Joggins Fossil Cliffs are a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Nova Scotia shore of the Bay of Fundy on the Atlantic coast of Canada. The stratified rocks in the cliffs were laid down in the Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) Period between 310 and 300 million years ago. They consist of alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale, including coal measures. They are similar, though not identical, in composition, formation, and date to the wonderful Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs are particularly famous for their plant fossils, with large fossilised tree stumps weathering out of the cliffs every year. Fossils of small amphibians, and some of the first reptiles that ever lived, have also been recovered from inside tree stumps. These fossils were first discovered in the mid 19th century by the English palaeontologist Sir Charles Lyell (who was a friend and colleague of Sir Charles Darwin), and the Canadian Sir William Dawson.
I will in due course, in following posts, develop the themes of the geology of this location, the fossils it contains, and the way it has been mined for coal. For the moment, however, I am posting images of some more abstract details of the natural fracture patterns and textures in these spectacular cliffs.
Ferguson, Laing (1988) The Fossil Cliffs at Joggins, Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia, ISBN 978-1-55109-669-8.
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