As I paddled away from the Bell Lake docks, I glanced behind me. The silvery white quartzite that the La Cloche Mountains are famous for twinkled back at me in the midday sun. Killarney’s geology never fails to delight me.
What makes Killarney’s geology so special?
The provincial park is on a southern border of the Canadian Shield, Precambrian rocks that are anywhere from 1 billion to 3 billion years old. The white quartzite rocks in the La Cloche Mountains are sedimentary rocks. Sandstone was heated and compressed to form the quartzite. Geologists believe the La Cloche Mountains were at one point taller than the Rocky Mountains. At nearly 3.5 billion years old, the mountains have seen their fair share of erosion.
If you look carefully along the granite gneiss, you will be able to tell how and where the glaciers receded during the last ice age. Granite gneiss is metamorphic rock, like white quartzite, formed through high pressure and high temperature
You will also find feldspar in addition to quartzite in the park. Feldspar is a group of minerals found in all types of rock (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) all over the world. It makes up roughly 50% of the Earth’s crust.
For some more great geological history of this area, check out the old Geological Survey Guidebook put out by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
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