Great Canadian Parks / Nova Scotia

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The Parks / Nova Scotia / Kejimkujik National Park


 


The gently rolling hills of Nova Scotia’s interior represents the Atlantic Coast Plain, a land of folded metamorphic rock, polished and grooved by retreating glaciers that exposed stony, shallow soil and left behind erratics - huge granite boulders carried by the migrating ice then strewn about as the ice melted. Boulder fields, winding eskers and drumlin hills, kames and outwash plains are all legacies of the last glaciation. Drumlins were created when the glacier moved up and over a deposit of eroded rubble streamlining it into a smoothly rounded hill; eskers were formed as ridges of eroded material was deposited at the base of the moving glacier. Today, the numerous lakes, their basins scooped out as the ice retreated, comprise about 15% of the park. Unfortunately, the hard granite and quartzite bedrock does not relinquish natural minerals such as calcium to the parks waterways, making them very

sensitive to the sulphates in acid rain, 80% of which enter the park’s watercourse from chemical pollutants emitted from factories outside the Maritimes. As water drains through the bogs, it picks up tannins that stain the water brown and increase the acidity that is already far higher than the accepted average. Sunlight cannot penetrate the dark water to sustain plant growth - an essential food source for the park’s trout and white perch. The effects of high acidity include the loss of acid-sensitive species, reduced plant productivity, fewer fish and, therefore, a lower survival rate among loon chicks.

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