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Kingston Mills Locks EarthCache

Hidden : 07/23/2009
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Kingston Mills Locks

Kingston Mills was the site of the first mill built on the Rideau in 1784, and the locks that are there are still used today as part of the Rideau Canal which is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America. Once a series of rocky falls that descended into swamps and marshes, it is now the last locks in the Rideau Canal before hitting Lake Ontario.

The Rideau Canal starts in Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, and runs through lakes and rivers connected by canals ending at Kingston Mills 202 km. On June 27, 2007, the Rideau Canal was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the Rideau area, the most recent period of glaciations (the Wisconsin Period) first took hold about 90,000 years ago, and ended about 13,000 years ago. As the ice retreated, the landscape underwent progressive changes. Thirteen thousand (13,000) years ago, the whole region, including present day Lake Ontario was under ice. Twelve thousand (12,000) years ago, Lake Iroquois covered most of the Rideau region, stretching all the way north to Ottawa. Changes continued, driven to a large degree by isostatic rebound. Now that the weight of the ice was gone, the land was rising. By 6,000 years ago isostatic rebound was complete and the region resembled much like it does in present day.

The Rideau Lakes region rock formations consists of Precambrian limestone (marble), gneiss, quartzite, granulite, migmatite and granitic (quartz monzonite) plutons. These rocks are overlain in many parts by more recent, Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks. The Precambrian rocks in the Rideau region form part of what is known as the "Frontenac Axis", a narrow section of the Canadian Shield that links the Laurentian Plateau with the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

In the Kingston area, the main types of rock formations that exist are limestone, gneiss. Limestone is soft and has been eroded more deeply than other rocks, and therefor forms the basins for most of the large lakes of the region. In many areas it is almost pure calcium carbonate, although inclusions are very common. Gneiss is a generic descriptive term for a metamorphic rock with discontinuous visible layering (foliation) which occurs when groups of platy or elongate grains in separate lenses or streaks. It will often have differential colouring with alternating streaks/bands of light and dark minerals. In the Rideau Lakes region it is the most abundant rock after crystalline limestone. The quarrying of limestone from the region, and its use in buildings throughout Kingston, is what gives the city the name “The Limestone City”.

The above information was written and published by Mr. Ken Watson, who gave his approval for his material to be used for this Earthcache.

To log this cache you must complete the following:

1. Take a photo at the posted coordinates holding your GPS with the locks in the background.

In an email (through my profile), send me the answers to the following questions. Do not post them in your logs. Logs without a picture or an email will be deleted.
2. Using your GPS, measure the distance between lock 46 and lock 49.
3. Using your GPS, determine the total lift of the locks in meters.
4. What are the four methods used to control the locks along the Rideau Canal since it's creation?

If you enjoyed this earth cache, check out Weathervane's Rideau Canal earth cache at the other end of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)