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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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Selwyn Mountains

The northern Selwyn Mountains lie to the east of the Yukon-NWT border, and the southern section straddles the border south from the Macmillan Pass to the South Nahanni River.

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Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is a bleak Norwegian island group only 965 km from the North Pole. It became strategically significant in WWII when Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941.

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Souris River

Souris River, about 720 km long, rises in the Yellow Grass marshes N of Weyburn, Sask, flows SE past Estevan and wanders S across the N Dakota border before entering Manitoba.

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South Nahanni River

South Nahanni River, 563 km long, flows southeast out of the Ragged Range of the Selwyn Mountains, cuts across successive spines of the Mackenzie Mountains and empties into the Liard River.

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Southampton Island

Southampton Island, 41 214 km2, is situated between FOXE BASIN and HUDSON BAY. It combines the 2 basic regional relief types. Its north and northeast consist of undulating highlands of Precambrian SHIELD rocks, reaching

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Somerset Island

Somerset Island, 24 786 km2, ninth-largest island in the ARCTIC ARCHIPELAGO. Its western part is on Precambrian bedrock, reaching an elevation of 503 m, but the larger part is an elevated plateau of sedimentary rocks.

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Trinity Bay

Trinity Bay, reputedly named by Gaspar CORTE-REAL on Trinity Sunday, in 1500, is entered between Grates Pt on the N side of Newfoundland's AVALON PENINSULA and the N tip of the Bonavista Pen, 60 km NW, which forms the bay's western shore.

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Vermilion River

Vermilion River, 70 km (from its headstream to its confluence with the Kootenay R), rises in the Continental Ranges on the BC-Alberta border at the N end of KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK. Fed by Tokumm Cr, it drains in a southerly direction, eventually emptying into the Kootenay R.

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Vermilion Pass

Vermilion Pass, elev 1651 m, is situated between Boom and Storm mountains on the BC-Alberta border, 42 km W of Banff. It takes its name from the mineral springs of iron oxide located along the VERMILION R, 9 km SW of the pass, where Indians gathered material for war paint and decoration.

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Ungava Peninsula

The Ungava Peninsula is a large peninsula approximately 350 000 km2 in area and washed by the waters of Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay.

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Mount Waddington

Mount Waddington, elev 4016 m, the highest mountain in BC's Coast Mountains, rises near the head of Knight Inlet, 282 km NW of Vancouver.

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Thompson River

Thompson River, 489 km long, rises in the Cariboo district of the Rocky Mountains and flows south as the North Thompson River.

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Bloodvein River

Named, perhaps, for the red granite stripes running through the bedrock near its source, the Bloodvein River begins in the vast wilderness of the Canadian Shield, 600 km northwest of Thunder Bay, Ont, and 500 km northeast of Winnipeg.

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