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Encyclopedia > Oak Ridges Moraine

The Oak Ridges Moraine is an ecologically sensitive geological landform in south central Ontario, Canada. The moraine covers a geographic area of 1,900 square kilometres between Caledon and Rice Lake, near Peterborough. One of the most significant landforms in southern Ontario, the moraine gets its name from the rolling hills and river valleys extending 160 km from the Niagara Escarpment east to Rice Lake. It was formed 12,000 years ago by advancing and retreating glaciers (see geological origins, below). The moraine is currently a contested site in Ontario, since it stands in the path of major urban development (see political action). For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Latin: Loyal she began, loyal she remains) Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Official languages English (de facto) Government Lieutenant-Governor David C. Onley Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament House seats 107 Senate seats 24 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area... This article is about geological phenomena. ... Caledon (2001 population 50,595) is a town in the Regional Municipality of Peel in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario, Canada. ... Rice Lake is a lake in south-eastern Ontario south of Peterborough, Ontario. ... Nickname: Motto: Dat natura, elaborant artes (Nature Provides, Industry Develops) Map of Ontario with Peterborough indicated with a red dot Coordinates: , Country Province County Peterborough County Established 1819 - Scotts Plains Incorporated as town 1850 - Peterborough Incorporated as city July 1, 1905 Government  - Mayor Paul Ayotte  - MP Dean Del Mastro... Rattlesnake Point near Milton, Ontario. ... Austrias longest glacier, the Pasterze, winds its 8 km (5 mile) route at the foot of Austrias highest mountain, the Grossglockner A glacier is a large, long-lasting river of ice that is formed on land and moves in response to gravity. ... The Oak Ridges Moraine is an ecologically sensitive geological landform in south central Ontario, Canada. ... The Oak Ridges Moraine is an ecologically sensitive geological landform in south central Ontario, Canada. ...

The Oak Ridges Moraine.

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1400x715, 151 KB) A map showing the Oak Ridges Moraine in southern Ontario, Canada. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1400x715, 151 KB) A map showing the Oak Ridges Moraine in southern Ontario, Canada. ...

Ecology

The ecologically diverse moraine is the water source for many headwaters streams flowing south into rivers that drain into Lake Ontario and north into rivers that drain into Lake Scugog and Lake Simcoe. Varied landforms on the moraine, such as woodlands, wetlands, watercourses, kettle lakes and bogs, have provided an environment suitable for significant flora and fauna communities to develop and thrive. The moraine contains one of the last large contiguous forested spans in southern Ontario. The Hooded Warbler is a threatened species in Canada. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of taxonomic life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... River Wey near its source at Farringdon, Hampshire Headstream is the origin of water flow that initiates the subject watercourse. ... Lake Ontario, bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the south by Ontarios Niagara Peninsula and by New York State, USA, is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. ... Lake Scugog is a lake in Scugog Township near the town of Port Perry, Ontario. ... Lake Simcoe is a lake in southern Ontario, Canada, the fourth largest lake in the province. ... Limber Pine woodland, Toiyabe Range, central Nevada Biologically, a woodland is a treed area differentiated from a forest. ... A subtropical wetland in Florida, USA, with an endangered American Crocodile. ... A waterway is any navigable body of water. ... A kettle hole is a geological feature formed by receding glaciers. ... Lütt-Witt Moor, a bog in Henstedt-Ulzburg in northern Germany. ... In Botany a Flora (or Floræ) is a collective term for plant life and can also refer to a descriptive catalogue of the plants of any geographical area, geological period, etc. ... Fauna is a collective term for animal life. ...

The Hooded Warbler is a threatened species in Canada. Happy Valley Forests is one of the few remaining Canadian habitats for this species.

