This NA, one quarter-section in size, is located 80 km north of High Level, about 200 km west of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary.
Map of the Area
Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.
|Site Name||Hot Pot (PNT)|
|Site Type||Natural Area|
|Subtype||Protective Notation (PNT)|
|Natural Region(s)||Northern Mixedwood|
|O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)||N/A|
|PASite ID (Map Ref #)||547|
|Site # (Parks Website)||N/A|
|Total Area||64.43 ha. (159.21 ac.)|
|Notes and Comments|
“...natural gas escaping from the earth’s surface burns as a strange circular flare in the middle of the forest…
Aboriginal Elders in the area talk of the “Hot Pot” as if it has existed forever. Their word for it is “kudadekune” which translates to English as “burning fire.” The fire burns all year long unless there is an exceptionally large snowfall; however, it is not long before it is relit by Aboriginal People. The flames shoot three to seven metres high and a barren flare pit encircles the fire. When it is not burning, the escaping gas causes the mud in the pit to bubble and churn.
What causes this odd fire? … One theory is that decaying subsurface organic matter is producing methane gas which escapes to the surface. The other, and more likely theory, is that this is a natural gas seep and because of the large amount of gas escaping, it is probably coming from a natural gas reservoir. The local bedrock is Cretaceous shale, normally an impermeable caprock in gas fields, but here it is highly fractured. Likely, the gas seeps into these fractures and makes its way up to the surface where it burns to create the Hot Pot. The Hot Pot is also located near the subsurface extension of the Great Slave Lake Fault. Could this ancient fault be involved in providing a route for the natural gas to escape? At this time, the answer is not known” .
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- Mussieux, Ron and Marilyn Nelson. 1998. A Traveller’s Guide to Geological Wonders in Alberta. Edmonton, The Provincial Museum of Alberta, p.39.