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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, and that forces generated by heat losses from the planet's interior constantly move the plates about.

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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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Physiographic Regions

Canada may be divided into seven physiographic regions: Arctic Lands, Cordillera, Interior Plains, Hudson Bay Lowland, Canadian Shield Forest Lands, St Lawrence Lowlands and Appalachia.

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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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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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Geological Regions

Based on geological history, Canada can be divided into six regions, each characterized by a distinctive landscape: the Canadian Shield, Interior Platform, Appalachian Orogen, Innuitian Orogen, Cordillera and Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, and the Eastern Continental Margin.

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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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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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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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Fossil Plants

"Plant" refers to familiar land plants, and also to aquatic plants, mosses, liverworts and algae plants. Although not technically plants, fungi and bacteria are often included. Palaeobotany is the study of ancient plant life using fossil evidence. Plant fossils are found coast-to-coast in Canada, from 45-million-year-old mosses in British Columbia to fossil forests on Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere islands in the Canadian Arctic.

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Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.