Some of the wide variety of plant and animal species found in the moraine are species at risk in Canada and Ontario, including the West Virginia White Butterfly, Jefferson Salamander, Red-shouldered Hawk, and American Ginseng. Unique ecosystems in the moraine include wetlands similar to those of boreal forests in Northern Ontario, and remnants of tallgrass prairie and oak-pine savanna that are globally threatened ecosystems. A typical portion of the moraine may be found in the Happy Valley Forests, in York Region, north of Toronto. Hooded Warbler pub domain USFWS File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Hooded Warbler pub domain USFWS File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Wilsonia citrina (Boddaert, 1783) The Hooded Warbler, Wilsonia citrina , is a New World warbler. ... Binomial name Pieris virginiensis (Edwards, 1870) The West Virginia White Butterfly (Pieris virginiensis) is a common butterfly found in the Great Lakes states, along the Appalachians from New England to Alabama, and in southern Ontario. ... Binomial name Ambystoma jeffersonianum Green, 1827 The Jefferson Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) is a mole salamander native to the north-eastern United States, southern and central Ontario, and south-western Quebec. ... Binomial name Buteo lineatus (Gmelin, 1788) The Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus, is a medium-sized hawk. ... Not to be confused with ginger. ... Prairie grasses The tallgrass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America, with fire as its primary periodic disturbance. ... Savannah redirects here. ... Happy Valley is a sparsely populated ecologically-sensitive area located in King Township, Ontario, Canada. ...


Physiography

The "Oak Ridges Moraine" is a large ridge composed of four elevated wedges. It is bounded to the west by the Niagara escarpment, a cuesta which was critical to the formation of the moraine, and to the east by the Trent River and Rice Lake. The four wedges (Albion, Uxbridge, Pontypool and Rice Lake from west to east) formed in stages, though some synchronous formation also occurred at an early period of formation. The moraine peaks at the Uxbridge wedge, generally rising from east to west, a result of the moraine's west-to-east formation. That is, the western portion of the moraine received earlier and more frequent sedimentary deposition than the eastern portion, as the ice lobes which controlled the moraine's eastern formation slowly retreated. The Rice Lake wedge is separated from the other wedges where the Oak Ridges Moraine intersects Rice Lake. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Trent River is a river in southeastern Ontario which flows from Rice Lake to empty into the Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario. ...


To the north are drumlinized uplands, referred to as the Peterborough drumlin field. Drumlin in Cato, New York Drowned drumlin in Clew Bay Drumlin at Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field National Natural Landmark A drumlin (Irish droimnín, a little hill ridge) is an elongated whale-shaped hill formed by glacial action. ...


Geological origins

The "Oak Ridges Moraine" probably formed in the Late Wisconsonian glacial period. Ice melt from the Niagara Escarpment flowed into the western boundaries of the moraine, wherein conduits beneath the ice expanded to form a west-to-east passage between the main Laurentide ice sheet and a mass of ice in the Lake Ontario basin. The Oak Ridges Moraine, a geological landform that runs east-west across south central Ontario, Canada, developed about 12,000 years ago, during the Wisconsin glaciation in North America. ... The Wisconsin (in North America), Devensian (in the British Isles), Midlandian (in Ireland), Würm (in the Alps), and Weichsel (in northern central Europe) glaciations are the most recent glaciations of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 10,000 BCE. The general glacial advance began about 70,000 BCE, and... The Laurentide ice sheet was a massive sheet of ice that covered hundreds of thousands of square miles, including most of Canada and a large portion of the northern United States, between ~ 90,000 and ~ 18,000 years before the present day. ...


Stratified sediment was deposited rapidly on the high-relief erosional surface. Up to 150 m in some areas, the deposits occurred on surfaces defined by highly eroded channels and drumlin uplands. The channel tunnels were primarily created by the erosion from glacial rivers, a typical process before moraine formation. For morphological image processing operations, see Erosion (morphology). ... Drumlin in Cato, New York Drowned drumlin in Clew Bay Drumlin at Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field National Natural Landmark A drumlin (Irish droimnín, a little hill ridge) is an elongated whale-shaped hill formed by glacial action. ...


Characteristic of this moraine is the transition of deposition layers from glaciofluvial to glaciolacustrine. Sedimentary glaciofluvial areas form the core of the Oak Ridges Moraine, though restricted to subglacial cavity fills of confined subaqueous fans. Overlaying this core is a glaciolacustrine sedimentary layer that is younger and topographically lower, principally in the delta and basin areas of the moraine. A subaqueous fan is a fan-shaped deposit formed beneath water, and are commonly related to glaciers. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ... A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ...


