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Felsenmeer n. (German)
"sea of rocks" or "boulder sea": chaotic, block-like assemblage of fractured rocks or rock surfaces.
Nunatak n. (Inuktitut)
"free of ice": an unglacitated area.
Elliston boasts a geological feature that is quite rare in this area. It is believed that Elliston Ridge (Burnt Ridge) during the last ice age remained unglaciated (i.e., nunatak), which is rather unusual at such a low elevation.
This unglaciated area led to the formation of Felsenmeer, which is essentially exposed rock surfaces that have been broken up by frost action so that much rock is buried under a cover of angular shattered boulders. This principally occurs in Arctic regions and high mountain areas. Their continuity and depth vary with climate, vegetation and rock type.
In Newfoundland there are only a few occurrences of Felsenmeer. One is in the high plateaus of western Newfoundland and the other is on the highlands east of the Goulds. Elliston's Felsenmeer unlike many other examples is readily accessible by foot at a much lower elevation on the Mark's Path and Elliston Ridge trails.
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