OCTOBER 30, 2000



President's Forum

New Brunswick Field Trip

Seventh Teacher Workshop ...Can You Believe It?

Maine-New Brunswick Correlations Special Symposium

at the

2001 AGS Colloquium

Call for Papers

Win a Fabulous Prize

Bob Grantham's Retirement

News of Laing Ferguson

Dates to Remember


Newsletter Address

Please forward newsletter items and/or comments to:

Jennifer Bates

Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic)
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2
Tel: (902) 426-4386
Fax: (902) 426-4848
Deadline for next issue:
December 10, 2000



The summer has come and gone and most of you are back at your desks, after enjoying the summer weather and deer flies! The AGS Executive and Council have been hard at work so far this year and there are a lot of things going on in the AGS these days.

Plans are proceeding for the next AGS Colloquium, which will be held on February 9th and 10th, 2001, at the Delta Beausejour Hotel in Moncton, New Brunswick. This will be the first time that the Colloquium will be held in Moncton, and the Executive and Council are excited about hosting the event in a new venue. Mark the dates on your calendars, and contact me if you are willing to help organize the event. Many hands make light work! A block of 100 rooms has been reserved at the hotel. You are encouraged to call and book your rooms early. Please indicate your affiliation with the AGS Colloquium. Mike Parkhill (NBDNR) has agreed to coordinate the abstract volume for the 2001 Colloquium. The Call for Papers is included in this newsletter.

Sandra Barr and Les Fyffe are planning to hold a symposium in conjunction with the 2001 Colloquium entitled Geological Correlations Between New Brunswick and Maine (see article in this newsletter). This is both timely and topical as a new Appalachian geological map is presently being prepared. The organizers are planning to invite several key scientists from both sides of the border to the symposium and the ensuing discussions will be of great interest to many AGS members.

At the Colloquium, I would like to have a slide show featuring AGS members at work. Do you have a great slide or a print from your field activities? How about a picture taken aboard a research ship? If so, please send it to me at the address given at the end of the newsletter.

On a musical "note" for the 2001 Colloquium, I want to encourage all the musicians in the crowd to bring along your musical instruments and your talent to the annual jam session. No instrument is too bizarre (but please leave the bagpipes at home!).

In the spring of 1999, Rob Fensome of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) proposed that the AGS sponsor a photographic competition within the Photographic Guild of Nova Scotia (PGNS). The subject material for the photos would concentrate on geological images and the resulting photos could then be added to the AGS library of images, for use in our many educational initiatives, such as "The Last Billion Years" and EarthNet. The proposal was accepted by the AGS executive and the competition was held as part of the PGNS activities for 1999/2000. Rob Fensome and I attended the PGNS awards banquet on May 25 and presented the AGS awards, which included the winning photo by Keith Vaughan entitled Zebriski Point and three photos that tied for second place: Paddy Island, Medford and Basalt by John W. Webb and Amphibian trackway, Horton Bluff by Gilbert van Ryckevorsal. The winning slides will be shown at the 2001 AGS Colloquium. Plans for next year's contest are already in progress.

The AGS Executive and Council have approved the formation of a committee to investigate the preparation of a new Geological Highway Map of Nova Scotia. The committee, spearheaded by Howard Donohoe (Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources) and Robert Grantham (Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History), will develop a proposal for the preparation of the new Highway Map. Howard and Bob's committee will investigate all aspects of the proposed map, including royalty agreements, copyright, mar-keting and cost to the AGS, and will report back to the executive in the fall.

"The Last Billion Years" Committee is negotiating with Nimbus Publishing Company to print and market the AGS book. Current plans are to print 1000 copies in the first printing, with a second printing, should it be necessary. The book will be of interest to the general public and will hopefully be used as an introductory geology text-book at some Atlantic universities. If you anticipate that you might need multiple copies of "The Last Billion Years", please contact Graham Williams (902-426-5657) or Jennifer Bates (902-426-4386) and order your copies now. The more pre-sales that the Committee can confirm, the better their position for future negotiations with Nimbus.

