The Roar of the Bay

The Roar of the Bay
The Roar of the Bay

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Field Work (Norton, New Brunswick)

Last month (end of June 2013) I tagged along one of Matt's adventures to Norton, in Southern New Brunswick. In a quarry on one of his field work duties a few days earlier, he discovered in a section of the area tiny arthropod tracks. The weather had mentioned rain, heavy at times. Boy they were not kidding. We were granted permission to access and work in the quarry, so we (Matt, his friend Amanda, and myself) took that opportunity to drive down and get down and dirty. We were later joined by a fourth member that day.

Note: To work on/extract fossils in situ (diretly in the cliff/rock face) in New Brunswick requires permission from the province (from Natural Resources, usually in a form of a permit)

Undisclosed quarry

Getting there we encountered some heavy rain at times in short periods of time, so it made the terrain at the site quite muddy and tough to walk through. We would have had better access to the target area, but work was done in that spot recently and mounds of muddy soil was pushed right up, blocking the road. If there was anything heavy to lift and carry, it would have to be done through bootsucking mud.

Work area

We put our gear onto some plywood sheet to keep some of it dry and out of the way. Out attempt to install some type of tarp for shelter failed, but we didn't want to spend too much time worrying about keeping dry and keep on working.

Layers of track bearing shale

As we worked on peeling away shale layer by layer, we collected samples for study while jutting down all the necessary stratigraphic data for future reference. As the work went on, we realized how significant this area was and how it should be subjected to future study.

Amanda and Matt at work

The tracks that we came upon were numerous and very well detailed. We had set a specific strata as target and trying to get to it by peeling the layers, but it took us longer to get to it when the layers getting there were also bearing tracks.

Diplichnites (arthropod trackways)

We ended up reaching our target layers of rock, and just in time. As soon as we were done, torrential rain started beating on us, leaving us soaked and drenched. We packed our gear as quickly as we could and tailed back home.

Work is ongoing and data is still being collected and processed for further study.

We'll keep you posted. Cheers!

- Keenan

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joggins, Nova Scotia (June 2013)

Being on vacation meant being on the road, looking for rocks. That also meant that during that week, I had to make at least one stop at Joggins, in the wet province of Nova Scotia, where the bees shoot flames, and.. ok, lets move on. Here's a few photos of my trek down the beach.

Like always, be mindful of the tides. Not knowing when high tide comes in could spell trouble as exit routes are not easily found. So you'd end up stranded for a few hours, so really not recommended to stick around when high time comes around.

Sand nodule containing plants

The sand nodules that I found on the beach are extremely hard and those I came across contained mostly plants, like the one I found already cracked on the photo above. Some of them were covered with pyrite (fool's gold).

Trackways or sediment deformation?

Lots of new plants, especially calamites (some whole)

A lonely fern

Found the other print of the lonely fern

Got to the coal mine shaft and was surprised of how much had eroded away in a matter of weeks. Parts of the top of the shaft had collapsed then washed away, leaving a bigger gap. You could smell sulfur, and it smelled like heck!

Mine shaft pic taken last year (left) and this Summer (right)

View of inside the shaft

Stigmaria ('tree' root)

Calamites in situ

Sigillaria imprint

I was surprised that this time around there were not many trees. I've found one partly buried in scree, and another (mostly flame scarred) loose on the beach. There was a lot of material that had come loose, but the tide had managed to carry and spread these all over.

This spot is usually hard to resist when talking rock trip. Every time I come down here, I end up seeing an ever changing scenery. If you're ever in the area of Joggins, Nova Scotia, stop by. Its worth it.


- Keenan