of Prince Edward Island
by Chrissy Gamble and MaryEllen Robertson
Location and Terrain
Prince Edward Island is in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the Atlantic Coast of the Canadian mainland. One of the four Atlantic Provinces, this crescent shaped Island is separated from the mainland by the Northumberland Strait. The Island is location at 46 degrees latitude,63 degrees longitude. In geological terms, PEI is quite young. Sediment formed the red sandstone on the Island deposited between 250 and 300 million years ago. The Island shows clear traces of the Ice Age. About 15,000 years ago, the ice retreated and the sea level rose severing it from the mainland. Prince Edward Island is the smallest of the Canadian provinces. Its total land mass is 5,656 sq. km (2184 sq. mi). The Island is only 224 km (139 miles) long and between 6 km and 64 km (four and 40 miles) wide. Its terrain can be characterized as gently rolling hills. White sandy beaches are predominant along the northern shores while red sandstone cliffs edge its southern exposure. Rich red soil makes the Island an ideal place for mixed farming. The redness of the soil is due to its high iron-oxide (rust) content. Approximately 381,000 of the 640,000 acres in agriculture are in crops. Many rivers, bays and estuaries indent the 805 km (500 miles) of the coastline. Many small islands lie off the shores of PEI. The Province has many lakes and rivers, most of which are quite small. Approximately 60 percent of the population is rural and about 7 percent live on farms. Prince Edward Island covers a land mass of 5,660 square kilometres (2,184 square miles). Its highest point of land is 152 metres (466 feet) above sea level at Springton in Queens County. .
Elephant Rock & the geology of North Cape
Geology of P.E.I.
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