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As I promised myself, this has now become a yearly trip for me. As I'm getting ready to head out soon, let's reminisce on a previous trip that happened on one, if not THE hottest day of June of 2014. ..as one comes down from the wave breakers near the wharf of Stonehaven I checked the weather for that day and I knew it was going to be a hot one, but I never anticipated what hot was in this area. I've prepared but soon to find out I could have been more careful. But I digress. Moving on. If you've been keeping tabs on my previous Clifton posts, you'll remember that these layers are mostly perpendicular to each other, almost perfectly horizontal observed in short distances. The Sandstone tends to meet with meandering bodies of water. When you walk, you'll mostly see the rock layers as shown from the pic above, and then bam, you'll get to see this: The lenses show bodies infilled with different clast size, forming sandstone and/or mudstone type filled channels. Here's what I see when I look at the photo above: Close up Water channels that move, in perpetual motion, migrating this way or that. Interesting features as one tends to keep a closer eye for any sign of trackways. The strata in Clifton also contain in situ wonderful tree specimens that rival the ones at Joggins, at least in size. I can't recall if I've encountered one tree in Clifton that had been scared by flames such as in its almost twin in Joggins, but I'll have to make note next trek. When you're lucky enough, you will get shale that can be split without destroying the whole sample. The fragility of some makes it tough to be able to conserve in one piece but it happens from time to time. The details on some of these plants are exquisite. There are a few other places in New Brunswick, such as Minto, where plants have been perserved in similar high contrast. I haven't had the time to delve into naming different members of specific genus or families, but that will come soon enough. This is an interesting fella Calamite, annularia... As the Sun started beating down on me and my water reserve severely depleting, I turned tail and made my way off the beach. These cliffs created a dead zone as no current was passing through and I could feel the full brunt of an almost 40 degree Celcius heat. By the time I had made my way up and recovered, I've realized how close I came to having a heat stroke. Hospitalization would have probably happened. On my way back to Moncton, which was about 3 hours drive back South of the province, the heat had taken its effects on me and luckily my parents lived on the road on the main stretch. I stopped and rested for a while to try to recuperate and gather some semblance of strength and finished my trip. I think it is in the cards to bring at least a partner next time I go. There is a whole lot to do in Clifton and there are many opportunities to explore in this locale. The main thing beside shining a spotlight in this geographical treasure trove, is to have locals made aware of how important this site is for not just New Brunswick, but for the entire scientific community. There is some work being done on some discoveries made in the recent years, but there is vast potential to make more. As long as there is interest, people will keep being drawn to this forgotten shore where once vast forests doted the land, offering life and shelter to its many denizens. The search continues. - Keenan
redleaf101 posted a topic in New BrunswickSomeone searching the Maritimes for nice articulated plants would ususally end up being referred to known fossil localities in Nova Scotia such as Sydney, Cape Breton. The ferns and other flora found in the coal rich cliffs of Cape Breton are of exceptional quality, but what if I tell you that there's a location in New Brunswick that yields specimens that matches in quality? This province has made many contributions to the field of geology and paleontology since Mitchell and Gesner in the 1850s and the days of the Stonehammer Club. There had been a lull for decades, but with the surging in geotourism and the newly founded Stonehammer Geopark, new research has been made on old and new sites alike. One such site is located in Clifton. Rule of thumb here is that West of Bathurst the rocks get older, and younger East. The sedimentary rocks at Clifton are pretty much around the same time period, late in the Carboniferous (~310 to 300 Mya), matching paleoenvironment. Clifton, New Brunswick (circled in red) As my list of grew longer, Clifton stayed on top of it. When Matt called me and asked if I had any plans that weekend, I suggested that we could head up North. He hasn't been in tha area either, so this was the perfect opportunity to go snoop around. We left Moncton Saturday morning and headed North for Bathurst. The car ride to reach Clifton took a little over 2 hours. Reaching Bathurst, we took Highway 11 and proceeded North-East. We passed Clifton to get to Stonehaven where there is a road leading to a wharf. I parked the car, got the gear ready, and went down the rocks forming a breakwater to get to the beach. It was a bit tricky and the tide had just started going out. Facing South-West, towards Clifton Facing North-East, towards Stonehaven We barely set foot on the beach that we came across these beauties. These tracks were probably made by an arthropod, most likely from a horseshoe crab (limulids). What's interesting is how these animals moved (seems to be more than one animal making these traces in the silty material). We'll have to look further into this, but its obvious that this paleoenvironment was influenced by some sort of salt water body, if these animals were indeed ocean dwelling organisms. Parallel prints with tail drag We carried on and stopped at a few easy accessible spots before having to crawl and tread carefully around slippery seaweed covered rocks. Me! After a few slips, bruises, bloody scratches, and wet boots, we made it to where we wanted to be. The cliffs are somewhat similar to other familiar sites such as Joggins in Nova Scotia. The strata of sedimentary rock have a marginal inclination of about 5 degrees. What surprised us was that we found some trees in situ, popping out from the cliffs. Several trees we've seen were pretty well preserved, and a couple up to a meter in diameter. Matt kneeling beside a big tree! Checking for trackways Within these cliffs are gorgeous ferns and other type of plants belonging to the Carboniferous Period. The plants are found on a light gray shale. There are sections of the cliffs that have talus piled up with lots of plant material. Clifton is an interesting site and may yet yield really important information that could form a more detailed picture of the paleoenvironment of the region. The plants, the trees, the terrain, the bodies of water dominating the landscape, and the animals leaving their traces. The information that we were able to gather that day will be shared with the rest of the community. Clifton has come up a few times in scientific literature, but has like most part New Brunswick, been understudied. We realize that the resources aren't always available, so people like me and you can be the foot soldiers and help the academic community by making these type of discoveries like we did today. Till next time. Cheers! - Keenan
Taken from blog post http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/06/clifton-new-brunswick-2013.html During my vacation, I made a day trip to Clifton, in northern New Brunswick. I've been to that location last year and made some interesting finds, including some nice ferns. This trip wasn't as fruitful as I had hoped, but I managed to take photos of the numerous trees in situ (surprised by the number present) and the drive in itself was nice. Always be mindful of the tides when you venture down these beaches as you could get trapped with not many ways out. Getting my stuff together Where most of the trees are found Tree #1 - Bottom section (walking stick for scale, 1 meter long) Tree #2 - Tree with roots going through various layers Close-up of 'Tree #2' Tree #3 Tree #4 (zoomed in on right) What would have been 'Tree #5' One of the very few plants I've come across (sparse this year) Tree #6 with broken section on the beach Close-up of 'Tree #6' Tree segments Tree #7 Photo of 'Tree #7' taken the previous year It ended up to be a great day to be on the beach. The morning was gloomy but by the time I was done, the Sun had come out and I ended up enjoying the walk. I'll probably make this a yearly trek to see how the bay shapes the cliffs of Clifton and what could potentially come out. Till next time! - Keenan