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Saint John, Irving Nature Park

Late-glacial Quaternary sediments are exposed along the beach portion of the Sheldon Point Trail, part of the Irving Nature Park. This area has been studied since the 1800s and is important to understanding the timing of the last deglaciation in New Brunswick. Charles Frederic Hartt of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick included records from this site in a list of ice age marine fossils for an 1865 report to the Provincial Government prepared by Loring Woart Bailey of the University of New Brunswick.


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The late-glacial deposits at Sheldon Point are composed of unconsolidated gravel, sand and clay and are about 14,000 to 10,000 years old. The Sheldon Point deposits include glacial moraines, glacial deltaic and outwash sediments, fossil-bearing marine sediments, and terrestrial sediments with fossil-bearing layers. Several kinds of fossils are found at this location, including clams, snail, barnacles, sea urchins and brittlestars. The site records the end of the last ice age in New Brunswick.

The St. John River once flowed through South Bay toward Taylor's Island until the glacial “Manawagonish Moraine” dammed the route. Manawagonish Road now runs along this moraine. The Reversing Rapids waterfalls were formed following the retreat of glaciers about 11,000 years ago.