Sunday, February 3, 2008

Bay of Fundy

Bay of Fundy - Nova Scotia - Canada

Bay of FundyBay of Fundy image

The land of gigantic tides

Bay of Fundy is a portion of the Atlantic that penetrates in to the land dividing Maine with New Brunswick in Nova Scotia Canada. This bay got its strange name from Portuguese word Rio Fundo meaning deep river. Bay of Fundy has been a location for fun for vacationers who can watch beach rocks carved in mysterious shapes by the sea water and collect pebbles with extra ordinary laminations, same time it also serves as a research lab for the geologists, paleontologists and biologists.

The Bay of Fundy remains when remains as a favorite location for those who are interested in the strange natural phenomena of nature, the tide that acquires tremendous magnitude still remains as the exclusive of this location. Seven Estuary of UK and Leaf Basin in Ugava Bay are other places with top most tidal activity.

The story these rocks tell

Bay of FundyBay of Fundy image

The relentless sea waves and the extraordinary tides that batter the rocky cliff occasionally expose certain times some rare varieties of rocks which give paleontologists some significant clues regarding the geological events that took place on earth for the past millions of years which have passed through ages the geologists call Jurassic, Triassic etc.

Animals extinct millions of years back like dinosaurs have left their marks on this land which lye covered by earth, here in Fundy Bay the oceans waves are retrieving those remnants from the earth thus teaching new lessons to the geologists.

If these scientists come out with a new theory each day; the fault is in these remnants which are coming out one by one. One discovery supersedes a theory that existed; they are forced to frame a new theory about evolutions; what these geologists can do; but go on formulating new theories?

One man’s stone is another man’s treasure!

Zeolite (mineral rocks rich in calcium, potassium, barium etc found use in making many hi-tech products including molecular sieves)

fossils (remnants of living things dead many years ago got naturally preserved and found in such places, very useful for biologists)

At times even semi-precious stones, these are interesting for laymen also!

The 94 miles bay and 1000 sq m area

Map of Bay of FundyBay of Fundy image

This bay is 94 miles (151 km) in length and 32 miles (52 km) in breadth. When the high tide comes in this bay its water level rises to a height of 40 to 70 feet (21 meters)! And it is so swift that water seems to surge.

There is one Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro Nova Scotia to do geological researches in the surrounding areas.

The followings are some of the sites around the Bay of Fundy that attract tourists as there are many beautiful locations; for scientists as these places are with many geological specialties and. Some discoveries made from these sites have turned out to be land marks in scientific progress.

Grand Manan that has Jurassic lava flows, it is with exciting migratory sea-birds (Bonaparte-Gulls, Common Terns and Arctic Terns etc) and Right whale populations (that grows to a length of 50 feet and weight about 100 tons!). There is The Grand Manan Sea bird Research Station doing researches for the study and protection of these beings.

Hopewell Rocks, The sites of extreme tides, erosion of the land mass has created wonderful ‘statues’ like arches, flower pots and shapes can be seen in Picasso like sculptures. ‘Here you can walk on the sea-floor’ as tides recede exposing these sculptures after the journey wait on the cliffs to see the places where you roamed getting covered by the sea sixty to eighty feet deep! Suppose you stayed there! Hope Well Rocks is a favorite location for tourists as well as geologists.

Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, site of plate tectonics formation and break up of Pangaea Glaciations (as per geologists; Pangaea is the super continent of the Paleozoic age which broke up to Gondwanaland, which further gave birth to the present continents).

Parrsboro is perhaps the richest site for geologists it has coal age track ways, volcanoes of the Triassic and Jurassic ages, sand dunes, lake beds where dinosaurs roamed and much more.

Springhill is a small town with 5000 population, a carboniferous area located on the highest ground of Minar Basin on Cobequid Mountain, famous for its strata of coal deposits separated by shale and sand stones.

Five Islands Provincial Park, located 300 feet above sea level, a favorite tourist destination with picnic spots, beaches, its land littered with pebbles of different colors and shapes of collection quality, sea kayaking facilities and packaged tour programs etc.

Blomidon / North Mountain, Woodville in Kings County where hiking facilities are available, Main Trail, Lower Trail and Indian Trail etc offer good hikes to tourists and hiking enthusiasts. These trails have the foot-prints of dinosaurs and are littered with stones like Basalt (dark grained volcanic stones), Amethyst (violet or purple colored precious stone, only rarely found) and Agate (banded ornamental stone) etc.

Noel Shore

Bay of FundyBay of Fundy image

The Noel Shore is often described as the ‘undiscovered jewel’ of the Bay of Fundy sites; it has got miles of serene beaches with unparalleled ocean views, placid tidal pools and meadows. These areas are sites are known for fossils retrieved, visitors collect beautiful pebbles from places around here.


Joggins is in Cumberland Basin; it is an old coal mining area, famous for its cliffs with Pennsylvanian Coal Age fossils (Pennsylvanian period is about 300 million years back). This place was brought in to prominence by Charles Lyell who is known as the father of geology. Mr. Lyell stayed in Joggins and did research on the fossils. In 1852 he discovered a tetra pod fossil (Hynonomus lyelli) which has been the earliest reptile ever found.

Annapolis Royal Generating Station

Bay of FundyBay of Fundy image courtesy:

There is tremendous energy involved in these tides; as millions of cubic meters of water to and fro in this phenomenon. Idea of making electricity out of this huge flow has always been there in man’s mind.

The Annapolis Royal station is its realization. It is an 18 mw station; a pilot project, and the only one of this kind in the world. Ecologists have always been there against such short sighted schemes as these are man’s meddling with nature’s unique phenomena.

Accumulation of silt in the Annapolis River can lead to its water getting decayed and the whole river system may get clogged due to the lack of this natural flushing through tides. Death of fish and rare sea animals like whales etc getting trapped have also occurred even in the tiny project that has been implemented. It can be imagined how catastrophic the whole bay is barraged for making power. It is heartening to read that concerns from ecologists have forced the authorities for a rethinking and further projects seem to have been stalled.

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