Landforms | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article


    Badlands are dramatic landforms characterized by a network of deep, narrow and winding gullies, along with occasional hoodoo rocks. Their steep, barren slopes provide striking evidence of the force of erosion by wind and water — a source of continual change in their terrain.

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    Bluefish Caves

    Bluefish Caves contain the oldest undisturbed archaeological evidence in Canada.

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    Cap Wolstenholme

    Cap Wolstenholme, 384 m high, is an imposing headland marking the western limit of Hudson Strait.

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    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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    Delta (Landform)

    ​A delta is a deposit of sediment at the mouth of a river that accumulates as the river flows into a standing body of water such as a lake or ocean. Because sediment tends to be rich in nutrients, deltas become fertile wetlands inhabited by diverse wildlife. Among the largest deltas in Canada are those of the Mackenzie and Saskatchewan rivers, as well as the Peace-Athabasca Delta (where the Peace, Athabasca and Birch rivers meet). Certain deltas offer advantageous access to natural resources and maritime transportation, but development projects are often controversial due to the ecological importance of these environments.

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    This is a steep or vertical cliff which usually extends over a considerable distance. The most common type of escarpment occurs where more resistant strata form a cap rock over easily eroded rocks. As EROSION takes place, the lower rock erodes more rapidly so that the cliff remains very steep.

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    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).

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    Fraser River Canyon

    The Fraser River Canyon was formed during the Miocene period (22.9-5.33 million years ago) when the river cut down into the uplifting southern part of the Interior Plateau of British Columbia. The canyon characteristics of this

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    Hells Gate

    Hells Gate is a narrow rocky gorge of the Fraser River Canyon south of Boston Bar, British Columbia.

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    Hoodoo Rock

     Hoodoo rocks are often fantastically shaped, naturally carved rocks or earth pedestals, pillars or columns. The word hoodoo probably derives from voodoo, a West African-based religion in which magical powers can be associated with natural features. Hoodoos conjure up images of strange events.

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    Meteors, Meteorites and Impact 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. Near Earth, dust concentrations are only a few hundred particles per cubic kilometre, but 35 000 to 100 000 t of extraterrestrial material enters the atmosphere annually, swept up by our planet from debris that is in its path or crosses its path.

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    A moraine is a landform composed of an accumulation of sediment deposited by or from a GLACIER and possessing a form independent of the terrain beneath it.

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    Niagara Escarpment

    The Niagara Escarpment, in its Ontario portion, is 725 km long, covering 1923 km2, with a maximum height of 335 m.

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    Percé Rock

    Percé Rock (or Rocher Percé) is a monolith off the Gaspé Pen​insula, 750 km east of ​Québec City, near its namesake, the town of Per​cé.

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    Toronto Feature: Scarborough Bluffs

    This article is from our Toronto Feature series. Features from past programs are not updated.

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