David K. Joyce Minerals

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

During May, 2012, I visited the Bay of Fundy area to collect minerals. The trip was actually a field trip of the Walker Mineralogical Club but only two members could attend - Jim Haase, the field trip coordinator and me. So the trip ended up being a very nice visit to Nova Scotia to collect minerals and visit friends. Just Jim and me. We had maximum flexibility and lots of fun! We even found some good minerals. This little photo essay deals with the Bay of Fundy zeolite portion of the trip.

 

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Our first stop was the stretch of the coast of the Bay of Fundy from Black Rock towards Harbourville. There are cliffs that run from the lighthouse west, that are composed of basalt, some layers of which are rich in amygdules and veins lined with mineral crystals.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Looking east back towards Black Rock lighthouse. That is my collecting friend Jim Haase working his way towards me.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

This image shows some of the basalt exhibiting zeolite-filled amygdules and veins composed mostly of zeolites, calcite and quartz. Mostly, these veins and amygdules are solid but when big enough, the have open spaces lined with sharp, clean
crystals.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

When the tide is in, the waves constantly pound on the basalt cliffs and, in concert freeze-thaw mechanisms that weaken the rock, wear away the base, causing the cliffs to be constantly falling down, sometimes bit by bit and sometimes in huge falls. This wave action ensures a slow but constant source of new zeolite collecting opportunities! Here is Jim Haase nosing about some openings trying to locate and extract crystals of zeolite minerals.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Here is a nice cluster of white stilbite crystals, in an opening in basalt, lined with tiny orange heulandite crystals. This picture was taken with the cluster still in the rock, under a ledge. I chiselled it out and Jim caught it as it came off.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Here is the stilbite-heulandite specimen, as it looked immediately after collecting. When I returned to Newmarket, I trimmed it and cleaned it up.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Finally, here is the stilbite specimen, about 12.0cm across, all trimmed and cleaned. I soaked it in Javex to remove the algae, removed some iron staining with Iron Out and then basted it with the high-pressure water spray to remove unwanted dirt. Not bad!

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

We went on to Victoria Harbour, a little further west of Black Rock and hiked along the cliffs looking for zeolites. There were lots of amygdules lined with tiny heulandite crystals but it was difficult to find any bigger openings with bigger crystals, this time.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

We did find lots of laumontite crystals. Here is an opening in basalt with nice clusters of laumontite crystals.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Here is a close-up of that laumontite specimen from the basalt opening. It is about 4.5cm across. The trouble with laumontite is that it starts to deteriorate the moment it is removed from a vug. That is, the water in the chemical formula starts to evaporate and after a time, the laumontite just decrepitates (falls apart). This specimen lasted about one week and then was reduced to dust. I WISH I had taken a picture of it after it had altered and fallen apart. Sorry! The only way to preserve laumontite specimens is to store them in water or oil or impregnate them with a water soluable glue or similar material.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

Next stop was Horseshoe Cove, a beautiful spot on Cape D'Or. The mineralogy is different here and so we were looking for analcime, chabazite nad stilbite. I did find one small specimen of apophyllite but not a keeper. Horsehoe Cove is very near the Cape D'Or copper location but there is little to no copper at Horseshoe Cove. In this picture, the bluffs in the distance, to the left, are, in fact, the Cape D'Or copper location.

Recent Activities -Collecting Zeolites in Nova Scotia

This photo is a look across the Bay of Fundy from Horseshoe Cove. The formations on the right are Cape Split while on the left, in the distance is Two Islands and closer, Cape D'Or. A beautiful place!