The AGS has agreed to be the host society for the 2005 GAC-MAC conference to be held at Dalhousie from May 14-18, 2005. A Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has been formed and includes: Mike Cherry, Chairman; Rob Raeside, Vice-Chair; Pat Ryall, Treasurer; and Mike MacDonald, Secretary. The Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists has agreed in principle to participate in the 2005 conference and predicts that approximately 200 of their members will attend. To date, the conference facilities at Dalhousie University, and blocks of rooms at the University and several downtown hotels have been booked. If you are interested in participating in the organization of the 2005 GAC/MAC I encourage you to contact one of the members of the LOC. The LOC is having a logo contest with the winner being chosen and announced at the 2001 AGS Colloquium. Interested readers should see the "Win a Fabulous Prize" article in this newsletter for more details.

Well, that is about all for now. I hope you are having a great fall and I look forward to hearing about the exploits of the AGS members, in their various pursuits of geoscience excellence and/or the correct chords for a song!

'Til the next issue ... cheers.

Mike MacDonald, AGS President


On two beautiful sunny days on the 12th and 13th of June, Clint St. Peter and Sue Johnson of the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy guided a geological field trip in southern New Brunswick. The objective of the trip was to demonstrate representative sedimentological, stratigraphic and structural features of Carboniferous and early Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Maritimes and Fundy basins.

The trip was arranged at the request of Phil Moir and Rob Fensome of the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic). This annual outing brought fifteen eager participants from Dartmouth to Sussex to learn more about the geology of southern New Brunswick.

The group left Sussex and proceeded south to the mouth of Tynemouth Creek on the Bay of Fundy shoreline where the Westphalian A/B grey plant-bearing grey fluvial beds of the Tyne-mouth Creek Formation were dis-sected. After everyone was saturated with stump-casts and Stigmaria, we journeyed east to St. Martins, where the leadership of the trip was assumed by Bill MacMillan of GSC Atlantic. He gave an overview with nice dia-grams of the geology and contact relationships between the Triassic alluvial Honeycomb Point Formation and overlying fluvial Quaco Forma-tion. The walk along the beach, spectacular caves in the Honeycomb Point beds and delicious ice cream at the beachfront restaurant were enjoyed by all.

Everyone drove back through Sussex and proceeded to Alma in Fundy National Park. After accommodations were secured we met for a robust dinner of seafood and "pop". A few of the GSCers (no names given) tented in the park campground. Everyone was invited back to the campground for a sing-a-long and those who attended will recall the smoking camp fire!! John Shimeld picks a pretty good guitar. (Oh, sorry, that was a name wasn't it.)

The morning of the 13th was mostly spent in the Park. We first went to Point Wolfe where Phil Moir of GSC Atlantic gave us a lecture on the reason why many bridges of days gone by were "covered". Also, at Pointe Wolfe some general features of the Visean/ Namurian Hopewell Cape Formation were demonstrated. The second Park stop was along Dickson Brook and Dickson Falls to inspect an unconformity between the Hopewell Cape Formation and the Pre-Cambrian Broad River Group volcanics. Above Dickson Falls and in the brook bed a disconformity between the immature Hopewell Cape sediments and the mature Boss Point Formation was described.

After stopping in Alma to pick up sandwiches and assorted lunch snacks we drove northeast to Germantown, where we looked at nearly undeformed grey sandstones of the mid- to late Namurian Boss Point Formation and deformed conglomerates of the late Visean/ Namurian Hopewell Cape Formation. Here the Boss Point beds dips below the younger Hopewell Cape strata with the latter having been thrust northwest along the Harvey-Hopewell Fault.

From Germantown we headed back south to Dennis Beach to look at unnamed red roundstone conglomerates and large-scale cross stratified sandstones of the Mesozoic Fundy Group. Following lunch on the beach, we walked west across a concealed interval which hides the Dennis Beach Fault. On the west side of the fault trace there is the polydeformed conglomerates of the Hopewell Cape Formation.

