The Minas Basin, part of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada, is home to the most dramatic tidal range in the world. Tides, moving as fast as a person can walk, rise and fall as much as 14-16 meters (46-52 feet) every day.
This photograph was taken at low tide, exposing the wide, extensive mudflats of the Minas tidal basin.
The Minas Basin is an estuary. It forms at the mouth of the Cornwallis River, where it empties into the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean. Like many estuaries around the world, the mudflats of the Minas Basin are blanketed by thick layers of bay mud.
Bay mud has many unique characteristics. It is often saturated with moving water, creating extremely fine-grained sand particles. It has a high concentration of clay, mostly from silty river deposits. Bay mud also contains sediments carried by glaciers during the last ice age. This all combines to create very soft, flexible mud.
Layers of bay mud are classified according to their age. Quaternary older bay mudâ€”layers from the Ice Age and earlier is abbreviated QoBM. Quaternary younger bay mud is abbreviated QyBM. Layers of QyBM can be as thick as 8 meters (25 feet), while layers of QoBM can be more than 55 meters (180 feet).
thick deposits of soft rocks (mostly clay, silt, and sand) that form around some bays and estuaries.
physical, cultural, or psychological feature of an organism, place, or object.
type of sedimentary rock that is able to be shaped when wet.
mouth of a river where the river's current meets the sea's tide.
mass of ice that moves slowly over land.
long period of cold climate where glaciers cover large parts of the Earth. The last ice age peaked about 20,000 years ago. Also called glacial age.
water level that has dropped as a result of the moon's gravitational pull on the Earth.
place where a river empties its water. Usually rivers enter another body of water at their mouths.
coastal wetland formed as rivers or tides deposit sediment.
small, loose grains of disintegrated rocks.
to fill one substance with as much of another substance as it can take.
solid material transported and deposited by water, ice, and wind.
small sediment particles.
depression in the earth that fills with water at high tide.
large, flat area where mud and sediment are deposited by ocean tides. Also called tidal flat or mudflat.
the difference in height between an area's high tide and low tide.
rise and fall of the ocean's waters, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun.