The Niagara Escarpment was once the rim of an ancient salt sea. It now dominates the landscape, encircling most of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes were formed over two million years ago when ice sheets covered most of North America. The glaciers scoured out the ancient Michigan Basin and carved it into the complex basins we know now as the five Great Lakes.

The crumbling cliffs of the Scarborough Bluffs bear witness to how the glaciers tore chunks of the landscape and carried them off, releasing them far from home. The Bluffs’ sediment layers provide an almost perfect history of North America's last ice age and are internationally famous for their long climate record.


  • In February 1990, the Niagara Escarpment was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, making it one of 12 in Canada.
  • The largely forested corridor which defines the Escarpment is 725 kilometres in length and passes through the most heavily developed region of Canada.

  • The Great Lakes
    Discover the roots of a long vanished mountain range, explore the remains of an inland tropical sea and trace the story of a dramatic flood
  • The Rockies
    An ever-changing landmass, geologists are learning how the Rockies were formed and discovering what they will become.
  • The Canadian Shield
    The largest - and one of the oldest - expanses of ancient rock on the planet has riches of gold and diamonds under it's crust.
  • The Appalachians
    These fabled mountains contain a geologic puzzle, a rich legacy, and the scarcely known threat of earthquakes.
  • The Atlantic Coast
    The dramatic story of volcanic outpourings, massive rifting of continents and the bursting forth of a new ocean - the Atlantic.

A five-part series that chronicles the incredible—and surprising—history of Canada's landscape in HD.

Canada Rocks Read an excerpt from Canada Rocks, a new book by the scientific advisor to Geologic Journey, Nick Eyles.

Watch video interviews with some of the scientists featured in Geologic Journey (produced in conjunction with National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).

Order the Geologic Journey DVD for classroom use and download Teacher Resource Materials.
The Nature of Things with David Suzuki
Glacier: A large, slow moving river of ice, formed from compacted layers of snow, that slowly deforms and flows in response to gravity. Glacier ice is the largest reservoir of fresh water on earth. Ice Age: A period of long-term reduction in the temperature of earth’s climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers. The most recent one ended about 10,000 years ago.