Haida Gwaii hot springs shut off by 7.7 magnitude B.C. earthquake

November 4, 2012CANADAThe recent West Coast earthquake appears to have shut off the water at the popular hot springs in Haida Gwaii’s national park, but there is hope they could reappear someday. After Saturday’s 7.7 magnitude earthquake, Parks Canada workers went to check the springs and found they had run dry, according to Barb Rowsell, who owns Anvil Cove Charters. “Three people went down to check it out, and sure enough there is no hot water and the rocks are dry and cold,” said Rowsell, who has been ferrying visitors to Hotspring Island for years. The popular natural attraction in Gwaii Haanas National Park has been a major tourist draw for decades. The park’s superintendent Ernie Gladstone said the springs were still steaming last week, but now, to his dismay, there is not even a puddle left. “We did have staff on site on Thursday before Saturday’s events, and now less than a week later the water’s not flowing so we have to assume it’s a result of Saturday’s earthquakes or one of the many aftershocks since then,” said Gladstone. It’s not yet clear why or when the springs dried up, but geological experts will be investigating what may have happened in the days to come, Gladstone said. Some locals on Haida Gwaii say the hot springs have disappeared in the past after an earthquake, only to reappear a couple of years later. UBC seismologist Michael Bostock said that once the underlying plates start grinding again, stresses in the fault line are likely to build up in the same locations. “When the earthquake struck last weekend, openings along the fault line changed and the fracture that resulted in hot springs was likely closed.” He said he can’t be certain the hot springs will return, but “it seems like a good bet, given the way that things have behaved in the past.” It was the largest quake recorded in Canada in 60 years and struck just off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Dozens of aftershocks as strong as 6.3 have since rattled the region. –CBC
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4 Responses to Haida Gwaii hot springs shut off by 7.7 magnitude B.C. earthquake

  1. Very interesting. Will be interesting to see what happens next.

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  2. Leanne says:

    If that happened in a movie, there’d be sinister music playing and the blokes who checked out the dry springs would have an eerie feeling. Gives me one and I’m on the other side of the world.

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  3. Irene C says:

    Fascinating. I wonder if the hot springs will show up somewhere else.

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  4. thehotspringsguide says:

    There were reports in January 2013 that there is some hot water flowing nearby at the ocean’s edge. Unfortunately it is below the high tide mark so one would need to time their soaking carefully and rebuild the temporary pool each day.
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/hot-water-flowing-again-haida-gwaiis-hotspring-island-014547517.html

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