Look at the images below. Can you guess what these landforms are and how they were created?
See the answers below.
|1. San Andreas fault at the Carrizo Plain|
Nepal to Hollywood, there's a lot of talk about earthquakes lately. As we all know, the Earth's crust suddenly releases built up energy from time to time causing movement. The friction from two plates moving against each other sends out waves of energy that we call earthquakes. Some fault lines are visible at the surface, like the San Andreas fault in California, shown here. Excellent summer blockbuster fodder.
|2. Rideau River at Ottawa|
Did you know there are fault lines right here in Ontario that we can see at the surface? We have small earthquakes frequently, but so small they're normally only detectable using highly sensitive seismic monitoring systems. Here's a visible fault where you see the small rapids running across the Rideau River. The rock underlying the river is pushed up a few feet on the upstream side causing a small waterfall.
|3. Mt. Foley at Westport|
Here's a less distinct, but larger fault line at Mt. Foley by the town of Westport, ON. What we think of as a cliff, show by the orange contour lines, is actually the result of historical seismic activity at this fault.
|4. Niagara Falls|
How about this one? This waterfall must have been created by a massive earthquake, right? Wrong! The Appalachian Mountains in New York State were formed by historical seismic activity, which indirectly, eventually, caused the formation of the Niagara River and Niagara Falls.
|5. Niagara Escarpment at Milton|
The Falls themselves and the Niagara escarpment running through southern Ontario were formed by the erosion of softer material while harder material over top, called the dolomite cap, remains. You can see the evidence of this dolomite rock formation if you've driven past the Milton area on Highway 401.
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