Local Heart, Global Soul

December 3, 2009

Hopewell Rocks and some very large “Flower Pots” indeed!

(photo © kiwidutch)

Today we start heading  back to Maine. We want  visit the Hopewell Rocks the way as we have heard that the walks  are lovely and rock formations are well worth seeing.  Some of the rocks are called ” flower pots”,… Flower pots? Humm, sounds interesting … we pack everything into the van and set out…

The flowerpot  rocks we want to see are situated near the very top of the Bay of Fundy, where  the tides there are amongst the biggest in the world.

Imagine 100 billion tons of water moving in and out of a bay twice every 25 hours. Powered by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun.  The gravitational pull of the sun during the new and full moon phases is stronger then usual and and results in higher than normal or ‘Spring: tides.

When the moon is at right angles to the line between the earth and the sun, the gravitational pull is weaker, resulting in lower then normal or “neap” tides.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Why does the tide come in so high? Because the Bay of Fundy is funnel-shaped, wide and deep at one end and shallow at te other, tides are pushed increasingly higher as they move up the bay. By the time they reach “ the rocks” the tides are over four stories high.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

Although the flowerpot rocks come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, they have all been formed over millions of years by the dynamic movements of the earth and erosion from glaciers, tides, snow, ice and winds.

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

The story of the rocks began approximately 300 million years ago when fast-flowing streams deposited thick layers of and and gravel at Hopewell Cape from the nearby Caledonia Mountains.

(photo © kiwidutch)

Over time the sand and gravel compacted into layers of conglomerate rock and sandstone. Forces within the earth thrust and titled the rock layers, creating large, vertical and horizontal fractures. From this point of the flowerpots began to evolve into their unique shapes.

(photo © kiwidutch)

How long will they stand? As the upper surfaces of the flowerpots become weakened in the spring due to moisture, pieces slide down the cliffs. Larger flowerpot rocks may stand for thousands of years, other hundreds, depending on how much they become unbalanced though erosion.

Geologists say there is enough conglomerate rock to make these amazing pillars for the next 100,000 years!

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

(photo © kiwidutch)

The midges attack us in the forest, but the beach walk is lovely and we have fun looking at odd looking rocks, piles of pebbles and puddles in the rocky  muddy flats… we like Hopewell Rocks!

(photo © elmotoo)

(photo © kiwidutch)

1 Comment »

  1. I enjoyed you post of some months ago on the Hopewell Rocks which I wrote about today. Quite a fascinating place and certainly one of nature’s miracles.

    Comment by Linda Lewis — November 29, 2010 @ 3:18 pm | Reply


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