Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/576

This page needs to be proofread.


526

CAN ADA

[geography

Fairs are held annually on 20th July and 24th October. Gradistea. Near the town is the monastery of Campu In the neighbourhood are to be found the remains of Lung, founded by Radu Negru. Population (1895), an old Roman camp, called by the peasants Jidovi or 12,000; (1900) 13,033. CAN ADA. character, but constitutes a great drainage area for the Geography and Statistics. supply of numerous rivers, the water-power of which, as THE Dominion of Canada, comprising the northern half they descend from its borders, is now beginning to be of the continent of North America and its adjacent utilized on a large scale in connexion with various industries, islands, excepting only Alaska (a dependency of the United either directly or by means of electricity generated at States) and Newfoundland (still a separate colony), has an favourable places. It is only in a very general way that estimated area of 3,654,000 square miles. Its physical this region can be described as a plateau or tableland, for features are comparatively simple, and drawn on a large its surface is hilly, or at least mammillated, in almost scale. Its main structural watershed is in part coincident every part of its extent. Its average height is about 1500 with the Rocky Mountain range proper, or eastern member feet above the sea. In the centre of the Labrador peninsula of the Cordillera, but to the northward falling back to ranges it is about 1700 feet, but it attains considerably greater situated farther to the west in the same great mountain elevations along a narrow border of this peninsula where region. As in the southern half of the continent, however, it fronts upon the Atlantic. Elsewhere it is lower, and in an important modification of this general idea connects at least one place between Hudson Bay and the Ottawa itself with the river systems of the great central zone. river the watershed does not exceed 1000 feet in height. These, to the south, join themselves with the Mississippi, The Churchill and Nelson rivers traverse its western part reaching the Gulf of Mexico; to the north with the in a wide depression on their way to Hudson Bay. To Mackenzie, flowing to the Arctic Ocean, or with the the north and west of these rivers its general height is Churchill and Nelson emptying into Hudson Bay. The about 1100 feet. Innumerable lakes and ponds, resembling boundary line between Canada and the United States, in those of Finland, with winding streams and rivers, characthe central part of the continent, in the main nearly terize the main extent of the plateau. The rivers generally coincides with this subsidiary east and west watershed. fall rapidly along the margins of the plateau, there cutting The most important river, whether historically or com- deep valleys, but elsewhere appear to wander irregularly mercially, is the St Lawrence. With the great lakes from without defined channels. Where not wooded, the surface which it flows, and the magnificent system of canals often consists largely of solid rounded rock-masses. The constructed to overcome the natural obstacles to its naviga- rocks are chiefly granites and gneisses, referable to the tion, it forms a great waterway to the centre of the continent. Laurentian system, with crystalline schists of the Huronian The Mackenzie, practically inaccessible to commerce at its and occasional outliers of Cambrian. Although small in mouth, the Yukon, or that part of it which is included in comparison to its vast area, the economic importance of Canada, the Nelson, the Churchill, and other rivers of the Laurentian region is in the aggregate considerable. great length and volume, are either long sealed by ice and Besides the water-powers already mentioned, its southern interrupted by rapids, or, because they traverse regions as part affords the greatest remaining forests of Eastern yet unsettled, are of minor interest except to the physical Canada, and mines, particularly of gold, nickel, and copper, geographer. From his point of view, however, there is are now being extensively developed in some of the tracts nothing more remarkable than the intricate and compre- characterized by Huronian rocks. The Acadian Region.—The “maritime provinces” of hensive system of rivers by which almost the entire area of Eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Canada is covered. The Laurentian Plateau.—The ruling geological and and Prince Edward Island, may be considered together; physical feature of the North American continent is the and to these provinces as politically bounded may be great Laurentian plateau, or “Canadian shield,” in which added, from a physical point of view, the analogous souththe shallow basin of Hudson Bay occupies a central position. eastern part of Quebec—the entire area being designated This consists of very ancient crystalline rocks, resembling the Acadian region. Taken as a whole, this eastern part those of Scandinavia in age and character. It occupies of Canada, with a very irregular and extended coast-line the Labrador peninsula, and spreading round the southern on the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Atlantic, may be extremity of Hudson Bay, extends north-westward to the regarded as a northern continuation of the Appalachian Arctic Ocean. This constitutes the “ protaxis ” or nucleus mountain region that runs parallel to the Atlantic coast of of the continent. Around its borders the later geological the United States. The rocks underlying it have been series, from the Cambrian upwards, have been subjected to successive foldings and crumplings by forces Geology. (jep0S^e(jj an(j against it these later strata have acting chiefly from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean, been crushed and elevated into mountain ranges at various with alternating prolonged periods of waste and denudaperiods in the course of geological history. It is, there- tion. The main axis of disturbance and the highest fore, the initial feature from which the chronological remaining land runs through the south-eastern part of development of the physiography of the continent may be Quebec, forming the Notre Dame Mountains, and termideduced, and this is particularly. apparent in Canada, nates in the Gaspe peninsula as the Shickshock Mountains. within the limits of which it is included, and of which The first-named seldom exceed 1500 feet in height, but much of the remaining territory may be regarded as the Shickshocks rise above 3000 feet. The province of bordering upon it. From the vantage - point of this New Brunswick exhibits approximately parallel but subLaurentian plateau the main physical features of Canada ordinate ridges, with wide intervening areas of nearly flat may be briefly noted, with some reference to the geological Silurian and Carboniferous rocks. The peninsula of Nova conditions upon which these respectively depend. The Scotia, connected by a narrow neck with New Brunswick, Laurentian plateau itself, although constituting so large a is formed by still another and more definite system of part of Canada, may, from a physiographical point of view, parallel ridges, deeply fretted on all sides by bays and be regarded as a unit. It is somewhat monotonous in harbours. A series of quartzites and slates referred to the