January 2022 Newsletter
Stimulation - Knowledge - Interaction - Fun
January Coffee Clash

Friday, January 14, 9:00 a.m.

Virtual discussion via Zoom

Richard Cohen and Linda Dunn will moderate a discussion on the legal and medical issues surrounding the abortion dilemma.
Richard will focus on the legal history of abortion before Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and the likely legal future of abortion in the US after the Mississippi and Texas cases now before the Supreme Court.

Richard Cohen is a retired judge of the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. He has taught four ASC courses on constitutional law, its historical development, and the effects of Supreme Court decisions.
Linda will discuss "viability", the 15-week Mississippi limit on abortions, medication abortion, and the future of abortion in the US if Roe is overturned.

Linda Dunn is a retired obstetrician gynecologist. She currently serves as President of Acadia Senior College.
This event is free and open to everyone.

January Food for Thought

Friday, January 21, 2022 at Noon

Virtual discussion via Zoom
Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows will talk about the critical role election administrators play in ensuring public trust in government and confidence in our elections. She will highlight national trends attacking the integrity of our elections and speak about what we can do in Maine to protect democracy. She will share details about post-election vote verification processes and national best practices for real post-election audits and reviews as well as what's on the horizon in Maine and nationally to protect our elections.

This event is free and open to the public.

Spring Classes
Winter classes start this week, but we are busy preparing for the spring term. Watch for spring course announcements in the next week or so.
Geology Corner
A quick review of geologic activity
prior to the “recent” glaciation

By Ruth and Duane Braun

Before 500 million years ago (mya) Maine did not exist. The edge of the Laurentian continent was the Canadian border. Maine was constructed over the next 120 million years (my) by the collisions of slices of crustal material. 

480 mya a volcanic arc collided with the border of Canada to form the very NNE part of Maine. 

450 mya a slice of South America called the Gander Terrain collided to form most of Maine. (Mount Desert Island (MDI) was on the far, or quiet, side of this collision.)

420 mya another slice called Avalon collided with Gander. MDI was in the collision zone resulting in a line of volcanoes along the present coast line - MDI being the largest - and the Southwest Harbor Granite, Cadillac Mountain Granite, Somesville Granite and other igneous intrusions.)

360 mya the Meguma terrain (Nova Scotia) collided and supplied the energy for the younger igneous intrusions on the island resulting in the Seawall Granite, Northeast Creek Granite, and Baker Island Granite.)

300 mya the supercontinent of Pangaea formed as Europe and North Africa collided with North America. A mountain range like the Rockies was formed. MDI was on the western flank of this range and erosion carried materials into Canada, probably removing one mile or so of rock.

200 mya Pangaea began to break up and the Atlantic Ocean started forming.
All this activity created stresses on the rocks causing vertical fractures to form. For the next 190 my stream erosion removed about another one mile of rock from the island revealing the internal magma chambers of ancient volcanoes. For much of that time the area looked much like the Smokey Mountains today with V-shaped stream valleys and no lakes (Figure 1). 
Figure 1 - The present day V-shaped valley and ridge landscape of the never glaciated Smokey Mountains.
At the end of this era of erosion MDI was a low range of mountains running NE to SW with streams draining north and then west (Blue Hill Bay stream valley), east (Frenchmen’s Bay stream valley), or south to the Gulf of Maine (Somes Sound valley) (Figure 2). The streams formed in areas of more closely spaced fractures which permitted the stream to carry the material away more readily. As weathering and erosion removed material, the compressed rock expanded and formed subparallel, near horizontal fractures (sheeting) that you see today. These stream valleys will be used by the coming glaciers to form the landscape you see today.
Figure 2. MDI as a NE-SW trending range of low mountains just prior to glaciation (modified from Raisz, 1929).

The climate cooled enough by 2.5 mya to permit snow to start accumulating around Hudson Bay and being compressed into ice. As the ice accumulated it began to flow outward in all directions as a continental scale glacier. In the last one million years continental glaciers moved over the island at least 5 times (the extent of the last continental glacier is shown in Figure 3). Each time the glacier followed the same route taking advantage of pre-existing stream valleys. The landscape you see today is the result of these multiple advances of the glaciers – scouring out V-shaped stream valleys to the U-shaped valleys on the landscape today. Next time we will look at the mechanics of glaciers and the evidence they leave behind.
Figure 3. The maximum extent of last glaciation when 5000 ft of ice covered MDI.

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