British Columbia Paper

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  • Topic: British Columbia, Coast Mountains, Fraser River
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BRITISH COLUMBIA
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By
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Shylah Brown
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100382120
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GG250: Canada
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Dr. Marinel Mandres
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Laurier Brantford
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Geography and Contemporary Studies
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March 16, 2012

Introduction:
The most westerly province in Canada is British Columbia (B.C), which is displayed in figure 1 below. In earlier times the province had an extreme “britishness” which indicated its name, of which was originated with Queen Victoria and was officially declared in 1958 (Kimmel 54). It is the third largest province after Ontario and Quebec, with a mountainous area of 947 800km2 according to BC stats. It is characterized by high, snow covered mountains rising above narrow inlets and broad forested uplands of the central interior and the plains of the northeast. This land area holds a provincial population of 4,573,321 according to BC Stats in 2011. Most of the population is mainly clustered in the southwestern corner of the province. The physical and human geography features of British Columbia will be presented more in depth through out the rest of this research report.

Figure 1
Figure 1

www.canadianstudies.ca
www.canadianstudies.ca

Physical Landscape

Figure 3
Figure 3
Figure [ 2 ]
Figure [ 2 ]
There are two major regions in British Columbia, "the coast" and "the Interior" that are very different and have a different variety of physical landforms. These are presented in figure 2 below.

British Columbia is covered by most of the Cordilleran mountain system (figure 3), except for the Peace River area of the northeast. The Rocky Mountains are very well known in the British Columbia region. Some of their snow and ice covered peaks can tower more than 3000m above sea level. The Rockies in the south of British Columbia have sharp jagged peaks that are sedimentary rock (Paleozoic). Lower peaks are Proterozoic, which are more towards the north of the mountains.

The longest valley in North America that extends for 1400km (McGillivray, 56-62) is the Rocky Mountain Trench. This trench extends along the length of BC from Montana to the Yukon. Extending from the Rocky Mountain Trench flow are the headwaters of the Columbia, Fraser, Kooteney, Parsnip, Kechika, and Liard rivers. Each of them are separated by others by low drainage divides.

The Columbia Mountains are also apart of the south side of the mountain systems in British Columbia. The Columbia Mountains are made up of three parallel north south ranges that have sharp peaks of 2000-3000m (Robinson). The three peaks, Purcell, Selkirk, and Monashee are separated by long narrow valleys of the Kootenay Lake and the Columbia River. According to a study at Fraser University, these mountains are mainly made up of sedimentary rocks and rocks dating back to the Cretaceous, Triassic and Jurassic ages.

Covering central British Columbia are gently rolling uplands of the interior plateau. Higher mountains made up of rocks of lavas of Cretaceous and Tertiary geological ages surround the area creating the region to be known as a basin. The Fraser River Canyon is located deeply into the bedrock in the southern part. Moving northward of the Fraser River Canyon is the Stikine Plateau. It is an upland area of mainly...
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