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The Pictou Group is a stratigraphical unit of Late Carboniferous to Permian age in the Cumberland Basin of Atlantic Canada.

Pictou Group
Stratigraphic range: Late Carboniferous-Permian
Red Earth Prince Edward Island 2010.jpg
Pictou Group sandstone exposed in Prince Edward Island National Park
TypeGeological formation
Sub-unitsBalfron Formation, Tatamagouche Formation, Cape John Formation
OverliesCumberland Group, Windsor Group
Thicknessup to 3,000 metres (9,840 ft)[1]
Othermudstone, siltstone
Coordinates45°34′06″N 63°01′12″W / 45.56827°N 63.01994°W / 45.56827; -63.01994 (Pictou Group)Coordinates: 45°34′06″N 63°01′12″W / 45.56827°N 63.01994°W / 45.56827; -63.01994 (Pictou Group)
RegionCumberland Basin
Country Canada
Type section
Named forPictou County, Nova Scotia
Named byBell, W.A., 1926

It takes the name from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, and was first described in outcrop along the West Branch River John by W.A. Bell in 1926.[2]



The Pictou Group is composed of red beds sandstone, mostly subarkose and sublitharenite. Siltstone is also present, also rarely conglomerate and coal. Fossil remains include bivalves, ostracods, fish, amphibians and reptiles fragments, as well as rare plant fragments. [1]


The Pictou Group is present throughout the Maritimes Basin, thickness vary from 1,650 metres (5,410 ft) in Pictou County to 3,000 metres (9,840 ft) in Prince Edward Island.[1]

Relationship to other unitsEdit

Th Pictou Group contains the Balfron, the Tatamagouche, and the Cape John Formations.

The Formation is mostly exposed in outcrops or covered with glacial till. It unconformably overlays the Carboniferous Cumberland Group or the Mississippian Windsor Group.[1]

It is equivalent to the Morien Group of Cape Breton and Stellarton Group on central Nova Scotia. The Pictou Group is also synonym to the Prince Edward Island Group (include the Miminegash, Egmont Bay, Kildare Capes, Hillsborough River and Orby Head formations.


  1. ^ a b c d Lexicon of Canadian Geologic Units. "Pictou Group". Retrieved 2013-06-16.
  2. ^ Bell, W.A., 1926. Carboniferous formations of Northumberland Strait, Nova Scotia: Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report for 1924, Part C, pp. 142C-180C.