Dickerman Mountain geology guide posted

Hi friends! Remember me?

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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.

Guided geology walk at Point Whitehorn this Saturday

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Glacial erratics litter the beach at Point Whitehorn. Maybe you recognize this photo from my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington.

I am leading free geology walks at Point Whitehorn in Whatcom County  this Saturday, June 4, as part of Whatcom Land Trusts annual “What’s the Point” nature walks. The walks are at 10:00 and 11:30 AM, and will start on the beach. Each lasts an hour or so, and lots of time for questions. BRING THE KIDS!

Getting there: From I-5 Exit 266 (north of Ferndale), drive west on Grandview Road 8.5 miles.  Follow the road as it curves left and becomes Koehn Road. Continue 0.5 miles to a parking area on the left. There is a 3/4 mile accessible trail through lowland forest, including a sizable (by modern standards) grove of large spruce, to overlooks atop the bluffs, with nice polished dunite benches. The trail then switchbacks 75′ down to the cobble beach.

The geo walks will look at beach rocks and glacial till in the bank along the shore. I wrote about the geology at the beach in one of the first posts on this website: https://nwgeology.wordpress.com/the-fieldtrips/point-whitehorn-whatcom-county/

The rest of the program: (http://www.whatcomlandtrust.org/ for more info)

All-star Naturalist Team:

Bob Lemon, Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee (Native plants, intertidal life, seaweeds)

Lyle Anderson, Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee (Native plants, birds)

Doug Stark (Marine Resources Committee) and Casey Cook (Marine Life Center)will lead tidepool tours for kids at 10:30a and 11:00a

Michael Kyte, DNR

Marie Hitchman, seaweed expert

Victoria Souze, Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network



WASHINGTON ROCKS- new geology guide book

Washington Rocks by Eugene Kiver, Chad Pritchard and Richard Orndorff

Published by Mountain Press Publishing. 130 pages. $18

Review by D. Tucker

WAshington Rocks!Here’s a fun new geology guide to the entire state of Washington, hot off the press. Washington Rocks! takes you to 57 sites and provides a 1-3 page description of the geology of each. The Introduction  is a brief overview of the geologic history of Washington State. In a way this book is a ‘geo-light’ version of  Geology Underfoot in Western Washington. You won’t get much ‘meat’ here but it is a fun glove box guide to keep handy when you are traveling; in a way it is an upgrade to way-out-of-date and frustratingly vague Roadside Geology of Washington. Some of the sites are described for the first time [that I know of], and would remain forever obscure if the authors hadn’t revealed them in this book; examples are Turtle Rock north of Wenatchee and Dishman Hills near Spokane. Other locales are much better known, such as Mima Mounds and Ape Cave; some are interpreted in much greater detail in GUWW. Nearly all the sites are on the roadside, can be seen from a road, or are an easy walk over trails. A few are longer hikes. I have one rather serious bone to pick. There are few to know directions to see some of the points of interest in the photos. For instance, on page 57 is a fine photo of an ice-rafted erratic ‘on the flanks of the Rattlesnake Hills’ but there is no indication of how to find such an erratic. Similarly, page 15 shows some fine rounded granite tors ‘at Gleason Mountain in Pend Oreille County’ but the whereabouts of this mountain is not shown on a map nor described in the text. I would love to know how to see the feeder dikes pictured on page 6 but alas, only somewhere ‘along WA 410’, and how to get to the intriguing-sounding Abercrombie Mountain described on page 18. You’ll need to search the web to find out how to do that, or how to find the Dishman Hills. Apparently the authors are expecting readers to be able to find features on their own, and in a book of this size there must be limitations. However, another page or two to be sure that directions to all sites shouldn’t be too much to expect. Also please note that while Washaway Beach north of Willapa Bay is included, there is no legal access and you will have to walk past dire warning signs to access the beach at this wonderful  site. I left this site out of Geology Underfoot in Western Washington for this very reason.

