Joggins, Nova Scotia



Joggins is a famous fossil locality in Nova Scotia, Canada. Hewn by some of the world's highest tides on the Bay of Fundy, these crumbling cliffs shed light on the life and environments of the Carboniferous Coal Age, 315 million years ago. The site has been a magnet for geologists since the early nineteenth century. Charles Lyell described it as the world's best coal-bearing section and together with his colleague, William Dawson, reported amazing fossil forests and a rich terrestrial fauna. Since that golden age, the rate of new fossil discoveries has hardly diminished and in recognition of its importance, the Joggins Fossil Cliffs was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2008. Even after many years of study, it remains a tremendous thrill for us to explore this ‘classic locality’ in far-flung Nova Scotia. Each winter storm, rock fall, and tide brings with it the tantalizing possibility of new fossils and new scientific insights. In this article we share something of our excitement for Joggins and provide an up to date field guide for those wishing to unlock its secrets.