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The oldest rocks are Precambrian and occur in the east, in and around the Avalon and Burin peninsulas; they are mostly folded sedimentary rocks, but in a few areas later intrusions have solidified into volcanic rocks.
Small remnants of gently sloping Cambrian and Ordovician sedimentary rocks occur in pockets along the coast.
Long periods of erosion following periods of uplift have left a poly-cyclical landscape with the remnants of old erosion surfaces displayed in the plateau-like interior and on the flat-topped mountains of the Long Range.
A mineralized belt in these Palaeozoic rocks, stretching from an area on the south coast just east of Channel-Port Aux Basques to the general area of western Notre Dame Bay on the northeast coast, contain ores composed of copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.
Within each there are distinct variations in the physical characteristics of the environment, in the occurrence and availability of natural resources, and corresponding variations in the pattern of human settlement.
However, some lists containing the names of persons to whom marriage licences were issued are held at Library and Archives Canada.The most significant are in Conception Bay, where the Ordovician rocks that form Bell Island contain layers of hematite iron ore with estimated reserves of billions of tonnes.The central and western portions of the Island are underlaid by a great variety of Palaeozoic rocks of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic origin, within which crustal deformation has been generally severe.Four large rivers — Exploits, Gander, Humber and Terra Nova — drain most of the area.The west coast supports extensive forest stands, particularly on the gentle slopes of the major watersheds.