Sign up for Geology Field Trip: Schreibers Cinder Cone, Mount Baker


Mount Baker Volcano Research Center subscription website

8594 cropped mark The Schreibers Meadow cinder cone, south flank of Mount Baker, seen from the north. Click to enlarge.

The North Cascades Institute is offering a one day geo field trip to the Schreibers Meadow cinder cone on the south flank of Mount Baker. The trip is on Saturday, June 18, and is led by Dave Tucker, one of MBVRC’s directors. The trip includes bus transport from Sedro Woolley and a trip hand out.

Registration: http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/geology-cinder-cones-and-crater-lakes

The cinder cone is the best-preserved in the northern Cascades, a complete, isolated little hill containing to lakes in the unbreached, double crater. The hike to the cinder cone is 2 miles round trip, with little elevation gain until the end. Just up the trail from the parking lot we hike 1/4 mile cross country through the boggy huckleberry-covered Schreibers Meadows, then steeply up through the old growth for 100 feet or so to the forested…

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Public Geologic Hazards Workshop offered

Disaster Strikes: What Next?

Saturday, May 14th, 2-4 PM Mount Baker High School, Deming

                The Mount Baker High School Advanced Geology class is presenting a workshop on how natural hazards could and will affect the Pacific Northwest. From Mount Baker to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, there are many hazards that our community should be aware of. The MBHS geology class is trying to bring awareness to the community in order to keep people safe and to enhance understanding of the amazing geology in our backyards.  Keynote speakers Brian Atwater (U.S.G.S) and Rebekah Paci-Green (W.W.U.), will present stories from their research as well as highlight the geology of the area and the types of potential hazards.  Students will also offer mini workshops on what to do before, during and after a serious event. The workshop will take place on Saturday, May 14th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Mount Baker High School Auditorium located at 4396 Deming Rd, Deming, WA.

Contact information email:  dlewis@mtbaker.wednet.edu

Sign up for Geology Field Trip to Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands

May 14th, 8:30-4:30

TRIP IS FULL. THERE IS A WAITING LIST. To get the earliest crack at future trips, please subscribe to MBVRC RSS posts via email- in the margin to the left.


The view from Mount Erie, once a magma chamber below an oceanic volcano.

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center announces a guided geology field trip. This is a geologic smorgasbord, with stops near Anacortes on Fidalgo Island including ophiolite rock at Washington Park, Mount Erie’s drive-up summit, Rosario Beach and Rosario Head, and Deception Pass. Proceeding to  Whidbey Island we will visit at a minimum West Beach and an ill-sited development on the beach at Swantown.  The trip will be led by Doug McKeever, geology professor (emeritus) at Whatcom Community College, assisted by Dave Tucker, Research Associate with Western Washington University Geology Department and author of Geology Underfoot in Western Washington. Both are board members of MBVRC. COST is $75 per person (prepaid). Proceeds go to the MBVRC research fund.


Doug McKeever and field trippers examine rock structure.

Van transportation will be provided, and a printed guide describing the most important geologic features of the stops. No hammers, please. Please bring a lunch, beverage (no alcohol please), and shoes and clothing suitable for a short beach walk and for the weather. Trip will “go” rain or shine.

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Glacially polished mantle rock at Washington Park

Credit card: please go to the MBVRC donation page and put $75 in the ‘donation amount’ at the top [please feel free to contribute more, donations are tax deductible]. Make payment to the MBVRC account using our email: research  at  mbvrc.wwu.edu You don’t need a Paypal account to do this.

Check: If you prefer to pay MBVRC directly, please send a check right away to order of MBVRC to 708 13th St, Bellingham, WA 98225. If you choose this option, please reserve via email immediately to research  at   mbvrc.wwu.edu. Will hold your spot as long as we can while your check is in transit.

This is a repeat of a trip we sponsored in spring of 2014. That trip filled very quickly so don’t delay to sign up!


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



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