Eastern Ontario Rocks!
Eastern Ontario Rocks!
The geology of Eastern Ontario is clearly laid out in rock formations scattered across the land. Please wander among the rocks in our cybergarden, many of which have been selected from publications by Wallbridge House Publishing. Click on the photo to get a larger version and caption. A description of the rock formation can be found at the bottom of the photo. More photos will be added to this page!

To take a GPS-guided tour of the varied geology of Hastings County, Ontario, click HERE

Erratic serpent

Erratic serpent

This large erratic boulder on Birch Island in the Rideau system resembles the head of a huge serpent basking in the sun. The largest snake on Birch Island is the Eastern Rat Snake, which can grow up to six feet long but not as big as this monster. An "erratic boulder" is one which has been carried from some other place by a glacier. Orland French photo
Erratic serpent
Snake on slate

Slate snake

A garter snake explores a slab of silvery slate at an outcropping near Madoc, Ontario. This particular exposure, on an abandoned section of Highway 7, is a favourite spot for geology students. Orland French photo
Slate snake
Old Lake Iroquois

Old Lake Iroquois

As the glaciers receded in Ontario, a giant puddle of meltwater formed behind the icy dam, called Lake Iroquois. The rounded stones are evidence of the beaches of this lake. They can be found at Pancake Hill, well above the level of Lake Ontario, in the ridges north of Belleville in Hastings County. From The Heritage Atlas of Hastings County. Orland French photo
Old Lake Iroquois
Pillow lava

Pillow lava

Pillow lava forms when molten lava is expelled into cold sea water. These "pillows" of lava were created more than a billion years ago. They are right beside Highway 41 north of Kaladar, at Highway 501. Orland French photo
Pillow lava
Icy fingers

Icy fingers

Pebbles frozen into the underside of the Laurentide Ice Sheet made parallel scratches on this limestone bedrock near Amherstview. The direction of scratching is southwesterly, parallel to the long axes of the nearest drumlins. From Lennox & Addington. Dugald Carmichael photo
Icy fingers
Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll

"Jelly Roll Rock" is a formation found in the Rideau Lakes. Formed as a chimney within softer rock, this rolled and rounded piece fell off a cliff as the softer rock around it eroded. Orland French photo
Jelly Roll
Parallel lines

Parallel lines

The parallel lines in this rock, exposed in a rock cut on Highway 41 north of Kaladar, began life many hundreds of millions of years ago as single horizontal layers. Pressures in the earth's crust have folded the rocks back onto themselves, and turned the whole formation 90 degrees to stand on end. From Lennox & Addington. Orland French photo
Parallel lines
Compressed stones

Compressed stones

At one time these flattened stones were rounded, but intense pressures within the rock have flattened them into pancake formations. These stones are visible in a rock cut on Highway 41 north of Kaladar. From Lennox & Addington. Orland French photo
Compressed stones
Shallow soil

Shallow soil

The green fields of eastern Ontario are sometimes shallow. A layer of limestone lies just below the surface of the earth in this field. It's no place for growing carrots! Orland French photo
Shallow soil
Fossils

Fossils on Amherst Island

Amherst Island in the eastern end of Lake Ontario is a fossil-hunter's paradise. These fossils were discovered in rocks recently excavated by a trenching machine. Orland French photo
Fossils on Amherst Island
Rock Dunder

Rock Dunder

Rock Dunder is a magnificent bald and worn outcropping of granite near Jones Falls in the Rideau Lakes. It rises 275 feet above Morton Bay and provides a beautiful outlook over the Rideau system. The main Rideau channel is visible in the distance. Access is off Highway 15 near Morton. Sylvia French, wife of author Orland French, enjoyed the view. Shortly after this picture was taken, they met a bear...and walked away unharmed. Orland French photo
Rock Dunder
Bon Echo granite

Bon Echo cliffs

A towering cliff of granite walls the east side of Mazinaw Lake at Bon Echo in Lennox & Addington County. The lake, second deepest in Ontario, fills a basin scooped out by glaciers. The granite crystallized about 1.2 billion years ago. Joe VanVeenen photo
Bon Echo cliffs