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Partridge Island / East Bay (Parrsboro) - Part 1

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[Taken from my blog July 2011 - http://redleafz.blogspot.ca]

This afternoon I was able to attend another curatorial walk organized by the Fundy Geological Museum (FGM)about the geological features of Partridge Island, which is about a 15 minutes drive from Parrsboro. We left the FGM at about 1pm and arrived at the beach not long after. The tides were just starting to get low so Ken Adams (the interpretor and FGM's curator) took the time to explain the various geological puzzle pieces that make up this area. With our group was a woman that took video and audio of this tour to include in a bid to have the Bay of Fundy recognized as one of the world's new wonders of the world (currently the only Canadian site in the contest, #14 if I recall).

Here's a short description of the curatorial tour from the FGM website:

The rocks of East Bay-Partridge Island present a cross section through Parrsboro's geologic past. They tell of the warm tropical seas, shallow lakes and coal swamps that existed during the formation of Pangea, and the desert sands and volcanic flows deposited at the beginning of the age of dinosaurs.



Partridge Island located south of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia


As I mentioned before, its about a 15 minutes drive from Parrsboro to Partridge Island's beach access. Down Whitehall Road you'll see the Ottawa House. There's a small dirt road called Partridge Island Road. Its a little tricky when you end up driving on the land that attaches the island to the mainland. Most of the time, you could call Partridge Island a 'presqu’île', or peninsula, which is a piece of land bordered by water on 3 sides, but with one remaining side connected to the mainland. I say this as even at high tide, the island is still showing attached to the mainland. Its only at high tide with its peak reached at the highest point of a lunar cycle that the island becomes a true island.


Cape Sharp (middle) and Cape Split (left, in the distance)


Partridge Island at high tide

This place is just fantastic. It was cooler by the beach compared to being in town. We could hear the calls of the loon, and other local birds cowering, looking for the whereabouts of the bald eagles nesting in the cliffs.


Close up of Cape Split


Ken (left), Matt (middle) and Scott (right)


Partridge Island

Looking at the island you can make out two types of formations. You have your reddish Triassic age sedimentary rock that's slightly tilted, and the darker volcanic basalt (same as what you'd see at Five Island Park) which overlaps the Triassic rock. The volcanic rock shows columnar features as well as layering of multiple lava flows on top of each other. We didn't go to the island but I will at another time to look around for fossils and minerals.



Lava flows




The lines, or striation, on this outcrop were created when ancient glaciers were moving, scaring the rock and leaving these marks. You can tell the direction the glaciers were moving (growing or retreating). With striation and glacial till, this provides some evidence that glaciers made their way further down the northern hemisphere (possibly almost a few longitudinal degrees of the equator during the Precambrian).


Close up of perpendicular striation


Partridge Island (left) and Cape Blomidon (right)


View of Partridge Island from East Bay


These layers, or strata, of sandstone contain quite an amount of fossils, mostly clams. These cliffs show layers over layers of sedimentary sands and mud featuring mud cracks and ripples. As you'll see further in this article, we'll encounter some animal footprints (probably from early amphibian animals as these rocks date from anywhere between 320 to 280 millions years ago).


Some rock outcrops we encountered along our walk showed the forces at work in the region as various faults show up, demonstrating how the continents were moving.


Clams in mud stone and shale

On to Part 2!

Edited by redleaf101

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