33GLACIERS, DIRT, AND THE SYDENHAM RIVER

One of the last great glaciers formed the landscape of nearly all of present-day Ontario, including this area. This was the Wisconsin glacier, which existed 15,000 years ago. This may seem like a long time ago, but it was the youngest and last glacier in this part of Ontario.

This diagram shows the different soil types in the Sydenham River Watershed.
This diagram shows the different soil types in the Sydenham River Watershed.
Sometimes, warmer weather would melt the ice. Imagine the huge amount of water that flowed from the Wisconsin glacier when it melted! Meltwaters formed streams, which would create glacial lakes. These glacial lakes once covered the entire Sydenham River watershed.

Before the Wisconsin glacier melted and retreated out of Southwestern Ontario, the land was drastically changed by the back and forth motion of the ice sheet. As the glacier advanced or retreated, the ice would scrape and grind the underlying bedrock, changing its shape. Meltwaters, streams, and glacial lakes also changed the shape of the land, and what kind of soil could be found here.

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