Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
The Rocky Mountains known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 4,800 kilometers from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Located within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, the Sierra Nevada, which all lie farther to the west; the Rocky Mountains formed 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began sliding underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans began inhabiting the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Americans, such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, began exploring the range and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never experienced dense population.
Public parks and forest lands protect much of the mountain range, they are popular tourist destinations for hiking, mountaineering, hunting, mountain biking and snowboarding. The name of the mountains is a translation of an Amerindian name, related to Algonquian; the first mention of their present name by a European was in the journal of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre in 1752, where they were called "Montagnes de Roche". The Rocky Mountains are defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico; the Rockies vary in width from 110 to 480 kilometres. The Rocky Mountains are notable for containing the highest peaks in central North America; the range's highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 4,401 metres above sea level. Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 3,954 metres, is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; the eastern edge of the Rockies rises above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana and the Clark Range of Alberta.
The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these subranges from distinct ranges further to the west. In Canada, the western edge of the Rockies is formed by the huge Rocky Mountain Trench, which runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the south bank of the Liard River. Geographers define three main groups of the Canadian Rockies: the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges, Muskwa Ranges; the Rockies do not extend into central British Columbia. Other mountain ranges continue beyond the Liard River, including the Selwyn Mountains in Yukon, the Brooks Range in Alaska, but those are not part of the Rockies, though they are part of the American Cordillera; the Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.
Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park is so named because water falling on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Human population is not dense in the Rocky Mountains, with an average of four people per square kilometer and few cities with over 50,000 people. However, the human population grew in the Rocky Mountain states between 1950 and 1990; the forty-year statewide increases in population range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah and Colorado. The populations of several mountain towns and communities have doubled in the last forty years. Jackson, increased 260%, from 1,244 to 4,472 residents, in forty years; the rocks in the Rocky Mountains were formed. The oldest rock is Precambrian metamorphic rock. There is Precambrian sedimentary argillite, dating back to 1.7 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic, western North America lay underneath a shallow sea, which deposited many kilometers of limestone and dolomite.
In the southern Rocky Mountains, near present-day Colorado, these ancestral rocks were disturbed by mountain building 300 Ma, during the Pennsylvanian. This mountain-building produced the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, they consisted of Precambrian metamorphic rock forced upward through layers of the limestone laid down in the shallow sea. The mountains eroded throughout the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic, leaving extensive deposits of sedimentary rock. Terranes began colliding with the western edge of North America in the Mississippian, causing the Antler orogeny. For 270 million years, the focus of the effects of plate collisions were near the edge of the North American plate boundary, far to the west of the Rocky Mountain region, it was. The current Rocky Mountains arose in the Laramide orogeny from between 55 Ma. For the Canadi
The Whiteshell River is one of the major rivers in Whiteshell Provincial Park, in southeastern Manitoba, near the Ontario border. This river is close to some petroform sites that are older; the name "whiteshell" is in reference to the Meegis or cowry shells used by Ojibwa peoples in their ceremonies and teachings the Midewiwin, as recorded in their birch bark scrolls. The river was used for thousands of years as a major canoe route by native peoples; the Winnipeg and Whiteshell Rivers are the only waterways to travel between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Superior. The copper culture period of about 4,000 years ago involved the trade of copper from the north shore of Lake Superior to the Whiteshell Provincial Park area and other areas now known as Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Manitoba has prehistoric quartz mines to the far north, evidence of ancient quartz mining exists along the Winnipeg River area. Quartz and other minerals were used to make prehistoric arrow heads, scrapers and artwork. Whiteshell Provincial Park is still a popular area for wild rice harvesting, as it was for thousands of years.
Today this river system area is popular for canoeing, swimming, fishing and many cottages are located along the lakes and rivers of the park. The geography and geology of the area consists of Canadian Shield granite rock ridges, boreal forest and only one main road through the park, it is a wild and pristine area with many deer, wolves, bald eagles, cougars and other wildlife. Petroforms List of Ontario rivers List of Manitoba rivers
A river mouth is the part of a river where the river debouches into another river, a lake, a reservoir, a sea, or an ocean. The water from a river can enter the receiving body in a variety of different ways; the motion of a river is influenced by the relative density of the river compared to the receiving water, the rotation of the earth, any ambient motion in the receiving water, such as tides or seiches. If the river water has a higher density than the surface of the receiving water, the river water will plunge below the surface; the river water will either form an underflow or an interflow within the lake. However, if the river water is lighter than the receiving water, as is the case when fresh river water flows into the sea, the river water will float along the surface of the receiving water as an overflow. Alongside these advective transports, inflowing water will diffuse. At the mouth of a river, the change in flow condition can cause the river to drop any sediment it is carrying; this sediment deposition can generate a variety of landforms, such as deltas, sand bars and tie channels.
