What Are the Seven Landform Regions in Canada?

Dennis Jarvis/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Canada’s seven physiographic regions are the Arctic Lands, Cordillera, Canadian Shield Forest Lands, Interior Plains, St. Lawrence Lowlands, Hudson Bay Lowland and Appalachia, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia. Each area has relatively similar landforms and physical geography. Differences between these land areas are detected through satellite images. The geology of southern Canada and permafrost in northern Canada dominate the landforms of the country.

The Arctic Lands encompass roughly 26 percent of Canada. Combined with the Subarctic Lands, these regions comprise nearly 45 percent of the entire country. Glaciation formed much of these regions, which are mostly characterized by treeless tundra.

The Cordillera comprises about 16 percent of Canada and includes the Rocky Mountains in the west. Appalachia is another mountainous region in eastern Canada that features hills, mountains and valleys along the Atlantic Continental Shelf. Appalachia comprises approximately 3.6 percent of the land mass of Canada.

The Hudson Bay Lowland features mostly sedimentary rock surrounding Hudson Bay. This part of Canada was formed when glaciers retreated and left a hollowed-out Hudson Bay. The St. Lawrence Lowland largely follows the St. Lawrence River from its estuary to its headwaters.

The Interior Plains cover 18 percent of Canada. The plains are bounded by the Rocky Mountains to the west and reach as far north as the Arctic. The Canadian Shield is the largest physiographic region in Canada, making up 48 percent of the country including lakes and islands. The vast saucer-shaped region features rich forest land.