In the late stages of its development, random unstratified accumulation (known as diamicton) occurred along the ice margins. Whereas the glacial river deposits were more substantial by volume, the diamicton deposits represent a greater portion of the moraine's exposed surface. Research suggests that sedimentation occurred in a west to east sequence along the four main sedimentary wedges: Albion, Uxbridge, Pontytool and Rice Lake. The wedges may have formed in a relatively short period of time, perhaps no more than a few hundred years, as indicated by the annual deposition cycles in glacial lakes (known as varves) within the moraine sediments. However, the lowest beds in the moraine may have experienced synchronous sedimentation. In geology, diamicton (also diamict) is a very poorly sorted sediment. ... A varve is an annual layer of sediment or sedimentary rock. ...


Hydrology

A number of features comprise the hydrological system of the Oak Ridges Moraine:[1] Preliminary research on the hydrology of the Oak Ridges Moraine began in the 1970s, but a broader research effort including the impact of urban development on the aquifer system and Great Lakes water quality was established in 1993. ...

  • permanent and ephemeral streams,
  • wetlands,
  • kettle lakes and ponds, and their catchment areas,
  • seepage areas and springs, and
  • aquifers and other recharge areas.

This hydrological system is inter-twined with a regional flow systems not bound by the morphological limits of the moraine.[2] For this reason, environmentalists and researchers promote an aggressive protection strategy extending beyond the moraine, thus ensuring a contiguously protected hydrological system.


The preservation of aquifers is especially important, since they are used as a primary water source by some municipalities located on or near the moraine. These aquifers also discharge into tributaries that are the headwaters of creeks and rivers which eventually flow into Lake Simcoe, Lake Scugog and Lake Ontario.


The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act stipulates that any development which targets the moraine or nearby areas must satisfy several conditions, most prominently that each development leave a buffer zone of 30 m between it and any hydrological feature; for a kettle lake, this measure is from the edge of the lake's catchment area.


The Oak Ridges Moraine's hydrological system is a major constituent of the Humber Watershed, so that any impact on this system will be of concern. A specific concern is urbanization, which affects water quality by increasing its load of metals and organic contaminants.[3] A study by Cook et al (1985) found an increase in mean annual runoff, instantaneous discharge, and hydrograph peak flow as a result of urbanization: "...changes in land use coincided with changes in volumetric and time distribution aspects of hydrologic response." The Humber Watershed is a hydrological feature of south-central Ontario, Canada, principally in north and west Toronto. ...


Research on the moraine

In 1829, John Bigsby conducted the first investigation of the moraine.[4] He noted the elevation, and styled the area Oak Ridge, identifying the portion of moraine north of Toronto. The moraine's extent was not established until 1863 when William Logan conducted his Geological Survey of Canada. John Jeremiah Bigsby (4 August 1792 – 4 February 1881), English geologist and physician, the son of Dr. John Bigsby, was born at Nottingham on the 14th of August 1792. ... Sir William Edmond Logan (April 20, 1798 – June 22, 1875) was a noted 19th century Canadian geologist. ... The Geological Survey of Canada or GSC is part of the Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada. ...


Taylor formally defined the landform as the Oak Ridges Moraine in 1913. He described its extent to be from King and Maple in the west to the Trent River in the east. He also theorized that its origin was overlapping, interlobate glaciation retreat, between the Lake Ontario Lobe and the older Lake Simcoe Lobe. This has become the accepted explanation for the moraine's development, though research in the 1970s suggested the moraine may not be interlobate. King (2001 population 18,533)[1] is a township in York Region north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Maple (IPA: /meɪ.pʊl/) (Estimated 2006 population 49,388[1]) is a high-growth suburban community northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, part of the city of Vaughan in York Region. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ...


Research conducted in the 1990s reveals that the moraine has multiple origins: its eastern area has subglacial depositions (Gorrell and McCrae, 1993); early parts of the moraine were deposited in an esker (Brennand and Shaw, 1994); and that the moraine is not continuous, but is composed of multiple depositional environments: subglacial, ice-marginal and proglacial lacustrine (Barnett et al, 1998). For the band, see 1990s (band). ...


