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    Hydrogeological Regions provide a framework to introduce the regional hydrogeology of Canada and to connect apparently disparate studies into a broader framework. The hydrological regions are first order areas used to capture and summarize data that will help develop more detailed profiles of each region. Comparison of findings within and between regions will allow scalable extension to sub-regional and watershed scale mapping. Canada has been classified into nine principal hydrogeological regions. Each region is described briefly based on the following five hydrogeological characteristics (Heath, 1984): system components and geometry; water-bearing openings; rock matrix composition; storage and transmission; recharge/ discharge. The hydrogeological classification emphasizes major geological provinces and rock formations. Fundamental water-bearing openings and rock matrix properties help determine the quantity (storage), flux (transmission), and composition of formation waters. These same properties and any overlying sediment cover affect recharge/ discharge rates for regional formations. While regional attributes are general, a simple aquifer mapping scheme can further describe the nature and character of aquifers in each region. For example, general groundwater settings across the country could be described as has been done by USGS principal aquifers [1]. Thus the regional framework can potentially link from national scales to watershed scales by identifying typical aquifer types based on readily available geological maps that use water-bearing character as a common attribute. The nine hydrogeological regions include: Cordillera Mountains with thin sediment over fractured sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks of Precambrian to Cenozoic age. Intermontane valleys are underlain by glacial and alluvial deposits of Pleistocene age. Plains (Western Sedimentary Basin) Region-wide basin of sub-horizontal Paleozoic to Cenozoic sedimentary rocks are overlain by thick glacial deposits filling buried valleys. Incised post-glacial valleys provide local relief. Shallow gas, coal, and brines may occur. Canadian Shield Undulating region of thin glacial sediment overlying complex deformed, fractured PreCambrian igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Region contains several terrains: sedimentary basins, structural belts, and glacial-lacustrine basins. Hudson Bay (Moose River) Basin Sedimentary basin of Paleozoic to Mesozoic sub horizontal carbonate and clastic sediment covered by surficial deposits, with low relief and poor drainage. Southern Ontario Eastern Great Lakes region is underlain by gently-dipping Paleozoic, carbonate, clastic and gypsum-salt strata overlain by glacial sediments up to 200 m thick with tunnel valleys. Karst, bedrock valleys, shallow gas and brines are also important components. St. Lawrence Lowlands Lowlands underlain by shallow-dipping Paleozoic sedimentary rocks and thick glacial sediment in glacial-marine basins. Appalachian and Precambrian uplands discharge water to valleys. Shallow gas and saltwater intrusion are possible. Appalachia Upland to mountainous region with thin surficial sediment on folded Paleozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks. Range of rock types yields a wide range of water compositions. Valleys contain important alluvial aquifers. Maritimes Basin Lowlands with flat-lying, Carboniferous clastic , salt, and gypsum rocks contain shallow coal deposits. Surface glacial sediment is thin and discontinuous. Salt water intrusion is possible. Permafrost Arctic islands and most areas north of 60o contain frozen ground affects on groundwater flow. Diverse topography and geology define sub-regions of sedimentary basins and crystalline rocks. Glacial sediment is thin, discontinuous; local peat accumulations are significant.

  • The amount of groundwater exploited is estimated in m³/year. Groundwater usages are classified in four categories: agricultural, industrial, domestic and energy. Typically, groundwater usage should be represented as a series of sub-polygons or points fitting inside the boundary of the hydrogeological unit. The scope and method used to estimate the amount of water are described in the metadata associated with the dataset. The dataset identifies the main usages for the hydrogeological unit. It features numbers and percentages describing groundwater usages for a predetermined scope. The groundwater usage is frequently compiled by municipalities or counties. It could then be possible to display the usage by superimposing a series of pie charts depicting the groundwater usages over multiples administrative areas.

  • Groundwater samples have been collected in the hydrogeological unit, for various types of analysis. The dataset is not used to represent a particular phenomenon or observation but rather as a utility dataset to add context and reference to groundwater analysis. It represents a general description of the sample site and sample. Sampling methods vary according to the types of analysis.

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    This layer comprises all the available water wells in GIN (Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador) and published through the open data platforms. This layer is a combination of all individual provincial and territorial layers. The original databases are dynamically converted by an automatic process managed by Natural Resources Canada (Groundwater Information Network).

  • Surficial geologic units are unconsolidated materials overlying bedrock. The dataset represents a general description of the stratigraphy and geology, including geologic unit thickness, morphology, age and rank. It features a list of the geologic unit names and types of sediment in the hydrogeological unit. While the preferred format to deliver this data is by using a shapefile and its linked attributes, this dataset can be delivered also by providing link to external data which should have at least the same properties or also by joining a georeferenced image of the map.

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    The water level data comes from the groundwater monitoring network of Quebec (Canadian province). Each well in the observation network is equipped with a hydrostatic pressure transducer and a temperature sensor connected to a data logger. A second pressure transducer located above the water surface allows for adjusting the water level according to atmospheric pressure variations. The time series refers to the level below which the soil is saturated with water at the site and at the time indicated. The water level is expressed in meters above sea level (MASL). The dataset consists of a general description of the observation site including; the identifier, the name, the location, the elevation and a series of numerical values designating the water levels at a defined date and time of measurement.

  • The confinement describes the types of aquifer: confined, unconfined and semi-confined. Confined aquifer is bounded from above and below by impervious formations. Unconfined aquifer has a water table which serves as its upper boundary. Semi-confined aquifer is in between. Aquifer confinement is derived from geology, stratigraphy and hydrogeological unit thickness. The dataset represents the confinement assessment of the local area over the hydrogeological unit, from a controlled vocabulary.

  • In the hydrogeological unit, quantity of water that replenishes groundwater beneath the water table, expressed in mm/yr. Recharge is usually calculated using hydrology balance, integrating information from precipitation, hydrology data, drainage, soil properties, evapotranspiration, etc. The result is a raster dataset in which each cell has a given value for the recharge of the aquifer. It can be calculate using HELP software, developed by the US EPA. The methods used to create the dataset are described in the metadata associated with the dataset. The dataset represent a raster in which each cell has a mean value describing the global annual recharge of the hydrogeological unit.

  • The bedrock geologic units designate units of the same types of rock which composed the solid rock exposed at ground surface (as outcrop) or which underlies unconsolidated surficial sediments. This dataset represents a general description of the stratigraphy and geology, including geologic unit thickness, morphology, age and rank. It features a list of the geologic unit names and types of rock (lithology) in the hydrogeological unit, from a controlled vocabulary. While the preferred format to deliver this data is by using a shapefile and its linked attributes, this dataset can be delivered also by providing link to external data which should have at least the same properties or also by joining a georeferenced image of the map.

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    The map displays bedrock formations at or near the surface of the land, on the sea floor above the continental crust that forms the Canadian landmass, and oceanic crust surrounding the landmass. The bedrock units are grouped and coloured according to geological age and composition. The colours of offshore units and oceanic crust are paler and more generalized than those on land, although the constituent units offshore are still easily discernible from their dashed boundaries. This colour design, coupled with the use of a white buffer zone at the coast allows the coastline of Canada to be readily distinguished and still show the grand geological architecture of the Canadian landmass. The map also shows major faults that have disrupted the Earth's crust, onshore and offshore, and a variety of special geological features such as kimberlite pipes, which locally contain diamonds, impact structures suspected to have been caused by meteorites, and extinct and active spreading centres in the surrounding oceans.