Browse "Geology"

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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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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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Coal in Canada

Coal is a fossil fuel that has been used as a source of energy in Canada since the 18th century. Canada is home to 0.6 per cent of the world’s coal resources. Most of the country’s coal reserves (over 95 per cent) are found in AlbertaBritish Columbia and Saskatchewan. In recent years, the environmental movement has opposed the coal industry for disrupting local ecosystems, creating adverse health effects and for its large contribution to the carbon-dioxide emissions that drive climate change. In an effort to curb harmful emissions, the federal government has signalled its intention to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, and Alberta has a plan to achieve the same goal as a province.

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Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.

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Geological Survey of Canada

The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) is Canada's national agency for geoscientific information and research. It studies and reports on Canada’s geology, natural geological hazards, and the development of natural resources. Established in 1842 primarily to promote the mining industry, it is one of the country’s oldest scientific organizations. Throughout its history, the Survey has produced some of the most comprehensive and detailed maps of the Canadian landscape, and published several important reports on its ecology and natural history.

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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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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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Meteorite Craters

 The solar system contains many objects smaller than the planets (or their satellites) travelling in individual orbits about the SUN; space between the planets also contains myriad dust grains in the micron size range.

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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).