Great Canadian Parks / Newfoundland

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The Parks / Newfoundland & Labrador / Gros Morne National Park



 

The spectacular Western Brook Pond, like many of the deep incisions in this coastline, is not really a fjord, because it is cut off from the ocean and is filled with fresh water. However, its fjord-like structure is the result of the same glacial action that created the fjords of Norway. As the glaciers ground down the tops of the mountains, great rivers deepened these canyon openings to the sea. But once the land was relieved of the weight of this mass of ice, it lifted, in what is known as ‘isostatic rebound', and the shoreline rose above the ocean water level, separating the fjord from the saltwater. The ‘pond’ is filled with run-off, which cascades down in spectacular waterfalls from the plateau above.

 

Coastal lowlands separate the fjord from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Here, advancing and retreating glaciers deposited soil for a period of 600,000 years. An area of marshes and bogs, dotted with small ponds called ‘flashets’ and fronted with active sand dunes, it was once covered in spruce forest. This is one of the few areas of Western Newfoundland to have a sandy beach.

 

Boat tours carry visitors to the head of the fjord in the summer months and transport hikers to the trailheads that access the plateau.

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