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Burgess September 2014

This is a story about Earth history, not Japanese history. I was once involved in a project to export Canadian shale gas, which boasts abundant reserves, across the Pacific Ocean using LNG.

Our base is in Calgary, but the famous resort town of Banff is nearby. From there, we will climb the mountain via Lake Louise for several hours to reach Mt. Burgess, the site of evidence of the emergence of a wide variety of life during the Cambrian period (Paleozoic era).

It was a mission of 17-8 guys, but we were blessed with clear skies, no one left behind, and it was a memorable trip where we were able to see spectacular views and encounter many fossils from hundreds of millions of years ago.

Mount Burgess is currently located at a high latitude of over 50 degrees, but when Cambrian fossils were alive more than 500 million years ago, it was near the equator and was at the bottom of a warm shallow sea. The rock that contains fossils is called shale rock, a sedimentary rock with very fine grain size, which is formed in shallow ocean near the coastline in an environment with low oxygen concentrations. The figure on the right shows the Sirius Passet area, but over the next 300 million years, these continents continued to move northward, forming a continent that combined North America and Europe.

Entering the Mesozoic Era (figure on the left), North America and Europe split and gradually moved away from each other to the east and west, approaching the current world map.

The North American plate on which Burgess was placed was compressed from the west by the Pacific plate about 150 million years ago, and was pushed up together with the mountains on the west coast, including the Rocky Mountains. Sedimentary rocks that were formed at the bottom of the warm ocean 100 million years ago can be seen on a mountain over 2,500 meters above sea level. Many books by Ken Tsuchiya have been published over the past few years with illustrations of rare creatures from various eras, so if you are interested, please take a look.

As you walk along the mountain trails, you'll find the familiar trilobite fossils lying around here and there, but if you pick them up, you'll be fined a hefty fine (I think it's 2 million Canadian dollars) if you take them home.

The Cambrian Explosion is an event that occurred 530 to 40 million years ago when a wide variety of living things suddenly appeared in the Paleozoic ocean. Although there are many strange and mysterious creatures, it is said that most of the animal lineages seen today have been found here.

Fossils that have been dormant for over 500 million years.



Thank you for coming!

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