New Eddystone Rock, Behm Canal

New Eddystone Rock, Behm Canal

by | Dec 15, 2018

The New Eddystone Rock is a pillar of basalt, 237 feet (72 m) high, in Behm Canal, about 87 miles (140 km) north-northwest of Prince Rupert and 32 miles (52 km) northeast of Ketchikan, Alaska. It was named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver because of its resemblance to the Eddystone Lighthouse off Plymouth on England’s south coast. Vancouver was visited here by natives who tried to entice the British to join them at their village. However, since they had been attacked by natives the day before, Vancouver declined the offer.

The basalt came from fractures in the floor of Behm Canal in the last 5 million years. The texture of the basalt indicates that the pillar was part of a volcanic vent where magma rose repeatedly to the surface of the earth. These basalt flows cooled from both the top and the bottom forming the hexagonal columns which are visible on several of the surrounding islands. This basalt resisted the erosion of glaciers that scoured the Behm Canal. The tree-covered tower now stands at the entrance to Misty Fjords National Monument.

Behm Canal is a fjord, about 108 miles (174 km) long, separating Revillagigedo Island from the mainland. From Clarence Strait, Behm Canal extends north and northeast, through the Behm Narrows and across the mouth of the Unuk River, then south to Revillagigedo Channel. Behm Canal was named after Magnus von Behm, who was the governor of Kamchatka in 1779 when Captain James Cook’s ships arrived at Petropavlovsk with the news of Cook’s death. It was Behm who carried the news to Europe. Read more here and here. Explore more of the New Eddystone Rock and Behm Canal here:

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