Canada Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Canada?

Overview:

The world's second largest country in land area (3,851,809 square miles), Canada is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the northeast by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the U.S., and on the west by the Pacific Ocean and Alaska.


Much of Canada's industry is concentrated in the southeast near the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, in an environment similar to adjacent areas of the U.S. To the northeast is the rolling Appalachian country of southern Quebec, the Maritime Provinces, and the Island of Newfoundland.


Canada's most outstanding physical feature is the Shield, a rugged area of pre-Cambrian rock that surrounds Hudson Bay and covers most of eastern and central Canada--almost half the country. This semi-barren area and the Arctic Archipelago to the north are sparsely populated and, as yet, largely undeveloped.


Another distinctive major region is the Canadian Prairie, an extension of the midcontinent Great Plains. This area lies between the western border of the Shield and the Canadian Rockies. It is the Canadian breadbasket and an area that is also rich in petroleum, gas, and other mineral resources.


Far Western Canada, comprising most of British Columbia, is laced with towering mountain ranges. Most people there live on the temperate southwest coast and Vancouver Island.

Geography - note:

second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border; Canada has more fresh water than any other country and almost 9% of Canadian territory is water; Canada has at least 2 million and possibly over 3 million lakes - that is more than all other countries combined

Climate:

The climate varies greatly in the many diversified regions ranging from frigid to mild, but Canada generally may be described as lying in the cool Temperate Zone, with long, cold winters.

Canada Use of Natural Resources

Canada Environment

Climate:

The climate varies greatly in the many diversified regions ranging from frigid to mild, but Canada generally may be described as lying in the cool Temperate Zone, with long, cold winters.

Terrain:

mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Natural Resources:

iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains

volcanism: the vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada's Coast Mountains remain dormant

Irrigated Land:

3,359 Square Miles
8,699 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Marine Life Conservation

Canada Geography

Geographic Location North America
Total Area 3,855,081 Square Miles
9,984,670 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,511,003 Square Miles
9,093,507 Square Kilometers
Water Area 344,078 Square Miles
891,163 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 5,526 Miles
8,893 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 3,359 Square Miles
8,699 Square Kilometers
Border Countries US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)
Coastline 125,567 Miles
202,080 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 60 00 N, 95 00 W
Terrain mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast
Highest Point 5,959 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Logan 5,959 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Time Zone UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

note: Canada has six time zones
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
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