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Geology (in detail)

 

Geology

Our Museum has several different types of rock formations on display that gives the visitor an insight in the geological history of the island. An example of this is a piece of Point Blanc rock formation. This layered rock is a result of crystallization of lime stone and dates back to about 15 million years.

The Caribbean area was geological a very unstable region, due to major continental shelf (tectonic plates) movements. This caused frequent earthquakes and the formation of volcanoes. When a submerged volcano erupts the magma is quickly cooled by the ocean water and then solidifies. The solidified magma is pushed upwards by shifting of tectonic plates and then forms an island. Of course this process takes thousands of years.

 

About one million years ago St. Maarten, Anguilla and St. Barths were one island. This was visible because the sea level was about 35 meters lower than it is today.

In the Museum a 3D map of what was then know as greater St. Maarten can be viewed.