ArcTrain Summer School – Day 3: Shell we go to Jardin des Glaciers?

edit 2019-09-09 09:22: Fixed the title and the image placement

Photo: Charles Brunette
Photo: Charles Brunette

What was supposed to be a 2h drive this morning became a 4h drive. We first left Tadoussac after a good breakfast (and a coffee!). First stop : GAZ! Only 30 km left with the tank forced us to stop in a hurry. Construction work made us very slow, and we finally stopped at Cap Colombier. We had a beautiful view over the St. Lawrence Estuary. No whales were in sight,but we saw a good amount yesterday. We then stopped at Ragueneau, a small village that used to be only accessible by ship and is now known for its two dinosaurs statues. Dinosaurs were a symbol for the strength of nature and village’s pioneers. We finally made it to Baie-Comeau after this thrilling road.

Photo: Damien Ringeisen

During the afternoon, we headed to Jardin des Glaciers (Ice Sheet Garden) and more precisely to the Shell Valley. This valley is today located in the middle of the forest but used to be at the bottom of the Goldthwait sea. This territory used to be under the Laurentien ice sheet which used to cover most of Canada from 100 000 to 20 000 years ago, with a maximum thickness of 4 km in Baie-Comeau. The melting created the Goldthwait sea and we can still observe its vestiges. Up to 50 species of shells can still be observed in the area, with a purity of 93%. The seashell deposit was up to 10m height with distinct layers corresponding to 10 months to a year of shell accumulation.

Photo: Damien Ringeisen

With our guide André, we were able to dig into the shell deposit with shovels and look for different species. We first sifted the content of our buckets and choose the most interesting ones. We were able to find many intact shells of different species. We then headed up to the town of Baie-Comeau for a warm meal (and a good beer). 

See ya tomorrow!

Written by Jade Brossard and Amélie Desmarais

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