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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Southern flank of Hoodoo Mountain
Hoodoo Mountain is a potentially active flat-topped stratovolcano in the Stikine Country of northwestern British Columbia, Canada, located 74 km (46 mi) northeast of Wrangell, Alaska on the north side of the lower Iskut River and 30 km (19 mi) east of its junction with the Stikine River. It is situated in the Boundary Ranges of the Coast Mountains and has been in existence since the Late Pleistocene stage of the Pleistocene epoch, which began 130,000 years ago and ended 10,000 years ago. The mountain gets its name from the needle-like lava spines or hoodoos that reach heights of 150 m (492 ft), which give the volcano a strange appearance. This appearance makes Hoodoo Mountain different from other neighbouring mountains in the Boundary Ranges.

The volcano boasts an ice cap on its summit, and radar imaging of the rock beneath the ice has shown that the mountain's flat-topped summit is not just attributable to the ice cap, but the top of the mountain is flat as well. Beneath the summit ice cap lies an ice-filled volcanic crater that rises at an elevation of 1,850 m (6,070 ft) and a topographic prominence of 900 m (2,953 ft). Except for minor irregularities caused by erosion, any contour line drawn is practically a circle.

Hoodoo Mountain consists of a balanced lava dome 6 km (4 mi) in diameter and throughout most of its history, it has been influenced by glacial ice, causing several periods of subglacial eruptions and interactions between volcanic activity and ice sheets. This volcanic process has created Hoodoo's structure and stratigraphy similar to subglacial volcanoes.

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Pyroclastic and Cayley.jpg
Pyroclastic Peak on left and Mount Cayley on right

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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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Arctic Lake Plateau Kitsu Plateau Cache Hill Armadillo Peak Ice Peak Koosick Bluff Triangle Dome Tsekone Ridge Ornostay Bluff Spectrum Range Pillow Ridge Williams Cone Big Raven Plateau Mount EdzizaMount Edziza volcanic complex2.jpg
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Clickable panorama of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex.

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