THE CANADIAN SHIELD
The Canadian Shield is full of many forests with a great variety of trees. These trees are used for many purposes and one of them is for paper production. However, this is a lengthy process and believe it or not Canada and the United States are one of the world’s largest areas for paper production. Therefore, to make use of the Canadian Shield's vast forests, I have created a company called Shield Wood. The Canadian Shield is a perfect region for the start of this company which will help lead it to a definite success.
Shield Wood will focus on the cutting of trees and processing them into wood chips. After this is done, the wood chips would be shipped and packaged to eventually be made into pulp. The company would be categorized as a primary industry as it is dealing with raw material.
Not only is the Canadian Shield a beautiful scenic area with lots of natural beauty, but it is also Canada’s largest landform region and it extends for approximately 5 million square kilometres. It was the first section of Canada to be raised over sea level. After the last ice age, glaciers have transformed this land into a region full of forests, lakes, rivers and other water deposits. Surrounding the region, you are able to find many freshwater sources such as: (eastern shore) Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Lake Athabasca, Lake Winnipeg, (northern shore) Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, St. Lawrence River. The Canadian Shield also falls into the boreal zone, known for its great forests which creates a great chance of success for Shield Wood. This wood from Canada's boreal forest will be the primary source of wood used in the company.
The Canadian Shield is the section of Canada in which there is exposed continental crust underlying North America. This region stretches from central Ontario, north to the Arctic Archipelago, and from Labrador, west to the Northwest Territories.
This landform region was formed by continental glaciers. Continental glaciers move at the force of their own weight, and left the terrain scraped clean and relatively flat. The glaciers were moving south and carried with it the weathered rock laying on top of the mantle. Although most of the rocks and material was carried away to the south and southwest of the Canadian Shield, a small amount was also deposited within the region. Some glacial deposits found are drumlins, eskers and till. Moreover, glaciers caused the northeastern section of the Canadian Shield to tilt upwards so, places like Northern Labrador and Baffin Island are more than 1500 metres above sea level. Moreover, there are many rolling hills in the landscape which used to be mountains before glaciation. Overall, glaciers have truly transformed this region into a place of mesmerizing natural beauty.
Rocks/ Geological History
Some of Canada’s oldest rocks are found in the Canadian Shield, such as rocks from the Archean and Proterozoic eons. They are approximately 3.96 billion years old and is the largest amount of Precambrian rock on the earth’s surface. This old rock was found to the east of Great Bear Lake. In addition, there are also many metals like gold, silver, nickel, cobalt, zinc, copper and iron ore. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are also found, and due to the geologic history of rising, falling, eroding and faulting and, these are some of the most stable rocks present on earth today.
This really enable activities such as mining and hiking. The rocky land is a difficult yet, fun location for hikers to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Canadian Shield and miners are tempted by all the fascinating minerals deep in the earth.
There is a very thin layer of soil on top of the bedrock as the glaciers scraped the land clean. The very thin layer of soil prevents lots of agriculture and growth of crops (outcrop). The Canadian Shield’s lowlands consist of very dense soil and due to this is unable to grow trees in this area. However, this soil is suitable for planting trees in the north and south of the region. The soil in the forest is healthy and provides the right nutrient for the types of trees.
The soil allows for numerous forests to grow and this is one of the main reasons why it is an excellent destination for a company such as Shield Wood. The region helps provide a nutritious soil and these trees enable the company to process them into wood chips.
Vegetation and Wildlife
Overall, the Canadian Shield has very diverse vegetation than the rest of the country as it is mainly made up of a variety of trees and contains part of Canada's boreal forest. The southern area forests contain a mixture of Birch, Aspen, Tamarack, Black Spruce, White Spruce, Hemlock, Pine and Balsam trees. As you continue to go deeper and further to the south, the trees increase in height and decrease in distance from each other. Whereas in the north, it is the opposite meaning that the trees decrease in size and increase in distance. The northern part of the Canadian Shield is not known for its forests as there are very few of them.
These trees each contribute to the business and will help make it successful. As the main component needed to make Shield Wood successful is lots and lots of trees which overall is a great benefit.
The Canadian Shield due to its numerous forests has lots of wildlife. Some animals include: moose, black bears, grizzly bears, wolves, foxes, beavers, rodents, wood buffalo, woodland caribou, deer, weasels, hares. Some birds include: the great horned owls, bald eagles, peregrine falcons. It is great place to create habitats as there is lots of water, food and shelter access through the forests and lakes. However, some live there only for summer as the sun is shining majority of the day.
The Canadian Shield is a continental climate region which includes short, cold winters and long, hot summers. The southern sections are known to receive lots of rain and snow each year, whereas the northern part has very little precipitation. However, this region is very large and the temperature changes according to the area. In winter, the average temperature is of -18 degrees Celsius, and in summer, the average is 25 degrees Celsius. The southern area expects 15 hours of sunlight in the summer and 8.5 hours of sunlight in the winter in comparison, to the northern area which receives 24 hours of sunlight in the summer and 5 hours in the winter.
