CGC1D – Grade 9 Geography – Physical Geography Test Notes


Geography notes

  • Formation of Canada
  • Step 1:hot volcanoes were located where the North American Canadian area is located.
  • step 2:erosion eroded away the tops of the volcanoes making them shorter
  • step 3:more erosion literally combined the volcanoes into one mass of rocky land
  • step 4:the mass of land is now a hard smooth plate, the Canadian Shield
  • step 5:the Atlantic plate crashed into the east side of Canada and the area of subduction formed the Appalachian mountains
  • step 6:erosion moved sand and dirt into the Pacific ocean and the Atlantic ocean
  • step 7:the Pacific plate collided with the west side of Canada, forming the Rocky Mountains
  • step 8:the water between the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian shield drained south forming the Interior Plains
  • step 9:glaciers formed the Great Lakes

The Canadian Shield

  • Igneous and metamorphic
  • Lead, nickel, copper, zinc (metallic minerals)
  • Sudbury, Thompson, Yellowknife
  • Not farming
  • Water flow good

The Lowlands

  1. Interior plains
  2. Great Lakes-St. Lawrence lowlands
  3. Hudson Bay- Arctic lowlands


Interior plains (Paleozoic)

  • Covered by inland seas
  • Coal, potash
  • Erosion made 3 elevation separated by escarpment
  • Soil is fertile
  • Wheat, barley, canola, sunflower, flax (bread basket)
  • Cattle


Great Lakes (Paleozoic)

  • 2 parts separated by shield
  • Bedrock from sedimentary
  • Niagara Escarpment
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation and cities


Hudson Bay

  • Swampy forest
  • Sedimentary
  • Ignite, oil, natural gas


The Highlands

  1. Appalachian mt.
  2. Innuitian mt,
  3. Western Cordillera


Appalachian (Paleozoic)

  • Oldest highland
  • Sedimentary
  • Coal


Innuitian (Mesozoic)

  • Sedimentary mostly


Western Cordillera

  • Geologically young
  1. Coast mt. (Vancouver island)
  2. Interior plateau
  3. Eastern mt (Columbia mt and Rocky mt)


Timeline of Earth

  • 4.6 billion years old.
  • Been through at least 5 ice ages
  • Precambrian lasted 87% Earth’s history (4 billion years).
  • The only part of Canada that existed during the time was the Canadian Shield (volcanoes that were 1.5 times as tall as Everest
  • Shallow seas surrounded Canada
  • Only single-celled organisms lived at this time
  • Then the Cambrian explosion happened (lots of life)
  • Paleozoic Era-570 million years long
  • Canadian shield eroded, base for Appalachians formed (Early Paleozoic)
  • Base for Cordillera formed, Appalachians rose and folded, sedimentary rocks forced up, out of sea)-late Paleozoic
  • Insects and amphibians
  • PANGEA““`(broke up 200 mil years ago)
  • Mesozoic era-180 million years
  • When the Mesozoic dinosaurs finally died, nobody cared and nobody cried
  • Pangea broke up, because of its explosive relationship making it crack at the centre (Just be Friends)
  • Everything began moving to where it is today
  • Innuitian mountains folded
  • Erosion of Appalachians
  • Rockies folded and faulted
  • There was a lake where Alberta is (Fossils, oil, gas, etc.)
  • Asteroid, mass extinction
  • Cenozoic Era-2 million years
  • HOOMANS (30 sec until midnight)
  • Glaciation of Canada
  • Appalachians eroded

Parts of the Earth

v The Structure-Crust, Mantle, Core (Inner and Outer)

v Crust-8-64 km thick, cold, fragile, Igneous Rock

v Mantle-hot magma, 1800 km thick, metals

v Outer core-2000km thick, 3-4000 degrees, more metal

v Inner core-400km, solid metal

v The Spheres-Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Atmosphere

v Lithosphere-rocks and minerals, land

v Hydrosphere-water

v Biosphere-everything living

v Atmosphere-Air

Plate Tectonics

  • Alfred Wegner proposed the theory (proofs below)
  • He saw the jigsaw fit (How continents fit perfectly together)
  • He saw fossil evidence (fossils of the same species but on different continents)
  • There was landform evidence (mountains were split across oceans)
  • Glaciation (ice was where it wasn’t supposed to be)
  • Pangea was the last super continent
  • >< Convergence, <> Divergence, Transform Boundaries
  • Convergence is when one plate subducts (goes under) another plate
  • It melts back into the mantle
  • An example of this is the Pacific Ring of Fire (underwater ring of volcanoes that make new land)
  • This also creates mountains as the plates push into each other
  • Divergence is when two plates pull apart from each other
  • E.g. The Atlantic Ridge
  • Volcanic activity, and cracks in the earth’s surface (ridges) appear
  • Creates new crust
  • Convergence and divergence is a cycle
  • Transforming Boundaries are when two plates slide against each other
  • Creates friction and faults
  • E.g. San Andreas Fault
  • Folding-the process that causes enormous pressure and forces the Earth to buckle
  • Faulting-when the Earth cracks open

