Beavertail ~ Rocky Shore

Physical Characteristics

How do you think Beavertail Point was formed?

The geology of Beavertail is really a natural record of the complex processes that created the earth's continents. The massive phyllite formation found at Beavertail contains igneous intrusions of quartz. This formation has a long history of movement. About 550 million years ago the rocks were part of an island off the coast of Africa and later moved across the early Atlantic Ocean to finally rest in it's current location at Beavertail.

Beavertail Point is a complex system of faults. The rocks were folded and faulted when the African continent collided with North America over 250 million years ago. This folding and faulting changed sedimentary rock into the metamorphic phyllite rock we see at Beavertail today. Fossil trilobite species found at Beavertail are the same as those found in Europe and Africa, evidence for the near-African origin of Beavertail's rocks.

The photo above shows a fault running through the metamorphic rock at Beavertail's rocky shore.

Around 150-220 million years ago the present-day Atlantic Ocean began to open. This tectonic process caused more faulting and folding in the rock layers of Beavertail. Molten quartz intruded into the cracks left by faulting. Today you can see the milky white veins of quartz running through the surrounding darker colored rock. Around 10,000 years ago glacial till was deposited on Beavertail Point after the last continental glaciation.