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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, April 1st, 2015: Cameron Falls, Waterton

Cameron Falls


Cameron Falls, Waterton


The Cameron Falls are located in the townsite of Waterton Village. This serene cascade is well lit at night for viewers enjoying a peaceful evening stroll. These falls are also the site of the oldest rock in the entire Canadian Rocky Mountain range! Precambrian bedrock dating 1.5 billion years (1500 million years) old has become exposed and is visible near the falls.  Many people traveling in the Rockies remark on how different the mountains of Waterton Park appear. Most are struck by the vivid colors of the rock, especially the reds and the greens. The spectacular scenery is based on spectacular geology.  Learning how and when the rocks were formed, uplifted and eroded adds a new dimension to the mountain views.  Because its rocks were formed at a time predating the development of most life on earth, few fossils occur here.  Only fossils formed by primitive cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are found.  Some developed into impressive cabbage-like fossils of algal colonies called stromatolites. Two types of glaciers sculpted the Waterton National Park landscape - mountain (Cordilleran) glaciers and the continental (Laurentide) ice sheet. Only during the first and most extensive ice age did Laurentide ice reach the east flanks of Waterton National Park.  The erosive power of glaciers was immense.  As a glacier flows, it drags rocks, boulders, pebbles, sand and silt across bedrock, cutting away at it like a great rasp or file.  Vast lakes are dug, and river bottoms are broadened and deepened.  In addition, valleys are left hanging; places where smaller glaciers piggy-backed onto larger ones, for example, Cameron Falls.



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  • Cameron Falls: Waterton

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