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redleaf101 posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsHey there! I know I know, I've been missing in action for the past few months. Work and Field work kept me busy. But I've now am taking the time to update my blog, and sharing some of my recent adventures. This one is not so much of a fossil hunting trip, but of discovery on fossil history in New Brunswick. A few weekends ago I went for a day trip to Saint John to meet up with my friend Matt at the New Brunswick Museum's Steinhammer Lab. He's currently doing a stint at the research facility and I couldn't resist, desperately wanting to tour this historic place. This building was the original New Brunswick Museum until it needed more space to accommodate a growing collection. In the 1990s, the exhibition displays found a new home downtown (Market Street area), but most of its collection (closed to the public) was kept at the original building on Douglas Avenue. This museum is considered Canada's oldest, housing collections dating back to its first proprietor, Abraham Gesner. The influence of the Steinhammer Club, comprised of geologists from the area and abroad, was pivotal in the history of Geology across the globe. They founded the Natural History Society of New Brunswick, and from there the contributions to science have been crucial to the advancement of several fields. I had also wanted to meet up again with Dr. Randall Miller, curator of the collections and museum, but he was currently out of town. I arrived at the old museum in one piece after dodging a hellish traffic and weird road designs. Beautiful city, crappy roads. Matt making sure Steve is hard at work I got to the museum and after talking to the wonderful staff, I met up with Matt and one other friend, Steve. Steve is an amazing fella and will keep you on your toes. They were in the middle of taking specimens collected in recent field work (a couple that I've participated in) and offered to lend a hand. We unloaded the material to the lab, and headed out for a bite to eat. After parting ways with Steve as he headed back to Fredericton, we proceeded in taking a tour of the Steinhammer Palaeontology Lab. I didn't take any pictures as Randy wasn't around and didn't want to take any just in case he didn't approve. Going through the collection, I've seen some incredible representations of various paleobiological and paleobotanical specimens, including many type specimens. Trilobites, which a cast of one of the biggest I've ever seen barely fit in the collection cabinet. Eurypterids, or sea scorpions, that could give you nightmares, were the size of your average family dog. Fish, bones, and even the remains of a wooly mammoth (Mastodon) graced the collection. This animal was collected from the Hillsborough area, near where I live. The tusks were incredible to behold. Walking through the halls, it was easy to get lost amidst the many artifacts laying around, beckoning, hungry for your attention. Even going to the washrooms you have to pass a wall of jars, each filled with animals living, and extinct. One doesn't linger too long in the bathroom let me tell ya. Also among the specimens at the lab were the many trackways that we collected, waiting to be analyzed and studied. Seeing specimens that you helped bring up in the light of day and residing in this place was quite a special feeling. As the day winded down, me and Matt chatted about the importance of keeping collections together, and the crucial role that these play. Every effort must be made to help save these as they help us understand our past and help dictate a future most rich. Our friend Margaret arrived near the end of my stay. As we said our goodbyes, I felt that it was imperative that I participate in the discovery and safekeeping of fossils, and to contribute in the advancement in the fields surrounding those of paleontology and biology. That is why I love geology, as it makes me have an intimate rapport with science, to which I love and am passionate to no end. To understand and comprehend, wonder even for what nature has left in our path, often hidden, for us to uncover and rediscover. Cheers! - Keenan Saint John River, view from behind the museum
Taken from my blog: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/08/martin-head-southern-new-brunswick.html First trek to Martin Head but not successful at finding any fossils, yet. =) There's a place, called Martin Head, located just West of Fundy Park that people having been going to for a very long time. I've been talking to people and every time I mention camping sites, people would ask me: "Have you gone to Martin Head yet?". As it turned out I hadn't, so thus became an item that went up in my 'To do' list. Martin Head is a mash up of very old and not as old rocks. The 'island' which goes by the name Martin Head is made up mostly of Cambrian rocks, or even older. The basalts are mixed with some sedimentary rocks of about the same age, and some mineral deposits (I couldn't find which type of minerals occurred). The section between the island and the beach which includes some sections of the cliffs are of younger age, dating close to the Late Triassic. Click here for information about the fossilized Sand Dunes of Martin Head. These are mostly buff or reddish sandstones. There is a small section that juts out from between these Triassic sedimentary rocks and much older rocks. This small segment of rock is mostly composed of limestones and gypsum from the Early Carboniferous. The rocks further inland that make up most of the cliffs are much older than the rest. These Neoproterozoic-aged rocks are mostly volcanic in origin. Getting there is rough, very very rough. To get to Martin Head from Alma, you have to cross the park come out at the park's Sussex exit (since the road goes straight to Sussex). Near the park exit is Shepody road that heads West. This is a rough dirt road, as in 'just being graded' rough with rocks the size of my fist in some places. About half an hour or so, you take Goose Creek road that snakes South and takes you through old mountains. Going down the road in what sometimes seemed like a dry river bed, I seriously started to doubt myself and