The Sands of Time

Sand grains are minute fragments of rock resulting from millions of years of physical breakdown. The sand here consists of different rock types and minerals, whose different colours are visible under magnification.  The white and tan particles are quartz, red is feldspar, and black is magnetite. When you walk on this sand you are walking over millions of years of Earth history!

Marble is a metamorphic rock that underwent extreme pressure and heat more than a billion years ago. The wavy lines in this rock are due to minerals and reflect this stress, as do dark fragments of other rock types “stretched” inside the marble. This appearance is unique to “Arnprior marble,” which was mined locally and used in local buildings including Scotiabank, as well as the first Parliament building in Ottawa.