The leaves are beginning to fall and they look lovely when they are brightly coloured, briefly highlighted by shafts of sunlight, and contrasting with the evergreens like ivy and foliage yet to change.
Each beach you visit as you travel around the coast of the Channel Island of Guernsey seems to reveal a different combination of rock types. On the southern part of the island these are predominantly metamorphic rocks. In Havelet Bay close to St Peter Port, just south of the main rock bathing pool, and before the aquarium, metasedimentary rocks and gneisses outcrop on the pebble beach where the waves have polished the rock surfaces to reveal the patterns and textures. The actual contact between the Perelle Gneiss and the metasediments cuts through the centre of the swimming pool. The metasediments are described as interbanded semi-pelitic schists with migmatites (Roach et al. 1991).
I particularly remember this site because I nearly got knocked off my feet by a freak wave. I did not realise until later when I came across this sign that the ferries and other large ships going into and out of the harbour at St. Peter Port can create a wash with great impact especially around high tide.
British Geological Survey Classical areas of British geology: Guernsey, Channel Islands Sheet, 1 (Solid and Drift) Scale 1:25,000. NERC, Crown Copyright 1986.
De Pomerai, M. and Robinson A. 1994 The Rocks and Scenery of Guernsey, illustrated by Nicola Tomlins, Guernsey: La Société Guernsaise, ISBN 0 9518075 2 8, 30-34.
Roach, R. A., Topley, C. G., Brown, M., Bland, A. M. and D’Lemos, R. S. 1991. Outline and Guide to the Geology of Guernsey, Itinerary 9 – Jerbourg Peninsula, 76. Guernsey Museum Monograph No. 3, Gloucestershire: Alan Sutton Publishing. ISBN 1 871560 02 0, p 91-94.
Wasson Bluff is famous. A site with an international reputation. It is located to the east of Parrsboro on the northern shore of the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, Canada, and is best known for its fossils and its fascinating geology. Canada’s oldest dinosaur skeletons are being excavated in earliest Jurassic sedimentary rocks at Wasson Bluff Palaeontological Protected Site. Within these rocks an important vertebrate fauna including jaw bones and skulls of a rare protomammal, Pachygenelus were discovered, and also bones and scales of the lizard-like reptile Clevosaurus, a crocodile-like reptile Protosuchus, fish scales and prosauropod dinosaurs (Donohoe et al. 2005).
The bluff consists of complexly faulted and tilted sedimentary rocks and basalt. Most of the rocks of the Bluff itself are composed of brownish Jurassic North Mountain Basalt with evidence of hexagonal cooling joints. Much of it is brecciated. The basalt boulders that have fallen to the beach include many with pockets and streaks of various minerals; the green deposits seen in the photographs of boulders on the beach may be the mineral celadonite. A fault brings the mostly brecciated basalt into contact with The Triassic Partridge Island Member of the Upper Blomidon Formation. The Blomidon Formation rock is described as well-bedded grey, red and purple sandstone and mudstone with the Partridge Island Member of it being conglomeritic but fining upwards to siltstone but beneath the basalt. This junction of rock types can be seen in images 1 and 17 in the gallery of photographs above this text and image 25 in the gallery below.
Carboniferous Parrsboro Formation “red bed” strata are exposed for a short distance to the east of the bluff and on the east of the small stream that traverses a narrow, steep sided, tree-lined valley before it crosses the beach.
Further east along the beach, the soft red Jurassic period McCoy Brook Formation rocks which originated as sediments associated with rivers, lakes, and wind-blown sand dunes form a low crumbling cliff and can be seen in the photographs as the brighter red rocks often with white stripes and patches.
The local Fundy Geological Museum conducts tours of the site and works with academics on fossil excavations at the site every summer.
Please note that all the identifications attached to the photographs of the rocks are tentative and subject to verification – I am just an interested natural historian and not a professional geologist.
Donohoe, H.V.Jr., White, C.E., Raeside. R.P., and Fisher, B.E. 2005. Geological Highway Map of Nova Scotia, Third Edition. Atlantic Geoscience Society Special Publications #1.
Nova Scotia Field Guide, Arthur D. Storke Memorial Expedition, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University in the State of New York, August 23 to September 2, 2012.
Follow in my footsteps with a virtual walk along beautiful Rocquaine Bay on the west coast of the Channel Island of Guernsey. It is protected by a long sea defence wall which has employed different construction techniques along its length; mostly using local stone but also with along stretch of reinforced concrete (probably originating from German occupation World War II fortifications). The beach is both rocky and sandy with some pebble patches. Seaweeds of every colour abound. Huge limpets with white shells cluster on the bright orange-spattered L’Eree granite bedrock while outcrops of monochrome microgranodiorite occur on the upper shore near Fort Grey. Marine worm casts cover the softer muddy sands. Streams flow across the shore, their clear shallow water reflecting sunlight from the ripple crests and creating shadow patterns. A small stone jetty looks marooned among the rocks and a multi-coloured carpet of weed. Small boats bobbing in the turquoise water, rusty buoys and chains half-buried in seaweed, and algae-encrusted mooring ropes add to the evidence for fishing and leisure boating activities.
Click on the first picture to view the images in the gallery in the sequence that they were taken during the walk.