Take A Tour: Geology of the Lakehead Region
Posted on: April 27, 2018

Lake Superior lies within the Great Canadian Shield, a massive inactive geologic feature mainly composed of metamorphic rock. Geologically speaking, the Shield has only been a calm region as of recently and its scars reveal that this area was home to a turbulent past. For example, geologists believe that the location where Lake Superior is situated was once a developing continental rift, where the North American Continent had begun to split creating the beginnings of a rift valley. The rift failed leaving a low point that was further eroded by glaciers and filled with water when the glaciers retreated.

Location of the Ancient Rift Valley. Image from the MNDM GeoTour PDF.

A three-stop GeoTour laid out by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) will take you through some of this regions most dynamic events via snapshots that were left in the earth’s crust in the Lakehead Region (Thunder Bay and surrounding area).

GeoTour Stops. Image from the MNDM GeoTour PDF.

GeoTour Sneak Peek

Have you ever wondered why our “mountains” are flat? The first stop on the Tour is Mount Mckay, where you will learn why these sudden cliffs jut out against an otherwise gentle terrain.

Mount Mckay By Vidioman – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5316732

The second stop takes you to the scenic “Niagara of the North”, Kakabeka Falls. At this location you can see some of the oldest fossils in the world, although they may not look like fossils to you, they are the remnants of cyanobacteria mounds that formed on the sea floor over a billion years ago.

Kakabeka Falls By Roughhabitz – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50699615

Stop number three reveals blast debris at Hillcrest Park in Thunder Bay. Debris was left by the impact of a giant meteor 1.85 Billion years ago into the area where Sudbury is now located.

Impact Layer at Hillcrest Park.Image from the MNDM GeoTour PDF.

Check out some other GeoTours around Ontario at GeoTours Northern Ontario.

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