Multi-beam sonar detectors provide high-resolution scans of the ocean floor. (Wikimedia Commons)

Village leaders seek new maps for sea-level rise, tsunamis

Community leaders on Haida Gwaii’s all-islands emergency planning team want detailed ocean-floor maps to plan for tsunamis and sea-level rise.

Responding to a recent request for new and improved bathymetry, the Canadian Hydrographic Service said it is already committed to surveying large parts of Haida Gwaii waters, and will do its best to prioritize areas close to the villages.

The Otter Bay, a dedicated survey ship of the Canadian Coast Guard, already did several surveys near Sandspit this May and June.

Using multi-beam sonar, such surveys produce high-resolution scans of the ocean floor that planners can be combined with land-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) maps to model how water might move up the coast.

“The maps that we have right now are good for planning in terms of where our safe zones are in our communities, but we want to have a better understanding of what climate change is going to do to us in terms of storm surges and water levels rising,” says Lori Wiedeman, chief administrative officer for the Village of Queen Charlotte.

“And then there is always the potential for tsunamis, with the Cascadia fault and other fault lines that we sit really close to.”

Wiedeman said the request from the All-islands Emergency Planning Committee, which includes members of every village and other local government on Haida Gwaii, followed after the tsunamipole project — a project that will soon see local hydro poles painted to mark the villages’ tsunami safety zone, which is six metres above the highest high tide line.

The villages got high-resolution LIDAR maps for that project, and now they just need similarly detailed ocean-floor maps for a complete picture.

The result could change how Haida Gwaii villages plan protective berms, erosion controls, or zoning for areas where it may be unsafe to build.

Just Posted

New hospital recruits more junior volunteers

Ten students from GidGalang Kuuyas Naay are volunteering at the Haida Gwaii Hospital/Ngaaysdll Naay.

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Girls volleyball team scores a first for Masset

Play five times a week, mixing in three kick-butt coaches, one lucky… Continue reading

Cullen holds off on Skeena-Bulkley Valley name change

MP Nathan Cullen says Skeena-Bulkey Valley will keep its name, for now.… Continue reading

Tlellagraph: In the wake of the Supermoon, Tlellian fortunes are told

By Janet Rigg A super moon and king tides will send the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read