Cowichan Head Bluffs - Central Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member The A-Team
N 48° 33.678 W 123° 22.046
10U E 472889 N 5378754
Quick Description: The Cowichan Head bluffs offer a look into the last 100,000 years of the geological history of southern Vancouver Island, including the fossils of bivalve shellfish from 65,000 years ago.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 6/23/2014 9:22:16 AM
Waymark Code: WMKZQZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Neos2
Views: 7

Long Description:
The Cowichan Head bluffs can be accessed by walking along the beach at low tide from the nearby Island View Regional Park to the north. The sand and clay bluffs have been eroded away, leaving a nearly-shear cliff that clearly shows the many different geological layers of the last ~100,000 years.

One of the layers, a soft clay layer called the Dashwood Drift, dates from between 80,000 and 65,000 years ago and contains body fossils of bivalve shellfish. This layer is at beach level at the coordinates, and is higher up on the bluffs to the north. Pieces of this layer are frequently eroding away and falling to the beach, providing easy access to the fossils. The chunks of dark-grey clay yield many different types of bivalve fossils. Fossils found on the beach can be legally collected and kept by amateurs, though the fossils officially remain the property of the Province of British Columbia.

Another layer up higher on the bluffs, the Quadra Formation, dates from 29,000 to 23,000 years ago. Mammoths roamed this region during that time, and some mammoth bones have been found on the beach in the past after they've fallen down from this layer. Such finds are very rare, though, and any mammoth remains cannot be legally kept by amateur finders and must be turned over to the Province.
Fossils: yes

Gems: no

Meteorites: no

Minerals: no

Rock Types:
Body fossils of bivalves, rarely mammoth bones


Admission price: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Hours of Operation: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photograph taken at the site showing either your GPS or your finds for the day you visited.
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