Nova Scotia peninsula is a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of
Map of Nova Scotia highlighting the
Nova Scotia peninsula
Scotia peninsula is part of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada and is
connected to the neighbouring province of New Brunswick through the Isthmus of Chignecto. It fronts the open Atlantic Ocean on the
south and southeast, the Gulf of Maine to the west, the Bay of Fundy and its sub-basins to the northwest, the Northumberland
Strait to the north, and the Strait of Canso to the east.
and deep waters of the Strait of Canso separate the peninsula from
Island, the second largest land mass constituting the
province of Nova Scotia.
addition to Cape Breton Island, other much smaller islands are
geologically associated with the Nova Scotia peninsula, including
Island, Long Island, Pictou
Island, Tancook Island and
various smaller islands along the Atlantic coast.
peninsula can be divided into two distinct geological regions north
and south of a fault line (the Cobequid and Chedabucto faults)
extending between the Bay of Fundy sub-basins of the Minas Basin and Cobequid
Bay in the west, through to Chedabucto Bay in the east.
northern portion of the peninsula is dominated by the Avalon
Uplands (the Cobequid
Hills and Pictou-Antigonish Highlands) and
the Carboniferous Lowlands, the latter of which straddles the fault
Cobequid Hills contains the highest elevation point on the
peninsula at Nuttby
heavily eroded part of the Appalachian Mountains, along with the Pictou-Antigonish Highlands,
comprises a highland across the northern portion of the peninsula
with average elevations between 250-300 meters.
heavily covered in sediment during glaciation; consequently it
hosts an abundant forest as well as agricultural activities.
The Carboniferous Lowlands includes carboniferous sedimentary rocks
south of the Minas Basin and along the north shore of the peninsula
immediately south of the Northumberland Strait. The area south and
east of the Minas Basin is dominated by karst topography lending to
numerous gypsum deposits. Coal seams are found in the western and
central areas of Cumberland County in the
Joggins-River Hebert basin and the Springhill basin, along with the Debert basin and the Pictou basin.
Throughout the northern portion of the peninsula, the lowland
plains, rolling uplands, and coastal fringe areas support numerous
settlements, many of which developed around mineral extraction,
particularly coal. When included with the Sydney and Inverness coal fields on Cape Breton Island, these regions
were extremely prominent in the industrial and social development
of Nova Scotia.
addition to sharing the Carboniferous Lowlands, the southern
portion of the peninsula is dominated by the Atlantic Interior
(Sissiboo Lowlands, South Mountain, various slate ridges), followed by the
comparatively small Triassic Lowlands (the Annapolis
Valley), and the Fundy Coast (including Economy Mountain
and North Mountain) and Atlantic Coast regions.
The Atlantic Interior is dominated by a glacial landscape of
exposed granitic rock, thick forest, drumlins and numerous lakes.
The Sissiboo Lowlands comprise many river valleys and lowland
inland areas in the southwest and central portion of the peninsula.
The South Mountain is a steadily rising slope that descends sharply
at the Annapolis Valley but more gradually toward the Atlantic,
resulting in a plateau across much of the southwest interior of the
peninsula with average elevations of 150 m and maximum elevations
of 275 m. Slate ridges are prominent in the Rawdon Hills
and Wittenburg Ridge areas along
the boundary with the Carboniferous Lowlands.
Coast region includes the North Mountain ridge as well as the
Neck and the Economy Mountain areas along the north side
of the Minas Basin. The Atlantic Coast region includes the
barren and wind-swept regions from Yarmouth to Canso, extending several kilometres inland.
The Triassic Lowlands is an area of soft sandstone, much of which
is covered by water resulting from sea
. The remnant is the open ended Annapolis Valley
which is sheltered by the Fundy Coast and the Atlantic Interior,
providing a micro-climate
the Atlantic provinces and conducive to fruit and vegetable
- The present-day use of the term Acadian
Peninsula refers to a peninsula in northeastern New Brunswick.
The term Acadian Peninusla
has been used to
describe the present-day Nova Scotia peninsula
historic documents. Prior to 1713, this
territory was the heart of the French colony of Acadia, which focused its settlement efforts along
the southern and northeastern shores of Baie Francois (now the
Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 gave Great Britain control of "Acadia", however
the boundaries were never properly defined. Acadia is considered
by many historians to have encompassed present-day New Brunswick, eastern Maine, Anticosti
Island, the Gaspé Peninsula, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island - in other lands along the southern and western
shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (some treaties have placed the boundary of Acadia
as far south as Massachusetts).
The large peninsula that is today the mainland portion of the
province of Nova Scotia was referred to as the Acadian Peninsula at
the time that Britain took control, with this territory falling
under the Colony of Nova Scotia.
* The term "peninsula" in the title of this article is not
capitalized as this is not a formal geographic name authorized by
the Geographic Names Board of Canada. Other informal terms used to
refer to this geographic feature include Peninsular Nova
and Mainland Nova Scotia