North Mountain (Nova Scotia)
North Mountain ridge above Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia
|Elevation||235 m (771 ft)|
|Age of rock||Triassic|
|Type of rock||Igneous|
North Mountain (French: Montagne du Nord; Gaelic: Beinn a Tuath) is a narrow southwest-northeast trending volcanic ridge on the mainland portion of southwestern Nova Scotia, stretching from Brier Island to Cape Split. It forms the northern edge of the Annapolis Valley along the shore of the Bay of Fundy. Together with South Mountain, the two ranges form the Annapolis Highlands region.
North Mountain rises dramatically from the valley floor and tapers somewhat more gradually to the north and west where it meets the coast, although many parts of this coast have vertical cliffs rising higher than 30 metres, most notably at Cape Split. A break occurs at Digby Gut where a gap in the mountain ridge is filled by a deep tidal channel separating the eastern end of the mountain from Digby Neck.
The ridge traces its history to the Triassic period when this part of Nova Scotia occupied the center of the supercontinent Pangaea. It is a 201 million year old sequence of tholeiitic basalts, which contains columnar jointing. The basalts also extend under the Bay of Fundy and parts of it are exposed on the shore at Five Islands, east of Parrsboro on the north side of the bay. Numerous sediment-filled fissures are present near the upper surface of North Mountain. The hard ridge of basalt resisted the grinding of ice sheets that flowed over the region during past ice ages, and now forms one side of the Annapolis Valley in western part of the Nova Scotia peninsula.
North Mountain is believed to have formed during the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a portion of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, which is a gigantic flood basalt and intrusive complex along east coast of the United States, Europe, northwest Africa and South America with a diameter of 4,000 km.
A viscous (<175 m) North Mountain flow at McKay Head shows ~25-cm-thick distinguished layers separated by ~130 centimeter of basalt in its upper 34 meters. Upper layers (5 meters below the lava top) are extremely vesicular while lower ones are pegmatitic and include a narrow (~2 cm) rhyolite band. The layering of the flow closely resemble that of some Hawaiian lava lakes.
- South Mountain (Nova Scotia)
- Volcanism of Canada
- Volcanism of Eastern Canada
- Fundy Basin
- Geography of Nova Scotia
- List of highest points of Canadian provinces and territories
- Hot Spots and Rifts in Continental Crust Retrieved on 2007-10-15
- North Mountain Basalt Retrieved on 2007-10-15
- Cooling history and differentiation of a thick North Mountain Basalt flow (Nova Scotia, Canada) Retrieved on 2007-10-15