They’ve been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but the slow erosion seems to have picked up in recent years.
Several of Canada’s east coast fascinating quirks of nature are disappearing under an increasingly forceful nature.
The slow process of coastal erosion has been attributed to climate change which is resulting in higher tides and more violent storms,
In some places where winter ice has historically protected shorelines such as in Prince Edward Island, warmer winters means less ice and for shorter periods so that winter storms can batter the unprotected coastline.
In 2015, “the hole” a popular tourist and kayaking destination in Long Island Nova Scotia collapsed in the Minas Basin, in the Bay of Fundy.
The bay between the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is known to have some of the highest tides in the world, but storms are making the waves rougher, and the tides sometimes are reaching record heights.
Coastal erosion throughout Canada’s east coast maritime provinces ranges anywhere up to a metre per year of loss.
Another world famous site is known as the “Hopewell Rocks” at the tip of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. Formed by centuries of erosion, last year it was too much for one of the formations known as “elephant rock” and a large portion collapsed.
In May of this year, another section collapsed and has been roped off from tourists for safety reasons.
Perhaps one of the most iconic geographical features is Rocher Perce off Quebec’s Gaspe coast. Although in no immediate danger of collapse, there are not increasing concerns about how long that famous hole/archway will last.
The huge feature 433 metres long, and 88 metres high once was even longer. The explorer Jacques Cartier noted in the 16th century that the feature had three arches.
The second arch collapsed and disappeared around 1845, leaving the current single arch and a large pillar which once joined the second arch.
Although under no immediate threat of disappearing with experts saying it’ll be around for another couple of centuries., the feature does lose about 300 tonnes of rock each year.
However with the added forces due to climate change, estimates are not quite as certain as they used to be.
Youtube video (Jean Letarte)
Additional information –sources