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Guide to the Geology of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park

Guide to the Geology of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park


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This richly-illustrated, full-color guide to the geology of Mount Desert Island, Maine, the home of Acadia National Park, makes the spectacular scenery and rich geological history accessible to outdoor explorers, geology enthusiasts, and armchair travelers alike. The Guide grounds readers in basic geologic concepts before chronicling the unique history of the area from 550 million years ago to the present. Including information-packed self-guided trips with stops at 31 points of interest, this book is lavishly illustrated with 100 full color photos, maps, and illustrations that enhance appreciation of this national treasure.

Duane and Ruth Braun relate the fascinating story of the region’s formation, explaining how a slice of South America with Mount Desert Island bordering its southern side landed on the edge of North America to form Maine. Another piece of South America collided with this landing, causing Mount Desert Island to erupt violently in a ten mile wide volcanic caldera. The Island then underwent a long period of stream erosion culminating in a period of glacial erosion to form the present landscape. The exceptional scenery that resulted has attracted visitors from around the world. This book unlocks the many secrets of the formations, offering a deeper understanding of the land and its origins.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623170530
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 957,479
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Duane Braun's interest in geology began at age eight, when he collected fossils on the Helderberg escarpment in upstate New York. He went on to earn a BS Geology at SUNY, Fredonia, and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Braun holds an MS and a PhD in Geomorphology at John Hopkins University. From 1975 to 2008 he taught courses in environmental geology at Bloomsburg University. Ruth Braun holds an MA in Geology from John Hopkins University and taught geology and geography courses at Bloomsburg University. The two authors have offered courses specifically related to the geology of Mount Desert Island.

Table of Contents

Bedrock Geology Map of Mount Desert Island ii

List of Figures x

List of Tables xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Foreword xix

Preface xxiii

A Synopsis of the Geologic Story of Mount Desert Island (MDI) xxv

Basic Geologic Concepts 1

The Three Types of Rocks 1

Igneous Rocks 1

Metamorphic Rocks 11

Sedimentary Rocks 13

The Rock Cycle 15

Formation of Planar Fractures or Joints in the Rock 18

Geologic Time 20

Plate Tectonics 23

Erosion Processes That Shape the Landscape-Streams 27

Erosion Processes That Shape the Landscape-Glaciation 29

Global Glaciation Throughout Geologic Time 29

How Glaciers Move and Sculpt the Landscape 30

Crust Downwarp and Rebound from Ice Weight 33

Deposits Left during or Just after Glaciation 34

MDI Geologic History 37

Geologic Events Prior to MDI Becoming a Large Volcanic Caldera 37

When MDI Was a Large Volcanic Caldera 41

Later Paleozoic Plate Collisions and Mesozoic Breakup 51

Mesozoic and Cenozoic Stream Erosion 52

Quaternary Glaciation-The Final Sculpting of the Landscape 54

Self-Guided Field Trips 65

Introduction 65

Trip A Acadia National Park Loop Road 68

A1 Cadillac Summit Road 68

A2 Cadillac Summit 72

A3 Frenchman Bay (Champlain Mountain) Overlook 77

A4 Sand Beach 80

A5 Thunder Hole 85

A6 Monument Cove 89

A7 Otter Cliff 92

A8 Otter Point 95

A9 Otter Cove Causeway 99

A10 Little Hunters Beach 102

A11 Jordan Pond 106

Trip B Sites on the Northern and Eastern Side of MDI 109

B1 Thompson Island Picnic Area 109

B2 Hadley Point 112

B3 Bar Harbor Shore Path 115

B4 The Tarn 121

B5 Hunters Beach 125

B6 Seal Harbor Beach 128

B7 Sargeant Drive/Somes Sound Viewpoint 131

B8 Suminsby Park on Somes Sound 134

B9 Eagle Lake Boat Launch 137

Trip C Western Side of MDI Starting from Somesville 140

C1 Echo Lake Boat Launch at Ikes Point 140

C2 Echo Lake Beach 144

C3 Long Pond or Great Long Pond Boat Launch 147

C4 Natural Seawall Seawall Pond Roadside Pull-Over 150

C5 Seawall Picnic Area 157

C6 Ship Harbor Nature Trail 160

C7 Bass Harbor Head 163

C8 Seal Cove Boat Landing 167

C9 Pretty Marsh Picnic Area 171

C10 Beech Cliff Viewpoint 176

C11 Maine Granite Industry Museum 180

Visualization Exercise through Time and Space #1: From When MDI Was an Erupting Volcano to the Present 183

Visualization Exercise through Time and Space #2: Glacial Advance and Retreat 187

References 191

Selected Readings 192

Index 193

About the Authors 203

Surficial Geology Map of Mount Desert Island 205

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