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  • MOUNT BAKER: Eruptive history, hazards, research.

    Visit Mount Baker Volcano Research Center websites Main website and the blog These are no longer actively maintained but are still good references [DT, April, 2020]
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    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
    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

Dickerman Mountain geology guide posted

Hi friends! Remember me?

P1030402 mark

Stacked lava flows below the summit of  Dickerman Mountain. Click to enlarge.

A new geology field guide has been posted on this website. This one gives you something to do while you huff and puff your way up through the 45-million-year-old Barlow Pass Volcanics on the Dickerman Mountain Trail. The mountain rises above the South Fork Stillaguamish Valley, and is reached by the Mountain Loop Highway east of Verlot and Granite Falls. The trail is a steep mother, gaining 4000′ in just over 4 miles. The summit gives spectacular views into the Monte Cristo area peaks and Glacier Peak. I hiked the trail on July 3, 2016 with my friends Charlie and Scott Linneman. The views weren’t great due to clouds, but I got to examine some North Cascades rocks I wasn’t familiar with. The story is online, here.

New Geology hiking guide published on this website: Ridley Creek Trail, Mount Baker

Link to Ridley Creek Trail geology guide:

https://nwgeology.wordpress.com/the-fieldtrips/ridley-creek-trail-geology-guide/

Foot bridge over the Middle Fork

Foot bridge over the Middle Fork

Ridley Creek Trail begins at the end of the Middle Fork Nooksack Road on the southwest flank of Mount Baker. The trail accesses the heather meadows of Mazama Park and on to Park Butte Lookout. Along the way see forested latest Pleistocene moraines, glacial till from Canada complete with quartzite pebbles from the Rocky Mountains, limestone, lahar and ash deposits, a close up of the Cathedral Crag lava that predates Mount Baker, and finally, great views of Baker, the Black Buttes, and that enigmatic slice of the mantle, the Twin Sisters Range. Read the geology guide here.  Enjoy!

Dave Tucker

Guided geology field trip to Schreibers Meadow cinder cone

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

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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Sign up for geology trip- Ptarmigan Ridge, Mount Baker

We'll learn how platey jointing and columnar jointing forms.

We’ll learn how platy jointing and columnar jointing form.

The view west from the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail.

The view west from the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail.

Dave Tucker will lead a one-day geology hike on Ptarmigan Ridge, near the Mount Baker Ski Area. The trip is organized by North Cascades Institute.

September 29, all day. $95 includes trip guide and transport from Glacier Ranger Station.

This hike will explore the gorgeous volcanic landscape on the east side of Mount Baker- Kulshan caldera ash flow tuff, post-caldera rhyolite domes, Table Mountain and Ptarmigan Ridge lava flows, volcanic ash deposits (Baker and Crater Lake). Mount Shuksan is just east of us, so we can also discuss terrane accretion. The hike is above tree line on the Ptarmigan Ridge Trail, elevation gain is around 500 feet, total round trip distance of 10 miles but probably less. There are 6 spaces left for this trip. The September 28 trip is full.

NCI website for the trip: http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/mount-baker-the-story-of-volcanoes-ii-ph

Registration: http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/mount-baker-the-story-of-volcanoes-ii-ph/program-registration

Questions? Contact NCI, or Dave Tucker directly.

email address to send reports and photos. I'll credit you.

this is not a link

Online geology field trip: the Deadhorse Volcano, Skyline Divide, Mount Baker volcanic field

The last couple of miles of Skyline Divide. The Deadhorse Volcano is marked by the red pin and Hildreth’s unit designation ‘acr’. Click to enlarge.

A nearly unknown volcanic vent is exposed in cross section on a rock wall at the south end of Skyline Divide north of Mount Baker. Click here to read my on-line field guide to the informally named  “Deadhorse Volcano“. Yes, I know, winter approacheth, so chances to visit this eroded volcano are fast-slipping away. Hope for a weather break, or save this little gem until after the snow is gone next year. The snow that hasn’t fallen- yet.

