My wife and I had the opportunity to spend some time in Nova Scotia over the weekend with a scenic drive back through New Brunswick en route to Fredericton. Over the course of our travels we had the opportunity to see some interesting geology worth mentioning. Following a trip to Joggins Fossil Cliffs (previous blog entry) we were in the Windsor, NS area and noted white cliffs which were unmistakably gypsum.
Unfortunately a quick search online noted that mining operations have since come to a halt. I was unable to get stopped to snap a picture but I must say prospecting for gypsum given the quantities found in Windsor certainly would be easy. However, on the way back through New Brunswick I was in Hillsborough and did stop by a long abandoned gypsum quarry and scooped up a few samples, and took a few pictures.
Location: 20T 0370853 E 5080559 N
AKA: Albert Mines, NB
And now for a few comments from Pough:
Gypsum CaSO4 2H2O
Environment: Sedimentary tocks as massive beds, in free crystals in clay beds, alkaline lake muds, and crystallized in cavities in limestone. Often in opaque, sand-filled crystal clusters.
Crystal Description: Crystals are common, often assumes a tabular habit: model-like, backward-slanting, monoclinic plates with the horizontal axis the shortest.
Physical Properties: Colorless, white and pale tints. Luster glassy, pearly (on cleavage face), and silky. Hardness 2, specific gravity 2.3; fracture conchoidal and splintery; cleavage 2, 1 perfect and 1micaceous.
Distinguishing Characteristics: With its low hardness, and flakes that are easily scratched by a fingernail, no other test is needed. The clear plates bend but lack the elastic rebound of mica; they are softer than the common brucite.
Location: 20T 0496859 E 4958510 N
AKA: Salmon River Bridge, NS
Just an interesting rock face near Salmon River Bridge in NS. Only thing I could think of was to practice my dips and strikes. As one nears the coast the abundance of exposed bedrock keeps my head on a swivel.
We also attempted a trip to the historic Moose River Gold Mine for which there is a small monument, museum, and it bears provincial park status. Unfortunately time was short and we didn’t have a chance to do much exploring.