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Permafrost

Permafrost is ground remaining at or below 0°C continuously for at least two years. About 50 per cent of Canada is underlain by permafrost, mainly in the Arctic Archipelago, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

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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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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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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).

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Periglacial Landform

A periglacial landform is a feature resulting from the action of intense frost, often combined with the presence of permafrost. Periglacial landforms are restricted to areas that experience cold but essentially nonglacial climates.

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Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is a mass of ice covering a high plateau between Mount Columbia (3747 m), the highest point in Alberta, and Mount Athabasca (3491 m), located between Banff and Jasper national parks, along the BC-Alberta border.

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Cassiar District

The Cassiar District lies in British Columbia's northwest corner; it historically encompasses the Stikine and Dease River watersheds and that of the upper Taku, NASS and Kechika.

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Lake Agassiz

Lake Agassiz was the largest glacial lake in North America. It was formed 11 500 years ago in front of the northeastwardly retreating Laurentide Ice Sheet, which acted as a dam.

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Yukon River

At 3,185 km (1,149 km of which lie in Canada), the Yukon River is the fifth-longest river in North America.

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Pingo

 A pingo is an ice-cored hill typically conical in shape, growing and persisting only in PERMAFROST. The word "pingo" is of Inuit origin and was first used in the English-language literature by the botanist Alf E.

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Landslide

A landslide is a downward and outward movement of a soil mass that formed part of a slope.

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Metamorphic Rock

Metamorphic rock is one of the 3 major classes of rock comprising the Earth's crust, the others being SEDIMENTARY and IGNEOUS ROCKS. Metamorphic rock has been transformed, while in the solid state, by pressure, temperature and deformation.

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Peat

Peat, living and partially decomposed organic matter, consists principally of decayed brown mosses, Sphagnum plants, sedges and other semiaquatic plant remains.

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Québec's Postglacial Seas

Between about 100 000 and 12 000 years ago, the whole area of Québec as well as a major part of the northern hemisphere was covered with a thick layer of ice. In the late PLEISTOCENE era, just over 12 000 years ago, Québec underwent a gradual warming of the atmosphere.

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Igneous Rock

Early formed, dense crystals may separate from the magma, causing a change in the composition of the residual melt.

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Aeolian Landform

Wind erosion processes consist of abrasion, the scouring of exposed surfaces by the sand-blasting action of wind-borne material; and deflation, the removal of sand-sized and smaller particles by the wind.

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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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Soil

Soil is the thin, fragile surface layer of Earth. It is a dynamic, loose and porous body of variable thickness (between a few centimetres and a few metres). Soil is formed by continuous transformations of rock or deposit through physical, chemical and biological processes. It is one of the two main components of Earth — the other being oceans — in which life is particularly active. Soil is the source and site of many human activities, and human life greatly depends on it. In Canada, agricultural, environmental and natural-resource scientists are at the forefront of research on soil.

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Volcano

 A volcano is an opening in the crust of a planetary body through which liquid, gaseous or solid material is expelled; also the structure formed by eruption of this material.

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