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    Northwest Geology Field Trips, by Dave Tucker, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial- Share Alike 3.0 United States License. You can use what you find here, repost it with attribution to the author, "remix" it for your own purposes, but may not use it with the intent of making money off of it.

    EDUCATORS: Please feel free to use anything you find here that is useful to your mission educating people about Earth science. E-mail me if it would help to have a larger or higher-resolution version of any of the images. tuckerd at geol dot wwu dot edu

Snohomish and Tacoma Geology Underfoot Book talks

A reminder that I will be in Snohomish this Saturday, Feb. 20, and in Tacoma next Thursday, Feb. 25, to talk about Geology Underfoot in Western Washington.

SNOHOMISH Saturday February 20th, 2 PM, Sno-Isle Public Library, 311 Maple Ave., Snohomish, WA

TACOMA Thursday February 25 Kings Book Store, 218 St Helens Ave Tacoma, WA. 7 PM http://www.kingsbookstore.com/event/2016-02


Book Presentation in Edmonds September 14

I will be giving a talk about my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington on September 14 in Edmonds.

7 PM

Edmonds Senior Center

220 Railroad Ave.

 On the waterfront in Edmonds, directly across the street from the AmTrak station. There is some off-street parking at the Center, and there is elevator access. This is the montly meeting of the Ice Age floods Institute. Free and open to the public.

I will have copies for sale, $24. Also copies of the cover poster, $15. See you there!



Geology Underfoot in Western Washington Book Launch a big success!

A very belated but very hearty thanks to all who came to the standing-room-only Grand Book Launch event May 12 at the Whatcom Museum, sponsored by Village Books, North Cascades Institute, and the Museum. It was a great pleasure to share Geology Underfoot in Western Washington with the huge crowd, sign copies, and tell you a bit about my background, how the book came about and how I put it together. Village Books sold out their entire advance shipment. The rest of the print run is on its way across the Pacific and will be available for bookstores at the end of May. NOW IS THE TIME TO ORDER A COPY FROM YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE! The store will obtain copies via their distributors. Some sources tell me that advance sales are pretty brisk. The initial print run is 5000 copies. Mountain Press Publishing and I think the first printing will go fast, so don’t delay.

I am available for presentations at bookstores and your organizations throughout western Washington and down to Portland. Contact your bookstore, and drop me an email.

Best regards,

Dave Tucker

Here is a link to an article about me and the book by Dean Kahn that appeared in the May 18 Bellingham Herald:


New book: Geology of the San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands geologist Ned Brown brings us a wonderful new geology guide- just in time for holiday gifts.

Ned Brown's Geology of the San Juan Islands. Chuckanut Editions, 2014

Ned Brown’s Geology of the San Juan Islands. Chuckanut Editions, 2014

Geology of the San Juan Islands is a full color guide to the geology of these beautiful islands. The book is written for the geophile of all stripes. It is the best, easiest-to-understand explanation of San Juan geology I have seen, and I urge you to spend $19 and get your own copy right now.

Ned Brown is an emeritus professor in the Western Washington University Geology Department. He has been working in the islands for decades. The complex geology of the archipelago has long inspired and exasperated geologists. Ned’s book describes the remarkable tectonic history that has repeatedly brought together unrelated rocks from around the Pacific and stacked them against each other during subduction. His color photos and detailed diagrams explain the processes and evolution of each of the rock units clearly. The book also explains how he and others have come up with this most current interpretation of San Juan Islands geologic history, by mapping rock units and faults, dating zircon crystals in the rocks, identifying fossils and correlating these with the ancient areas where these creatures lived.  Ned tells you just where to go to see the best outcrops, including all the photo locations. Among the more amazing ideas he throws out is the possible origin of the oldest rocks in the  350- to 500-million year old Turtleback Complex on Orcas Island. The gabbro and granitic rocks, once intruded deep in the crust,  may have originally intruded deep in the crust….in northern Europe! This was during the time of the supercontinent Rodinia.

The book is self-published through the Chuckanut Editions imprint of Village Books in Bellingham. The book is not yet available. Go buy a copy in the store, or write Village Books and ask them to please make the book available for on-line orders.Dave Tucker


New book: The Modern Rockhounding and Prospecting Handbook

Modern Rockhounding &..Veteran rock hunter, writer and geologist Garret Romaine’s newest book is hot off the press. The Modern Rockhounding and Prospecting Handbook (Falcon Guides; $21.95) is a great reference. The book is availabe on line in many places; I won’t steer you toward any particular retailer. The book provides the knowledge you need to go from a person who likes to pick up pretty rocks to being an informed rock/mineral/fossil hunter. Garret’s book uses down-to-earth language to give you a basic overview of the geologic processes relevant to collectors; a list of common minerals, crystals, rocks, fossils, and where to start looking for them; how to collect them safely and legally; how to work in the field and the essential tools you need, such as hammers, picks, and hand lenses; and he explains what to do with your prizes when you get home from your road trip. He also tells you how to gain more knowledge: how to obtain geologic maps and how to use them, a list of blogs, and references. The book also features short interviews with collectors and geologists (including yours truly- blush).

Garret Romaine

Garret Romaine

Garret Romaine has an undergraduate degree in Geology, a masters in Geography, and also an MBA. He is the author of Rockhounding Idaho and Rocks, Gems, and Minerals (both FalconGuides) as well as Gem Trails of Oregon and Gem Trails of Washington, and is a columnist for Gold Prospectors magazine. He has a raft of YouTube videos about great outings in search of cool rocks and minerals:


Geology Underfoot: BOOK SENT TO PUBLISHER!

