Fraser River changed direction in prehistory

A new geological study completed by researchers with the Geological Survey of Canada, UBC, and SFU suggests that the Fraser River ran north millions of years ago. During the Pleistoscene Period, before the creation of the Fraser Canyon, the Fraser River likely drained north through the Rocky Mountain Trench to the Peace River and the Arctic Ocean.

Graham Andrews, the study’s lead author and a visiting fellow with the Geological Survey of Canada, said in an interview Monday that key evidence is found at the site of two volcanic dams — one dated to 1.06 million years, the other to 2.84 million years — near Dog Creek southwest of Williams Lake.

The dams, part of the Chilcotin volcanic belt, would not have existed for long but remain significant because they allowed deltas to form lakes on their south sides — proof that the water flowed northward and probably spilled over the top, much like a gigantic beaver dam. … [read full article]

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