Volcanic belt

Anahim Volcanic Belt

The Anahim Volcanic Belt is a 600-kilometre-long volcanic belt, stretching from just north of Vancouver Island to near Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. The Anahim Volcanic Belt has had three main magmatic episodes: 15–13 Ma, 9–6 Ma, and 3–1 Ma. The volcanoes generally become younger eastward at a rate of to a year. The Nazko Cone, which last erupted only 7,200 years ago, is the youngest Anahim volano. These volcanoes are thought to have formed as a result of the North American Plate sliding westward over a long-lived center of upwelling magma called the Anahim hotspot. The hotspot is thought to be similar to the one feeding the Hawaiian Islands.

Future volcanism is most likely in the form of basaltic cinder cones, but eruptions of less mafic magma, typical of the eastern portions of the belt, cannot be ruled out. A series of earthquakes began October 9th, 2007 in the vicinity of Nazko Cone which could signal the resumption of intense subterraenean volcanic acivity in the area.

The volcanic belt is defined by 37 Quaternary basalt centers and three large shield volcanoes called the Rainbow Range, Ilgachuz Range and the Itcha Range. These three large volcanoes have built up dome-like piles of lava and fragmental rocks to a height of at Tsitsutl Peak in the Rainbow Range, at Far Mountain in the Ilgachuz Range, and at Mount Downton in the Itcha Range. The Rainbow Range is a low dome-like cone about diameter, with Anahim Peak an obsidian plug on its north-east flank. The Ilgachuz Range is or more in diameter, and the Itcha Range is wide and about long. All have been dissected by late Tertiary, pre-Pleistocene stream erosion.

Major volcanoes of the Anahim Volcanic Belt include:

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