A volcanologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Williams-Jones, reports alarming landslide or lahar signs following a possible collapse of a glacier over Mount Meager.
Mount Meager is one of the last erupting volcanoes on Canada's soil. The summit of this complex, belonging to the Garibaldi volcanic field, consists of overlapping andesitic lava flows and young dacitic flows and domes; the most recent activity dates back to 410 +/- 200 years BC, and produced a huge eruption of VEI 5 associated with a flow of ash and blocks from a vent located on the northeast flank of Plinth peak.
Discovered two years ago, holes formed in the glacier, and fumaroles of a mixture of steam and toxic gases, H2S and CO2, emanate from it.
According to the team of volcanologists, "this great mountain is rotten ... gas and acidic fluids crossed the rock and made it brittle". The current study focuses not only on fumaroles, but also on the speed of retreat of the glacier and the risk of landslides, likely to trigger an eruption.
The risk of eruption is not immediate, but potential landslides threaten the Pemberton Valley and these 5,300 inhabitants.
The discovery of an ice cave highlights the growing instability of the volcano, worsening due to global warming, and the need for continuous monitoring and alarm systems. A call for funds has been made to the public since the federal government has not provided funding to date. It should be remembered that in 2010, nearly 50 million cubic meters of rock became detached and traveled 13 kilometers, destroying roads and bridges in passing.
The next alert may be more important.
- Over the volcano - Warning signs emerge from the shrinking atop glacier B.C.'s Mount Meager - link
- Global Volcanism Program - Meager
- Georisk - Hazard and risk from large landslides from Mount Meager volcano, British Columbia, Canada - link