The rocks on the shores of Georgian Bay give geologists clues to the earth's turbulent childhood.

When the super-continent Rodinia was formed, the early continents South America and North America were pushed together and the Grenville mountain range rose up, 1.2 billion years ago.

By 600 million years ago, weathering and erosion had worn away the Grenville Mountains. The swirling patterns in the rocks here are the deep roots of the mountains and all that is left of this ancient mountain range.  The strange folds tell of rocks under great pressure, temperatures of up to 1200 degrees centigrade, and depths of up to 25 kilometres, able to flow like toffee, as one continent mated with another.

It's a landscape that has inspired many artists, including Canada's Group of Seven and many contemporary artists such as Ed Bartram.

FACTS:

  • Southern Ontario once hosted a magnificent mountain range formed about a billion years ago when early South and North America collided during the Grenville Orogeny. Only the deep roots of the mountains survive today and are exposed widely across Southern Ontario, Québec and the US Northeast.

  • The Great Lakes
    Discover the roots of a long vanished mountain range, explore the remains of an inland tropical sea and trace the story of a dramatic flood
  • The Rockies
    An ever-changing landmass, geologists are learning how the Rockies were formed and discovering what they will become.
  • The Canadian Shield
    The largest - and one of the oldest - expanses of ancient rock on the planet has riches of gold and diamonds under it's crust.
  • The Appalachians
    These fabled mountains contain a geologic puzzle, a rich legacy, and the scarcely known threat of earthquakes.
  • The Atlantic Coast
    The dramatic story of volcanic outpourings, massive rifting of continents and the bursting forth of a new ocean - the Atlantic.

A five-part series that chronicles the incredible—and surprising—history of Canada's landscape in HD.
DVD

Canada Rocks Read an excerpt from Canada Rocks, a new book by the scientific advisor to Geologic Journey, Nick Eyles.

Watch video interviews with some of the scientists featured in Geologic Journey (produced in conjunction with National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).

Order the Geologic Journey DVD for classroom use and download Teacher Resource Materials.
The Nature of Things with David Suzuki
Rodinia: One of the oldest known, supercontinents which contained most or all of Earth's then-current landmass. It existed 1 billion years ago until it began to rift into eight smaller continents about 800 million years ago. Erosion: The displacement of solids (including rock) by ocean currents, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement in response to gravity.