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The Carboniferous in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Carboniferous in Newfoundland and Labrador map

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Carboniferous Fossils

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Paleontology and geology

In the Carboniferous, much of Newfoundland and Labrador was high above sea level, forming the northern end of the Appalachian Mountains. The mountains were separated by narrow valleys and bordered by shallow seas. In eastern Newfoundland, a few cliff faces along the beach expose terrestrial deposits that formed in one of the valleys. These red conglomerates, sandstones, and shales also preserve broken pieces of plant fossils. A few outcrops of sandstones, shales, limestones, and evaporites deposited in the shallow seas can be seen in the southwest. They include fossils of brachiopods and conodonts, as well as evidence of a hydrothermal vent community, one of only a few examples known from the fossil record.

Toward the end of this period, all the continents came together to form Pangea, putting Gondwana and Laurentia on a collision course. Newfoundland and Labrador was caught in between. As the two continents collided, this province was pushed up, the seas drained away, and erosion began to strip away older rocks. There are no Middle or Late Carboniferous rocks in this province, and only a few Early Carboniferous exposures remain. Because they are found in very small areas, they do not appear on this map but are visible in the undifferentiated Paleozoic rocks.

Quebec Province Map