The Roar of the Bay

The Roar of the Bay
The Roar of the Bay

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Five Islands Provincial Park (near Lower Economy, Nova Scotia)

Friday July 8th I drove down to Parrsboro (you must be familiar with the place by now if you've read my earlier blog posts) to take part of the Five Islands Provincial Park curatorial walk, organized by the Fundy Geological Museum with Ken Adams as the interpreter. Here's a little resumé from their website:

The cliffs at Five Islands Provincial Park tell a story of Triassic sand dunes, Jurassic lava flows and lake deposits from the age of dinosaurs. The spectacular faults and rocks exposed along the shore, near the “Old Wife”, are dramatic evidence for the break up of the super continent Pangea.

- FGM Curatorial Walks


Five Islands Provincial Park is about a 20 minute car ride East of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The five islands are (from right to left, starting with the biggest of the islands): Moose Island, Diamond Island, Long Island, Egg Island, and Pinnacle Island. On the beach facing west towards Moose Island, there is a rock formation called Two-Hour Rock. Its an extension of volcanic rock mixed in with Triassic sedimentary rock that show the contrast of colors pretty loudly. Going around this rock formation you'll end up on the rocky beach where you will find what the locals call "The Old Wife". I have found some nice pieces of jasper and fundy agate, and even some copper. Continuing East along the shore the red sedimentary rock formed in hydroenvironments turn into red sedimentary rock from a wind-type environment, such as a desert. The furthest I've been with the group at this point is Red Head, where you'll see by the end of this article how the wind has carved the sandstone to give it its particular shape.

What's interesting is to see different rock type formations in such a small area. From triassic to later type of reddish sandstone and shale containing trace fossils, like dinosaur footprints, to layers and layers of different lava flows and volcanic basalt rock creating natural works of art along the Bay.

View of Moose, Long, and Pinnacle (looking Westward)


Our group heading South towards Two-Hour Rock. You can differentiate right away the two formations: the reddish sandstone of the triassic, and the wavy and rough grayish volcanic rock. Some dinosaur footprints were found not far from where we are in this picture. They were brought to the FGM (Fundy Geological Museum) for identification.

Big sandstone strata with ancient river bed

Admiring the faults

Ancient lava flows. Had all kinds of minerals laying about.


Volcanic chimney


Columnar-ish type volcanic basalt

Red sandstone cliffs (North-West view)

Heading towards "The Old Wife"

The very colorful strata forming these beautiful cliffs
(volcanic basalt on top, reddish sandstone bottom)


Volcanic basalt folds bending and warping, showing that even rock can be flexible given the amount of pressure they would encounter when whole continental plates shift and push against each other.

Heading towards Red Head ("Wolf Head")

"Red Head" (or "Wolf Head")

The reddish sandstone found here were formed in an arid environment, like a desert. From what I've learned was that when the supercontinent Pangea had formed, the weather system didn't favor the previous wet climates like the preceding paleo continents. Having a great continental mass created an arid and desertic climate.

Copper baring rock (?)

Two different sandstone: left-hydroclimate; right-desert climate

Features showing wind sculpting the sandstone

Beautiful colors and intricate features and patterns created by weathering

Purrrrty...

Till next time!

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