A Chain of Islands

Our rocks here aren’t like other rocks. For one thing, like the rocks of most of British Columbia west of the Albertan mountains, it is light, volcanic rock that erupted to form islands in the Pacific Ocean and drifted eastward to collide with North America. The Okanagan chunk, which runs North into the Yukon and south into Washington, is called Quesnelia, after the northern B.C. city of the same name. The collision was pretty violent. Sometimes it looks like this:

Volcanic Glass in ash.Volcanic Glass Eroding from Volcanic Deposits

Northern Limit of the Okanagan. North of here, the collision broke the islands of Quesnelia into splintered fragments scattered along the edges of the Omineca Belt to the East.

Just feet away, trapped in the cooling lava it rose through as gas, it looks like this:

Teardrops of green volcanic glass in basalt.Mineralized Teardrops of Glass Embedded in Basalt

Imagine how much of this stuff was kicking around before the glaciers ground it away.

Meanwhile, the Klinker Deposit, a deposit of precious opal on the outskirts of Vernon, and in the same ancient basin as the above deposits, continues to show promise, as do other new opal finds on the west side of Okanagan Lake.

What’s not to love about this soil?

Categories: Industry, Land

1 reply »

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