Joggins Rock Textures 10

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Natural fracture patterns and subtle colour transitions in rocks at Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Joggins Rock Textures 10 – Natural fracture patterns and subtle colour transitions in rocks at Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Joggins Rock Textures 9

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Iron-stained water running down cliff strata

Joggins Rock Textures 9 – Iron-stained water running down a cliff face at Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Joggins Rock Textures 8

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Coal seam with fossil-bearing limestone

Joggins Rock Textures 8 – Junction of a coal seam with a limestone layer packed tight with small fossil fragments, mostly bivalve shells, at Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the shore of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada.

A Visit to Crystal Cliffs Beach

Beach stone with range tinted gypsum crystal in limestone at Crystal Cliffs Beach

Crystal Cliffs Beach lies a few miles from Antigonish on the north coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It overlooks St George’s Bay close to the Northumberland Strait. It consists of a sand and pebble spit that dams back the water of Ogden’s Brook to form a large shallow lake known as Ogden’s Pond. The waters are tidal as there is a narrow inlet/outlet to the sea. In winter, the lake is more extensive as evidenced by the quantity of dead vegetation visible in marginal marshy areas. The ripples of the slowly moving water in the Pond reflected intricate patterns of blue sky and white clouds.

Boulders and pebbles dominate the upper levels of the spit, along with blanched driftwood, and sparse vegetation such as marram grass. The lower levels are mostly coarse sand. Occasional mammal bones rest on the tide line, perhaps from a seal. Cobble-size and larger beach stones of limestone, sandstone, and conglomerate are strewn across the shore – but the most noticeable and are the ones with orange and white crystals of gypsum that have come from the nearby cliffs that give the beach its name. The cliffs are composed of Early Carboniferous Limestone belonging to the Windsor Group with substantial gleaming surfaces of white gypsum. Viewed from the sea by kayak, the cliffs are said to be a marvellous sight. The only part visible from the beach at high tide, at this particular time, showed a relatively recent and massive rock fall defacing that outcrop.

The sea water lapping against the sand, on this crisp and sunny spring day, was crystal clear, revealing through a distorting lens of saline the multitudes of coloured pebbles on the seabed. The wave-textured surface made abstract patterns of sunlit reflections. It was a beautiful place to experience.