Hot water flowing into pools
Hot water is again flowing into the pools on Hotspring Island © Parks Canada
Gwaii Haanas staff have confirmed that hot water is flowing into the pools on Hotspring Island.
Parks Canada scientists will return to the island at the end of this month to collect data related to temperature and flow.
Water flow and thermal activity on Hotspring Island stopped after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck in late October 2012.
Thermal activity has gradually increased since January 2014 with hot water seeping from various locations on the island.
Parks Canada expects the hot springs to continue to recover over time, but has no way of knowing if they will return to historical levels or temperatures, or even surpass them.
The Haida language name of the island, Gandll K’in, means “hot water”. There were at least 26 hot springs and seeps on the island prior to the earthquake in 2012.
These springs produced water at temperatures ranging from 32 to 77 degrees Celsius. The area of the hot springs is located close to a major fault system with a warm reservoir several kilometers deep.
The site has been culturally important to the Haida people for many generations thanks to its warm waters, unique ecology and abundance of seafood.
Thermal activity on the rise at Hotspring Island
Thermal activity is on the rise at Hotspring Island © Parks Canada
Gwaii Haanas staff continue to find increased water flow, higher temperatures and more thermal activity at higher elevations at Gandll K’in Gwaay.yaay (Hotspring Island).
Thermal activity and water flow on the island stopped after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rattled the west coast of Moresby Island in late October 2012. In early 2013, Parks Canada scientists using heat detecting devices that had been installed post-earthquake discovered some good news. Hot water seeps were observed above-ground, but below the high tide line near two of the hot pools, and thermal activity was detected in all areas of the island where it had previously occurred.
Over the last two years, further observations have been made and staff are hopeful that the system will return to its former state, so that visitors and Haida Gwaii Watchmen will be able to enjoy the hot pools again.
Haida Gwaii Watchmen are stationed at Hotspring Island from mid-June to the end of August and hope visitors will continue to stop by to check the status of the hot springs.
"Parks Canada will continue to observe the situation throughout the coming months. We are hopeful," says Field Unit superintendent Ernie Gladstone. "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."