Pebble variety on a New Brunswick beach

The photographs in this post were taken on an un-named beach bordering Irving Nature Park in New Brunswick, Canada. This beach, which I refer to as Beach 2, is just a couple of hundred yards away from the beach featured in yesterday’s post, and yet it is very different. There is a top-of-the-shore bank of small rounded multi-coloured pebbles that overspill onto the pathway and boardwalk into the woods. Lower down the shore is coarse sand. A small shallow stream flows across the seashore and washes away the sand to reveal flattened beach stones, also of various hues, textures and rock types.

The bed rock exposed at Beach 2 is the same as at Beach 1- PreCambrian volcanic rock of the Taylor Island Formation. It also exhibits instances of the smooth, polished surfaces caused by the abrasive action of the load of stones carried by an incredibly heavy glacier passing over the bedrock. The smooth surfaces glistened in the rain. It was a very wet dull day.

However, at Beach 1 the stones were uniform in composition, flattened and angular. Whereas here at Beach 2 the pebbles and sediments have many different origins and geological compositions with a wonderful variety of patterns. Presumably, these pebbles have arrived on the beach from further afield. They are most likely to have been derived from glacial moraine type deposits. These have in turn been redistributed many times by long-shore drift, high tides and fast currents – all promoted by the action of the huge mass of water that passes into and out of the Bay of Fundy each day. I guess that Beach 1 was in a more sheltered location and less affected by the tides; an idea supported by the accumulation of fine sediments into mud flats, and the accretion of salt marshes, at the nearby Manawaganish Cove.


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2 Replies to “Irving Nature Park Beach 2”

  1. Enjoyed your post! I always amazes me how beautiful weathered and tumbled wet stones can be. Never thought that on a beach of this type, due to glacial activity, they may have originated in very different places.


  2. Thank you. The stones are amazing to look at, aren’t they? And they have interesting stories to tell as well. I would love to know exactly where they came from, how far away, how long they took to get to the beach at Irving Nature Park. I think I would have to spend years searching for the answers – and I am already planning to go back to Canada next spring to find out more about the fascinating geology of the Bay of Fundy.


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