March 12th 2018 archive

Garibaldi Lake Task

Garibaldi Lake is a glacier fed lake near Squamish, British Columbia. Its beautiful turquoise waters are contained in the lake by a dam called The Barrier. The barrier was created by lava flow and is said to be unstable. It has already let water pass many times but only recent of 1856. AN eruption cause lava to flow but pooled when it came in contact with ice. The lava eventually created a ponded area. When the ice melted away the cooled lava flow formed a cliff. Water pooled behind the lava dam and created Garibaldi Lake. We were asked to find the estimated amount of water in Garibaldi Lake and what would happen if the barrier were to break.

Hike to turquoise waters of picturesque Garibaldi Lake near Whistler, BC, Canada. Very popular hike destination in British Columbia.

Estimate how much water the lake contains:

We can use the average depth and surface area to find the amount of water in the lake. First multiply the average depth (119m) with the SA (9.94km3) which gives us 1,182,860m3. Now we have to convert the metres cubed to litres because we are dealing with liquid mass. Take 1,182,860m3 and multiply by 1,000L which equals 1,182,860,000L, this is the estimated amount of water the lake holds.

What would happen if the barrier faulted?:

If the dam were to collapse the water would rush out into Rubble Creek and flood the valley below. It would cause damage to natural habitats and would affect many species. They would have to find a new home and adapt to new situations. It could also wipe out trees and flood nearby creeks as well as the Sea to Sky highway. However, most of the water would not flow out because there are uneven surfaces and the bottom of the lake. I think about 1/4 of the lake’s water would be kept inside any deep hallowed areas. A cubic meter of water at 4 degrees Celsius weighs 1,000kg. The temperature of the water is important because the density varies based on temperature. The water in Garibaldi Lake is about 2 degrees Celsius making a cubic meter of water 0.999944g.


Garibaldi Lake: Everything tourists (and you) need to know before you go

Garibaldi Lake Hike near Whistler

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