Monday, 22 June 2009

CATACLYSMIC FORCE: THE BUILDING OF BC

Waterfront Property fetches a high price today, even in this economy. Investing early is clearly the way to go. We've all heard tales of folk who bought up acreage in the early days for pennies and much to their delight, the bit of land they chose is now worth millions.

How early is early is a matter of perspective. Some 270 million plus years ago, had one wanted to buy waterfront property in what is now British Columbia, you’d be looking somewhere between Prince George and the Alberta border. The rest of the province had yet to arrive but would be made up of over twenty major terranes from around the Pacific.

The rock that would eventually become the Cariboo Mountains and form the lakes and valleys of Bowron was far out in the Pacific Ocean, down near the equator. With tectonic shifting, these rocks drifted north-eastward, riding their continental plate, until they collided with and joined the Cordillera in the Pacific Northwest and helped to shape British Columbia.

Continued pressure and volcanic activity pushed and shoved, sculpting the tremendous slopes of the Cariboo Range we see today. Repeated bouts of glaciation during the Pleistocene carved the valleys and mountainside into the slightly smoother finish we see today. Wish I'd been around to stake a claim, even a little bit earlier... land as far as the eye can see... open vistas... and all for a penny.

The image above was taken from a jet ranger helicopter on the way to the fossil exposures near Castle Peak. I've flown in many times to search for exquisite Hettangian ammonites. These extinct cephalopods, now find high in the rockies, lived in the open ocean while BC was still being formed.

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