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Canada’s British Columbia Earthquake Has A Surprising Victim – The Famed Hot Springs Of Haida Gwaii Have Gone

November 4, 2012

Canada’s Pacific coastal province of British Columbia is an incredibly beautiful place.  Crystal blue water, sky high trees, wonderful people and incredible beauty.  Home to the Haida people, it is known for its famed hot springs – Haida Gwaii – which have apparently gone dry, a casualty of the 7.7 major earthquake.

BEFORE: Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve geothermal pools as seen earlier this year

Parks Canada officials at Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site said all four of the popular geothermal pools are empty.

AFTER: The famed hot springs of Haida Gwaii have gone dry, apparently a casualty of last week’s major earthquake. Parks Canada officials report that all four of the popular geothermal pools are empty.

It’s not yet known whether the source of underground hot water has been permanently cut off or whether the loss is temporary.

Hot springs are normally found near fault lines, such as the Queen Charlotte Fault, the site of the 7.7-magnitude earthquake. The springs are created when groundwater, heated by geothermal energy beneath the earth’s surface, escapes to the surface through the cracks in the bedrock along a fault.

The earthquake could have caused one of a number of subterranean changes that would make the hot springs go dry. These include changing the groundwater level, completely closing of the cracks the water used to reach the surface, or causing a sudden surge in water that depleted the underground reservoir for a short time. It’s also possible the hot water was diverted elsewhere.

AFTER: Parks officials at Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site Reserve were saddened to confirm that each of the four geothermal pools had disappeared.

Experts don’t know if the pools are going to come back.

The 15-hectare island is only accessible by boat, and is the destination for various sightseeing and tour companies from across the region. Three of the four pools are open to visitors to use.

http://www.vancouversun.com/Earthquake+empties+famed+Haida+Gwaii+springs+with+video/7484352/story.html#ixzz2BDcWMv5h

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