Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Friday, 17 July 2009

Friday, 10 July 2009


Very few people know that the rock in the Queen Charlottes holds the key to a catastrophic event from eons ago. We’ve heard tales and seen images of the cataclysmic damage caused by meteriorites smashing into the Earth’s surface.

Until recently, it was a meteorite impact that was blamed for the worldwide Triassic/Jurassic Mass Extinction. This wholesale dying out of species occurred some 200 million years ago. New evidence challenges the meteorite theory. Experts now believe that tectonic forces may have caused hundreds of volcanoes around the world to erupt simultaneously. The subsequent showers of volcanic ash would have altered the composition of the atmosphere dramatically and plunged the world into near total darkness for years until it settled from the sky.

The picture painted of the sun flickering fitfully through inky clouds, paling against the torrents of glowing lava, while everywhere life is smothered, poisoned, or starved, rivals the most apocalyptic imaginings of Hollywood or religion. We know from worldwide evidence that the extinction was dramatic and affected upwards of 70% of the world’s biota.

Perhaps counterintuitively, for one might think of water as a refuge from fire, smoke, and lava, it was marine lifeforms that suffered the most. This is particularly well documented in the rocks of the Queen Charlottes, especially at Kennecott Point and Kunga Island.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Saturday, 4 July 2009


The Rocky Mountains, vast yet quietly humbling, define this part of the world. Vertically, they soar above 14,440 feet(4,401 m). Spanning 40 degrees of latitude, some 4,800 kilometres((2,980 mi), they run the length of North America from Liard Plain in BC's north to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The mountains you see north of the Liard river, into the Yukon, are often grouped in with the Rockies, but are actually part of the Mackenzie Mountain system. The river systems that gather and wind their way out of these mountains head in all directions.

Four individual raindrops falling on these high peaks could easily end up thousands of miles apart -- one flowing north to the Beaufort Sea, another reaching the the Gulf of Mexico, a third would be absorbed into Hudson Bay to the east and the last into the vast Pacific.

Friday, 3 July 2009


The Okanagan Highlands is an area centred in the Interior of British Columbia, but the term is used in a slightly misleading fashion to describe an arc of Eocene lakebed sites that extend from Smithers in the north, down to the fossil site of Republic Washington.

The grouping includes the fossil sites of Driftwood Canyon, Quilchena, Allenby, Tranquille, McAbee, Princeton and Republic. These fossil sites range in time from Early to Middle Eocene, and the fossil they contain give us a snapshot of what was happening in this part of the world because of the varied plant fossils they contain.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009