Posted on December 14, 2012 by magmatist
The Christmas Girls had just finished decorating all the sign posts as I pulled into the parking lot. Very festive! Click to enlarge.
I’ve written up a geology guide to the popular Fragrance Lake trail. You’ll find it here. Even if the hike is mostly in glacial till, there are interesting stones in it, and the Chuckanut cliffs are always worth a peak. I do some armwaving about the origin of the big cliffs above the lake, too.
Filed under: Bellingham area, Chuckanut Formation, geologic structure, geology, Geology concepts, Geology field trips, glacial geology, North Cascades geology, sedimentary rocks, strike and dip | Tagged: Bellingham area things to do, Chuckanut Formation, Chuckanut Mountains, cobbles and pebbles, Fragrance Lake, geologic structure, Geology field trips, glacial till, hiking trails, Larrabee State Park, North Cascades geology, Pleistocene deposits, plunging syncline, strike and dip, Washington Geology | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 31, 2012 by magmatist
Doug McKeever at the rusted ore cart and the infamous ‘gold vault’ from perhaps the biggest mining scam in the region. Photo courtesy Eric Rolfs.
Hey, take me straight to the field trip!
No, I haven’t finished my book. Time away from the keyboard is important, so what do I do? Go for a hike up Sumas Mountain, come home and write about the geology! I have had this field trip in my head for a while, and needed to share it. I did the hike back in early April with Doug McKeever and Eric Rolfs, but didn’t have my camera, so returned with Scott Linneman May 28. Click here to read the story of an audacious early 19th Century mining scam, and to learn about the geology on this short hike. You’ll also find a rare bonus- an exposure of the basal contact of the Chuckanut Formation, where it overlies the serpentinized ultramafite of Sumas Mountain.
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, geologic structure, Geology field trips, mining, North Cascades geology, sedimentary rocks, strike and dip | Tagged: Chuckanut Formation, Geology field trips, Huntingdon Formation, Mining geology, northwest geology, Pleistocene deposits, Sumas Mountain, Ultramafic rocks, Unconformity | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 23, 2011 by magmatist
Looking south from Raptor Ridge. Two unrelated types of eroded grooves cut deeply into the soft sandstone. Click to enlarge.
I’m thankful to the forces of nature that present us with such a wealth of fine places to see geology and the scenery that goes with it. In that spirit, I wrote a guide to geology on the hike to Raptor Ridge in the Chuckanut Mountains, south of Bellingham. There are some rock cliffs, two different styles of eroded grooves eroded in the rock, two erratics, a water fall, and pervasively weathered Chuckanut sandstone. All this is capped with a fine view at the top. Click here to read the guide. It is a nice winter hike, unless there is too much snow. But then, it becomes a really great cross-country ski trip! Just the thing, either way to work off some Thanksgiving over eating. See you on the trail!
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, geologic structure, geology, glacial erratics, glacial geology, sedimentary rocks, strike and dip | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 31, 2011 by magmatist
Adena Mooers points to the sharp facies change from sandstone to conglomerate at Teddy Bear Cove. Click to enlarge any image.
Teddy Bear Cove has shoreline exposures of west-dipping Chuckanut Formation conglomerate, and a couple of nice swimming beaches. It is a Whatcom County Park on Chuckanut Bay reached by a short trail from Chuckanut Drive.
Click here to go to the full page.
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, geologic structure, geology, sedimentary rocks, strike and dip | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 23, 2011 by magmatist
Concretions in Scow Bay sandstone at Nodule Point. B. Mooers photo.
For whatever reason, the webpage describing the geology at Nodule Point on Marrowstone Island (south of Port Townsend) has received a lot of visits lately. I decided to see what I’d written back in the fall of 2010. I found that somehow I had deleted the photographs. I have replaced those with the originals from Dan McShane, or new ones provided by Bob and Adena Mooers, who field-checked the original trip. The trip describes latest glacial deposits, cannonball-like concretions, and best of all for this volcanophile, a basalt dike intruding the sandstone bedrock.
Visit the webpage here.
A dike cuts sandstone at Nodule Point. B. Mooers photo.
Filed under: Geology field trips, Glacial stratigraphy, igneous rocks, Olympic Peninsula geology, sedimentary rocks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 20, 2011 by magmatist
The trail through the clearcut leaves the road about 100 yards from where the road is now blocked off.
Since completion of logging adjacent to the Racehorse Creek fossil fields (Chuckanut Formation), the road has been blocked off about 100 yards below the trail- a tad less driving, a tad more walking. There are big berms built across the access road, but you can walk around them on the right, through the bushes. See the updated webpage here. I’ve highlighted changes in red. The big Doug fir at the end of the trail has died a slow death, smothered in the 2009 landslide debris, but it still makes for a good landmark to find the trail back out. The landslide is rapidly getting overgrown with fireweed and the like, but there are still plenty of fossils to be found. Today, I met a group of students from Harvard University geology department there, on their summer field course. All the way from Harvard to see our fossils. Imagine that. They found the place by stumbling across this website on the internet. Ain’t that somethin’?
If you go, consider taking some garden pruners to help keep the trail open. I brushed the trail today, but it can always use a little help.
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, fossils, geology, landslides, sedimentary rocks | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 2, 2011 by magmatist
Ribbed microtopography at West Beach. Looking south toward Village Point.
Take advantage of the fine weather and ride your bike across Lummi Island to beautiful West Beach facing Rosario Strait. There you’ll find a lovely cobble beach and fine examples of alternating sandstone and conglomerate beds in steeping dipping rocks of the Chuckanut Formation.
Take your swimsuit- or don’t!
Go to the West Beach page.
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, geologic structure, Geology field trips, sedimentary rocks, strike and dip | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 21, 2011 by magmatist
At long last, I’ve added a new field trip. This one investigates an angular unconformity, a disconformity, and turbidite layers at Beach 4, just north of Kalaloch in Olympic National Park. You’ll find the full story here.
This field trip is an excerpt from the book I’m writing, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington, to be published by Mountain Press.
And not one single mention of ‘erratics’ in this field trip!
Many new people have subscribed to this blog; my apologies tp you that it has taken me so long to get some new material written. I’ve been focusing writing and remodeling my home office.
Now, back to the grindstone!
Take me to the field trip!
Filed under: books, Geology field trips, Glacial stratigraphy, Olympic Peninsula geology, sedimentary rocks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 26, 2011 by magmatist
Occasionally, Dan McShane’s Reading the Washington Landscape blog (link at right) and this one overlap in subjects. Dan has just posted a nice description of Ellensburg Formation ash, lahars and other sediments in roadcuts near Ellensburg. These sedimentary units were deposited in the intervals between the great Columbia River basalt lava flows.
His post is here, with wonderful photos of the really interesting outcrops. Oh, that clear blue sky! It looks warm over there!
Receiving this by email? Click the title to go to the post.
Filed under: geology, Geology field trips, sedimentary rocks, volcanic deposits | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 24, 2011 by magmatist
The location of the newly published hiking guide to Squires Lake and Alger Alp geology is here within this website.
Filed under: Chuckanut Formation, Geology field trips, sedimentary rocks | Leave a Comment »