How does climate change affect the business?
As we burn more fossil fuels, we create an imbalance of gases in our atmosphere. The added gases are preventing the heat from escaping and this causes a gradually warming of the earth and is known as climate change.
This could potentially affect this business negatively as there are many issues that arise with climate change. Firstly, the trees in the boreal forest may not be able to survive in the extreme heat. The moisture from the water will start to evaporate faster and if too much moisture is taken, the trees will be unable to grow. If the air and trees become too dry, there is also an increasing risk of forest fires. This could result in a major loss for the company as forest fires can easily spread throughout large forest areas. In addition, due to the rapid process of evaporation and because warm air is unable to hold lots of water vapour, there could be an excess amount of precipitation. This could cause the soil to be leached and also result in the rising of sea levels. If the seas level rise to certain extent, it can flood and the nearby forests will become too wet and also kill the trees. It is evident that either way the trees, that are greatly important to the business, can be negatively impacted.
Furthermore, the increasing heat can also damage the fine balance maintained between the trees’ growth rates and selling rate. The trees may be growing too slow and dying fast, not providing a sufficient amount of time for the company to cut the trees and process them into wood chips. This could potentially affect the economy as paper and pulp manufacturing is one of Canada’s largest exports.
Last but not least, the trees can also be infected with new diseases. For example, heat can cause some insects to reproduce faster and some of these can spread diseases to trees. If the trees become damaged, the company may have to start expensive treatments. These treatments can possibly lead to the cutting in other costs not only within Shield Wood but also the other companies that help get the product packaged and shipped. It will have a chain reaction, effecting all the other companies and Canada’s economy. Overall, climate change will impact the company in various, negative ways.
Although there are very few natural disasters occurring in the Canadian Shield, there could be small earthquakes, tsunamis or even floods. Earthquakes and tsunamis are the most likely to occur.
Earthquakes are formed when the plate tectonics slip past or collide into each other. The movement causes a sudden release of energy under the earth's surface known as the lithosphere. This causes a break in the earth’s crust followed by seismic waves. The break can extend as the waves occur and they cause the earth to shake and vibrate.
There are different types of earthquakes as well. They are:
- Crustal earthquakes
- Deep earthquakes
- Subduction zone earthquakes
Although earthquakes rarely occur, they can cause the trees in the forest to collapse. The seismic waves can be powerful when they are combined with shaking or vibrating motions; this can cause even the stronger and older trees to collapse. This can also have a domino effect; if a heavy tree lands on top of another, the weight of the tree and pull of gravity will eventually cause it to fall. This leads to a destruction of trees and the forest and creates a lot of work for the business to clean up and repair.
Tsunamis are usually formed when there is an underwater earthquake or a volcanic eruption which creates the land and ocean floor to shake. This shaking causes the water to create a series of fast, powerful waves. A tsunami wave can be 60 miles long and only a foot high but travel at 500 miles an hour, the speed of a jet airplane. As the waves reach the shore, the water at the bottom gradually slows down, whereas the upper portion of the wave continues to travel at a high speed. As they reach the shore, they crash and the force of the water can be very destructive. Not only can the crash create damage, but the pull of the water as it retreats into the ocean can be strong enough to pull houses and other items into the ocean.
Tsunamis are harmful to Shield Wood as the series of ocean waves are powerful to take trees. The trees would be destroyed and if taken into the ocean may become damaged by the water. The soil would become too wet and the whole forest would be affected by the excess amount of water. It could also lead to flooding and nutrients in the soil would move downwards into the earth.
There is a lot to do in the Canadian Shield. There are many winter and summer sports available for the residents and the tourists to experience. This includes skiing, boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, dog-sledding amongst others. The climate permits all of these activities as there are snowy winters and warm summers.
Winter: Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowmobiling, Dog-sledding
In the winter, there are cold temperatures and an appropriate amount of snowfall to help maintain perfect conditions for these sports. The Canadian Shield receives between 300 mm and 1600 mm of snow in the southern areas and less than 300 mm in the northern areas. Also, as the land used to be mountainous, there are slight hills and bumps which make it an exciting location for the tourists.
Summer: Hunting, Boating, Fishing
Summers in the Canadian Shield are extremely warm and long. There are many lakes and rivers that allow for water sports and relaxing activities such as fishing. The average summer temperature is 25 degrees Celsius which allows for some quality time or relaxing time in the splendid heat.
Mining is also a very important human activity in this region as there are many minerals. This includes gold, silver, nickel, cobalt, zinc, copper and iron ore. The forests are also great for starting businesses (like Shield Wood) in the timber industry as there is a great variety of trees. In addition to this, the vast forests provide for many hiking experiences and opportunities to see the great wildlife.It is definitely something that should be seen if visiting the Canadian Shield.
The Canadian Shield is a great beautiful region with lush, green trees and clear, cool water. It is definitely recommended to see and will surely be a great location for the start of Shield Wood!