Guided Geology Field Trip: Scott Paul Trail, Mount Baker, August 28.

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center announces a guided geology field trip on the Scott Paul Trail, guided by Dave Tucker (WWU-MBVRC) and Doug McKeever (WCC-MBVRC).

Tuesday, August 28, all day.

7.5 miles, 2000′ elevation gain.

Cost is $75 donation to MBVRC’s nonprofit research and education fund.

Soil profile along Scott Paul Trail: Schreibers Meadow cinder cone scoria, and volcanic ash from Crater Lake caldera and Mount Baker. Click to enlarge.

The trip visits volcanic and glacial deposits, as well as wonderful alpine scenery in the high meadows.

Full details on the MBVRC blog: http://mbvrc.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/guided-geology-field-trip-scott-paul-trail-on-mount-baker/

Registration is first come, first served. Register via email:

This is not a link

Pillow Lava in Washington, Part 3: The San Juan Islands

Intertidal pillows at Richardson, Lopez Island. Photo by Michael Yeaman.

Pillow lava is exposed in several spots in the San Juans. A new page on Northwest Geology Field Trips visits two places on Lopez, one on San Juan, and one on Cypress. Please send reports and photos of other good exposures.

Mount Baker eruptive history and hazards presentation schedule

Mount Baker steam plume. January 9, 2010. Photo provided by Steven Trinkhaus. Click to enlarge.

Talks on the eruptive history and hazards of Mount Baker will be presented by Mount Baker Volcano Research Center director Dave Tucker at several venues this winter. We will have the famous MBVRC fundraiser t-shirts on hand as long as they last. We pass the hat for donations at these events to support Mount Baker volcano research.

We are looking for sponsoring organizations elsewhere in the region- Mount Vernon, Everett, Seattle, Richmond, Ferndale, Concrete, Glacier. . . if you have suggestions or wish to invite a presentation, please contact MBVRC via email: Vancouver:

January 10 (Tuesday) 7:30 P.M.- British Columbia Mountaineering Club, Vancouver, B.C.:  Floral Hall, Van Dusen Gardens, New Visitor Center, Vancouver, B.C.  Free and open to the public.

January 24 (Tuesday ) Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver B.C. Details TBA.

Port Townsend:

January 14 (Saturday) 4 P.M. Port Townsend, Jefferson County Land Trust Geology Group: Quimper Unitarian Universalist Foundation, 2333 San Juan Ave. $5 donation

Bellingham:

February 16 (Thursday) Whatcom Museum, Bellingham.  Free event. Details TBA.

Anacortes:

April 13 Skagit County Beach Watchers and Friends of Skagit Beaches, Anacortes Library rotunda, 1220 10th, 7:00 PM

As soon as new presentations are scheduled, they are posted on the MBVRC blog. For more information on Baker research and activity, visit the primary MBVRC website.

Pillow lava localities in Washington- a new series on Northwest Geology Field Trips

Doing what comes naturally with pillowed lava. Grand Coulee near Lake Lenore.

A page explaining the origin of pillow lava has been added (link). There will be five field trips to diffferent places where pillow structures can be observed in Washington. The first of these has been posted here, to see pillows along the Heart O’ the Hills Road in Olympic National Park.

The other planned pillow field trips are:

  • On the beach at the foot of North Cape Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment State Park (near Ilwaco)
  • Richardson, on Lopez Island
  • Sand Hollow, along the Columbia across from Vantage
  • The Manashtash Viewpoint on I-82, south of Ellensburg

Notices will go out to website subscribers as I get them written. If you wish to send photos and descriptions from other places, please have it! Send writeups to:

send email here

Axial hot spot volcano dive continues to send live feed

The live feed from Axial volcano continues at least through today.

Sea floor pillows at Axial Volcano:7:34 AM Pacific Time Monday 8-22