Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mount Meager

Formerly known as Cathedral Mountain, Mount Meager is an eight-vent volcano which is situated about 93 miles north of the city of Vancouver and 40 miles northwest of Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada. It is a potentially active and the most unstable volcanic massif in Canada. The most recent eruption of Mount Meager occurred about 2,400 years ago from a vent on the northeast side of Plinth Peak. This eruption produced a plume of ash, pyroclastic flows, and a short lava flow. This volcano complex consisting of eight vents dates back to the Pliocene Epoch. Mount Meager was named after J.B. Meager, who owned timber licenses on Meager Creek.

The Mount Meager and the surrounding area are part of Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains and Garibaldi Volcanic Belt which is a northern extension of the Cascade Volcanic Arc in the United States. Mount Meager is said to be the most promising site for geothermal power development in British Columbia, and the east flank of the volcano is staked out by BC Hydro for test drilling purposes. Plans surface now and then for a "boutique" hotel and ski resort based around the two clusters of hot springs.

The volcano lies above the west flank of the Lillooet River and just south of the Lillooet Icecap. With at least eight vents, Mount Meager is generally considered the northernmost major volcanic center of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and Garibaldi Volcanic Belt. However, a few isolated volcanic centers northwest of Mount Meager, such as Mount Silverthrone, which is a circular 12-mile wide, deeply dissected caldera complex, may also be the product of Cascadia subduction, but geologic investigations have been very limited in this region.