20170710 – Day 12

We drove back into Gros Morne today to check out the guided hike of the Tablelands.  It was a great trip, and we had an amazing guide who was both incredibly knowledgeable and funny.  The Tablelands are an extremely unique area where rock from the earth’s mantle is exposed on the surface without having been metamorphosed into other types of rock.

It appears as a barren rusty cliff-face standing out against the green of surrounding hills.  The contrast is very stark, with one side of the highway covered in the typical shrubby trees and the other almost bare reddish rock.  The reason for so few plants is because these rocks from the mantle contain high levels of toxic heavy metals like Aluminium, Cadmium, Cobalt, Nickel, and Iron.

It’s in part because of this geological anomaly that the area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This is where the concept of plate tectonics was proven, because within a 12km area you can find rock from the mantle in the Tablelands, rock from deep ocean crust across the highway, rock from beachy areas forming Gros Morne mountain, and rock from shallow sea beds forming other mountains nearby.

We finished our tour of the Tablelands just before 13:00, and headed back to Deer Lake for lunch. Then we continued driving all afternoon to reach Gander.  The network connection in our hotel room is terrible, and we were tired of eating restaurant food, so we’re currently spending the evening in Tim Horton’s down the road.


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