Canadian Geographic
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INSIDE: Cordillera Go now!

The towering peaks and plateaus of the Cordillera took shape millions of years ago, when the westward moving North American tectonic plate collided with the Pacific plate.


Viewed by satellite, the face of Canada reveals six clearly defined landform regions: Cordillera, Interior Plains, Canadian Shield, Great Lakes–St. Lawrence, Appalachian, and Arctic. All these regions occupy significant portions of Canada’s vast expanse. Each possesses similar geologic structures, physical features, climatic conditions, soils, and vegetation. Considered as a whole, Canada’s landforms encompass an unrivaled diversity of landscapes: spectacular mountain ranges, sweeping plains, rocky uplands, temperate lowlands, and frigid tundra. The forces of nature — our daily weather, for example — actively shape landforms. Some forces level landforms, others rebuild them. Over time, the impact of water, ice, and wind slowly and steadily reduce the mighty Rockies to rubble, while rivers bear away sediments to deltas and seabeds where new landforms wait to be born.

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Quiz :

Geologists divide history into intervals of time. Which of these is the shortest?

An eon
An epoch
An era