Citizen geology

This page directs readers to projects they can participate in, usually as volunteers with a minimum of geologic experience.

Projects will vary with time; some may be long-term lasting years or decades, others will be for a brief time – hours, days or weeks. Some projects will have their own websites or data archives, and links will be provided for these.

Typical NW Washington beach scene: erratics and admirers.

Typical NW Washington beach scene: erratics and admirers. Can you find the pug?

Two projects are listed. The first is the Glacial Erratic Inventory database maintained by students at the University of Washington’s GeoClub. Anyone can send in information and photos of ‘significant’ erratics, which the students will plot on a map. Send them photos and info and they’ll post that, too..

Golden sunlight and honeycomb weathering at Larrabee State Park, Washington. The photo is about 1 meter across.

Golden sunlight and honeycomb weathering at Larrabee State Park, Washington. The photo is about 1 meter across.

The other will be a very long term (decades) effort to track changes in tafoni size and frequency in sandstone of the Chuckanut Formation. Tafoni (also known as ‘solution pockets’ or ‘rock honeycombs’) come and go over time. Specific sample sites  will be listed, along with photos and measurement criteria – when this project is ready for your participation, you’ll receive a post if you are an email subscriber to this website. Examples of tafoni are included in the honeycomb weathering page on the Northwest Geology Field Trips website.

If you know of other ‘citizen geology’ projects, please let me know about them. Or design your own.

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4 Responses

  1. Probably not the place to ask this, but was hoping someone could help. We recently hiked the Bean Creek Trail and found several rocks with a thin coating of what resembled melted green glss or jade. Was wondering if anyone knew what it was?

    • Sorry, I have no idea what that could be. Photos? Where is Bean Creek Trail?

    • Two thoughts come to mind. Slickensides and serpentine. Just a guess as you were hiking in the northern mid cascades.

    • Yes, I concur with Barbara Matson’s idea. If the ‘green glass’ was on fracture surfaces, then slickensides caused by movement along faults. If the entire rock had that glossy green color, including the interior, then it is most likely serpentine.

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