if my car would be able to make it back up. Worse, there were thundershowers in the forecast, so the road could be hell if they water started to turn this into a mudslide. I was surprised to see trucks pulling campers up and down the road. Hard enough to make it alone with my car, but a truck pulling a camper? Nuts! The drive was super rough, but it was gorgeous and very well worth it. After another hour on this gauntlet of rocks, I made it to the beach. The 'island' I made my way close to the island but the tide had just started to go down, making it difficult for me to cross the usually dry path to reach it. I met up with a fella from Saint John that was enjoying the ATV trails and got a call that some heavy rain was coming our way. I abandoned any attempt to reach the island and headed the other way to check the rocks before heading back out. Foreboding clouds raining on my parade I doubt there's any macro fossils in these old rocks. Plant fossils have been found in the Triassic sandstones, and the limestone I heard was fossiliferous, but the older rocks, not so much of a trace as I could tell in my short stay. Some of the rocks shows high stress and some faulting. Quartzite and rhyolites are found amongst some of the basalt and crystal tuff. Some layers that look like schist show this dark rock that's been ground to a fine powder. With the dark clouds coming in and the feeling of a few rain drops on my face, I turned around and made my way back to the car. As the car slowly crawled up the steep road for what felt an eternity, the rain started to fall. I could feel rocks rolling down the road, and the leaves of the trees making up the thick canopy of the forest rustling and shaking. After finally making up the toughest stretch of road, it stopped raining and the sky cleared up again. The road was in better shape that I thought. The rains hit more inland and spared me and my car from potentially what could have been a very bad day. I drove back towards Alma by going through Fundy Park, stopping briefly to take a few photos of the highest vantage point in the area. Fossil cliffs of Cape Enrage, with lighthouse at end of cape (far right) Alma wharf at low tide I was famished at this point, so I stopped at the Tides Restaurant in Alma for supper. I love the food there and I've been going there as often as I can. They're only open during tourist season, so I make the most of it. Satisfied with my meal, I end my stay in Alma and head back towards Moncton, but not before checking out the boutiques in Hopewell Cape to pick up some trinkets. I was happy with this trip, but bummed out I didn't get the opportunity to explore more the Triassic rocks for potential fossils. I'll have to plan this better and head out with a different vehicle. I just can't bear seeing my Volkswagen rabbit going through that road hell again. Till next time! - Keenan
Taken from my blog post: http://redleafz.blogspot.ca/2013/08/tynemouth-creek-gardner-creek.html I've been tallying up a list of new sites I wanted to visit and Tynemouth Creek was on the top of that list. The Tynemouth Creek coastlines, located in Southern New Brunswick between Saint Martins and Saint John, has been the site of newly discovered trackways which had been few before. The formations of this site are about Lower Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous) in age, with the occasional sliver of Pre-Cambrian rock crossing some of the local rock, and Triassic sections further East towards St. Martins. Triassic cliffs at St. Martins Driving there isn't too bad. From Moncton you drive towards Sussex, then head South through St Martins. I took the time to stop in town to check the beach and take a few pics before heading out. I wanted to go down the beach at Giffin Pond but access wasn't easy, so I turned back and made a quick stop at the light house to enjoy the scenery early in the morning. I made it back to St Martins and continued on to Bains Corner, taking a side road South of there to Tynemouth Creek. Same thing here about access. I could have gone down but access wasn't easy to spot. This wasn't also the site I really wanted to check, so I hopped back in my car and headed West towards Gardner Creek. Gardner Creek is kinda split in two where the bridge acts as the divider. The West section has these preserved, unaltered fossils and trackways from the Lower Carboniferous. The East section of these cliffs are more twisted, folder, and faulted, with Carboniferous formation slapped beside Triassic rocks, similarly found further East at St Martins. I chose to walk the East section first. I immediately came upon stigmaria roots and other plant material. The further East I went, the less fossils I would find. Here's a few photos showing folding and faulting. Mini fractures Folding with smaller folds under the contact zone The above pic shows the top strata, or rock layers, at an horizontal position, and the bottom section folded. Exposed fold Fault hidden from view (center), layers changing angle, and folding (far right) West of the bridge at Gardner Creek, heading towards Wallace Beach, the sandstone yielded more fossils and trackways than the previous spot I went to. Most of the layers are not eroding at a fast pace, making the exposed trackways not so well detailed. What's cool about these layers of sandstones are the calamites and other tree-like plants in situ, at a vertical position as they would have been when this place was a forest. The calamites are numerous and concentrated at certain spots. Calamites in growth position Calamites 'stumps' Fern-like plant, very weathered Arthropleura tracks The pic above shows diplichnites, possibly made by a good size arthropleura (a kind of giant millipede). There were reports of some being found in this area and this slab had two sets of these tracks crossing each other. The other set is not as well defined as the other set but you can still make out the direction. Two sets are intersecting at the bottom The site was very interesting and I wished I had stayed longer. Next visit I will have to explore further West towards Wallace Beach/McCoy Head, and attempt to check the cliffs directly at Tynemouth Creek and/or Giffin Pond. That's it! Till next time! - Keenan