Mt. Garibaldi, SW British Columbia, Canada

Location: 49.83N, 123.00W
Elevation: 8254 feet (2678m)
Last Updated: November 2000

                                                                                  Photograph by C. Hickson

Garibaldi volcano, 80 km due north from Vancouver, B.C., comprises Mount Garibaldi (highest peak in the photograph above), Atwell Peak, and Dalton Dome. This Pleistocene volcanic centre is a part of a volcanic field that contains approximately thirteen vents in an area that measures 30 km long by 15 km wide. Much of this area is within Garibaldi Provincial Park. Garibaldi volcano’s eruptive history comprises of an initial period of volcanism (200 000 to 300 000 years ago) followed by a period of quiescence. Renewed activity in the last 50 000 years has rebuilt the edifice in a series of violent eruptions, similar in character to those that issued from Mount Pelee in 1902 and destroyed the town of St. Pierre on the island of Martinique. As valley glaciers were retreating, two lava flows erupted from Clinker Peak, immediately north of Garibaldi volcano. The northernmost, Rubble Creek flow was partly confined by a wall of ice, resulting in a lava flow over 800 feet thick. The steep, northern edge of the Rubble Creek flow has partly collapsed several times, the most recent being in 1855-56. Danger from future collapses prompted the abandonment of the village of Garibaldi. Shortly after the demise of glacial ice filling the valley, 10 700 to 9300 radiocarbon years ago, the most recent period of activity ended with the eruption the Ring Creek lava flow from Opal Cone, on Garibaldi’s southeastern flank.

                                     Landsat scene courtesy of M. Journeay, GSC Vancouver

The image above shows the Ring Creek lava flow coming from the south edge of Mount Garibaldi (light blue color is glacial ice on top and west of Mount Garibaldi), with well-defined lava flow margin levees. The dacitic Ring Creek flow, which is approximately 15 km long,  is unusually long for composition.

-summary by Ben Edwards, Grand Valley State University, MI

Sources of Information:

Green, N.L., Armstrong, R.L., Harakal, J.E., Souther, J.G.,and Read, P.B. 1988. Eruptive history and K-Ar
geochronology of the late Cenozoic Garibaldi volcanic belt. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 100, p. 563-579.

Green, N.L. 1981. Geology and petrology of Quaternary volcanic rocks, Garibaldi Lake area, southwestern
B.C. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., v. 92, p. 697-702 & 1359-1470.

Mathews, W.H.., 1990. Garibaldi, Canada. In Wood, C.A., & Kienle, J. (eds.)
Volcanoes of North America, Cambridge Univ. Press: Cambridge, p. 144-45.

Mathews, W.H., 1957: Petrology of quaternary volcanics of the Mount Garibaldi map-area,
southwestern British Columbia; American Journal of Science, v. 255, p. 400 – 415.

Mathews, W.H., 1952: Mount Garibaldi; a supraglacial Pleistocene volcano in southwestern British
Columbia; American Journal of Science, v. 250, p. 81 – 103.

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