From Dennis Beach we drove north along the shore of Chignecto Bay to the mouth of Shepody River to observe the redbeds of the Maringouin Formation. Climbing ripple-laminated sandstones and mottled mudstones of the Maringouin Formation are distal equivalents of the coarse Hopewell Cape conglomerates.

The next stop was in the Provincial Park at Hopewell Rocks. One group took a shorter walk to see the historic Flower Pots which are tidally carved from conglomerates of the Hopewell Cape Formation. The more hardy walked a fair distance downhill to the southern part of the section, where coarse red terrestrial conglomerates of the Lime-kiln Brook Formation contain two tongues of marine stromatolitic limestone. Everyone seemed to be suitably impressed by the size of the algal heads and their overhanging morphology. The upper limestone tongue represents the youngest Windsor Group unit in New Brunswick. The site is important because it demonstrates beyond a doubt that there are both terrestrial and marine rocks within the Windsor Group and that the Windsor is conformably succeeded by the Mabou Group (Hopewell Cape Formation).

After leaving the "Rocks" we headed north and inland to Frederick Brook and the site of the historic Albert Mines Albertite vein. In a small pit, everyone scrambled to find the first Paleoniscid fish fossils. Most found some fish scales. The beds there are high-grade oil shales of the Lower Carboniferous (Tournaisian) Albert Formation. The paleontologists remained in the pit while the mining crowd walked east to the spoil piles of the old Albertite mine. Pieces of the black vitreous bitumen were collected with relative ease. Hans Wielens of GSC Atlantic was particularly successful in acquiring hand-size samples.

From Albert Mines we headed to Hillsborough were we stopped for a group photo shoot. I think most participants enjoyed the outing. I know Sue and I certainly did so and we would welcome an invitation to participate on a future occasion.

Clint St. Peter, NBDNRE


Twenty-six Nova Scotia science teachers gathered at St. Francis Xavier University on August 21-22 to attend the seventh teacher workshop hosted by EdGEO Workshop Committee of the Atlantic Geoscience Society.

During the one and one-half day workshop, geologists and teachers highlighted resources available to grade four to grade ten science teachers. AGS education materials including the geological highway map, the video series and guides, the website EarthNet and Peter Wallace's field guide were presented and used in the sessions. The general program focused on hands-on activities and how they might be brought into the classroom. The afternoon field trip presented the local geology of Antigonish, Malignant Cove and Arisaig. On Monday evening, the participants were free to wander through displays, demonstrations and posters, pose questions to the presenters, and discuss the happenings of the day. Brendan Murphy, on behalf of the host St. F.X., welcomed the teachers and spurred an interesting discussion on geology and education.

So, I suspect you are asking "How could this go on for so many years?" Simply, the answer is the enthusiastic and dedicated members of the Committee. As well, the influx of fresh ideas from new members keeps the blood flowing. All members actively participate in the planning and presenting of the workshop. Our most recent volunteers are Lesleigh Grice (HRM School Board) and John Shimeld (GSC Atlantic). They join Rob Fensome, Nelly Koziel, Bill MacMillan, Iris Hardy, Graham Williams and Jennifer Bates of GSC Atlantic; Howard Donohoe and Linda Ham of NSDNR; Bob Grantham of NSMNH; Henrietta Mann of Dal-Tech; and Susan Baldwin and Kathy Silverstein of HRM School Board.

Plans for the eighth EdGEO workshop (this must be the longest running program within Canada) are underway. EdGEO 2001 will return to the Fundy Geological Museum on August 20-21, 2001 but with a completely different field trip from the one that was part of the 1999 workshop. The registration fee is $65. Please spread the word to the educators in your area. But advise them to register early as most years the workshop is "sold out".

The Committee welcomes new members who are keen to assist educators. If you would like to know more about the workshop program, contact myself (426-4386; or any of the Committee members, or visit the Nova Scotia EdGEO website at

Jennifer Bates, Chair, EdGEO Workshop Committee

MAINE - NEW BRUNSWICK CORRELATIONS: Special Symposium at 2001 AGS Colloquium

A special symposium on "Geological correlations between New Brunswick and Maine" is planned in conjunction with the Annual Colloquium of the Atlantic Geoscience Society on February 9-10, 2001, at the Delta Beausejour Hotel, Moncton, New Brunswick.

