Day 9 |
Sep 28, 2011

Cornerbrook, Canada

By Stefan Kredel, Geologist

Co-ordinates: 48° 57’ 37” N, 57° 56’ 30” W
Air Temperature: 12,3°C
Pressure: 1013 hPa

Back to a geological highlight! This morning we arrived in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. I got up just before 07:00 o’clock and the Silver Explorer was just entering into the bay of Cornerbrook. Today I was going with 12 guests and two of my colleagues for a hiking day in the Gros Morne National Park. We have been to this National Park on our last cruise as well. And Conrad decided there to offer this time an excursion with hikes.

We had a drive of 1½ hours to the start of our first hike. It started right in front of the Discovery Center, an informative visitor center at the park. The National Park is well known amongst geologists as it is one of the few locations worldwide where you can see part of the earth’s mantle, which usually is hidden fare away under the surface.

After a short visit to the Discovery Center, we headed for our first hike. The first 45 minutes we climbed through a forest. And as the fall has arrived, the leaves showed all the colors, from green to red – Indian summer! We even saw some moose in the distance. They were meant to be our lunch later today. After we left the trees it became quite windy, and once we reached the plateau on the top, it was very windy. But we had also a marvelous view! The weather was once again good! Warm but not hot and only some clouds around. We went to the lookout point on the very top of the plateau and enjoyed the view.

Once all were back at the car park, we drove into the small nearby settlement and had a local lunch. As mentioned in the paragraph before, it was moose, surrounded by a pie. But I am not a hundred percent sure if it was the same moose we saw 2 hours before. Which moose ever it was, it was delicious! And that was the opinion of all of us!

The second hike this afternoon I knew already from last time. We drove to the Tablelands. This is THE geological highlight of the region! Here you can see the uplifted mantel. I guess at first for our guests it didn’t look too exciting. But my colleague Juan Carlos and I brought light in to the story, at least we tried …

Here the very low part of the solid lithosphere is on the surface. Those rocks are pretty dark as the amount of silica is very low. This peridotite has a high content of magnesium, chrome, nickel and iron. For that there is nearly no vegetation in this area. It may not look too special to a “normal” person; it is more the story behind it!

After this hike we drove back to Cornerbrook. On the way back our local guide, Kevin, tried to convince us about the high quality of the local berry wines. He failed completely on that, but beside that he was a great guide! Thanks Kevin for a great day!