The Bay of Fundy forms a beautiful geological feature on the Atlantic coast of North America. The bay has a border consisting of the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, as well as a tiny portion of the state of Maine, in the United States.
The Bay of Fundy remains best known for its extreme tidal range. This range is, in fact, the highest in the world. Tides within the bay rise and fall an average of 56 ft (17 m). The greatest range on record within the Bay reached 71 ft (21.6 m). Many propose constructing a massive tidal energy generating station in this location.
Bay of Fundy Geology
The incredible tides of the Bay of Fundy only occur because of its unique geology. The Bay sits within a rift valley known as the Fundy Basin.
Ancient volcanic activity covered the entire region with enormous deposits of basalt. As the basalt eroded, the bay subsequently formed.
Much of the basin floor of the Bay of Fundy still has a covering of this material. This also gives the region its distinctive brownish coloring.
As plate tectonics pulled the rift apart, it also formed a basaltic mountain range. Multiple sub-basins have formed as well. All of these factors contribute to the incredible tides.
Bay of Fundy Tidal Power Station Research
The Bay of Fundy still ranks as a leading candidate for numerous types of tidal power generation research projects. The incredible tides within the bay remain both semidiurnal and extreme.
Several key research projects within the Bay are currently being spearheaded by the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy. Early test results appear positive. The potential for power generation is unsurpassed. The incredible tides generate a force equal to 25 million horsepower.
However, there still exist numerous concerns about the potential effects on the unique environment.