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Research History – 2000 Dinosaur Dig

The intention of the Earthquake Dinosaurs website is to engage an online community with the opportunity to be engaged with research focused on the dinosaurs and other Jurassic fossils from the shores of the Bay of Fundy.  The name Earthquake Dinosaurs refers to the importance that tectonics, the break of Pangaea and the formation of rift-basins, played when these animals were alive 200 million years ago.  This is a story about the fossils, but also dynamic changes in the surface of the earth as preserved in the sedimentary rocks on the shores of the Bay of Fundy.

Check out the recent history of Nova Scotia dinosaur digs from 2000-2006.

 

 

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Samples in Microscope

There were multiple trips to the research site during the summer of 2012. Observations were made about new sedimentary features visible after the recent erosion, and several successful samples of lake-shore sediment filled with fossil specimens were collected for processing “back in the lab”.

NOTE:  All specimens were collected under a Nova Scotia Research Permit, P2012NS03.   It is illegal to collect fossil specimens without a Special Places Research Permit.  See link.

2012 Samples
A tray of sample of lake-shore sediment samples that are filled with fossil material. Notice two fragments have been embedded in plaster during analysis.

With the samples back in the lab, one sample was embedded in plaster and split to examine the inner layers.  The view below shows what was found. Analysis of these samples is continuing.  Stay tuned for additional updates about this ongoing research project.

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11 Years of Erosion

The Earthquake Dinosaurs research site is located along the northern shore of the Minas Basin, Bay of Fundy.  The highest tides in the world occur just down the beach, and the local +11m tides result in rapid erosion of the sandstone cliffs.

Looking back at photographs from eleven years ago shows how much the cliff is eroding.

 

11-years of Cliff Erosion

The erosion is so dramatic, researchers can visit the site every month and see fresh new exposures.  The cliff is eroding approximately 1 meter per year.  It is important that researchers regularly monitor and collect new specimens.


 

Once a fossil-rich deposit like this has been eroded – it is lost forever.  But, by carefully documenting the cliff and fossils as the erosion occurs, researchers have a unique opportunity to document this important research site.