The geological history of Nova Scotia spans more than 1.2 billion years. The major events in this history are summarized in Figure T2.1.1. A fundamental assumption in geology is that the natural laws operating today also operated in the past. This implies that the physical laws governing rates of evaporation of water from the sea, for example, are the same now as in the past. Understanding how the laws act today to produce modern climate allows us to interpret the record in the rocks to make deductions about the climates of the past. Application of this principle to the rocks, and to the features preserved in them, shows that the materials of the earth's crust have been reworked continuously in the cycle of erosion, deposition, burial, alteration, uplift, exposure and erosion again.
The geological record also shows that movement within and between large bodies of rock has been an integral part of their evolution. This has included movement upwards as mountains rose, downwards as the sea covered the land and laterally as sediments were compresed into folded rocks.
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