Gros Morne National Park - The Traveller


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Gros Morne National Park

Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park, a world heritage site is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and at 1,805 sq. km it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada and surpasses Torngat Mountains National Park, which is 9,700 sq. km.

It takes its name from Newfoundland’s second highest mountain peak which is 2,644 feet, located within the park.Located on the west shore of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the Park is a rare example of the process of continental drift where deep ocean crust together with the rocks of the earth’s mantle lie exposed.

The recent glacial action was the outcome of some spectacular scenery together with coastal lowland, alpine plateau, glacial valley, fjords, cliffs, waterfall as well as several pristine lakes. It consists of a part of the Long Range Mountain towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence which includes coastal lowlands and an alpine plateau. Included in the park in the marine areas it covers the inner portion of St. Paul’s Inlet, with intertidal zones and estuaries.

The shoreline has amazing beaches, steep cliffs together with dune formations which are up to a height of 30 metres. A large proportion of the eastern central park is covered by an upland alpine plateau with perched lakes, bare rocks and valleys while the serpentine hills towards the south west consist of ultra-basic igneous rocks the outcome of high heavy metal content that inhibit most plant life.

 Cutting through the Long Range scarp face, is a number of steep sided glacial valleys which form deep oligotrophic fjords, with vertical cliffs of around 685 meters high. Several waterfalls are fed by snow melt at higher altitudes in the summer.

Coast Inclusive of Shoreline Communities 

The coast is also inclusive of typical shoreline communities, active dunes along with white spruce together with cliffs of prostrate spruce and balsam fir and further island, the coastal plain has a variety of plant communities which include mosaic of sedges in meadows together with American larch scrub.

Balsam fir is found in more protected and mesic areas and black spruce dominates wet, oligotrophic sites. The park is geologically diverse with area of Ordovician sedimentary rocks, Precambrian granite and gneiss, Palaeozoic serpentineultra-basic rocks, gabbros, volcanic as well as Lower Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks.

Exposed oceanic crust, mantle, which is a section of ancient Mohorovicic discontinuity together with other distinctive geological features are also found here. Besides this there is also an unusual complete palaeotological sequence which could have been probably been the world stratotype for the border of the Cambrian Ordovician.Moreover there are also 36 distinct vegetation types and communities along with some vascular species and bryophytes which represent around sixty percent of Newfoundland’s insular flora.

Immense Natural Beauty

Gros Morne National Park of Canada had been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and the park is covered with an area of immense natural beauty with rich variety of scenery, wildlife as well as recreational activities.

Visitors can have a hiking experience through wild uninhabited mountains or even camp by the sea. Besides these, boat tours also bring the visitors under the towering cliff of freshwater fjord that has been carved out by the glaciers.

The waterfalls, marine inlets together with sea stacks and sandy beaches and colourful fishing villages in the vicinity provide an aura of natural and peaceful environment at this remarkable site known as Gros Morne National Park.

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