Sign up for Geology Field Trip to Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands

May 14th, 8:30-4:30


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.

13786 Washington Pk

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 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 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


Updated TSUNAMI model for M9 Cascadia earthquake

tsunami inundation animation

Tsunami animation at hour +3; the first pulse has entered Bellingham Bay (upper right) to a height of around 3 m above sea level. Click to enlarge.

On January 5th the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research released a new model for tsunami inundation in the Straits of Juan de Fuca and inland waters of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea from a great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

An animation is published by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Center and can be watched here The animation gives elapsed time on the right and inundation heights in meters. Of particular interest is the effect in the San Juan Islands and Bellingham Bay. Contrary to popular belief, the San Juan Islands DO NOT block the tsunami, but rather concentrate it in the narrow passages. Watch the animation several times and keep an eye on Bellingham Bay, just west of the ‘elevation’ legend, in the northeast corner of the map.

You’ll see that three tsunami pulses enter the Straits over a period of 6 hours after the earthquake. The first pulse enters Bellingham Bay about 3 hours after the earthquake, and reaches a height of 3-5 meters (10-16.5 feet) and remains ponded in the enclosed bay for around 1 hour. The water then recedes to around -1 to -3 m (-3.3 to -10 feet) by the fifth hour, to be followed by a second tsunami pulse at 6 hours, about the same depth as the first. This also drains; the animation ends at the hour 8, as a third pulse is reaching the west coast of Whidbey Island and the San Juans. This one does not appear to be as high as the first two.

The model extends as far south as Olympia. The greatest height in southern Puget Sound occur in narrow constrictions- near Bremerton and Alki Point in Seattle.

The model is worth watching several times- you can stop and start, as well as backtrack with your cursor.

For more info on the model, read the research paper by Venturato et al., 2007: The study focuses on Pacific coastal communities of Washington. The model has been newly extened to inland waters.



NEW TALKS. I will be presenting the behind-the-scenes story of my book, 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:

DARRINGTON Saturday March 12th, 1 PM, Mountain Loop Books and Coffee, 1085 Darrignton St.

BREMERTON Wednesday May 4th, 7 PM, VFW Hall, 9981 Central Valley Road, Bremerton WA

SEATTLE, ORCAS ISLAND–Stay tuned for upcoming talk details

Upcoming Geology Underfoot author talks


I will be talking about my book in:

OAK HARBOR  Thursday January 21, 3 PM Sno-Isle Public Library, 1000 SE Regatta Dr., Oak Harbor, WA.

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. Time TBA:

In the works: Anacortes, Orcas Island, Seattle

Geology Underfoot author talk in Burlington December 9th

Dear friends,

GUWW cover

Cover art by Eric Knight

I will present an author talk about my book, Geology Underfoot in Western Washington, at the Burlington Library Wednesday December 9th at 6:30. The book is written for a general audience. The talk lasts about an hour, and will focus on the story behind the book, and a sample reading from a chapter relevant to the Skagit area. Books will be for sale after ($24) as well as the stunning poster based on the cover art ($15).

The Library is at 820 E.Washington Avenue.

Hope to see my Skagit Valley friends there!

Dave Tucker

Link to a map:

Thanks to Port Books and News in Port Angeles, and the Port Townsend Public Library

Port Books and NewsI gave author talks in Port Townsend and Port Angeles last week. Rooms were filled, and I met some great folks. Very special thanks to the hosts of those talks: Alan and Christy at Port Books and News in PA   and Keith Darrock at the Port Townsend Library .port townsend photo


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