Hot Pot (PNT) Natural Area

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.

Screen capture from the SAPAA-Google Map of the Hot Pot Natural Area.
Screen capture from the SAPAA-Google Map of the Hot Pot Natural Area.

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 Statistics

Site NameHot Pot (PNT)
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeProtective 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 Area64.43 ha. (159.21 ac.)
Recreation Activities
Operated By
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Hot Pot (PNT)

Further Information

“...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” [1].


The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website. Primary source of information is the Government of Alberta.

  1. Mussieux, Ron and Marilyn Nelson. 1998. A Traveller’s Guide to Geological Wonders in Alberta. Edmonton, The Provincial Museum of Alberta, p.39.

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