A Short Journey to the Heart of the Earth

Gros Morne National Park Annotated

October 3, 2017. (Click on impression for higher-resolution view.)

A geologist’s desire, Gros Morne Countrywide Park is one particular of the number of areas in which you can established foot on the Earth’s mantle without digging an inch.

Beneath Earth’s crust lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) of viscous mineral and rock recognised as the mantle. Popular and fanciful literature apart, no human is very likely to check out the mantle or deep inside of Earth. But at Gros Morne Nationwide Park, people today can phase on fragments of the mantle without the need of getting to dig an inch.

On October 3, 2017, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired organic-colour imagery of Gros Morne National Park. The UNESCO Environment Heritage internet site covers 1,800 sq. kilometers (690 square miles) in the Wonderful Northern Peninsula of western Newfoundland. A specific check out of the Tablelands, in the southern part of the park, is beneath.

Gros Morne supplies some of the world’s ideal reveals of the approach of plate tectonics. The park has a portion of the Very long Vary Mountains, a subrange of the Canadian Appalachians that dates again to about 1.2 billion a long time in the past, when current-day North The usa collided with a further continent. Those mountains have because eroded and remaining powering the gneiss and granite peaks of the Extended Array. The park includes some of the tallest peaks of the Lengthy Variety mountains, like Major Level and Gros Morne Mountain (French for “great somber”).

Gros Morne National Park Tablelands

October 3, 2017

The Tablelands, found on the south end of the park, are considered one of its most placing characteristics. The flat-topped, rust-coloured land is abundant with peridotite rock from the upper component of Earth’s mantle. The rock was thrust to the surface area around 500 million many years back through a process acknowledged as subduction. When two plates on Earth’s crust collide, one particular is frequently pushed back again (subducted) towards the mantle. Standing out amid the lush inexperienced park, the yellowish-pink Tablelands played a important job in confirming the principle of plate tectonics.


The Canadian Space Company has also analyzed the space to aid in the search for daily life outside of Earth. Researchers analyze how microscopic life varieties can endure in the iron-rich Tablelands to greater fully grasp how they could endure on the extreme ecosystem on Mars.

Gros Morne National Park also attributes some current geologic historical past at the Western Brook Pond. The freshwater fjord was carved by advancing glaciers tens of hundreds of several years ago in the course of the most latest ice age. Just after the glaciers melted and receded, the land rebounded and reduce off the outlet from the sea. Saltwater was slowly and gradually and obviously flushed from the 30-kilometer (20-mile) extensive pond. Right now, the fjord is surrounded by steep rock partitions up to 600 meters (2,000 toes) superior and consists of just about pure fresh h2o. The setting is a favorite for photographers.

Today, the park is guarded by the Canada Countrywide Parks Act. A single of the most important pure threats to the park is a big moose inhabitants, which is 5 to 20 situations greater below than in other parts of Canada. Launched into the location about 100 many years in the past, the hungry populace has eaten by way of substantial parts of the boreal forest and hindered regrowth.

NASA Earth Observatory illustrations or photos by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing Landsat knowledge from the U.S. Geological Study.