Geology of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island forms part of the Maritime Carboniferousm Basin. beginning some 220-300 million years ago, and continuingfor more than seventy-five(75} million 
years, this lowland region or plain received massive accumlations of eroded material 
from the surrounding highlands. Brown and cloudy with sand, silt and gravel ,ancient
rivers drained these areas that presently form western Nova Scotia and parts of New
brunswick , quebec and Newfoundland {mullen and Evans,1979}P.E.I. was formed 
as a result of this deposition as well as tectonic upheaval which elevated the Island above sea level.
Today ,a mantle of loose material known as glacial till, laid down 10,000 to 15,000 years
ago, covers much of the Island. The underlying sedimentary bedrock consists of soft red sandstone intermixed with shale. Rock exposures are predominately sandstone with lesser amounts of siltstone, claystone and congloomerate also present. The only outcropping of rock found on P.E.I is on the northeast tip of Georges {hog} Island 
which is located in northern Malpeque Bay.

The Landscape

Prince Edward Island 's landscape has been largely influenced by the shape of the bedrock and by the ease with which it has been eroded. low cliffs predominate along much of the shoreline . especilly on the northern headlands,theseformation ofoffshore and baymouth bars, sand dunes and spits. Annual shoreline retraet of more than thirty {30}centimet is normal and up to four metres has been recored {Betts,1989} . The southern coastline, however, is more protected and erosion is ,therefore ,less pronounced.
The several glaciers which once covered P.E.I. resulted in a nearly level to gently rolling landscape over much of the province. Approximately three-quarters of the land area is less than fifty {50} metres above sea level, but a few hills throughout the central section of the Island have elevations of one hundred and fifty [150}metres.
Theprovine is traveredn by an extensive network of freshwater strems and rivers. Often wide and relatively shallow many of these rivers experience a tidal influence over much of their length .Extensive salt and freshwater wetlands are associated with several of the larger rivers. There are several small lakes and ponds occurring throughout the Island.

Illustrations

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