Fjords, (fiords in Canada), are long, narrow inlets characterized by steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity. A fjord can have two or more basins, and Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm is one such fjord. The bowls can have a depth of 20 to 500 m (66 to 1,640 ft). Fjords are formed by ice flowing down a river valley commonly carving the rock into a a “U” shaped valley. The ice sheets occurred roughly 11,000 years ago. Mountainous glaciated areas in Canada are located along the British Columbia Coast: from the Alaskan border along the Portland Canal to Indian Arm.
The geology along the shore of Burrard Inlet, is overall quite simple, the north shore, across from where you are standing now, comprises igneous rocks of the coast range batholith, a rock formed deep in the earth, which are mostly granitic rocks. On the south side, where you are standing now is a hard strong extrusive rock called basalt, which commonly forms a volcano and to the east of you is a soft sedimentary rock, sandstone, which is formed from sand and clay being laid down and hardening into a rock.
To the east of where you are now, the inlet widens out into a large area for ships to unload and load.
If you look north across the water you will see the Capilano River flowing into Burrard Inlet. (This river has a railroad bridge at its mouth.) The Capilano River presently deposits sediment at the Burrard Inlet's entrance and until the Capilano-Cleveland Dam was built in the 1950’s, a dredge was needed to remove this sediment so that the channel could be kept open for ship traffic. Without man’s intervention, Burrard Inlet would soon turn into Burrard Lake.
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