11 October 2019

Friday fold: Watern Cove

Posted by Callan Bentley

On the seaward edge of southeastern Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, there’s a special place called Mistaken Point, where fossils of ancient soft animals are preserved in abundance. On my way there this summer, I crossed over a small creek running into Watern Cove. This is what it looked like as we approached:

Closer up, you can see a nice ~monocline cropping out: an symmetric fold with two ~horizontal portions on either side, and one central limb in an attitude of steep inclination:

Here is my six-year-old field assistant approaching the outcrop:

Here is the view from the other side of the channel:

This fold is important, because on its steep limb, it exposes some of the fossil-bearing layers of the Mistaken Point Formation. Here’s that same view orientation, but see if you can pick out the fossils on the bedding-plane outcrop in the foreground:

My field assistant reaches out, and connects with his distant Neoproterozoic relatives:

These creatures boggle the mind with their unfamiliar forms, their nonstandard senses of symmetry:

There’s a huge thing (fossil??) in this shot, something like a meter and a half long before it’s truncated by the raw right edge of the outcrop. Its narrow end is ~10 cm below the tip of the pencil:

What a site for paleontology! And we have the structure to thank for exposing this amazing scene. Jay Kaufman made a GigaPan of the outcrop if you want to try exploring it on your own: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/133789

Fortunate find for fossils, eh Friday friends? Felicitations to the folding for this fine frontage!