Rock Cycle

  • Area of Subduction:an area of land forced upwards by the collision of another plate


  • Form when ice is stored for a long time.
  • Cause erosion


  • Mechanical Weathering:rain, snow, ice, wind, temp, changes
  • Worms can break down soil
  • E. g. ice ages, Thermal Expansion(ice expands, causing cracks in bridges, sidewalk)
  • Chemical Weathering:rock dissolved or changed by chemical process
  • E.g. rust, acid rain
  • Broken Earth pieces are called weathered material
  • Deposition- it stops moving and stays where the forces of nature carried it

*Most southern point in Canada is Pelee

  • v Erosion= Moving away sediment, and Weathering= actual wearing down of land.


  • v Identifying features: Crystals (Metamorphic), Fossils (Sedimentary), Gas Bubbles (Igneous), Glassy surface (Igneous), Ribbonlike Layers (Metamorphic), Sand pebbles (Sedimentary)

Sedimentary Rock

  • v g. Conglomerate, limestone
  • v Formed from particles of sand, shells, pebbles, etc.
  • v Accumulates in layers, hardens to rock over time
  • v Soft, breaks easily
  • v The only type to contain fossils


  • v g. Gneiss, Marble
  • v Formed under Earth’s surface
  • v Intense heat and pressure
  • v Ribbonlike layers and shiny crystals
  • v Melting causes them to turn back to magma (DIAGRAM ABOVE- rock cycle)


  • v g. Basalt, Obsidian
  • v Formed when magma cools and hardens
  • v Two types-extrusive (erupted from volcano and cooled on earth’s surface\0
  • v Intrusive (Rude af, refused to leave the earth’s surface-clingy af, hardens underneath the earth (slowly)-tsundere af)
  • v No crystals form with extrusive
  • v Shiny and glassy
  • v Sometimes air bubbles are trapped in during the cooling process


  1. 2 plates move apart= magma= ridge
  2. 2 plates move together= subduction= trench
  3. 2 plates move together= crash= mountain chain
  4. 2 plates move together= subduction= volcano



  • v Stands for Latitude, Ocean Currents, Winds and Air Masses, Elevation, Relief, and Nearness to water
  • v Latitude
    • o Generally, the closer you are to the sun, the warmer it is
    • o The Earth is round so the same energy reaches a broader zone
    • o It also hits at an oblique angle instead of a direct one
    • o The glaciers up North reflect the light (90%), while land and water absorb it
    • o The fuller part of the Earth is also physically closer to the sun
  • v Ocean Currents
    • o There are warm and cool currents
    • o Cold is Labrador Current, it is in the Maritimes, when you go there, it is foggy, also known as “Iceberg Valley”
    • o Warm is the Gulf Stream, it makes places like England warmer than here
  • v Winds and Air Masses
    • o An air mass is a large body of air having the same moisture and temperature conditions throughout
    • o The prevailing winds are also called the “Westerlies”
    • o Jet Stream=really powerful stream of air that flows from west to east
    • o Polar front=boundary between hot and cold
  • v Elevation
  • v Relief
    • o Cyclonic(When 2 air masses meet), Convectional (when the ground heats the air), relief/orographic (mountain rain)
  • v Nearness to water
    • o Moderating effect-when large water bodies affect the surrounding land by moderating the temperature (summers are cooler, winters warmer)

Regions of Canada

  • v Canada has 15 ecozones


  • v Topsoil
    • o Contains humus (dark upper layer made of decaying plant material)
  • v Subsoil
    • o Combination of topsoil and parent material
  • v Parent Material
    • o Rock
  • v Podzol=the soil when it has been leached, it’s hella acidic (in coniferous wood)
  • v Leaching is a process that makes the soil poorer
  • v Basically, there’s too much precipitation so the nutrients sink to the bottom (trees grow here)
  • v Leaching dissolves nutrients
  • v Calcification is the opposite (grasses grow here)
  • v Capillary action-when water moves upwards through soil

Climate Graphs

  • v Bars are precipitation
  • v Line is temperature
  • v Growing season= above 5.6 degrees
  • v Months w/o frost=months above 0 degrees