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    Visit Mount Baker Volcano Research Center websites Main website and the blog These are no longer actively maintained but are still good references [DT, April, 2020]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

Fidalgo ophiolite field trip, Part II- Mount Erie

Gabbro at Stop 1. Note the pale vertical dikes near the yellow hammer. Click any image to enlarge.

Gabbro at Stop 1. Note the pale vertical dikes near the yellow hammer. Click any image to enlarge.

A self-guided geology field trip to the second part of the Fidalgo ophiolite (oceanic crust section) is posted here. This field trip visits intrusive and sedimentary rocks on Fidalgo Island, including Mount Erie. This is the second installment in the ophiolite series, which started at the chunk of the mantle at Washington Park.

The April 12th guided geology field trip sponsored by Mount Baker Volcano Research Center will visit some of these rocks. Registration information is on the MBVRC website. If you have been waffling, time to be decisive- the trip is nearly full!

The view south from Stop 2 at Mount Erie.

The view south from Stop 2 at Mount Erie. Here we see an island in Lake Campbell, on Fidalgo Island. Skagit Bay stretches off to the south.

Geology Field Trip gift certificates from MBVRC

Cross country trip to Schreibers Cinder Cone.

Cross-country trip to Schreibers Cinder Cone.

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center is offering gift certificates for geology field trips.  These make great gifts for your geophile friends and relatives. The cost  is $75 (the usual cost of a one day guided trip, including van transport) and can be applied to any field trip offered by MBVRC. This year there are plans to offer  trips to lowland sites in Northwest Washington in the late winter/early spring. In the summer, trips will go to locations around Mount Baker , and a multi-day trip to Mount St. Helens is in the early planning stages.

To purchase a gift certificate, send an email or letter to MBVRC. Include  the name of the person the certificate is for, as well as your mailing address. You may send payment via check payable to ‘MBVRC’ to  708 13th St, Bellingham, or use the MBVRC PayPal account – the account code is this email address:

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You will receive a nicely printed gift certificate in the mail. Field trip fees beyond expenses go to the MBVRC research and education fund. To see brief descriptions of some  past geology field trips, scroll down here: http://mbvrc.wordpress.com/field-trips/

Cascades Volcano Presentation in Bellingham, October 29

John Ewert

Dr. John Ewert

Guest speaker: John Ewert, Scientist-in-charge- of the Cascade Volcano Observatory, US Geological Survey, Vancouver, WA.

Whatcom Museum, October 29. Doors at 6:30, presentation at 7. Free, but please consider a $3 donation to the museum at the door.

The talk, sponsored by the Mount Baker Volcano Research Center, will focus on the current status of volcano monitoring and research throughout the Cascades. At CVO John oversees all research on the Cascade volcanos, and is  an authority on volcano monitoring. He has worked all over the world.

“We have a lot of volcanoes in the United States — 170 of them. … And since 1980 there have been something like 100 eruptions from 35 or so of them. So, volcanically, we’re pretty busy,” he said. “And in the Cascades we have 13 large volcanoes and a lot of smaller ones…you just never know when these volcanoes are going to switch on and move toward eruption.”

Multi-gas sampler, Sherman Crater, Mount Baker.

Multi-gas sampler, Sherman Crater, Mount Baker.

“And once you start getting earthquakes or see something happening at the surface, you’re already behind the curve if you haven’t been watching to see what is normal and what the baseline is,” Ewert said. “So if you’re coming to the game late, you never know how long the fuse is.”

A number of presentations about Mount Baker eruption history and hazards will be presented by MBVRC.

Kendall Elementary School, October 25.

La Connor Museum, November 2

Bellingham, Bloedel Donovan Park, November 18.

For details, visit the MBVRC website: http://mbvrc.wordpress.com/field-trips/

Guided geology field trip by Dave Tucker: Baker River trail June 8th

Dear friends,

An alluvial fan is perfectly exposed in cross section along the Baker River trail.

An alluvial fan is perfectly exposed in cross-section along the Baker River trail.

