Atlantic Geoscience Society
Société Géoscientifique de l'Atlantique

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Halifax Harbour: A Geological Journey
 
Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia is the biggest and busiest port in Atlantic Canada and possibly the World's largest ice-free harbour. Questions of how and why it formed and what secrets lie beneath its waters are answered in this revealing video.
 
Narrator George Jordan and some local students ask a group of scientists, technologists and historians to explain the history of the Harbour. The story began millions of years ago, with the formation of the bedrock - some of which travelled thousands of kilometres to be here. During the last ice age, tens of thousands of years ago, glaciers shaped the Harbour into an attractive location for settlement and the development of the modern port. New seabed mapping techniques have revealed the presence of former lakes and ancient shorelines. Sediment cores and remains of submerged trees provide details about the last few thousand years. Some of the most fascinating discoveries are the timbers and railroad track from two bridges that spanned the Harbour in the nineteenth century. The importance of the Harbour's geology is illustrated by the role a high glacial till played in saving lives, when it partially blocked the enormous force of the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Rising sea level continues to affect the formation of the Harbour and the impact of humans will be felt well into the future.