Physical Geography - Physical Geography Size and Location...

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Physical Geography Size and Location With a total area of 3,849,670 square miles (9,970,610 km2), Canada is the second largest nation in the world. It is slightly more than half the size of Russia and is somewhat larger than China and the United States. With a maximum width (east-west) of 3,200 miles (5,150 km), Canada stretches across six time zones. The north-south maximum distance is 12,800 miles (4,500 km). The coast of the mainland measures about 17,900 miles (28,800 km); that of the islands, 41,800 miles (67,270 km). Canada borders the United States in the south and stretches northward, past the Arctic Circle, to the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean. The east coast is formed largely by the Atlantic Ocean, including such arms as the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Labrador Sea, Davis Strait, and Baffin Bay. Western Canada fronts on the Pacific Ocean and borders Alaska. The 5,527-mile (8,895-km) Canada-United States boundary, including 1,540 miles (2,478 km) along Alaska, is the longest between any two nations in the world. Canada is the second largest country in the world. Only Russia has more land. Land Canada can be divided into seven major physical regions. All were heavily glaciated and altered during the last Ice Age. The Canadian Shield An immense block of ancient crystalline rock, called the Canadian Shield, spans roughly half of the country. It curves in a great arc around Hudson Bay from the coast of Labrador to the Beaufort Sea. Included in the region are some Arctic islands. Most of the terrain varies from relatively level to hummocky, with an abundance of glacial debris, exposed rock, lakes, and muskegs (bogs). Elevations are generally less than
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1,500 feet (460 m); however, they exceed 3,500 feet (1,070 m) in the Laurentian Mountains, north of the St. Lawrence River, and reach 8,500 feet (2,590 m) on Baffin Island. The Shield is rich in minerals, forests, and waterpower, both developed and potential. Most of it has not been settled. The Hudson Bay Lowland is a flat, poorly drained area of marine deposits between the Canadian Shield and the southern shore of Hudson Bay. It extends inland up to 200 miles (320 km) and lies roughly between the Moose and Churchill rivers. Except for the wheat-shipping port of Churchill, in the north, there are virtually no settlements. The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowland is a fertile area of level to rolling land adjoining Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in southern Ontario and Quebec. Though relatively small, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Lowland is the most heavily populated and productive part of Canada. The Appalachian Region in the east, includes the island of Newfoundland, the Maritime Provinces, and that part of Quebec southeast of the St. Lawrence valley. The region is the northernmost part of an ancient, largely eroded mountain system and consists mainly of hills and low, rounded mountains. In some areas there are coastal lowlands and fertile valleys and basins. The highest peak rises only 4,160 feet (1,268 m) above sea level, in the
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2012 for the course BADM 318 taught by Professor Mitra during the Spring '12 term at British Columbia Institute of Technology.

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Physical Geography - Physical Geography Size and Location...

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