Field Trip to Nova Scotia, August-September 2012

Rafael and Anna observing the terrain of Cape Breton from Cape Smokey
Rafael and Anna observing the terrain of Cape Breton from Cape Smokey

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 (August 23, 2012): Leave New York, travel to Lemoine, ME (~9 hour drive). Stay at Lemoine State Park. Make stops at outcrops of the Hartford Basin in CT:

Road cut showing thick sequence of pillow basalts from the Talcott Basalt

Outcrop showing Milankovitch cycles in lacustrine beds of the East Berlin Fm.

Dinosaur State Park (dinosaur tracks)

Portland Fm. arkosic sandstone

Day 2 (August 24, 2012):
Leave Lemoine and make stops along the Ice Age Trail ( Arrive in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada (6hr10), and camp at St Martins Beach at the Seaside Campground, ~ 1hr north of St. John.

Day 3 (August 25, 2012):
Leave St John area and arrive in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia (5hr20). Camp at Five Islands Provincial Park. Make stops at Fundy Basin outcrops: 

Honeycomb Pt. Fm at St. Martins Caves

Wolfville Fm. at Melvin Beach

Albert Fm. along a roadcut at km 184 on Rt. 1.

Day 4 (August 26, 2012): Depart from and return to Five Islands Campsite.

Visit to Joggins Fossil Cliffs (

Cape Chignecto Park: Blomidon Fm and Cobequid Fault Zone

Clarke Head: Blomidon Fm, North Mountain Basalt and Windsor Group

Day 5 (August 27, 2012):
Depart from and return to Five Islands Campsite.

Visit to Fundy Geological Museum (

Wasson Bluffs: Minas Fault Zone

Five Islands Provincial Park: Blomidon Fm, McCoy Brook Fm, and North Mountain Basalt (

Day 6 (August 28, 2012): Leave Parrsboro and arrive in Antigonish, NS (2hr35). Meet with Mike Melchin, St. Francis Xavier University. View Ordivician-Silurian outcrops, brachiopod paleontology, and structures related to the Avalon-Meguma suture. Depart Antigonish ~5pm and drive to Whycocomagh campsite.

Day 7 (August 29, 2012):
Loop around Cape Breton Highlands National Park (Cabot Trail,, before returning to Whycocomagh campsite.

Day 8 (August 30, 2012):
Leave Whycocomagh , arrive at Cape Blomidon Provincial Park in Wolfville, NS making stops along the way:

Coal Mine Point, Finlay Harbor, Mabou NS (salt diapir)

Shubenacadie Canal, rt. 236

 Burntcoat Head Park

Day 9 (August 31, 2012): Stay in Wolfville area at Cape Blomidon Provincial Park. Check out Bay of Fundy Tides at Delhaven Harbor, scout for dinosaur tracks and fossils near Paddys Island in North Medford, and view North Mountain Basalt outcrops near Cape Split.

Day 10 (September 1, 2012): Spend the morning in Blomidon Provincial Park trails, then leave Wolfville for Digby, NS. Catch 4pm ferry from Digby, NS to St John, NB. After arrival in St John, NB, drive across the border and stay in Calais, ME. 

Day 11 (September 2, 2012): Leave Calais and drive back to Palisades, NY (9hr).


A student-organized seminar met over the month of June, 2012 to provide the necessary background knowledge for locations visited during the field trip. Each student prepared a 20 minute presentation to the rest of the group on a chosen topic of interest. A complete list of references for each topic is available in the field guide.

Seminar 1 – June 1st

  Introduction to the Mesozoic Geologic History of Nova Scotia (Paul Olsen)
•  Paleozoic assembly of Nova Scotia (Marc Vankeuren)
  Origin and significance of the Minas Fault Zone (Jake Eichenbaum-Pikser)

Seminar 2 - June 8th

  Seismicity of Nova Scotia (Jiyao Li)
  Structural geology of the Bay of Fundy (Pritiraj Moulik)
  Geology of Cape Breton Island (Rafael Almeida)

Seminar 3 – June 15th

  Origin of amethysts and zeolites in the Mesozoic rocks of Cape Blomidon (Alexander Lloyd)
  Ocean patterns and tides of Nova Scotia (Chen Chen)
  Ice age trail and history of Laurentide ice sheet (Alison Hartman)
  The tidal bore and sedimentary structures in the Bay of Fundy (Amelia Paukert)

Seminar 4 – June 22nd

  Carboniferous fossils at Joggins Cliffs (Anna Foster)
  Salt tectonics of Cape Breton (Rafael Almeida)
  The Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Ordovician-Silurian Arisaig Group and Antigonish Highlands (Jesse Farmer)