While in Nova Scotia we had an opportunity to visit Joggins Fossil Cliffs. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The cliffs are the result of coastline erosion, exposing layers of rock and fossils. These fossils were formed 300 million years ago from the massive quantities of organic matter derived from swamp forests. Besides the fossils, there was plenty of coal deposits. So much so that in the past, ships would dock along the coast to pick up the coal. Before loading the coal, these ships had to be emptied of the ballast, dumping the rocks along the coastline. (Note: this ‘Coal Age’ was 100 million years before dinosaurs.)
We took a guided tour of the area where the geologic history and several different types of fossils were explained to us.
One interesting fact of Bay of Fundy and Joggins Fossil Cliffs is the range of tide changes between low and high tide. According to NOAA, the Bay of Fundy has the highest mean range of tides in the world. Joggins, on the Bay of Fundy, has the 6th highest mean range of tides. The range between high and low tide is 33.2 feet. (Compare this to Ocean City, MD or Nags Head, NC, which have tidal ranges of about 4 feet each.) Of course, this would have been an interesting retirement experience to see the full range, but of course we were limited on time. Hey, we can’t wait all day! And it would be very gradual change. We were fortunate to catch it at low tide. Good thing because if we had arrived at high tide, the park would have been closed as the shore line would be completely underwater. (8/15/18)