Natural Resources

Open File NFLD/3239 - Geological Guide to the Bird Cove Region, Great Northern Peninsula

I. Knight and W.D. Boyce

St. John's, Newfoundland, July, 2015

The field guide illustrates contrasting physiographic terrains dominated by Cambrian-Ordovician siliciclastic and carbonate rocks that underlie the Bird Cove region on the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland. The rocks reflect marine flooding and later shelf progradation along Newfoundland’s strand of the Laurentian margin. Often a rich fossiliferous succession is host to shelly fossils, numerous trace fossils and archaeocyathid patch and barrier reef complexes. A number of west-verging, reverse faults deform/cut the largely gently east-dipping succession and indicate that the Acadian age, Appalachian structural front lies west of the Ten Mile Lake Fault and coincides with the Plum Point fault.

Later during the Holocene, the area was blanketed by thick ice sheets at the height of the Wisconsin Glaciation; the postglacial history after 13 000 yrs BP is one of ice retreat, marine drowning and then gradual emergence of the area in response to isostatic rebound. Numerous raised beaches overprinted by karst around the shorelines of the Dog Peninsula reflect the later stages of this rebound.

Chert, mostly in Ordovician rocks, may have provided ancient Maritime cultures, which inhabited the area, a local source of stone to manufacture their implements. The postglacial raised beaches, low elevated ridges and natural harbours of the Bird Cove area provided sites for settlement.

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