The Old Man
2017-07-12 10:31:37 UTC
Lake Ontario (of the Great Lakes for non-Western Hemisphere folks) has been having problems with flooding of its banks this year. In addition, there have been minor (and deep) earthquakes for a while. Some time ago, I saw on a Nature Channel show about the Great Lakes that both Lakes Ontario and Superior are believed to be part of a Rift Valley, although parts of the same one weren't clear - for this posit, let's assume that they are. This Rift Valley continues up the St. Lawrence Channel to the east and appears to connect to the Mississippi River area (think New Madrid area) and very nearly almost separated the two sides a long time ago, about two hundred million years ago. At that time, it might have made life unpleasant for a few reptiles and fish, but now?
So here it is, on May 14th, 1999 a large earthquake occurs under Lake Ontario, causing the fault line to separate a few feet and the basin to drop about one hundred feet. While this isn't much, aftershocks continue along the St. Lawrence Valley and west towards the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Damage to Toronto is immense with many casualties, as well as other cities bordering the lake (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester and Watertown, all in New York State).
The St. Lawrence Seaway is unusable, if not destroyed, as are most bridges in the region (Thousand Islands and other bridges over the St. Lawrence)
Over the next few years, the plates keep separating, a few inches to a few feet at a time, until a channel forms between Lakes Huron and Ontario. When this happens, a flood occurs as Lake Huron is 331 feet higher than Lake Ontario. This causes a huge amount of erosion and diverts all water away from entering Lake Erie. No water in Lake Erie means that Niagara Falls becomes Niagara Cliff and the power generation of both sides of the channel stop.
As the flood between Huron and Ontario deepens the channel and relieves pressure to the fault line (probably the wrong words), the separation increases more quickly and continues to Lake Superior (600 feet above sea level), pouring more water into the rift valley.
My question is this, what happens next? The major economic hub of eastern Canada is gone, as well as commerce and manufacturing. Do the French-Canadians (also damaged by devastation to Montreal and Quebec City) opt to try it on their own? Does western Canada try to consolidate to themselves? Without the two major power generation stations, what happens to America?
So many questions, so little time.