Field Photo: Kitimat, BC

Location: Central coastal British Columbia, Canada
Access: Decommissioned forest service road; it’s crown land and you’re permitted, but it’s a strange hike to do for fun.
Geologic Setting: Kitimat Ranges of the Coast Mountains in the Western System of the Canadian Cordillera

Outcrop in the Kitimat Range, BC

Outcrop in the Kitimat Range, BC

The Coast Mountains are the geologic bits and pieces scraped onto the continent during subduction mixed with a significant chunk of volcanism from the Late Cretaceous as the Farallon plate melted (and ongoing volcanism now as the Pacific plate melts). This particular chunk is part of the Coast Plutonic Complex, a late Ordovician collection of diortic plutonic rocks cut with a metasedimentary belt of schist, quartzite, limestone, and conglomerates of granite clasts. Everything is heavily sheared from before the last glaciation (a mere 8,000 years ago this far north). The nearest identified fault traces are roughly 15 km away, and likewise haven’t moved since the last ice age. The cap of soil (buried in snow) is organics overlaying marine clays and sand & gravel glacial outwash.

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