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Precambrian-Cambrian Ichnology Field Trip

on . Posted in Ichnia 2012

Precambrian-Cambrian Ichnology Field Trip

 

 

Ediacaran-Cambrian ichnology, palaeobiology and geology of the Avalon and Burin peninsulas, Newfoundland, Canada

 

Pre- and post-conference fieldtrips, Ichnia 2012

 

 

1. Pre-conference fieldtrip – August 11th̶ to 13th 2012

2. Post-conference fieldtrips – August 19th to 21st 2012

 

The Precambrian-Cambrian Boundary- The evolution of burrowing

The base of the Phanerozoic is defined at the Global Stratotype Section at Fortune Head in southeastern Newfoundland. The boundary, as well as arguably being the most important stratigraphic boundary in Earth history, is also defined on the basis of ichnology.

This trip will visit the stratotype section and comparable sections in the local area. The thick succession of the Chapel Island Formation that is host to the “golden spike” is largely composed of shallow marine strata (shoreface and tempestite deposits), with a distinct increase in ichnological diversity and ichnofabric types through the section.

 

Fortune brasier 020  Fortune brasier 035

The excursion also takes in the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, which is home to some of the most important and spectacular Ediacaran fossil assemblages in the world. Large bedding planes covered in thousands of beautifully preserved specimens can be found throughout a continuous ~2 km-thick succession of sedimentary units, and the geological wonder of the site is only enhanced by its rugged beauty and remoteness, on the easternmost edge of the North American continent.

 

 

The oldest Ediacaran Body Fossils ? and Trace Fossils

At Mistaken Point participants will be introduced to the Ediacaran palaeobiology of Newfoundland, and to some of the most interesting current debates and research areas in this field. We will work through the stratigraphy from the first appearance of the classic Ediacaran biota anywhere in the world, through the spectacular fossil assemblages of Mistaken Point itself, and up to outcrops of the Fermeuse Formation around Ferryland, where the entire nature of the biotic assemblages changes as we enter shallower depositional environments. Beds containing specimens recently considered to represent the earliest traces of metazoan locomotion in the Ediacaran record will also be included, allowing you to judge for yourself the evidence behind this claim.

 

P9121707  P9121782

 

The trip will also include short stops to Gaskiers and Harbour Main where Precambrian glacial deposits are preserved, and a visit to Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America.

 

It is hoped that you will find the trip both intellectually stimulating and refreshing. These localities are located amongst some of the most beautiful coastal areas in Canada and, in addition to viewing some of the world’s most iconic geological sections, you may also encounter whales, moose, and abundant bird-life.

 

There will be one pre-conference and two post-conference fieldtrips. For purposes of transport, accommodation, and locality accessibility, the pre-conference fieldtrip will be strictly limited to 16 participants. The post-conference fieldtrips will be limited to two groups of 18 participants (36 participants in total). Each trip will be run by two field-trip leaders.

 

Participants are advised that this trip includes several coastal hikes of ~45 minutes duration, across uneven terrain, requiring sturdy footwear. Similarly, even in summer, weather conditions in eastern Newfoundland can often be cool, wet and windy, so warm, waterproof clothing is a must.

 

 


 

Itinerary

 

 

1. Pre-conference fieldtrip - August 11th to 13th 2012

 

Precambrian-Cambrian of Southeastern Newfoundland

 

The trip will depart from the Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University, St John’s, at 9am on Saturday August 11th and we will drive to Harbour Main to examine the putative ‘Snowball Earth’ deposits exposed there. We will then drive to the Burin Peninsula to inspect the ichnology of the Early Cambrian successions at Grand Bank. We will then stay the night in the Grand Bank-Fortune area.

On Sunday August 12th, we will visit Fortune Head Ecological Reserve in the morning to examine the Ediacaran-Cambrian GSSP and the ichnology and sedimentology of the Early Cambrian successions. We will then stop in Fortune to visit the Ecological Interpretation Centre, before driving to Trepassey, where we will spend the night.

On the morning of Monday 13th August, we will visit a number of sites in the Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve to examine the famous fossil beds and the oldest animal locomotion trails. We will then drive north, stopping at Ferryland and Cape Spear, before returning to St John’s in time for the conference ice-breaker.

 

 

Saturday 11th

Sunday 12th

Monday 13th

9 am

Leave St John's

Fortune Head

Mistaken Point

 

10am: Harbour Main

12pm: Fortune

 

pm

1pm: Goobies

2pm: Goobies

2pm: Ferryland

 

4pm: Grand Bank

4pm: Gaskiers

4pm: Cape Spear

Evening

7pm: Grand Bank

6pm: Trepassey

Icebreaker, St John's

 

 

For participants on this fieldtrip, the following meals are included:

Sunday 12th August – Breakfast in hotel, Marystown, and evening meal in hotel, Trepassey;

Monday 13th August – Breakfast in hotel, Trepassey, and packed lunch.

All other meals must be purchased by participants.


2. Post-conference fieldtrip - August 19th to 21st 2012

 

 

Group A

 

GROUP A

Sunday 19th

Monday 20th

Tuesday 21st

9am

Leave St John's

Mistaken Point

Fortune Head

 

10am: Cape Spear

 

Grand Bank?

pm

1.30pm: Ferryland

2pm: Gaskiers

2pm: Goobies

 

 

5pm: Goobies

4pm: Harbour Main

Evening

5pm: Trepassey

7.30pm: Marystown

6pm: St John's

Group A will depart St John’s on the morning of Sunday August 19th and drive via Cape Spear and Ferryland to Trepassey, where we will stay that night. On Monday August 20th, we will visit Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve in the morning before driving via Gaskiers and Goobies to Marystown on the Burin Peninsula, where we will spend the night. On Tuesday August 21st, we will visit Fortune Head Ecological Reserve in the morning before returning via Goobies and Harbour Main to St John’s.

For Group A participants, the following meals are included:

Sunday 19th August – Evening meal in hotel, Trepassey;

Monday 20th August – Breakfast in hotel, Trepassey, and packed lunch;

Tuesday 21st August – Breakfast in hotel, Marystown.

All other meals must be purchased by participants.

 

 

 

Group B

 

GROUP B

Sunday 19th

Monday 20th

Tuesday 21st

9am

Leave St John's

Fortune Head

Mistaken Point

 

10am: Harbour Main

Fortune

 

pm

1pm: Goobies

2pm: Goobies

2pm: Ferryland

 

4pm: Grand Bank

4pm: Gaskiers

4pm: Cape Spear

Evening

7pm: Marystown

6pm: Trepassey

6pm: St John's

 

Group B will depart St John’s on the morning of Sunday August 19th and drive via Harbour Main and Goobies to Marystown on the Burin Peninsula, where we will stay that night. On Monday August 20th, we will visit Fortune Head Ecological Reserve in the morning before driving via Goobies and Gaskiers to Trepassey, where we will spend the night. On Tuesday 21st August, we will visit Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve in the morning before returning to St John’s via Ferryland and Cape Spear.

 

For Group B participants, the following meals are included:

Monday 20th August – Breakfast in hotel, Marystown, and evening meal in hotel, Trepassey;

Tuesday 21st August – Breakfast in hotel, Trepassey, and packed lunch.

All other meals must be purchased by participants.