Old Wife

Synopsis: The Old Wife, at Five Islands Provincial Park. One of the most striking coastal vistas in Nova Scotia, and one of the best exposures of a monumental event in Earth history – the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea 200 million years ago, and birth of the modern continents and Atlantic Ocean. As Pangea ripped apart, the greatest outpouring of lava in Earth history gave rise to one of the Five (or Six) mass extinction events in the history of Life, wiping out the competitors of the dinosaurs and ushering in the true reign of the famous reptiles. The dark rocks are basalt – cooled lava – and the red rocks below are the sediments swept by rivers and winds in the rift valley.

Geological Formation: Blomidon and North Mountain Basalt

Age: Triassic-Jurassic (ca. 200 million years)