The Fascinating Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy is a geologically fascinating location in North America. I visited the bay in summer 1990 with my college geology department from Furman University.

Where is the Bay of Fundy?

The Bay of Fundy is approximately 174 miles long and located along the eastern coast of North America in the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in Canada and on the northern side of the Gulf of Maine. I visited the Bay of Fundy during a college field trip and found the formation of the area fascinating. The bay is along the Atlantic Ocean and is subject to intensly dramatic tidal changes.

Tidal Changes at the Bay of Fundy

The fascinating tidal changes at the Bay of Fundy are worth an in-person visit one day. The photo to the right shows an area of the Bay of Fundy at low tide. You can see people walking along the low area.

The 12.5-hour tide cycles show a dramatic increase and decrease in the water level of the Bay. During this phenomenal change, over one billion tons of water flow into and out of the Bay of Fundy.

The highest recorded change between low and high tide was 54.5 feet, documented at Burncoat Head in Nova Scotia. Typical tides changes in the Bay are generally up to 49 feet per cycle and are most pronounced near the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, Canada. The photo above shows the same area of the Bay of Fundy approximately 12 hours later at high tide. The area where the people were walking at low tide is completely flooded.

Geology and Biology of the Bay of Fundy Area

The Bay of Fundy is home to many birds, fish, and marine animals such as whales, dolphins, porpoises, fish, seals, and seabirds. The geology of the area consists of sandstone, 200 million-year-old basalts that formed as statues and cliffs, zeolites, and semi-precious stones including amethyst, agate, calcite, copper, jasper, and coal. The rolling in and out of the tide reveals fossils from the ancient rock layers as erosion occurs from 350 million-year-old carboniferous rocks.   In one area of the Bay of Fundy, the Joggings Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia, you can see an almost complete fossil record of the Pennsylvanian Coal Age, approximately 299 to 318 million years ago. The site also shows fossils from ancient reptiles and some of the oldest dinosaurs in Canada.

Have you visited the Bay of Fundy? If so, share your thoughts on this amazing location.

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