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Full Screen Plate Tectonics

= Natural History = Best viewed Large =


After cutting straight across and right through this mighty thrust-faulted landform, the North Nahanni River turns 90 degrees and follows the aptly named Battlement Range. A thick section of limestone has been pushed up on top of itself into the sky along with a veneer of 'skid-greasing' shale now draped like black curtains on the cliffs and scree slopes.


This is because the North American continent is moving west and overrunning the Pacific Ocean plate which is creating the Alaska-to-Patagonia Cordillera uplift. We Canadians refer to our part as the Rocky Mountains. What all this mean at this particular spot on the North Nahanni River is that a second layer of the same limestone formation was thrust eastward over top of itself to form the Battlement Range ridge on the right hand side of this image.


A mid-river encounter with a swimming lynx will soon take place. Watercraft is a 16 ft Coleman freighter canoe. The muddy river is often shallow enough to tap bottom with my paddle so I cannot make use of my small kicker until I reach the Mackenzie River.


Zoom into my location dot on flickr's map to see the braided channels of the North Nahanni River, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada.

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Taken in August 2000