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center is offering a field trip up the Baker River on June 8th. It is a fundraiser for the non-profit, and I’ll be leading it, along with Doug McKeever (Whatcom Community College) and Sue Madsen (Skagit Fisheries Enhancement).

Highlights include:

  • Shuksan greenschist (metamorphosed subducted seafloor basalt) which is the local bedrock;
  • new salmon restoration facilities;
  • an active alluvial fan;
  • river erosion and deposition;
  • a great variety of rocks in river bars;
  • rock slides;
  • a fantastic ‘faerie forest’ of lichen-draped maples.
  • If the weather be good- fabulous views into the heart of the North Cascades.

Cost is $75, includes van transport and a trip guide.

For info and registration, go to:


An unnamed waterfall plummets hundreds of feet over a wall of metamorphic bedrock along the trail. Click to enlarge any photo.

An unnamed waterfall plummets hundreds of feet over a wall of metamorphic bedrock along the trail. Click to enlarge any photo.

Mount Baker eruption history and hazard presentation schedule: Mount Vernon, Concrete, Anacortes

Three presentations about Mount Baker eruptive history and hazards are scheduled for this spring.

March 7: MOUNT VERNON Skagit Valley College, Phillip Tarro Theatre. Doors 6:30, talk 7 PM. Sponsored by SVC Veterans Club and Center for Learning & Teaching. This is a repeat of the january 31 event, which drew far too many people to get in the doors. GET THERE EARLY.

March 21: CONCRETE at the Concrete Theatre. 7PM. Fundraising event for MBVRC, Concrete High School Band, and KSVU Radio. There will probably be an admission charge at the door- stay tuned via your subscription to this website or the MBVRC blog www.mbvrc.wordspress.com.

April 27: ANACORTES. Fidalgo Bay Resort. One of several presentations at the Fidalgo Bay Academy. Sponsored by Skagit Beach Watchers. Pre-registration to the Academy will be required, watch here for details.

As usual, the MBVRC t-shirts will be available for purchase, $20.

Mount Baker presentation Thursday in Mount Vernon

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center presents a free talk on Mount Baker Eruptive History and Hazards in Mount Vernon this Thursday, January 31. The presenter will be Dave Tucker.

Skagit Valley College, Phillip Tarro Auditorium

Doors open at 6:30, talk begins at 7. All ages. These popular talks often are SRO, so get there early.

The talk is sponsored by Skagit-Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club and Skagit Valley College Center for Learning and Teaching.

100 years of change on Mount Baker featured in Nov. 5th Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Herald Nov 5, 2012. Click to enlarge

Read the Bellingham Herald article (front page, above the fold in the ‘hard copy’) about the two Mount Baker photos taken 100 years apart. The 1912 photo was taken by E.D. Welsh, the 2012 photo by John Scurlock.

The commemorative posters are for sale by MBVRC as  a fundraiser for the research program.

100 years of glacial change at Mount Baker; fundraiser poster for sale.

The 1912 Welsh photo at top, and the 2012 Scurlock re-created photo below. Click to enlarge.

Mount Baker Volcano Research Center is selling 20 x 30 ” posters showing a fantastic 1912 photo of the entire south side of Mount Baker, and the re-created photograph taken by John Scurlock 100 years later. The photos were taken from the summit of Loomis Mountain, south of the volcano and show much detail. Glacial recession is remarkable. Hop on over to the MBVRC website to see the poster, see some details about changes that 100 years have wrought, and learn how to order one. PLEASE PASS THIS POST TO OTHERS to help raise funds for a good cause- the MBVRC research and scholarship fund.


Virtual geology field trip: Cougar Divide

Acres of flowers and meadows on the crest of Cougar Divide. Did I say I like this hike? The snow fingers mark the Dobbs Creek headwaters, site of many dikes. Copyright Dave Tucker.

I have broken out of my writing doldrums and written a self-guided geology field trip to Cougar Divide on the north flank of Mount Baker. Figure I better provide people with a summertime hike before it is too late! This hike is mostly volcanic geology that long predates Mount Baker. In fact, the oldest dated rock in the Mount Baker volcanic field is found on the ridge crest. That alone makes this beautiful hike significant.

Read the field trip here.

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:

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