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Providence Bay,
Manitoulin Island
Ontario, Canada

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Rock Hounding & Collecting

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See BBL's Adventure weekend getaway for Rocks & Fossils

A rock hound has found her favorite rock.
Looking down at BBL's alvars.

Note the Size 13 boot toe for scale at the bottom of the picture.

The alvars are similar to poured concrete; flat, plate-like limestone dolomite rocks formed from ancient coral seas.

Here, we can see a number of the large shells fossilized into the mass formed by millions of microscopic shells.


Another picture of BBay's alvars, looking South-West to Lake Huron.

These rocks are similar to poured concrete in some areas.

A few of the cracks slowly become a habit for plant life.

A sedimentary slate that shows quartz intrusion during a metamorphic conversion.

This rock was carried from the Canadian Shield by glacial action, and dropped on BBay's beach about 8,000 to 14,000 years ago.

The setting sun is used to add bright yellow colouration to this limestone rock.

The white limestone is dark gray from bacteria and lichen growing on the rock surface.

The pock marks in this rock are the softer (less mineralized fossil shells) parts of the rock etched away by the acid rain.  The harder, more mineralized parts stay intact (contains greater concentrations of magnesium, less calcium).

Found on the East beach at BBay.

Ancient muds collected sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rock fragments and pebbles on an ancient beach or river.  Millions of pounds pressure and heat turned the conglomeration into sedimentary rock.

Found on the East beach at BBay.

An igneous, large grain granite on the bottom (brown, black, and cream speckled rock), with a sedimentary shale on top, with a granite intrusion through the shale.


Found on the East beach at BBay.

Big, brown rock hound on the East beach.  The alvars here are broken and cracked from the extreme pressure and gouging from the ancient glacier that passed by.

The plants have taken advantage of the dust and dirt that collected into the cracks over the last 8,000 years.

These are some of the heartiest plants in the world; baked dry in the summer, and frozen solid in the winter with nothing but the dust in the air as a food source.

Close-up of the BBL's Manitoulin alvars. Image shows approx. 2 ft. x 18"

Here we see the black bacteria and lichens that colour the white dolomite and limestone dark grey and black.

Again, pock marks from the acid rain.

We can clearly see the outline of large marine creatures and plants that have been fossilized into the rock millions of years ago.


Picture shows a close-up (scale is approx. 16" x 12") of fossilized corals in the Manitoulin limestone.

Halysites sp.

Looking due South on BBay's beach, we see that the glaciers laid a course of gravel, rocks, and boulders (from 0" to 4 ft. thick, depending on location) on top of the alvar bedrock.  Over the years, the grasses have tried to form a habitat between the rocks.

Quick examination of the beach yields a treasure trove of geological mysteries and finds.

See BBL's Adventure weekend getaway for Rocks & Fossils on Manitoulin
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Latest Update: April 26, 2013 11:24:24 -0400