Joggins Fossil Cliffs























































Field Trips

Workshop: Microanalysis in Forensic Geology
Dr. Jacob Hanley

Fluid and melt inclusions field tripThe workshop will introduce students to the fascinating world of forensic science, seen through the eyes of a geologist. Discussions on the application of geophysics, geochemistry and mineralogy to forensic investigations will be followed by 3-4 mini-lab projects in which students will investigate the mineralogy and geophysical signatures of buried human remains and soil samples from a crime scene using a variety of analytical techniques (SEM, Raman Spectroscopy, conductivity), investigate the geochemistry of vintage wine to determine if it is authentic or fake, and examine geochemical data sets from blood diamonds.

Max. 30 participants
Runs from 9 am to 4 pm (lunch included)
Location: Saint Mary’s University Geology Deptartment, Science Building room S411.

Field trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site: Joggins Fossil Cliffs
Dr. John Calder and Matt Stimson

Joggins Fossil Cliffs field tripThe Joggins Fossil Cliffs represent the finest example in the world of a fossilized Coal Age ecosystem. For more than a century, scientists and amateurs alike have combed the beaches of this 15 km long coastal section for evidence of ancient life. Here you will be able to see fossilized ecosystems from the late Carboniferous Period (300 Ma) preserved in their ecological context. With more than 200 species of terrestrial life have been discovered here including the earliest known amniotes (reptiles) named Hylonomous lyelli, Joggins has been considered as a "Coal Age Galapagos". Hylonomous was first discovered fossilized within the once hollowed out tree stumps, by Sir Charles Lyell, the father of modern geology, and Sir William Dawson in 1852. This 27cm long reptile is the ancestor to all known reptiles (lizards and snakes), dinosaurs (including birds) and mammals. This field trip will take you on a 2.8 km hike along the coastal classic Joggins Fossil Cliffs. You will visit the place where these earliest reptiles have been discovered and see multiple standing fossil forests. Joggins has recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will visit the newly constructed Joggins Fossil Center, where the Don Reid fossil collection is proudly on display. We will be joined by Mr. Don Reid who has been named the "Keeper of the Cliffs" for his contributions to science. Mr. Reid has compiled one of the world's finest collections of Carboniferous fossils from the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. 

Max: 55 participants
Runs from: 8:00 am to 6:30 pm (lunch included).
Location: Joggins, Nova Scotia.

Field trip to the Pope’s Harbour dyke
Dr. JV Owen

Pope’s Harbour field tripHigh-grade gneisses and mafic rocks that yield “Avalon” isotopic ages occur as xenoliths in a lamprophyre dyke at Pope’s Harbour.  They are interpreted as samples of the structural basement to the Meguma Group. Gneissic xenoliths with aluminous compositions contain a silica-undersaturated subassemblage (M2) including sapphirine, spinel, and corundum , that occurs in melt blebs that embay earlier (M1), fabric-forming minerals (biotite, aluminosilicates).  M1 garnet cores are unzoned, but are enclosed by prograde-zoned overgrowth rims attributed to M2.  M1 assemblages are interpreted to predate the dyke, and correspond to a regional, fabric-forming, granulite-facies event. M2 is interpreted to record the entrainment of the xenoliths in the lamprophyre magma. Some samples record a late (M3), greenschist-facies event that evidently post-dates the dyke. Owing to its elevated Ti content, the sapphirine in the xenoliths is pink. The only other pink sapphirine that has been reported in the literature occurs in metapelitic xenoliths in the Bushveld complex. Please note this field trip involves walking ~5 km (total) along rocky shoreline and through the woods over uneven ground. If heavy rain is expected this trip may be canceled as it would be too dangerous to walk there if the ground is very wet.

Max: 20 participants
Runs from: 10 am to 6 pm (lunch included)
Location: Tangier, Nova Scotia.

Blue Beach near Hantsport, Nova Scotia
Dr. Andrew MacRae

Blue Beach field tripBlue Beach, near Hantsport, Nova Scotia has beautiful coastal cliff outcrops of Early Carboniferous (Tournaisian) lacustrine and fluvial environments along the shores of the modern Avon River estuary. There are abundant plant and animal macrofossils, including many types of trace fossils. In addition we will look briefly at modern sedimentary environments on the adjacent tidal mudflats, where modern traces are actively being formed by biological activity. Wear appropriate clothing for fieldwork and expect to get a bit muddy.

Max: 55 participants
Runs from: 11 am to 6 pm (Lunch Included)
Location: Hantsport, Nova Scotia.