Update: Geology Underfoot in Western Washington

Today I received the editor’s revisions to my manuscript, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington. James Lainsbury of Mountain Press Publishing did a fabulous job of condensing my pompous verbiage. I am now on page 22 of the revisions, accepting (or not) his edits. Only 436 pages to go!

The book could be out in the spring if I’m able to get all the way through the edits before December 1. However, I do have a life outside the book, so it may take me longer to rewrite and wouldn’t be out ’til the Fall instead. Just in time for you all to buy lots of copies for holiday gifts.

I’ll keep you updated.

Dave

Racehorse Landslide Fossil Fields- access update

Friends,

I received a reliable report from Saturday, August 9, 2014 from my friends Bob and Adena on conditions at the Racehorse Creek landslide fossil fields.

Here is the report, which I’ll add to the webpage for the fossil fields ( http://nwgeology.wordpress.com/the-fieldtrips/the-chuckanut-formation/the-racehorse-landslide-fossil-fields/).

It is still possible to find leaf fossils among the brush. These were found in August, 2014.

It is still possible to find leaf fossils among the brush. These were found in August, 2014.

“The place is hardly recognizable. No changes to the trail in from the road (we did some clipping but little was needed) BUT…the smaller slide by the big dead fir tree (DT note- Bob is referring to the fossil fields I describe on the webpage above) is so grown up to six-to-ten foot alders that the only way you know you have reached the end of the trail is when you feel the slope start to steepen. Worse, there’s a tangle of underbrush under the alders, and both brush and leaf duff make it tough to find fossils anywhere except right on the few paths that lead upward through the landslide to the ridge crest; i.e., you easily find only what everyone has already looked over. About 40 vertical feet below the ridge and on up, DNR has cut a lot of alders but not all. There were no alders growing on the main slide debris (beyond the ridge crest).”

So, seems like the trip is no more difficult, but fossil seekers must persevere and be willing to scuff around in the bushes. Visitors are requested to report any new developments.

Guided geology field trip to Park Butte, Mount Baker

magmatist:

This guided geology field trip was posted yesterday on teh Mount Baker Volcano Research Center website. The trip is already nearly half full, so don’t delay!

Originally posted on Mount Baker Volcano Research Center subscription website:

Baker and the Black Buttes from the meadows below Park Butte.

Baker and the Black Buttes from the meadows below Park Butte.

MBVRC is offering a guided geology hike to Park Butte, near the south flank of Mount Baker. Registration information is below. The trip is oriented toward the general public with an interest in geology, but no previous geologic background is necessary.

Wednesday, August 20, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

The 7-to-8 mile round trip hike offers great views of Mount Baker’s glacier-clad south slope, the glacially-gutted Black Buttes volcano, and  the Twin Sisters range. We will see deposits left by glacier outburst floods, a Mount Baker lahar, the early Holocene Sulphur Creek lava, a rare type of lava for the Baker volcanic center (olivine basalt at Cathedral Crag), several volcanic ash layers, Pleistocene lake deposits, and some of the oldest rock known in the North Cascades (Yellow Aster gneiss in the Bell Pass Melange).  At Tarn Plateau we…

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Guided geology field trip to Schreibers Meadow cinder cone

magmatist:

The NCI field trip to Schreibers Meadow cinder cone is booked up.

MBVRC WILL OFFER A VERSION OF THIS TRIP LATER IN THE SUMMER. PLEASE STAY TUNED to the MBVRC blog: mbvrc.wordpress.com.

Dave Tucker

Originally posted on Mount Baker Volcano Research Center subscription website:

The bushwack up to the cinder cone rim. Click to enlarge.

The bushwack up to the cinder cone rim. Click to enlarge.

North Cascades Institute is offering a guided geology field trip to the 9500-year-old Schreibers Meadow cinder cone on the south flank of Mount Baker. The trip will be led by MBVRC’s Dave Tucker. The date is July 6th, and costs $95. Register at the NCI website:

http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/volcanoes-legacy-in-cinder-cones-and-crater-lakes

The Schreibers cone is the only one in the Mount Baker volcanic field. It is located in old growth forest at 3500 feet elevation in Schreibers Meadow, just 1/2 mile from the end of the road. The trip will walk a short distance along the Park Butte/Railroad Grade trail, then veer off cross country (huckleberry meadow and some ponds) before the final 130′ climb up a steep forested slope to the crater rim. We’ll walk down to the soggy shores of the two crater lakes, and up to the opposite rim. After…

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Geology of the Rock Trail, Larrabee State Park

Tafoni Wall, striped by tree shadows, is a highlight of the Rock Trail.

Tafoni Wall, striped by tree shadows, is a highlight of the Rock Trail.

I have posted a geology guide to Larrabee State Park’s new Rock Trail. Read the full guide here on the Northwest Geology Field Trips website. The out-and-back hike is just short of 2 miles, and the cliff exposures are perhaps the best in the Chuckanuts. The trail, built by prodigious efforts of over 100 volunteers, was profiled in the Bellingham Herald in February.

 

Red line marks the new Rock Trail. Contour interval is 20'. Note scale in lower left.

Red line marks the new Rock Trail. Contour interval is 20′. Note scale in lower left.

Calling citizen scientists: Cascade snow survey

Susan Dickerson-Lange (WWU alum) is working toward a PhD at the University of Washington involving snow hydrology and would like your help. Read below.

_____________________________________

Are you planning any mountain adventures this spring and summer?  We are looking for help from outdoor enthusiasts to collect snow observations as the snowpack melts across the Pacific Northwest.

We need on-the-ground observations of snow presence in forested and open areas, and are looking for hikers, skiers, snowmobilers, and mountaineers to contribute.

Simply take geotagged photos of snow (or no snow) in adjacent forested and open areas and send them to:

uwsnowresearch@gmail.com

…or submit written observations via an online or paper form.

For information, including about geotagging, and a short training video:

http://depts.washington.edu/mtnhydr/research/citsci.shtml

Please spread the word, and contact me if you have any questions or ideas!

thanks,

Susan

____________________________________

Susan Dickerson-Lange

Mobile:  (253) 225-9909

Twitter:  @SDickersonLange

Ph.D. Student, University of Washington

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mountain Hydrology Lab

http://students.washington.edu/dickers/

Stillaguamish is flowing again.

Dan McShane has been keeping an eye on the river gage on the Stilliguamish below the landslide. His latest post shows that the river is no longer backing up behind the landslide dam. Dan includes a graph from the river gage. I’ve copied his screen capture below- click to enlarge. You can see that discharge [= flow measured in cubic feet per second] dropped instantaneously just after noon on 3/22, from 2000 cfs to 900, and continued to decline down to 700 cfs until Sunday at around 3 PM.  Then the level of the impounded river had risen enough to begin overtopping the low point on the slide surface and began to flow downstream again. The last data point on the graph is from Monday at about 6 PM, and flow seems to have stabilized. You can track the discharge yourself at the gage website.

Stilliguamish gage data. Click to enlarge.

Stilliguamish gage data. Click to enlarge.

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