St John's History - The Island Itself



Kayaker around Gros Morne Rocks in parts of Labrador and fossils near Cape Race on the Avalon Peninsula are among the oldest on earth. The theory of continental drift says that all landmasses on earth began as one continent, Pangea, which has drifted apart in units called "plates" which have formed into the continent we know today. Some plates pushed against each other creating the Rockies, Andes and Himalayan mountain ranges. In this part of the world, about 500 million years ago Europe and Africa pushed against North America, creating the Appalachian Mountain range on this continent and other mountains that are now located in England and Norway after the continental plates shifted apart, creating the Atlantic Ocean. The original plate boundary can be seen around Gander.

Over the past several millenia, glaciers covered North America during the Ice Ages, eroding rock down to the earliest layers (about 4 billion years old), and some glaciers deeply scoured valleys into what are now steep-walled fjords. Western Newfoundland and Labrador form the eastern end of the Canadian Shield, and today the Tablelands area of Gros Morne National Park is so geologically unique they have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

More history of St. John's

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