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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    Visit Mount Baker Volcano Research Center websites Main website and the blog These are no longer actively maintained but are still good references [DT, April, 2020]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.

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!

Dave

 

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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Geology field trip offered near Monroe, Washington

NWGS logo

THIS TRIP IS FULL.

The Northwest Geological Society’s annual fall field trip will visit the Cadman High Rock Quarry near Monroe, Washington. This is a large rock and sand quarry with outstanding exposures of the Volcanic Rocks of Mt. Persis and 107 ka river deposits of the Whidbey Formation with a glacial till below it. We will observe striking evidence of sub-glacial flow and the full range of Vashon glacial units, and look at faults and liquefaction related to the Southern Whidbey Island Fault (SWIF). The field trip will involve walking several miles through the quarry.

Saturday, November 16, 2013
9:45am–3:00 pm
Leader: Bruce Stoker, Earth Systems and High Rock Quarry Personnel
Location: Cadman High Rock Quarry
Address: 19221 High Rock Road, Monroe, WA. 98272

Please RSVP by sending an email to Kathleen.goodman@amec.com.  For important trip information and a trip description, visit the NWGS website:   http://nwgs.org/calendar/NWGS_Fall_2013_FT_Announcement.pdf for details on times, parking, attire, and most important, post-quarry recap at the Grange Cafe in Duvall.  Cost is $10 payable at the quarry.

Advance registration is required for official head count for the quarry. NO WALK-UPS, PLEASE.
Deadline:Thursday, November 14.
Payment: Please bring your $10 payment (cash or check made out to NWGS, no credit or debit cards) to the field
trip for collection at the quarry office.
This is a one-stop field trip. Transportation will not be provided. We will meet at the Cadman High Rock Quarry office (address and a link to directions above).The trip will start with a required 20-minute safety training session in the quarry office. Please do not be late, as the course is required for all to enter the quarry.
The field trip will involve walking several miles through the quarry.

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

Geology field trips offered by North Cascades Institute

I will be leading three field courses on behalf of North Cascades Institute in late summer of 2013.Also, my friend David Williams will lead an urban geology tour in Seattle.

Migmatite in the Diablo Overlook road cut? What's 'maigmatite'? Sign up to find out!

Migmatite in the Diablo Overlook road cut. What’s ‘migmatite’? Sign up to find out!

August 9-11: GEOLOGY OF THE NORTH CASCADES: CROSS SECTION THROUGH THE CRUST. This course will be based out of the NCI Environmental Learning Center at Diablo Lake. Over three days we will examine different sites along Highway 20 from Sedro Woolley to Washington Pass. Meals and lodging at the Learning Center.

Kuslhan caldera, Mount Baker, and Table Mountain volcanics can all be examined along the Ptarmigan Trail.

Kulshan caldera, Mount Baker, and Table Mountain volcanics can all be examined along the Ptarmigan Trail.

September 28 and repeated on September 29: MOUNT BAKER: THE STORY OF VOLCANOES I AND II. I will lead a one day hike along Ptarmigan Ridge on the east flank of Mount Baker.We will look at volcanic deposits from the Kulshan caldera, pre-Mount Baker andesite volcanoes, and young Baker itself. These two hikes will fill up VERY QUICKLY so register right now if you are interested.

In downtown Seattle, see 3.5 billion year old Morton gneiss, probably the oldest building stone in the world!

In downtown Seattle, see 3.5 billion year old Morton gneiss, probably the oldest building stone in the world!

Also on September 28, David Williams leads ‘Street Smart Naturalist’. This will be a walking tour of downtown geology. highly regarded and a must for Seattle residents interested in geology.

Registration and descriptions for all these programs begins at the NCI geology webpage.

Jamestown S’Klallam tribe acquires Tamanowas Rock

Thanks to alert reader Wendy B. who informs us that the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has obtained Tamonowas Rock, near Chimacum. The prominent rock south of Port Townsend last appeared in the pages of this website in November, 2010. According to the tribe, the public will retain access to the reserve, but absolutely no rock climbing will be tolerated on the rock, which is  a sacred place in tribal histories. A trail goes to the top.

Geologically, the rock is  adakitic dacite, a type of rock generated when the  descending oceanic plate melts. Rocks of this type are uncommon in the area. Read the full report in the Olympic Peninsula News. There is some accurate discussion about the geology, and also the role the 150-foot-tall rock has played in history. According to one story, the rock served as a refuge ‘from a flood’. The only logical flood that could impact this area is a tsunami. The most recent geologic evidence for a tsunami in the vicinity is 3000 years old.

I have updated the Tamanowas Rock page to include directions for getting there.

Pillows in the Middle Fork Nooksack

Stacked pillows. Stolen from a commercial website. So, sue me.

Stacked pillows. Stolen from a commercial website. So, sue me.

(Click HERE to go straight to the page about the pillows along the road.)

No, pillow lava, silly!

Cross-sectioned basalt lava pillow in the Elbow Lake Formation, Middle Fork Nooksack Road. Click to enlarge.

Cross-sectioned basalt lava pillow in the Elbow Lake Formation, Middle Fork Nooksack Road. Click to enlarge.

I planned a XC ski trip up the Porter Creek Road or elsewhere off the Middle Fork Road today, but it was raining and 41 degrees. Indulging my secret identity as a geologist, I instead poked around in a roadside quarry, looking at pillow lava in the Elbow Lake Formation. A rewarding outing from Bellingham if you have a 2-3 hours on your hands and a deeply felt need to look at some exotic, unusual, and (admittedly) not too beautiful rocks. The saving grace is the lava pillows, and a cup of coffee on the way and on the way back. As an added bonus, there is access to Twin Sisters dunite nearby.

P.S. There ARE some nice roads to ski up and back down off the Middle Fork.

Baker River geology field guide posted

Baker River's braided channel just above Lake Creek.

Baker River’s braided channel just above Lake Creek.

After a hike up the Baker River Trail at the north end of the Baker Reservoir, I just had to write it up for the blog. Shuksan Greenschist, waterfalls, an entrenched delta-cum-alluvial fan, exhumed eroded giant tree stumps, and really cool river cobbles, including volcanic breccia from Hannegan caldera. An easy round trip of 5 miles, even good in the pouring rain. Read the field trip here.