INSIDE THE ITINERARY: East to the Arctic Day 5: Gros Morne N.P.

Posted on 15. Mar, 2012 by in Blog, Inside the Itinerary

We’ll be visiting several of the most remote and iconic national parks on our expedition. The first on our route is Gros Morne N.P.  We’ll be spending the day with the Park Geologist discovering more about plate tectonics, Gros Morne being pretty much a (dare I say it) rock star in this department . This information is sourced from Parks Canada.

Granites on the Long Range mountains, Western Brook, GMNP @Parks Canada/Jeff Anderson

The rocks of GrosMorneNational Parkand adjacent parts of western Newfoundlandare world-renowned for the light they shed on the geological evolution of ancient mountain belts. The geology of the park illustrates the concept of plate tectonics, one of the most important ideas in modern science. Around 1,200 million years ago, in the Precambrian era, the ancient core of what is now eastern North Americacollided slowly with another continent to form a vast mountain range. All that remains today are the deeply eroded granites and gneisses of the LongRangeMountains.  In late Precambrian time, the supercontinent began to break apart. As it split, steep fractures formed and filled with molten rock from below. This magma cooled into the diabase dykes seen in the cliffs of Western Brook Pond and Ten Mile Pond. This is just the beginning of the rock history of what we’ll find in the park. The varied bedrock we encounter in our exploration here tells stories of the dramatic events that took place over millions of years.

Limestone conglomerate, Gros Morne NP @Parks Canada/Dave Huddlestone

To find out more about the park’s geological history, take a look at the Parks Canada web site:  http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/natcul/natcul2.aspx

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