New hope for Hotspring Island

Parks Canada scientists say they have found heated water seeps and thermal activity on Hotspring Island.  - Photo courtesy of Parks Canada
Parks Canada scientists say they have found heated water seeps and thermal activity on Hotspring Island.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

There is new hope that Hotspring Island on Haida Gwaii will return to its former state after the pools dried up following last October's earthquake.

Three Parks Canada scientists traveled to the site on Jan. 16 to check heat-detecting devices that were installed after the water stopped flowing, and observed hot water seeps measuring up to 60 degrees celcius above the surface near two of the pools, though they were below the high tide line. While the water is not flowing, thermal activity has been found throughout the island with the highest ground temperature measuring in at 21 degrees celcius.

Hotspring Island is a special place for the Haida and all visitors to Gwaii Haanas. This is a promising development but the mystery of what will happen to the hot pools continues,” said Ernie Gladstone, Gwaii Haanas Field Unit Superintendent.

We can’t confirm if this means the hot springs will be back to normal in the future. Parks Canada will continue to observe the situation throughout the coming months, and we are hopeful that this is just the beginning.”

Hot Spring Island is near the epicentre of the magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck Haida Gwaii on Oct. 27, and one of the aftershocks measuring over magnitude 4.0 took place less than a kilometre from the site. The drying up of the pools was discovered on Oct. 31 as crews surveyed the impact of the quake.

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