The UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé is located in the heart of a large orogenic chain, called the Appalachians, which covers the Atlantic side of the North American continent. Its formation, related to magmatic and tectonic events, is related to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean during the Jurassic and Cretaceous (about 150 million years ago). During the last 20 000 years, during the last ice age, the Quebec segment of this chain was subjected to the erosive action of glacial elements, which shaped the current landscape.
Visitors to the UNESCO Global Geopark can discover a territory particularly rich in rock archives (rocks and fossils) and various forms of relief that bear witness to its past and recent past. The rocks record 170 million years of regional geological history in a very small area (40 km²) and it is possible to see some glacial remains of the Quaternary. These rocks, unlike many of their counterparts elsewhere in the Appalachians, are weakly metamorphosed, allowing the textures and structures formed during their deposition to be recognized.
The rocks allow to contemplate several geological phenomena: from sedimentation to fault processes (from meter to kilometer) and deformation related to erosion, sedimentary transport, landslides, fossils and coal deposits (only known presence of coal in the province of Quebec).
An exploration and observation framework
The main objective of a Geopark is above all to preserve the structure of its habitats, its fauna and flora. It achieves its objectives through a three-pronged approach: conservation, education and geotourism. A Geopark provides a framework for exploration and observation, where it is possible to touch, examine and reconnect with specimens of interest, such as rock structures, rare plants and some animal species. It is also the subject of various scientific studies, in addition to offering a range of activities to enjoy the landscape.
Research Projects - Internships - Summer Jobs
The Geopark of Percé received in April 2018 accreditation UNESCO Global Geopark. This recognition demonstrates the potential of the territory for research projects, internships and student jobs. All geoparks have as their main objective the protection and enhancement of their natural and cultural heritage. Documenting the territory's heritage through the acquisition of more in-depth knowledge will enable this exceptional environment to shine fully in the years to come.
Possible fields of study at the UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé: geology, geography, biology, sociology, anthropology, history and archeology.
The territory of the Percé Geopark corresponds to the boundaries of the municipality of Percé, from Cap d'Espoir to Fort-Prével. The numerous rocky outcrops make it possible to appreciate a concentration of geological formations dating from the Cambrian to the Carboniferous. Several areas are relevant to research, such as paleontology and Quaternary geomorphology. The marine and terrestrial environments support a rich biodiversity also, especially at the level of Barachois de Malbaie, the largest wetland of the Gaspésie.
This is a very important aspect at the Percé Geopark, since the organization was born from the mobilization of 20 entrepreneurs and 5 organizations in the field. They united to develop a solidarity cooperative and thus create a sustainable development lever for Percé.
At the historical and archaeological level, the territory is rich of several migratory waves. In particular, members of the Micmac, Basque, French, English and Acadian nations have settled in the region. An archaeological characterization study has demonstrated the great potential of Percé, whereas very few archaeological excavations have been carried out so far. (Archeological characterization study of the Percé heritage site, 2015, ARCHÉOCÈNE inc., Unpublished report, 73 pages.)
The UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé wants to stimulate scientific research on its territory through agreements and partnerships with research centers and universities in Quebec. The organization also offers tutoring for internships, support for field logistics and rewarding summer jobs in an open and dynamic environment.
If you are interested in this exceptional natural and cultural heritage, do not hesitate to contact us.
Contact: Isabelle Cyr-Parent, Science and Education Manager
The mission of a Geopark is to protect and conserve the integrity of a site's geological heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. The enhancement and conservation of the site are the very foundations of the Geopark concept. It becomes a tool for sustainable development for communities. The information is adapted according to the history, the culture, the climatic conditions and the geographical situation of the site.