Geology

Table of Contents

Geology is a science which focuses on the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed and the processes by which it changes. It provides insight into the Earth's past including the evolutionary history of life and past climates.

Geology is commercially important for mineral exploration and for evaluating natural resources. It also helps find solutions to environmental problems and both predict and understand natural hazards.

Ontario has a long and lively geological past that has shaped the way it appears today. The first piece of the crust that is now Ontario made its appearance more than three billion years ago. Since then, the province has been shaped by the movement of the ever-shifting plates that cover the surface of the Earth.

Ontario is a showcase of geological processes caused by these shifting plates, including volcanism, earthquakes and mountain building. Huge sheets of creeping ice, tropical coral reefs and even salt water lagoons are all part of our province's past.

These exciting events are all recorded in the rocks of the province.

Resources

  • The Ontario Geological Survey regularly publishes maps, reports and digital data on Ontario's geology. The Publications Release Notice identifies upcoming publications one week prior to their release. Publications can be downloaded for free from the GeologyOntario application (links to new releases are provided in each Release Notice). Maps and reports in hard-copy (paper) format and digital data sets available on physical media (CD or DVD) can be purchased from the Publication Sales office.
  • The Ontario Geological Survey will conduct approximately 40 geoscience mapping projects across Ontario during 2013. This map highlights active projects planned for Northern and Southern Ontario.
  • Enhance your skills and prepare for your future by working as a summer field assistant with the Ontario Geological Survey!
  • Resident Geologist Program offices provide public access to geoscience databases and local geological resource material. Resident Geologist Program geologists provide geological consultation and advisory services.  To get in touch with a geologist, contact the Resident Geologists Program or one of their local offices.
  • ROCK ONtario - a book which explains the development of Ontario's landforms though geological processes such as plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes and glaciation
  • Simplified Geology and Selected Mineral Deposits - maps which illustrate the simplified geological rock units and mineral deposits that cover Ontario and deposits from the Quaternary period
  • Applications - The Mines and Minerals division collects data about Ontario's geology. Collected data is assembled into reports, maps and geographic information system data files which are made available through a number of applications.
  • Ontario Geological Survey Publication Indexes - View map indexes and report indexes which represent more than 100 years of geologic mapping by the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS).
Title
Aggregate

Aggregate is a construction product made from sand and gravel or by crushing bedrock.

Bedrock Geology

Bedrock geology is a general term that refers to the solid rock that lies beneath the soil and other surficial materials like sand and gravel.

Geochemistry

Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of the earth and its rocks and minerals.

Geophysics

Geophysics is a way of studying the geology and structure of the Earth by measuring its physical properties.

Groundwater

Water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock is known as groundwater.

Industrial Minerals

Industrial minerals are non-metallic minerals that provide resources for the construction, chemical and manufacturing industries of the province.

Land-Use Planning

Land-use planning is the process of designating parcels of land for specific uses.

Metallic Minerals

A mineral is a solid, naturally occurring combination of inorganic substances. Metallic minerals are minerals which contain one or more metallic elements.

Non-Renewable Energy

Non-renewable energy is energy that comes from a source that cannot be replaced after it has been used.

Surficial Geology

Surficial geology, also referred to as Quaternary geology, refers to those unconsolidated geologic materials lying on top of the bedrock.