James Spit, Cordova Channel

James Spit, Cordova Channel

by | Aug 19, 2023

James Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands lying in Haro Strait, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) off the coast of Vancouver Island, and 12 miles (19 km) north of Victoria, British Columbia. The island was named in 1858 by Captain George Henry Richards on the HMS Plumper, for James Douglas who was a Canadian fur trader and politician and the first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia.

James Island lies within the coastal Douglas fir climate subzone characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The native vegetation has been exposed to considerable disturbance from the clearing for development, logging, and grazing by fallow deer. The fallow deer on James Island derive from an introduction in 1907 of about 50 animals from the Chatsworth Estate in England. Since that time, the population has undergone eruptions and crashes, particularly in relation to severe winters, but the island still has a deer population density of about 1 per acre (4 per ha).

James Spit is a depositional recurved feature in Cordova Channel, a side-channel among a series of narrow passages that link Juan de Fuca Strait to the Strait of Georgia. There is a substantial estuarine circulation in this area due to the runoff from several rivers, of which the Fraser River is the largest. The tidal flow is strong in this channel and the vertical and horizontal mixing that it generates influences sediment erosion and transport, and the development of depositional landforms such as James Spit. Read more here and here. Explore more of James Spit here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2022 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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