The question of correlations between New Brunswick and Maine is complex, whether we are dealing with stratigraphic and plutonic units, major faults, tectonothermal evolution, paleontology, terranes and terrane boundaries, or mineral deposits. The theme is a timely one, with a new geological map of the Appalachian orogen now being prepared to replace the 1978 classic by Hank Williams.

The organizers envisage the symposium to include both oral and poster sessions, as well as ample time for informal discussion. The abstract deadline is not until January 2001, but we would appreciate an indication at this time as to whether or not you are interested in participating, and also if you are likely to be submitting an abstract. As usual, the abstracts will be published in Atlantic Geology.

Please submit your abstracts to either Sandra Barr ( or Les Fyffe (

Sandra Barr, Acadia University

Les Fyffe, NBDNRE


The Atlantic Geoscience Society will host the joint annual GAC-MAC meeting in Halifax in May 2005. The core of a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has been assembled, and is starting the long process of ensuring that this meeting will be another successful undertaking by AGS.

The LOC needs a distinctive logo, which will be used for a wide range of advertising and promotional appli-cations. The logo should provide a graphic association with Nova Scotia and include text identifying the city (Halifax) and the meeting (GAC-MAC 2005). It should be capable of repro-duction in black and white, full colour and single colour, and scalable to allow uses ranging from letterhead to a large symbol on posters.

Submissions are invited from AGS members and other interested parties. Entries will be displayed at the Colloquium in Moncton on February 9 and 10, 2001, and attendees will be invited to cast a ballot for their choice of the submissions. The winning submission will be announced at the Colloquium banquet. The author of the winning entry will receive a fabulous prize.

Contestants are encouraged to submit their entries as digital files created in any commonly used graphics software. Entries submitted as paper must be capable of conversion to digital format by simple scanning. Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2001.

Entries should be sent to:

Mike Cherry
Chair, Local Organizing Committee
Halifax 2005
c/o Minerals and Energy Branch
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 698
Halifax, NS B3J 2T9

Mike Cherry, NSDNR


November marks the end of a 26 year era at the Nova Scotia Museum with the retirement of Curator of Geology, Bob Grantham. Bob's achievements at the museum are many including in-numerable talks, workshops and field trips, a meticulous geology collection, the Mastodon Project and Isle Haute Expedition, plus a stint at the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Those who have worked and collaborated with Bob have experienced his generosity of knowledge, information and spirit.

However, Bob's geological history does not end here! In November he becomes Executive Director of the Johnson Geoscience Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland. The facility is currently under construction on Signal Hill and is dedicated to the geological history of Newfoundland. Bob's involvement in this exciting endeavor ensures he will maintain an active role in the Atlantic geoscience community.

Friends and colleagues of Bob's are welcome to attend Bob's Retirement Party slated for Thursday, Nov. 2 starting at 4:30 pm in the Museum Foyer at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. The theme for the potluck party is "Hard Rock Café" - feel free to come as your favorite rock star. If you wish to make a contribution towards a gift, contact Norma Bishop at (902)424-6510.

Bob knows something is happening but not the nature of the event, so please keep it a secret.

If you are unable to attend but want to share your best wishes at his retire-ment event, e-mail your message to Martha Devanney at


Laing Ferguson is presently confined to City Hospital in Moncton having suffered a stroke late in the summer. Communications by mail from friends/colleagues will be greatly appreciated.

Address: Laing Ferguson, 31 Queen=s Road, Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 4G4.


October 30 and 31, 2000

Mining Matters for Nova Scotia 2000. World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax, NS.

November 2-4, 2000

Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador, 24th Annual Review of Activities and CIM Newfoundland Branch 47th Annual Meeting.

Delta Hotel, St. John's, NF.

November 6-8, 2000

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy, Annual Review of Activities.

