shield covers two-thirds of Ontario and is made of igneous and metamorphic rocks that form flat plateaus and low hills.   This region of Canada is found in the center of the country, surrounding Hudson Bay.  Geographers have named this region because of its shield shape.  This region makes up almost half of the land in Canada, but few people live here. 

    The region is made up of hills, highlands, plateaus, lowlands, plains, and numerous rivers and lakes.This region reaches up to the North, and spans the country from the Prairies to the Atlantic.  The large size of this region means that the climate will vary greatly inside the region.

    Industries in this region of the country include mining, forestry, and power production.  The main mineral mined on the Canadian Shield is Nickel.  Forestry is a large employer of people in this region.  Most of the power production in the region is hydroelectric, using the force of flowing water to create electricity.

  • The Hudson Bay Lowland has flat sedimentary rocks.   This region lines the northernmost third of the province. A narrow strip of arctic tundra edges the frigid waters of Hudson Bay.

  • The Great Lakes Lowland region of Canada consists mostly of Southern Ontario.  Geographers believe that this whole region was once covered by large sheets of ice called Glaciers.  These ice sheets carved and shaped the land as the moved and eventually melted.  The water that came from these melting glaciers formed the Great Lakes.  The land is covered with sand, dust, rocks and mud left behind by the ice.  All this material formed hills, and plains across the region.  Escarpments are also found in this region, the most important being named the Niagara Escarpment.

    Climate in this region can be described as having cold winters and hot summers.  This area is in the path of many storm systems that cross the continent, which means that day to day weather can be very different.
  • The St. Lawrence Lowland is less than 91 miles high and is part of the sand and clay plains. Rich, loamy soils underlie the rolling hills and lush valleys of the St. Lawrence Lowland.

  • The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands are located in the southern part of Ontario near the Great Lakes. It's also located in the southern part of Quebec right where the St.Lawrence River is. The St.Lawrence River contains over 2000 islands, rocky islets, and on the land there are small hills. The soil here is fertile and good for agriculture. Along the St. Lawrence River, trees are harvested for maple syrup.

    In the Lowlands, spring is short, summers are hot and humid, and winters are long., but milder. The winters can bring ice storms and blizzards are common. Autumn is nippy, but pleasant.


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