DT and the Geology Underfoot in Western Washington files. You will get to read it on paper, soemthing I've yet to see.

DT and the Geology Underfoot in Western Washington files- all on one flimsy bit of plastic. You will get to read it on paper, something I’ve yet to see. Chico stands guard my monitor. Photo by Kim Brown.

I finally completed the manuscript of Geology Underfoot in Western Washington. The sum of the last three years of my life was copied onto a DVD and sent off to the publisher today – 423 files including chapter text, photos, diagrams, and maps. There are (at this point) 22 self-guiding field trips, plus a lengthy Introduction that is a primer on plate tectonics, a capsule history of the geologic history of western Washington, a bit about petrology, and how to date a rock (“You need to be a little boulder” says Kim.) Groan. I promise I do not use that pun in the book, but there may be a few other gneiss ones. (Sorry). OK, now my editor James Lainsbury at Mountain Press Publishers gets to hack away. He’ll send it back to me for what I’m sure will be shortening, revisions to some of the figures I made, and who knows what else. The book will be on bookshelves in 2014 unless James says ‘This sucks. Start over.’ Thanks to all the people, geologists and ‘civilians’ alike, who read and field checked the chapters.

You can read a sample chapter (pre-editing) and learn more about the book here on my website.

So, time for a beer. Well, maybe a nap first.


New Missoula flood guidebook published.

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: The Northern Reaches, by Bruce Bjornstad and Gene Kiver, is now published. The book directs readers to field sites in the the Channeled Scablands and into northern Idaho to see evidence for the mind-boggling late-Pleistocene Missoula Floods. There are hikes, road trips, and even two aerial field trips.  The book is a sequel to On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: A geological field guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin by Bruce Bjornstad. A description of the new book is available at the publishers’ website:
It will take a while for the book to be distributed to all the retail outlets but for those wanting it right away, it can be obtained from the Sandpoint Online General Store at: http://www.sandpointonline.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=228

New geology books

Two Eastern Washington field guides:

Washington’s Channeled Scablands Guide
, by John Soennichsen
Mountaineer Books, announced as available Mar. 1.


And, Described earlier on Northwest Geology Field Trips:

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, Vol. 2: The Northern Reaches by Bruce Bjornstad and Gene Kiver;

The first volume, by Bruce Bjornstad, is a very detailed and thorough treatment of the Missoula flood geology, focusing on the mid-Columbia basin

The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood
by Dave Montgomery;
from W.W. Norton, due out in Aug. 2012

Dave is a geomorphologist on the faculty at the University of Washington.

I recommend: The Mountains of Saint Francis, (2009) by Walter Alvarez

This is a lay reader book focusing on the geology of central Italy. It has excellent descriptions of how geologists do their work, and the tools and methods used. It contains a great account of the discovery of the K-T boundary layer in the Gubbio Section of the Apennines this is the iridium layer that records the impact of the Chixhulub meteor marking the end of the Cretaceous, bringing about a frightful mass extinction. It describes the geooogy of Rome, and how it affected the rise of that civilization and great city. There is a copy available from the Whatcom Library.

John Scurlock Snow & Spire photo presentation- Burke Museum, Seattle

The Heart of the Distant Mountain – Photographic Flights across Western North America

Mount Shuksan in winter, from Snow & Spire.

Join photographer and pilot John Scurlock, author of Snow & Spire: Flights to Winter in the North Cascade Range. for  a presentation of his winter aerial photos in the North Cascades and the mountains of western North America.

Wednesday, Feb. 1st, 7:00 – 8:30pm at the Burke Museum
Free admission and open to everyone!

The doors open at 6:30pm; program starts at 7pm at the Burke Museum in the U District at the corner of 17th Ave NE and NE 45th St. Come early to get seats, and look at or purchase John’s new book.

Flying in his home-built airplane, John has amassed an amazing collection of photos of the mountains of the Northwest — jagged peaks, hundreds of glaciers, and vast untouched land as far as the eye can see. John’s stunning images and hair-raising tales have been assembled into a new book, Snow & Spire: Flights to Winter in the North Cascade Range, which is drawing praise far and wide.

The cover of Snow and Spire.

This presentation is hosted by Methow Conservancy. John has contributed photographs to both Northwest Geology Field Trips and Mount Baker Volcano Research Center.

* From I-5, exit east onto NE 45th Street. Travel east on NE 45th Street to 17th Avenue NE. Turn right onto 17th. The museum will be immediately on your right.

* From Highway 520, exit north onto Montlake Boulevard NE. Turn left onto NE Pacific Street. Turn right and head north on 15th Avenue NE. Turn right and head east on NE 45th St. Take your next right on 17th Avenue NE. The museum will be immediately on your right.

Parking is available at the Burke Museum for $5 after 5pm

New Ice Age floods guidebook

Release poster for the Ice Age Floods: Northern Reaches.

Bruce Bjornstad and Gene Kiver have written volume 2 in their Ice Age floods guide book series. On the Trail of the Ice Age Flood: the Northern Reaches will be released this spring- stay tuned to hear when it is available. The book is published by Keokee Press, and will retail for $19.

The first volume, On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, A geological field guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin is now in its 3rd printing.

These books describe dozens of field sites tracking the deposits and erosive evidence of the giant late-Pleistocene floods.