CGC1D Grade 9 Geography Exam

Version B of Grade 9 Academic Geography study notes for the exam

Natural Systems (What characteristics do they have?)

  • NOT human made
  • Powered by the energy from the sun
  • Supports living things
  • Changes very slowly
  • Connected through each other through a network
  • Affected by natural and human influences
  • Operate in all spheres and operate on very large timelines
  • Water Cycle – The cycle based upon the movement of water
  • Decay Cycle – Nothing is never wasted in nature and “one animal’s waste is another animal’s dinner”

***Everything is connected via a system, and is always changing***

4 Spheres (Atmosphere, Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere)


  • A layer of mixed gases that surrounds the Earth
  • Protects the Earth from the sun’s heat
  • Spreads the heat across the Earth


  • The crust and upper mantle of the Earth
  • From the Greek word lithos, meaning rock
  • Broken into pieces called crystal plates


  • ALL the Earth’s water
  • Can be any form of water, salty, frozen, or fresh
  • Cryosphere is the term for the frozen water on Earth
  • Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth’s surface


  • Layer of Earth where living things evolve
  • A.K.A. The Sphere of Life
  • Supports all living things

Climate vs. Weather (How do they differ from one another?)

Climate is a long term pattern of weather

  • Weather is the daily characteristics of the atmosphere

Climate (Types, Factors, and Analysis)


  • Lots of precipitation
  • Low temp range
  • Longest growing season


  • Moderate temp, precipitation, and growing season


  • Almost no precipitation
  • High temp range
  • Smallest growing season


Bodies of Water – Affects temperature and precipitation. The water changes temperature much slower than air.

Latitude – Affects temperature only. The further away from the equator, the colder it is.

Ocean Currents – Affects temperature and precipitation. The ocean currents bring heat or cold with them, and they travel along predictable paths.

Wind – Affects temperature and precipitation. The wind carries moisture.

Elevation – Affects temperature and precipitation. The higher you get, the colder it is; roughly -1 degrees Celsius for every 100 m higher

Relief – Affects precipitation only. The Windward side is the wet side, and the Leeward side is the dry side. Basically orographic precipitation

Climate Graphs

  • Red line graph represents temperature
  • Blue bar graph represents precipitation
  • Green line at 5 degrees Celsius represents the growing season line

Types of Precipitation

Orographic Precipitation

  1. Wind
  2. Water Vapour
  3. Rises
  4. Cools
  5. Condenses
  6. Clouds Form
  7. Rain Falls

Canada’s Landform Regions

Canadian Shield

  • Has igneous and metamorphic rock
  • About 4 800 000 km2
  • Remains of volcanic activity

Western Cordillera

  • The pacific plate subducted under the NA plate, causing folding/faulting and volcanic activity
  • Range of mountains, and stands along the western edge of the continent
  • Rocky Mountains

Innuitian Mountains

  • Found in the middle of the Mesozoic era
  • Contains all rock types (mostly sedimentary)
  • Vast areas covered by ice and permanent snow
  • 2500 metres in height

Appalacian Mountains

  • Rolling mountains and long bays
  • The jagged peaks were deformed by erosion
  • Contains all rock types (mostly sedimentary)

Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Lowlands

  • Formed by differential erosion and glaciation
  • Rolling landscape, flat plains, glacial hills
  • Sedimentary rock

Hudson Bay – Arctic Lowlands

  • Formed in Paleozoic era
  • Flat, low area covered by swampy forest
  • Ground is frozen most of the year
  • Layers of sedimentary rock on top of the ancient Shield

Interior Plains

  • Formed by differential erosion
  • Rolling hills, deep, wide river valleys
  • Sedimentary rock that is thousands of metres thick

Geologic Processes

Rock Cycle

  • ***Look at note taken on February 25, 2009

Plate Tectonics

  • The world is divided into 8 major plates
  • These plates move because of convection currents
  • Divergent Plate Boundaries – Separating plates
  • Convergent Plate Boundaries – Colliding plates
  • Subduction Zone – a plate slides under another one
  • Folding – A bending in a layer of rocks, both sides are pushing into each other
  • Faulting – A fracture in the bedrock. The fractured piece has to move
  • Glaciation – the world used to be complete ice. The glaciers that were created from the ice ages dragged sediments with it and deposited them

Geologic History

  • The Earth is 4.6 billion years old

Precambrian Era

  • 4 billion years ago
  • Volcanic activity
  • Life was found
  • Canadian Shield was developed

Paleozoic Era

  • 375 million years long
  • Fish, insects, and amphibians are found
  • The Canadian Shield begins to erode

Mesozoic Era

  • 180 million years long
  • Pangaea breaks up
  • Dinosaurs are found

Cenozoic Era

  • 70+ million years long
  • Mammals are dominant
  • Ice ages change the shape of Canada


4 Components

  • Bedrock – The “parent” material of the soil, contains minerals
  • Humus – Organic material from plants and animals, holds moisture
  • Air – The air allows moisture to travel and roots to grow
  • Moisture – The moisture carries nutrients and minerals

4 Types

  • Tundra – Permafrost areas found in the North
  • Wet Climate – Areas of a lot of precipitation, found on the East and West coasts
  • Dry Climate – Areas of little precipitation, found in the Prairie Regions
  • Montane/Complex – Mountain areas with variable climate


  • Organic Material (Horizon A)
  • Sub-Soil (Horizon B)
  • Bedrock (Horizon C)

***Climate, Soil, and Vegetation all affect each other***


  • Canada is split up into 7 vegetation regions
  • The most common three (in order) are: Forest vegetation, Grassland Vegetation, and Tundra Vegetation
  • Transition Zones are mixes of vegetation regions
  • Natural Vegetation – Areas of vegetation where humans have not interfered with the growth of the vegetation
  • Affected by climate and soil


An ecozone is a terrestrial (land-based) division of an area based upon various factors

  • Canada is divided into 15 regions based on their geology, climate, vegetation, soil, water, landform, and animals
  • We live in the Mixedwood Plains
  • The name of the ecozone usually gives a general idea of the area