Map of Ecozone

external image southernarctic_map.gif


The Southern Arctic is one of many ecozones of Canada. It was formed and shaped by glaciers 8500 years ago. It is a very cold place and there are about 10 000 people who live there, though covers several provinces and territories. There are no trees.

Vegetation and Soil

There is very little bare soil in the Southern Arctic, because most of the land is either bare rock, or it is frozen into permafrost. The soil is low quality, so not many nutrients can be found. The plants which grow in this ecozone are small and low to the ground, so that they are protected from harsh winds. Small shrubs are common, as are mosses and lichens. There are no full sized trees, because the poor soil and cold, dry climate cannot support them. In fact, the treeline, the point at which there are no more trees, defines the southern border of the Southern Arctic. This means that if full sized trees started growing further in, the shape of the Southern Arctic would change.

Landform Regions

The Southern Arctic is mostly plains. In many places, the rock of the Canadian Shield protrudes, forming hills. When this ecozone was formed by glaciers, many depressions were carved in the land, and these were often left filled by ice from the glacier that carved it. When the this ice melted, lakes were formed in the depressions.

The Southern Arctic ecozone is mostly covered in permafrost- permanently frozen ground. (Permafrost refers specifically to the ground.) This also deters trees from growing here.

Rock Types and Minerals

Rock, where it can be found in the Southern Arctic, comes from the Canadian Shield. It is mainly granite, which is a type of igneous rock. This rock was carved by glaciers.

Trees can't grow on rock either.

Climate and Climograph


The climate in the Southern Arctic is very cold and dry. It is not conducive to living. In winter, the temperature drops to -25 degrees C, and in summer it barely reaches +10 degrees C. This may be one of the reasons there are not many people or trees there. The average annual precipitation is 200mm to 300mm. Trees need more water than this to grow.

Trivia and Fun Facts

There are no trees in the Southern Arctic.

The Southern Arctic is actually in two seperate places, which are not connected in any way. Neither part has any trees. They are divided by Hudson's Bay, which also does not contain any trees.

The largest city is called Rankin Inlet. It has about 2500 people and no trees.

There are no trees.


Test Questions

What is the predominant type of rock in the Southern Arctic? Where does it come from?
The rock is mostly igneous, from the Canadian Shield. (Specifically, it is granite.)

How many trees are there in the Southern Arctic? Why? Give at least four relevant details.
There are no trees in the Southern Arctic, because:
  • The ground is frozen.
  • There is not enough water.
  • It is cold.
  • The harsh winds would blow them over.
  • There are no trees.

What shaped the land? What bodies of water were created by this and why?
Glaciers carved the rock in the Southern Arctic. The glaciers scraped divets in the landscape, and chunks of ice were ripped off the glacier and fell in the divets. When the chunks of ice melted, lakes were formed.

What is permafrost?
Permafrost is permanently frozen ground. Permafrost is not anything else that is permanently frozen.

What is the largest city called and what is its population (in people and in trees)?
The largest city is Rankin Inlet, with 2500 people and no trees.