Maine's ~600 Million Years of Heritage

PLATE TECTONICS

The geologic history of Maine involves the formation of mountain ranges (“orogeny”) and ocean basins (“rifting”) through plate tectonic collisions and separations. The Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America formed during ~600-200Ma of plate collisions and are still present in the modern landscape although greatly denuded after millions of years of erosion. The Atlantic Ocean, an iconic feature of coastal Maine, began opening about 200Ma with the breakup of Pangea, and is still widening today along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Ancient Volcanoes

A chain of super volcanoes formed along the eastern margin of the continent from subducting plate tectonics forming large plutons of intrusions granite rock. Mount Desert Island was once one of those volcanoes.

GLACIATION

Over the last million years, the coast of Maine has been shaped by a series of continental glaciers that have carved valleys, deposited sediment, and changed sea levels.

HUMANS

After Maine was ice-free around 12,000 years ago, people started to settle in the region. Since then we have modified the landscape in many ways.

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1. Damariscotta River Shell Midden
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4. Marshall Point
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2. La VernaPreserve
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5. Rockland Limestone Quarry
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3. Pemaquid Point
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6. Vinalhaven
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7. Mt Battie
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8. Gridle Point (Isleboro)
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9. The Passagassawakeag Rail Trail
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10. Sear Island
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11. Mt. Waldo
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12. Penobscot Narrows
Blue Hill Peninsula
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13. Blue Hill Mountain
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14. Caterpillar Hill
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15. Pine Hill
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16. Settlement Quarry
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17. Isle au Huat
MDI/ Schoodic 
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18. Agassiz Outcrop
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20. Bubble Rock
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19. MacQuinns Quarry
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20. Bubble Rock
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20. Bubble Rock
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20. Bubble Rock

To get in contact, please email:

Sahra Gibson

sgibson17@coa.edu

College of the Atlantic 

105 Eden Street

Bar Harbor, ME 04609

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