A Survey of Geomorphic Processes in Canada
M.J. Bovis, M.A. Carson, P.P. David, T.J. Day, P.A. Egginton, S.G. Evans, D.C. Ford, H.M. French, J.A. Heginbottom, K. Hewitt, R.A. Klassen, H.O. Slaymaker, M.W. Smith, 1989. "A Survey of Geomorphic Processes in Canada", Quaternary Geology of Canada and Greenland, R.J. Fulton
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Canada is a large northern country with a wide variety of landscapes. Most geomorphic processes are dominated by the special quality of northern climates, with great contrasts in temperature between seasons; large amounts of snow deposited annually and lying undisturbed for months; intensive frost action and widespread permafrost; and peculiar river regimes with a large spring freshet, extensive flooding, and considerable surplus energy for erosion and transportation of debris.
Regionally, the climate varies with latitude and distance from the oceans; the high, north-south alignment of the Cordillera controls air mass movements across the country and so influences the climate on a regional scale. The climate is markedly seasonal, and has undergone considerable change throughout geological time. Recent anthropogenic influences on climate may be affecting geomorphic processes.
Geological history and geomorphic processes control the landscape at local and regional scales. On a continental scale, geological structure and lithology are more significant. Topographic relief, the presence of permafrost, and the nature of soil and vegetation cover combine with geology to provide the details of the physiography of Canada, and the framework of the landscape of Canada.
Major geomorphic processes active in Canada today comprise slope processes, river processes, and cold climate processes.
The land surface of Canada is generally young and so has yet to attain permanent stability with respect to mass failures.
Figures & Tables
The three major sections of this volume include six chapters describing the regional Quaternary geology of Canada, two describing the Quaternary geology and climatic history of Greenland, and six that review applied Quaternary geology in Canada, including chapters on paleobotanical analysis, geodynamics, geomorphic processes, terrain geochemistry, Quaternary resources, and the influence of the Quaternary on the present environment. Of the five accompanying plates, three depict eleven stages of Quaternary paleogeographic change between 18,000 B.P. and 5,000 B.P.; one depicts the retreat of the ice from between 18,000 B.P. and the Recent; and another reviews the status of Quaternary geologic mapping in Canada, with an extensive bibliography on the back.