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Restigouche Rafting Grounds


Randall Miller, Curator of Geology and Palaeontology, New Brunswick Museum

I‘m at the Rafting Grounds in northern New Brunswick on the Restigouche River near Dawsonville. The rocks behind me are Ordovician age rocks. They are deepwater marine sediments that sometimes have nice trace fossils in them.

We have a lovely specimen of a worm burrow that was collected here. It’s a trace fossil. It’s something called Compaginathichnus forbesi, it was named after Bill Forbes. Bill Forbes was a geologist in Maine for many years and he studied the geology across the Maine – New Brunswick border. We have very similar geology from one side to the other.

These are marine rocks, they are a deeper water sediment and we know that from the trace fossils that are found in it. These sediments were deposited in part of the Iapetus Ocean basin during the closing of the Iapetus Ocean as Ganderia and Avalonia were starting to collide with ancient North America.

The sedimentary layers in this marine sequence are beautifully preserved. You can see the layering here in these sedimentary rocks. Coarse layers of sandstone interbedded with finer layers of shale. And even if you look much closer at the detail within these sandstone beds you can see the very fine laminations and bedding within the sandstones.