Mt. Edziza, NW British Columbia, Canada

Location: 57.72 N, 130.63 W
Elevation: 10781 feet (2786m)
Last Updated: November 2000

                                                                                    Photograph by B. Edwards

The Mountain Edziza  complex, as seen above from the Cassiar-Stewart Hwy, is a large volcanic plateau that has been an area of active volcanism for the last 7-10 million years (Souther, 1992).  This is the second largest area of volcanic activity in the northern Cordilleran volcanic province (Edwards & Russell 2000) as well as in Canada. The complex comprises a large plateau (65 km long and < 20 km wide) made of predominantly basaltic lava flows, with four large stratovolcanoes built on top of the plateau. Numerous eruptions have occurred within the last 10 000 years (Holocene) including: Desolation (150 km2), Mess Lake and Snowshoe lava fields; Kana cone; Eve cone; Cinder cliff; Icefall cone; Ridge cone; and Walkout Creek. Dr. J. Souther of the Geological Survey of Canada spent several years studying this area of volcanic activity and published an exhaustive bulletin on his work in 1992 (see Sources of Information below). Many of the volcanic features in the volcanic complex are protected as part of  Mount Edziza Provincal Park, one of the larger provincial parks in British Columbia.

                                                                                  Photograph by C. Hickson

Mount Edziza, the ice covered peak in the center of the photograph, is one of the main volcanic vents of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex, located in northwestern British Columbia.

                                                                                   Photograph by C. Hickson

Many of the young lava flows and cinder cones, such as Eve cone shown above, are covered by light yellow pumice (Sheep Track member) from a close by but unkown volcanic vent. Age constraints on Holocene eruptions include dates of 1340 years BP for Williams cone, between 1 000 and 10 000 years for Sheep Track pumice, and ~8500 years BP for lavas flows of the Big Raven Formation, west of Edziza (Souther, 1992).

-summary by Ben Edwards and Andy McCarthy, Grand Valley State University

Sources of Information:

Edwards, B.R. & Russell, J.K. 2000. The distribution, nature and origin of Neogene-Quaternary magmatism
in the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province, northern Canadian Cordillera.
Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 112, no. 8, 1280-1295.

Souther, J.G., 1992. The Late Cenozoic Mount Edziza Volcanic Complex, British Columbia.
Geological Survey of Canada Memoir 420, 319 p.

Souther, J.G., 1990. Edziza, Canada. In Wood, C.A., & Kienle, J. (eds.). Volcanoes of North
America, Cambridge Univ. Press: Cambridge, p. 124-26.

Souther, J.G. & Hickson, C.J. 1984. Crystal fractionation of the basalt comendite series of the Mount Edziza volcanic complex, British Columbia: major and trace elements. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 21, 79-106.

Souther, J.G., Armstrong, R.L., & Harakal, J. 1984. Chronology of the peralkaline, late Cenozoic
Mount Edziza volcanic complex. Geol. Soc. America Bull., V. 95, p. 337-349.

Images of VolcanoesTo VolcanoWorld