Geology and processes help shape our coastlines and shorelines. The following links provide information regarding some of the geological features and processes pertaining to the Capital Regional District.

Coastal Sediment Processes

The term “coastal sediment processes” refers to the forces that erode, transport and deposit sediment along shorelines.

Geological History of Vancouver Island

The story of Vancouver Island spans hundreds of millions of years. The island was formed through a combination of processes, including tectonic plate movement, volcanism, erosion and glaciation.

Global Ocean Currents

Global ocean currents help to regulate the world’s climate and have important effects on marine life. They are composed of deep ocean currents and surface currents.

Local Currents

Currents are organized flows of water in a particular direction, like rivers in the sea. In the ocean, deep currents occur below 400 metres, and surface currents occur in the top 400 metres.


A tide is the deformation of earth and water materials at different places on earth in response to the combined gravitational effects of moon and sun


Waves are disturbances that cause energy to be transported through a medium (e.g. air or water), with very little transport of the medium itself.