Insular Mountains

Insular Mountains

Geobox | Range
name=Insular Mountains

image_caption=Golden Hinde, south aspect, August 2006.
region=British Columbia
parent=Pacific Cordillera
highest=Golden Hinde


The Insular Mountains are a mountain range on the coast of British Columbia, Canada, comprising the Vancouver Island Ranges and Queen Charlotte Mountains. The present day Insular Mountains are rugged, particularly on Vancouver Island where peaks in Strathcona Provincial Park rise to elevations of more than Unit m|2000|0. The highest of these mountains is Golden Hinde.

Although the Coast Mountains are commonly considered the westernmost range of the Pacific Cordillera, the Insular Mountains are the true westernmost range. [ [ Coast Mountains] in the Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2007-10-08]

Geological history

This Insular Mountains are not yet fully emerged above sea level, and Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands are just the higher elevations of the range, which was in fact fully exposed during the last ice age when the continental shelf in this area was a broad coastal plain.

The Insular Mountains formed when a chain of active volcanic islands known as the Insular Islands, collided against the North American continent during the Mid-Cretaceous time. The type of rocks that form the Insular Mountains are turbidites and pillow lavas. Granitic plutons are relatively uncommon in the Insular Mountains, unlike the Coast Mountains. The mountain range has an area of 133,879 km² and much seismic activity, with the Pacific Plate and the Juan de Fuca Plate being subducted into the earth's mantle. Large earthquakes have led to collapsing mountains, landslides, and the development of fissures.

Though the most recent ice age about 18,000 years ago, ice enclosed nearly all of the mountains. Glaciers that ran down to the Pacific Ocean sharpened the valley faces and eroded their bottoms. These valleys turned out to be fjords when the ice thawed out and the sea level increased. Remnants of ice, such as the Comox Glacier still exist today.


Queen Charlotte Islands

*Queen Charlotte Mountains: On the Queen Charlotte Islands.
#Cameron Range: On the western side of Graham Island.
#Crease Range: On north-central Graham Island.
#McKay Range: On the south coast of Graham Island.
#San Christoval Range: On the western side of Moresby Island.

Vancouver Island

*Vancouver Island Ranges: On Vancouver Island.
#Refugium Range: On the Brooks Peninsula.
#Sophia Range: On Nootka Island, on the peninsula between Esperanza Inlet and Nuchatlitz Inlet.
#Genevieve Range: Nootka Island.
#Karmutzen Range: Between Nimpkish Lake, Tlakwa Creek and Karmuzten Creek.
#Hankin Range: Between Nimpkish Lake and Bonanza Lake.
#Franklin Range: Near Robson Bight on the Johnstone Strait between the Tsitika River and Kokish River.
#Bonanza Range: Between the Nimpkish River and the Tsitika River by Bonanza Lake.
#Sutton Range: Between Nimpkish River, White River, Oktwanch River, Gold River.
#Newcastle Range: Johnstone Strait, west of Sayward-Kelsey Bay and east/north of Adams River
#Prince of Wales Range: East coast of Vancouver Island 40 km north of Campbell River.
#Halifax Range: Along Johnstone Strait between Amor de Cosmos Creek and Pye Creek.
#Beaufort Range: North of Port Alberni and west of Qualicum Beach.
#Pelham Range: Between the Sarita River and Alberni Inlet.
#Somerset Range: Between The Pacheena-Sarita River basins and the Klanawa River (between Nitinat Lake and Imperial Eagle channel)
#Seymour Range: Between the valley of Cowichan Lake, San Juan River and Gordon River.
#Gowlland Range: Near Victoria between Saanich Inlet and Brentwood Bay. Includes Mount Work Regional Park.
#Pierce Range: South of Gold River between the Jacklah River and the Burman River.
#Haihte Range: Between Tashsis River, the Nomash River, Zeballos Lake and Woss Lake.

The Elk River Mountains, located in Strathcona Provincial Park, are considered a range by some sources. [Philips]

ee also

*Volcanism in Canada
*Geology of the Pacific Northwest


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