Speaker Se­ries ex­plores Cana­dian vol­ca­noes

The Drumheller Mail - - MAIL CRIME - Sub­mit­ted The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

The Fe­bru­ary 2 ses­sion of the 2017 Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries is a pre­sen­ta­tion by Dr. Glyn Wil­liamsJones, from Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity, en­ti­tled “Cana­dian Vol­ca­noes, eh? Ac­tive Vol­ca­noes on Canada’s Ring of Fire.”

Re­cent vol­canic ac­tiv­ity in west­ern Canada is not widely recog­nised, de­spite the oc­cur­rence of at least four im­por­tant erup­tions over the last 4,000 years. This is not sur­pris­ing given the low erup­tion rates, the re­mote­ness of Cana­dian vol­ca­noes, and the low pop­u­la­tion den­sity in vol­canic ar­eas.

One of the few events with any con­firmed ob­ser­va­tions is that of the 1700’s erup­tion of the Tseax vol­cano ( Wil Ksi Baxhl M’ihl) in Bri­tish Columbia. Al­though no writ­ten records ex­ist, a rich oral his­tory de­scribes in de­tail the most re­cent erup­tion of the vol­cano, one of Canada’s worst nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

The largest re­cent ex­plo­sive erup­tion in Canada oc­curred 2400 years ago at the Mount Mea- ger Vol­canic Com­plex, 65 kilo­me­tres north­west of Pem­ber­ton, B.C. This erup­tion was sim­i­lar in size to the 1980 erup­tion of Mount St. He­len’s and sent ash over 530 kilo­me­tres east into Al­berta. Mt. Mea­ger has also been the site of some of the largest land­slides in Canada and is cur­rently the tar­get of geo­ther­mal en­ergy ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment of a run-of-river hy­dro­elec­tric project on the up­per Lil­looet River. Re­cent ob­ser­va­tions of vol­canic de­gassing through the Job glacier on the north­west flank of Mt. Mea­ger show that Canada hosts po­ten­tially ac­tive vol­ca­noes.

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Dr. Wil­liams-Jones will de­scribe these historical vol­canic erup­tions and ex­plain the im­por­tance of study­ing Cana­dian vol­ca­noes to bet­ter un­der­stand their erup­tive his­to­ries and fore­cast any fu­ture erup­tions.

The Royal Tyrrell Mu­seum’s Speaker Se­ries talks are free and open to the pub­lic. The se­ries will be held ev­ery Thurs­day un­til April 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mu­seum au­di­to­rium. Speaker Se­ries talks are also avail­able on the Mu­seum’s YouTube chan­nel: youtube.com/user/Roy­alTyrrel­lMu­seum.

Dr. Glyn Wil­liams-Jones, from Si­mon Fraser Univer­sity will de­liver a tak en­ti­tled “Cana­dian Vol­ca­noes, eh? Ac­tive Vol­ca­noes on Canada’s Ring of Fire” at this week’s Speaker Se­ries.

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