8. Physical Geography of British Columbia

Key Terms

Key Terms

Biogeoclimatic zones:

Alpine Tundra
Spruce—Willow—Birch
Boreal White and Black Spruce
Sub-Boreal Pine—Spruce
Sub-Boreal Spruce
Mountain Hemlock
Engelmann Spruce—Subalpine Fir
Montane Spruce
Bunchgrass
Ponderosa Pine
Interior Douglas-fir
Coastal Douglas-fir
Interior Cedar—Hemlock
Coastal Western Hemlock

Climate change: A significant and lasting change in weather patterns over time. This includes a variation in the average weather patterns, and/or more extreme weather patterns such as increased precipitation or drought. Natural factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics and volcanic eruptions can influence climate change, but by far the most significant is the impact of human activities.

Felsite sheet: A very fine grained volcanic rock that may or may not contain larger crystals. Felsite is a field term for a light-coloured rock that typically requires petrographic examination or chemical analysis for more precise definition.

Geology: The study of and discourse involving the solid Earth, including the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change. Geology can also refer generally to the study of the solid features of any celestial body (such as the Moon or Mars).

Geomorphology: The  study of the process that creates and transforms the surface of the Earth. Geomorphology seeks to understand landform history and dynamics, and predict future changes through a combination of field observation, physical experimen, and numerical modelling (geomorphometry).

Isostasy: The process of the surface of the Earth loading and unloading. For example, the Rocky Mountains are made up of sedimentary rock which erodes relatively quickly.

Isostatic rebound: 
The term used to describe the process of very heavy mountains erode from the top so that they actually “float up” and grow.

Landslide: The general term used to describe the movement of rock, soil and other debris down a slope as a result of gravitational pull.

Natural hazard: Any natural process that is a potential threat to human life and property. Natural hazards tend to be repetitive events and are predictable.

Orogeny: Two plates jamming together, with the edges often fracturing and collapsing to form mountain ranges.

Subaerial landslide (or submarine) tsunami: Large water waves generated by landslides, rock falls, snow avalanches, glacier calving, or meteoroids falling into a water body.

Subduction:  The process of plates colliding when one is denser or heavier than the other, forcing the heavier one downward and under the other.

Tectonic tsunami: https://www.e-education.psu.edu/earth501/content/p2_p3.html