Current research efforts on the moraine are quite extensive. Because of the political implications of development on the moraine, and because its aquifers are a source of potable water in numerous communities, both federal and provincial governments have invested resources towards research on the moraine. The Geological Survey of Canada and Ontario Geological Survey both investigate hydrostratigraphy and hydrology throughout the moraine. The Geological Survey of Canada or GSC is part of the Earth Sciences Sector of Natural Resources Canada. ...


Palaeo-Indian hunter-gatherers were in this area between 10,000 - 7,000 BC. The oldest artifact found in what is now Richmond Hill, Ontario, from these people, was a stone scraper about 40 mm long, at the Mortson Site, near Leslie Street and 19th Avenue. Other artifacts were found in a settlement site on the eastern shore of Lake Wilcox.


Archaic Iroqouis artifacts circa 1800 BC have also been found at the Silver Stream site, near the headwaters of the Rouge River on Leslie Street just north of Major Mackenzie Drive, and at the Esox site, on the eastern shore of Lake Wilcox.


Political action

Although preservation of the moraine was first suggested in the 1940s, it was not until 1991 that the issue achieved prominence in political discourse.[5] Part of the reason for its entry into political discourse, was due to the formation, in 1989, of the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition.[6] The politics of the Oak Ridges Moraine have centred on the question of how to preserve this extensive natural resource that is increasingly threatened by human modification. ... The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) is a coalition of 25 citizens groups and individuals dedicated to preserving the ecologically sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine in Ontario, Canada. ...


The Government of Ontario created the Oak Ridges Moraine Technical Working Committee in June 1991, with the aim of creating a regional planning strategy for the moraine. The plan was completed in 1994, but was subsequently dismissed in favour of local government administration of the affected lands. This led to intense development on some portions of the moraine.


In early 1999, developers targeted Richmond Hill for large subdivisions on the moraine which would house over 100,000 people. A media campaign by environmental groups led to public opposition of the developments, and the issue was transferred to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in 2000. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an independent adjudicative tribunal that provides a public forum for resolving disagreements relating to community planning, governance issues and other matters in the province of Ontario, Canada, as provided for under the Ontario Municipal Board Act. ...


By May 2001, with the issue still unresolved, the provincial Conservative government announced a six-month moratorium on moraine development. A panel was formed to create a land-use plan consistent with the current "smart growth" policy. The plan was released in October 2001, and became the basis for the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, dividing the area into four zones with increasingly stringent controls on development in each. The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party (PC Party of Ontario, also known as Tories) is a right-of-centre political party in Ontario, Canada. ...


During the provincial election of 2003, the Liberal Party of Ontario promised to terminate development on the moraine as part of their election campaign. The government, in its attempt to halt developments, proposed the North Pickering Land Exchange.[7] This involved exchanging government-owned public lands in North Pickering (the Seaton lands) for privately-owned lands on the Oak Ridges Moraine in Richmond Hill and Uxbridge. The exchange settled outstanding disputes being considered by the OMB involving moraine lands in Richmond Hill and Uxbridge. The Ontario Liberal Party is a centre-left provincial political party in the province of Ontario, Canada. ... For other uses, see Pickering (disambiguation). ... Seaton is part of North Pickering, in Ontario, Canada. ... This article is about the township. ...


Despite all these efforts, including the government's creation of a permanently protected Greenbelt, the political struggle regarding the moraine continues. The Ontario Greenbelt (not to be confused with the Ottawa Greenbelt in the same province) is a permanently protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, located in Southern Ontario, Canada. ...


Development pressures

The greatest threat to the function of the moraine is land development on and below its surface, particularly in the headwaters. The estimated current population on the moraine land itself is roughly 200,000 but this number continues to grow at a frantic pace, with large urban developments occurring in Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Aurora. Another five million people live in close proximity. Use of the moraine is currently under dispute; environmental groups such as the Sierra Club maintain the area's delicate ecosystems are threatened by development pressures. Attractive forests and hilly relief typical of the moraine are a magnet for developers looking for building opportunities in the densely populated Greater Toronto Area. However, many planners and residents see a need to preserve the moraine from the negative aspects of urban sprawl. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about geological phenomena. ... The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ... A map of Torontos Census Metropolitan Area, which contains a large portion of the Greater Toronto Area. ... Urban sprawl (also: suburban sprawl) is the spreading out of a city and its suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area. ...


