05 november 2012

Canada's biggest quake, little damage but unusual side effects


(D.Kendrick/Parks Canada)
The hot springs in Gwaii Haanas National Park were a popular attraction for generations..

It was the biggest earthquake to hit Canada in 60 years. The quake in the Pacific last week was centred off the coast of Haidi Gwaii and registered 7.7 on the Richter scale. Fortunately there were no injuries and little damage.

However, a renowned natural feature , the heated pools on Hot Springs Island, were victims of the quake. A popular spot for locals and visitors alike, there are several pools in Gwaii Hannas National Park for bathers to relax in the naturally heated spring water. However following the quake, all the pools have run dry.

Ernie Gladstone, Park Superintendent stands on bare rock in what used to be a popular hot spring pool. (Parks Canada-CBC vid grab)

Another victim may be an endangered species of bat. The summer birthing ground for 40 Keen’s Myotis bats is at Hot Springs Islands in special areas heating by spring water under the island. The area is one of only two maternal colonies known in the entire range of these bats.
Scientists won’t know the effect this will have on the bats until next summer.

a long-eared Keen's myotis bat, an endangered species (Cori Lausen PhD/

BATSRUS- website with info on research and bat projects in Canada

(MM with files from CBC)


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