Oak Ridges Moraine

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by nazia0830
Last updated 6 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Environmental Studies
Grade:
12

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Oak Ridges Moraine

ABSOLUTE AGEThe absolute age of the Oak Ridges Moraine is approximately 12,000 years ago during the late Pleistocene epoch.

THE FORMATION OF THE OAK RIDGES MORAINE Debris (such as clay, sand, gravel and rocks) accumulates at the front, base and sides of the glacier. Build-up of this debris and the action of the rock below the glacier and the glacier itself grinding is called glacial till. Along the path of the advancing or retreating glaciers, the till is deposited in ridges. This is the distinct feature which forms a moraine.

RELATIVE AGEOak Ridges Moraine was formed after Lake Agassiz was formed due to glacial water melting and causing flooding through the Mackenzie River into the Arctic Ocean. The moraine was formed during the end of the Ice Age as the warming period began and caused glaciers to retreat.

PRESENT MINERALS AND ROCK TYPESSedimentary rocks such as: conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and mudstone are also found here as they were carried by rivers and wind previously. They are ideal because they have the key feature that they are quite porous which in turn, is the cause as to why the aquifer beneath the moraine is in existence. In the Oak Ridges Moraine, silt, gravel and water permeable sand is abundant. Rocks found in this geological feature contain rocks that date back to approximately 2.49 to 2.21 billion years ago. Present rocks represent ancient deep sea sediments, glacial deposits, remnants of ancient mount chains, deep crustal sections, and ancient ocean floor.

White-tailed deer, found in the Oak Ridges Moraine

IMPORTANCE TO ECOSYSTEMSThe Oak Ridges Moraine covers 2080 square meters of Southern Ontario. It is the home of: “1,171 plant species, 125 species of moss, 166 breeding bird species (and more through migratory seasons), 30 species of reptiles and amphibians, 51 mammal species, 73 fish species, 74 species of butterflies, 70 dragonflies and damselfly species” (Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust). The moraine’s forests are home to a large and greatly diverse population of birds of Southern Ontario. It contains 32 kettle lakes and has 5 forests that have a size greater than 2000 hectares.

OAK RIDGES MORAINE AQUIFER SYSTEMAn aquifer is a layer of porous rock beneath the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust. Sedimentary rock such as sandstone, as well as sand and gravel, are examples of porous rock. Permeable sands, porous rocks, and gravels absorb water from precipitation or melting snow and the water is filtered and trickles down to the aquifer. The very top layer of water within an aquifer is referred to as the water table. The aquifer stores the water and can be used for consumption.

IMPORTANCE OF FORMATION TO THE HUMAN POPULATIONThe Oak Ridges Moraine provides 250,000 people with safe, clean drinking water.250,000 to 300,000 people live within this geological feature and another 5,000,000 live near itIt is a source of water for 65 other rives systems and in turn, many of these river systems provide multiple resources to people.

Nazia Mohsin

Map of the Oak Ridges Moraine

Brooktrout, found in the Oak Ridges Moraine

Western Meadowlark, found in the Oak Ridges Moraine

Works Cited"Department of Earth Sciences." Brock University. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013."Hunter GIS - Oak Ridges Moraine Hydrogeology Study." Hunter GIS - Oak Ridges Moraine Hydrogeology Study. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013."Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013."Oak Ridges Moraine." Moraine For Life:. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.Sandberg, L. Anders, Gerda R. Wekerle, and Liette Gilbert. The Oak Ridges Moraine Battles: Development, Sprawl, and Nature Conservation in the Toronto Region. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2013. Print.Sandberg, L. Anders, Gerda R. Wekerle, and Liette Gilbert. The Oak Ridges Moraine Battles: Development, Sprawl, and Nature Conservation in the Toronto Region. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2013. Print.

sandstone

siltstone

mudstone

Water displacement of Oak Ridges Moraine


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