The drainage patterns across Nova Scotia have developed almost entirely since the Tertiary and are closely tied to the geology. They are the response of water flowing down an inclined plain to the structure and composition of the underlying rocks. Water follows lines of weakness, such as soft strata, joints or faults, and establishes a characteristic drainage pattern. This is modified until the river develops a profile which is in equilibrium with the regional slope, precipitation and the geology of its drainage basin.
In Nova Scotia, drainage patterns diverge from their ideal form because of three influences: The Pleistocene glaciation, which scoured the surface of the province and then dumped unsorted rock debris upon it; fluctuations in sea level; and ancient river channels, which developed before the Tertiary and are now superimposed upon the terrain.
This Document Includes:
Structure and Slope
Relics of an Ancient Drainage System
Download PDF File (81k, 4 pages, 7 figures, 1 plate)
T3.1 Development of the Ancient Landscape
T3.3 Glaciation, Deglaciation and Sea-level Changes
T3.4 Terrestrial Glacial Deposits and Landscape Features
T8.1 Freshwater Hydrology
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