Attractions - Felsenmeer & Geopark
Felsenmeer n. (German)
"sea of rocks" or "boulder sea": chaotic, block-like assemblage of fractured rocks or rock surfaces.
Nunatak n. (Inuktitut)
"free of ice": an unglacitated area.
Elliston boasts a geological feature that is quite rare in this area. It is believed that Elliston Ridge (Burnt Ridge) during the last ice age remained un-glaciated (i.e., nunatak), which is rather unusual at such a low elevation.
This un-glaciated area led to the formation of Felsenmeer, which is essentially exposed rock surfaces that have been broken up by frost action so that much rock is buried under a cover of angular shattered boulders. This principally occurs in Arctic regions and high mountain areas. Their continuity and depth vary with climate, vegetation and rock type.
In Newfoundland there are only a few occurrences of Felsenmeer. One is in the high plateaus of western Newfoundland and the other is on the highlands east of the Goulds. Elliston's Felsenmeer unlike many other examples is readily accessible by foot at a much lower elevation on the Mark's Path and Elliston Ridge trails.
Here are some photos of from the Elliston area. Click to enlarge.
A geopark is an area with geological heritage of national significance and our area qualifies. Elliston is one of 10 potential geological sites to compose a proposed Discovery Geopark. Elliston’s root cellars may become the only human made stone structure to be included in such a designation.
If successful the Discovery Geopark will be only the second such park in Canada.
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