Canadian Geographic
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Canadian landforms


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. The collision uplifted mountain chains in British Columbia and the Yukon. In the last 20,000 years, weathering, erosion, and glaciation have carved the sharp relief of Rocky Mountain peaks such as Rampart Mountain in Banff National Park. The westward movement of the North American plate continues unabated, exposing British Columbia’s populous coastal lowlands to an ever-present threat of earthquakes.


Cordillera As music plays, the animation shows a series of photos of the Rocky Mountains and other ranges in the western Cordillera in different seasons and conditions.


On the next page:

Interior Plains

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Quiz :

About how much of the fossil record of life on Earth has been erased by geological forces?