Many places in the United Kingdom take their names from their positions at the mouths of rivers, such as Plymouth and Great Yarmouth. Confluence River delta Estuary Liman
The Great Lakes called the Laurentian Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of interconnected freshwater lakes in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada–United States border, which connect to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. They consist of Lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, although hydrologically, there are four lakes, Erie and Michigan-Huron; the connected lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area, second-largest by total volume, containing 21% of the world's surface fresh water by volume; the total surface is 94,250 square miles, the total volume is 5,439 cubic miles less than the volume of Lake Baikal. Due to their sea-like characteristics the five Great Lakes have long been referred to as inland seas. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world by area, the largest freshwater lake by area. Lake Michigan is the largest lake, within one country.
The Great Lakes began to form at the end of the last glacial period around 14,000 years ago, as retreating ice sheets exposed the basins they had carved into the land which filled with meltwater. The lakes have been a major source for transportation, migration and fishing, serving as a habitat to a large number of aquatic species in a region with much biodiversity; the surrounding region is called the Great Lakes region. Though the five lakes lie in separate basins, they form a single interconnected body of fresh water, within the Great Lakes Basin, they form a chain connecting the east-central interior of North America to the Atlantic Ocean. From the interior to the outlet at the Saint Lawrence River, water flows from Superior to Huron and Michigan, southward to Erie, northward to Lake Ontario; the lakes drain a large watershed via many rivers, are studded with 35,000 islands. There are several thousand smaller lakes called "inland lakes," within the basin; the surface area of the five primary lakes combined is equal to the size of the United Kingdom, while the surface area of the entire basin is about the size of the UK and France combined.
Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes, within the United States. The lakes are divided among the jurisdictions of the Canadian province of Ontario and the U. S. states of Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and New York. Both Ontario and Michigan include in their boundaries portions of four of the lakes: Ontario does not border Lake Michigan, Michigan does not border Lake Ontario. New York and Wisconsin's jurisdictions extend into two lakes, each of the remaining states into one of the lakes; as the surfaces of Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie are all the same elevation above sea level, while Lake Ontario is lower, because the Niagara Escarpment precludes all natural navigation, the four upper lakes are called the "upper great lakes". This designation, however, is not universal; those living on the shore of Lake Superior refer to all the other lakes as "the lower lakes", because they are farther south. Sailors of bulk freighters transferring cargoes from Lake Superior and northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to ports on Lake Erie or Ontario refer to the latter as the lower lakes and Lakes Michigan and Superior as the upper lakes.
This corresponds to thinking of Lakes Erie and Ontario as "down south" and the others as "up north". Vessels sailing north on Lake Michigan are considered "upbound" though they are sailing toward its effluent current; the Chicago River and Calumet River systems connect the Great Lakes Basin to the Mississippi River System through man-made alterations and canals. The St. Marys River, including the Soo Locks, connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron; the Straits of Mackinac connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The St. Clair River connects Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair; the Detroit River connects Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie; the Niagara River, including Niagara Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Welland Canal, bypassing the Falls, connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario; the Saint Lawrence River and the Saint Lawrence Seaway connect Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean. Lakes Huron and Michigan are sometimes considered a single lake, called Lake Michigan–Huron, because they are one hydrological body of water connected by the Straits of Mackinac.
The straits are 120 feet deep. Lake Nipigon, connected to Lake Superior by the Nipigon River, is surrounded by sill-like formations of mafic and ultramafic igneous rock hundreds of meters high; the lake lies in the Nipigon Embayment, a failed arm of the triple junction in the Midcontinent Rift System event, estimated at 1,109 million years ago. Green Bay is an arm of Lake Michigan, along the south coast of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the east coast of Wisconsin, it is separated from the rest of the lake by the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin, the Garden Peninsula in Michigan, the chain of islands between