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Barley

Barley, common name for members of genus Hordeum of the grass family (Gramineae).

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Mercury

Mercury (Hg) is a silvery white metal also known as quicksilver. Mercury is named for the Roman god of commerce, travel and thievery. It has been used for over 3000 years. Its chemical symbol, Hg, is derived from the Latin word hydrargyrum, which means "liquid silver.

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Spider

A spider is a carnivorous arthropod (segmented, jointed-limbed animal) of the class Arachnida, order Araneae.

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Irish Moss

Irish moss is a type of seaweed that is commercially harvested in Canada’s Maritime provinces. It is mainly composed of carrageenan, a gelatinous substance. Carrageenan extracted from Irish moss is used as a thickening and gelling agent in foods and other products. It is also used to clarify beverages such as beer.

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Physiographic Regions

Canada may be divided into seven physiographic regions. The Canadian Shield is the largest and oldest of these regions. The other six physiographic regions are younger and form two concentric rings around the Canadian Shield. The outer, older ring contains the Western Cordillera, Canadian Arctic and Appalachian Region. The second, younger ring contains the Interior Plains, Hudson Bay Lowlands and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. These regions may be further sub-divided based on their structure, relief and the presence or absence of permafrost and forest cover (see Natural Regions).

Areas quoted for these regions are the land areas and do not include adjacent continental shelves or bodies of ocean water within Canada's territorial limits. Readers should also note that the abbreviation “masl” stands for “metres above sea level.”

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Biodiversity

 Biodiversity is the variety of life (genetic, species and ecosystem levels) on Earth or some part of it. It includes all living forms, plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is the natural wealth of a region that provides resources and ecological services.

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Bird Sanctuaries and Reserves

Protection may be achieved by various means, including land-use zoning, long-term agreements with landowners and outright acquisition of land by wildlife agencies. Protected land areas may be designated as national wildlife areas, conservation areas, game reserves, etc.

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Sulphur

In Canada, elemental sulphur is recovered from the processing of sour natural gas with a high hydrogen sulphide (H2S) content, and from the refining of high sulphur-bearing crude and heavy oil.

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Alfalfa

Alfalfa, or lucerne (genus Medicago), is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the legume family and grown as a forage crop.

Macleans

Hurricane Floyd

Hurricanes are a personal thing for Joanne O'Connell. Her house, barely 200 m from an estuary on the coast of North Carolina, bears the scars of past storms.

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Natural Resources in Canada

Natural resources are aspects of the natural environment from which goods and services can be obtained and produced. They include air, sunlight, water, land, vegetation, animal life and geological resources. People can also value natural resources for their own sake or for their aesthetic qualities. Humans must manage natural resources to sustain the benefits they offer.

Canada is among the most resource-rich countries in the world. Its large and varied natural resources are essential to its economies and cultures. But there are ongoing debates about how to use, share and manage natural resources.

Click here for definitions of key terms used in this article.

This is the full-length entry about natural resources in Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see Natural Resources in Canada (Plain-Language Summary).

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Plate Tectonics

Plate tectonics is the theory proposing that Earth’s outer rocky shell is divided into seven major and several smaller rigid plates. Forces generated by heat losses from the planet’s interior constantly move the plates about. Plate movements, ongoing over millions of years (see Geological History), open and close ocean basins, generate volcanoes, raise mountains, facilitate accumulation of mineral and petroleum deposits, and influence evolution and climate change. Friction between plates prevents steady motion and stores energy that is released in sudden movements, causing earthquakes.

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Floods in Canada

Floods are primarily caused by naturally occurring changes in the height of rivers, lakes and oceans. According to Public Safety Canada, floods are the most common natural hazard in the country and among the costliest. Historic floods have occurred across Canada, with many of the worst happening on major river systems that pass through populated areas. Scientists predict that flooding linked to the impacts of climate change will increase as the 21st century progresses, particularly in coastal areas of the country.

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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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Soil Conservation

Soil conservation is a combination of all methods of management and land use that safeguard the soil against depletion or deterioration by natural or human-induced factors.

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Rainfall Extremes

The amount of rain or snow that reaches the ground can vary dramatically on any particular given day, even over short distances. Many people have experienced a near-deluge of rain in their backyard, while at the same time their front yard or their neighbour's home remains quite dry.

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Wildlife Preserve

A wildlife preserve is an area of land or water set aside from at least some forms of development or recreational use, particularly from industrial use, hunting and motorized recreation, to protect wildlife and their habitats.