Portal:Volcanism of Canada

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The Volcanism of Canada Portal

Mount Edziza

Volcanism of Canada, a country occupying much of the northern part of North America, produces lava flows, lava plateaus, lava domes, cinder cones, stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, submarine volcanoes, calderas, diatremes, and maars, along with examples of more less common volcanic forms such as tuyas and subglacial mounds. It has a very complex volcanological history spanning from the Precambrian period at least 3.11 billion years ago when this part of the North American continent began to form.

Although the country's volcanic activity dates back to the Precambrian period, volcanic activity continues to occur in Western and Northern Canada where it forms part of an encircling chain of volcanoes and frequent earthquakes around the Pacific Ocean called the Pacific Ring of Fire. However, because volcanoes in Western and Northern Canada are in remote rugged areas and the level of volcanic activity is less frequent than with other volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean, Canada is commonly thought to occupy a gap in the Pacific Ring of Fire between the volcanoes of western United States to the south and the Aleutian volcanoes of Alaska to the north. However, the mountainous landscape of Western and Northern Canada includes more than 100 volcanoes that have been active during the past two million years and have claimed many lives. Volcanic activity has been responsible for many of Canada's geological and geographical features and mineralization, including the nucleus of North America called the Canadian Shield.

Volcanism has led to the formation of hundreds of volcanic areas and extensive lava formations across Canada, indicating volcanism played a major role in shaping its surface. The country's different volcano and lava types originate from different tectonic settings and types of volcanic eruptions, ranging from passive lava eruptions to violent explosive eruptions. Canada has a rich record of very large volumes of magmatic rock called large igneous provinces. They are represented by deep-level plumbing systems consisting of giant dike swarms, sill provinces and layered intrusions. The most capable large igneous provinces in Canada are Archean (3,800-2,500 million years ago) age greenstone belts containing a rare volcanic rock called komatiite.

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Mount Edziza, one of the main volcanoes of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.
The Mount Edziza volcanic complex is a large and potentially active north-south trending complex volcano in Stikine Country, northwestern British Columbia, Canada, located 38 kilometres (24 mi) southeast of the small community of Telegraph Creek. It is situated in the Tahltan Highland, an upland area of plateau and lower mountain ranges, lying east of the Boundary Ranges and south of the Inklin River, which is the east fork of the Taku River. As a volcanic complex, it consists of many types of volcanoes, including shield volcanoes, calderas, lava domes, stratovolcanoes, and cinder cones. Most of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex is encompassed within a large provincial park called Mount Edziza Provincial Park. Named after Mount Edziza, this 2,660.95 km2 (1,027.40 sq mi) park was established in 1972 to preserve the volcanic and cultural treasures unique to the northern British Columbia area. The Mount Edziza volcanic complex is remote, and, without roads, accessible only along trails. The easiest access is from Highway 37 and a spur road from Dease Lake to Telegraph Creek. From Kinaskan Lake, on Highway 37, a poorly maintained trail extends west for 30 kilometres (19 mi) into the heart of the complex. From Telegraph Creek another trail extends east for 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the north slope of Mount Edziza.

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Eve Cone, one of the best preserved cinder cones in Canada.


The Volcanism of Canada Workgroup is the central point of coordination for Wikipedia's coverage of Canadian volcanoes, volcanology, igneous petrology, and related subjects. Please feel free to join the workgroup and help!


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Clickable panorama of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.


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