Sheraton Inn, Fredericton, NB.

February 9-10, 2001

Atlantic Geoscience Society Colloquium and Annual Meeting. Delta Beausejour Hotel, Moncton, NB.



AGS 2000 - 2001 


President: Mike MacDonald

c/o Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
1701 Hollis Street
P.O. Box 698
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2T9

Tel: (902) 424-2523
Fax: (902) 424-7735


Vice President: Tom Martel

Treasurer: Ken Howells

Secretary: Peter Giles

Past President: Chris White




Tom Al, Jennifer Bates, Jarda Dostal, Paul Durling, Linda Ham, Randy Miller, Dave Mossman, Brendan Murphy, Michael Parkhill, Alan Ruffman, Clint St. Peter, Ian Spooner, Peter Wallace, Dick Wardle, Tim Webster

Editor Jennifer Bates

Publicity Chris White

 Colloquium and Annual General Meeting - 2001

February 9-10, 2001

Delta Beausejour Hotel, Moncton, New Brunswick

Call for Papers - First Circular

The AGS cordially invites you to attend the AGS-2001 Colloquium in Moncton, New Brunswick. The Conference Organizing Chairman is Mike MacDonald, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. The conference will consist of two days of technical presentations at the Beausejour Hotel, on February 9 and 10. AGS poster and oral presentations will be based on the following themes:

1. Current Research

2. Geological Correlations Between New Brunswick and Maine

3. Onshore and Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Related Research


All participants are invited to submit abstracts which will qualify the authors to make either an oral or poster presentation. The Organising Committee reserves the right to reject abstracts which are not presented in the correct format, to limit the number of contributions from any one author, and to assign any contributed paper to either oral or poster presentation, although we will attempt to accommodate the author's wishes wherever possible. Abstracts may be submitted in either English or French.

Abstracts should be 400 words or less with the text in Times Roman 12 point font. Abstracts should be prepared using Microsoft Word 97. The abstracts will be published in Atlantic Geology, therefore the format must be consistent with the journal format: titles in bold with upper and lower cases as normal for first word and proper names; one line of spacing separating title from authors, followed by affiliations on the next line; all lines centre-justified, and separated from the first paragraph by one line of spacing. Consult a copy of Atlantic Geology for details of abstract formatting.

Provide the author's names in order of decreasing contribution, and please indicate separately:

1. whether the paper is intended for poster or oral presentation,

2. student's name and degree program (B.Sc., M.Sc. or Ph.D.) if a student is presenting,

3. whether a LCD projector will be used for the oral presentation,

4. if you require a table in front of your poster display,

5. whether student presenters wish to be considered for the Noranda Award (see below).

Student presenters are eligible for the following awards:

Rupert MacNeill Award - given for the best oral presentation by a student

Graham Williams Award - given for the best poster presentation by a student

Noranda Award - given by Noranda Mining & Exploration Limited for the best paper by a student in Economic Geology (either oral or poster presentation). This award involves summer employment with Noranda so you must indicate with the abstract submission whether or not you wish to be considered. A student submission with no indication will be considered a NO.

Abstract Deadline

Deadline for submission is January 12, 2001. Submit as a Word97 attachment, by email or mail to:

Michael Parkhill

New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources and Energy
P.O. Box 50
Bathurst, NB E2A 3Z1
Phone: 506-547-2070, Fax: 506-547-7694


The conference will be held at the Delta Beausejour Hotel in Moncton, New Brunswick. Requests and payment for accommodation must be arranged with the Delta Beausejour Hotel Inn by calling: Tel: 1-800-268-1133; 506-854-4344 or Fax 506- 858-0957. Rates will be $89 for rooms plus HST (15%) (1-4 persons per room). In booking your room please quote conference "AGS Colloquium".

If you have questions or require additional information regarding any aspect of the Colloquium, please do not hesitate to write or call:

Mike MacDonald

Colloquium Chairman
Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
P.O.Box 698
Halifax, NS B3J 2T9
Phone: 902-424-2523, Fax: 902-424-7735