Moreover, because it is a rich resource for sand and gravel, it has become a significant source of materials for the aggregate industry of the Greater Toronto Area.[8] Aggregate is the component of a composite material used to resist compressive stress. ...


Conservation

Local concerns for preserving wildlife habitat on the moraine have increased in recent years. In April 2000, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust was formed. The ORMLT is a non-profit organization that raises funds to protect areas on the moraine through conservation easements and outright purchases. They have protected 6 km² (1500 acres). The Nature Conservancy of Canada is also active. They are raising funds to protect a 5.4 km² property called Happy Valley Forest. The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) is a Canadian charitable non-profit organization founded in 1999. ... In the United States, a conservation easement is an easement — a transfer of usage rights — which creates a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and a municipality or a qualified land protection organization (often called a land trust), for the purposes of conservation. ... The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a registered charity in Canada, and was founded in 1962. ...


See also

Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) is a coalition of 25 citizens groups and individuals dedicated to preserving the ecologically sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine in Ontario, Canada. ... The Ontario Greenbelt (not to be confused with the Ottawa Greenbelt in the same province) is a permanently protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, located in Southern Ontario, Canada. ... For other uses of the word Greenbelt, see Greenbelt (disambiguation). ...

References and notes

  1. ^ Bradford, Andrea; Stephen Maude. Achieving Ecological Integrity on the Oak Ridges Moraine: Towards Ecologically Relevant Water Management (PDF). University of Guelph. Retrieved on 2006-06-16.
  2. ^ Gerber, Richard E.; Ken Howard (September 2002). "Hydrogeology of the Oak Ridges Moraine aquifer system: implications for protection and management from the Duffins Creek watershed". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 39 (9): 1333-1348. ISSN 1480-3313. Retrieved on 2006-06-16. 
  3. ^ Issues in Stormwater Quality and Quantity in the Humber:Background. University of Toronto. Retrieved on 2006-06-16.
  4. ^ Barnett, P.J.; Sharpe, D.R., Russell, H.A.J., Brennand, T.A., Gorrell, G., Kenny, F.M., and Pugin, A. (October 1998). "On the Origin of the Oak Ridges Moraine" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 35 (10). ISSN 1480-3313. Retrieved on 2006-06-16. 
  5. ^ Case Study: The Oak Ridges Moraine. Linking Science and Policy for Urban Nonpoint Pollution in the Great Lakes Region. International Association for Great Lakes Research (November 2002). Retrieved on 2006-06-16.
  6. ^ STORM Coalition, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine, <http://www.stormcoalition.org/>. Retrieved on 2007-07-27
  7. ^ North Pickering Land Exchange. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Retrieved on 2006-06-16.
  8. ^ More facts about the Oak Ridges Moraine. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Retrieved on 2006-06-16.

The University of Guelph is a medium-sized university located in Guelph, Ontario, established in 1964. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research university in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Oak Ridges Moraine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2007 words)
The Oak Ridges Moraine is an ecologically sensitive geological landform in south central Ontario, Canada.
Overlaying this core is a glaciolacustrine sedimentary layer that is younger and topographically lower, principally in the delta and basin areas of the moraine.
It wasn't until William Logan, in 1863, that the moraine's extent was established to be between the Niagara Escarpment in the west, and the Trent River in the east.
STORM Coalition (Save the Oak Ridges Moraine) (1326 words)
One of Ontario's largest moraines, the Oak Ridges Moraine extends 160 kilometres from the Niagara Escarpment in the west to the Trent River system in the east, and is on average 13 kilometres wide.
Strung along the rivers of the moraine are historic towns that show similar patterns of conurbation - the classic village center ringed by modern subdivisions and schools and baseball diamonds.
It was here where the moraine was almost cut in half by development and it was here where the battle for the moraine was staged and won.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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