Geology and topographical maps of New Brunswick illustrating rock formations and rock types

There is a lot to see on a map of New Brunswick geology. Over the last billion years fragments of continents have collided with the edge of ancient North America creating a complex geologic landscape. Ancient oceans, volcanic islands, mountains, rivers, swamps and glaciers have all left their geological imprint. A satellite image of New Brunswick clearly shows the underlying geological structure.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum

© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image illustrating geologic time with colour bands

The geologic time scale is a tool used to understand events that occurred during Earth history and the relationships between them. It has developed over more than a century as a system of names that help geologists relate the formation of rocks to time, and it organizes Earth’s geologic history based largely on events in the evolution of the planet and life.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum

© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of gray rock with light gray circles

Stromatolite: Archaeozoon acadiense Matthew, Precambrian, Green Head, Saint John, New Brunswick, Collector: W. Murdoch, 1890. Stromatolite collected by William Murdoch. The structures built by successive mats of cyanobacteria and layers of sediment are easily seen. These stromatolites were built as ‘cabbage-shaped’ mounds in the shallow ocean.

Collector: W. Murdoch, 1890
New Brunswick Museum
1890
Saint John, New Brunswick, CANADA
Image width 124 cm
NBMG 3200
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of fossilized animal with hard shell stripes

Trilobite: Solenopleura acadica Whiteaves, Cambrian, Porter Brook, New Brunswick, Collector: G.F. Matthew, c. 1880. Trilobites were part of an ‘Explosion of Life’ in the Middle Cambrian Period. During this time most of the major groups of animals that now exist first appeared.

Collector: G.F. Matthew
New Brunswick Museum
c. 1880
Trilobite length 2.5 cm
NBMG 6041
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of gray rock with semi-circular bands of lighter gray

Folded Ore Zone: pyrite, galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite, Ordovician, Brunswick Mines, New Brunswick, Collector: D. Bachinski. Typical "ore" from Brunswick No. 12 includes layers of pyrite and galena-sphalerite with small amounts of chalcopyrite.

Collector: D. Bachinski
New Brunswick Museum

Slab length 66 cm
NBME 1185
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of rock with brown fossilized shell

Brachiopod: Ancillotoechia Havlicek, Silurian, Central Greenwich, New Brunswick, Collector: R.A. Porter, c. 1970. Brachiopod fossils can be common in the Silurian rocks and have a fossil record back to the Cambrian Period. Brachiopods still exist today although most people are unfamiliar with them. They resemble clams in having two shells or valves that surround the body.

Collector: R.A. Porter
New Brunswick Museum
c. 1970
Central Greenwich, New Brunswick, CANADA
Specimen width 1.5 cm
NBMG 9081
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of fossilized fish tooth

Fish: Protodus jexi Woodward, Devonian, Campbellton, New Brunswick, Collector: R.F. Miller, 2001. The shark known as Protodus jexi is known only from fossil teeth. The tooth shape is triangular, with a shallow groove down the side.

Collector: R.F. Miller
New Brunswick Museum
2001
Campbellton, New Brunswick, CANADA
Image width 7 mm
NBMG 11983
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of black rock with high level of sheen

Albertite, Lower Carboniferous, Albert Mines, New Brunswick, Collector: unknown.

Collector: Unknown
New Brunswick Museum

Albert Mines, New Brunswick, CANADA
Specimen width 14 cm
NBME 1133
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of fossilized horizontal fern

Plant: Eusphenopteris (Gothan) Simson-Scharold, Upper Carboniferous, Clifton, New Brunswick, Collector: R.F. Miller and J. McGovern, 1997. The Clifton Formation has produced a rich assemblage of plants typical of the Upper Carboniferous Period.

Collectors: J. McGovern and R.F. Miller
New Brunswick Museum
1997
Image width 5.5 cm
NBMG 10254
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour photograph of red rock with vertical striping

photograph: View of the Honeycomb Point Formation, Honeycomb Point, St. Martins, New Brunswick, 2005. The Triassic age Honeycomb Point Formation is alluvial fan sequence composed of two rock types, conglomerate sandstone that coarsens upward to pebbly sandstone.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2005
Quaco, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of fossilized plant

Plant: Araucarioxylon, Cretaceous, Vinegar Hill, New Brunswick, Collector: Atlantic Silica Inc. Araucarioxylon, related to the modern monkey-puzzle tree, is New Brunswick’s only Cretaceous age macrofossil. Microfossil spores have been found here as well. The sand and gravel may still yield new fossil discoveries.

Collector: Atlantic Silica Inc.
New Brunswick Museum

Vinegar Hill, New Brunswick, CANADA
Specimen width 28 cm
NBMG 14481
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Colour image of skeletal head and tusks

American mastodon: Mammut americanum (Kerr), Neogene, Hillsborough, New Brunswick, Collector: C. Osman, 1936. Mastodons once roamed the boreal forests of North America. The last of their kind became extinct about 10,000 years ago. Only a few mastodon fossils have been found in the Maritimes. In 1936 the ‘Hillsborough Mastodon’ was found in eastern New Brunswick. This animal likely lived more than 75,000 years ago during the last interglacial, the time between ice ages.

Collector: C. Osman
New Brunswick Museum
1936
Hillsborough, New Brunswick, CANADA
Reconstruction
© 2012, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Randall Miller discusses the St. Martins Sea Caves

Dr. Randall Miller Research Curator, Geology and Palaeontology New Brunswick Museum

The sea caves at St. Martins are formed in the Triassic Honeycomb Point Formation. These rocks are about 250 million years old. They’re overlain by the bouldery conglomerate of the Quaco Formation. Both these sediments were laid down in rivers and alluvial fans into a rift valley that was part of the opening of the Atlantic Ocean.

New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum
2012
St. Martins, New Brunswick, CANADA
© 2013, New Brunswick Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

Curriculum Outcomes:
  • Understand the origin and diversity of rocks.
  • Identify and explain the origin of selected local landforms.

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