More patterns and textures of rocks at Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Canada. You might ask what is the significance of these images? The truth is that they not only seem to me to be examples of natural abstract geological art but they also represent some of the many the rock types at this location – rocks that are providing geologists, palaeontologists and palaeo-environmentalists with vital information about the way the world was in the late Carboniferous Period.
Important discoveries were first made at this site in the mid 1800’s and have been continuing since then – but there has been an upsurge in research into these rocks in recent years. I can do no better than to quote from the abstract of the paper by Grey & Finkel (2011) that summarises the situation:
The Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site is a carboniferous coastal section along the shores of the Cumberland basin, an extension of Chignecto bay, itself an arm of the bay of Fundy, with excellent preservation of biota preserved in their environmental context. The Cliffs provide insight into the Late carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) world, the most important interval in Earth’s past for the formation of coal. The site has had a long history of scientific research and, while there have been well over 100 publications in over 150 years of research at the Cliffs, discoveries continue and critical questions remain. Recent research (post-1950) falls under one of three categories: general geology; paleobiology; and paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and provides a context for future work at the site. While recent research has made large strides in our understanding of the Late Carboniferous, many questions remain to be studied and resolved, and interest in addressing these issues is clearly not waning.
Grey, Melissa & Finkel, Zoe E. (2011) The Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage site: a review of recent research, Atlantic Geology, 47, pp 185 -200.
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