2021 Summer Geology Beach Walks

With this notice, we are announcing three different beach walks where you can learn more about the geology and sediments that form the bluffs and supply the beaches.

Each trip will be run twice.  Because of parking and logistical difficulties, attendance is limited to 20 participants for each trip. Here are the dates, but read further to register.

  • June 23, Port Williams, Sequim Bay
  • June 26, Nodule Point, Marrowstone Island
  • July 9, Nodule Point, Marrowstone Island
  • July 10, Port Williams, Sequim Bay
  • July 23, North Beach, Port Townsend
  • Aug. 10, North Beach, Port Townsend


PORT WILLIAMS, SEQUIM BAY

  • Where: Meet at Port Williams, NE of Sequim for a two-hour walk. Carpooling recommended; small parking lot at this county park.
  • What: We’ll see glacial deposits, including Vashon till and Possession drift, various outwash deposits, and locally derived alluvium of the Dungeness River. All are well exposed in a steep bluff at sea level.
  • Leader: Kitty Reed, retired geologist, and several assistants.
  • For: Persons with geology background. This is the least known of the three areas we’ll visit this summer. We invite active discussion. Generally easy walking
  • To register. Download the registration form and mail with $20 check.
  • Wed. June 23, 9:00 am.  Registration form:  Port Williams Beach Walk.
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by June 16.
  • Sat. July 10, 9:00 am. Registration form:  Port Williams Beach Walk.
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by July 3.

 

NODULE POINT, MARROWSTONE ISLAND

  • Where: Meet at the East County Beach Park,  NE of Nordland on Marrowstone Island for a four-hour walk. Carpooling strongly recommended for this small (8-10 car) parking lot.
  • What: On the four-mile walk to the Point and back, we’ll see Vashon glacial till, outwash deposits, and glacial erratics. All well exposed in a steep bluff at sea level and on the beach. At the point, well see sandstone of Scow Bay, a basalt dike that intruded the sandstone, and many cemented sandstone concretions (not nodules, despite the point’s name). They are worth the long walk.
  • Leader: Michael, retired geologist, and several geohelpers.
  • For: Persons with limited geology background. This is the only walk that encounters bedrock of the three areas we’ll visit this summer.  Moderate walking across some bouldery beach, your shows will get wet.
  • To register. Download the registration form and mail with $20 check. .
  • Sat. June 26, 10:30 am.  Registration form:  Nodule Point Beach Walk
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by June 19.
  • Wed. July 9, 10:30 am. Registration form:  Nodule Point Beach Walk.
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by July 2.

 

FORT WORDEN—NORTH BEACH, PORT TOWNSEND

  • Where: Meet at Fort Worden in the parking pad south of Battery Kinzie for a two-hour walk.
  • What: On the one-mile walk west towards North Beach county park, we’ll see a wide variety of glacial deposits including outwash and marine sediments, a peat layer, a “buried” forest, and glacial erratics on the beach. All are well exposed in a steep bluff at sea level. Generally, we walk up section (through younger deposits to the west). There are various return routes.
  • Leader: Kitty Reed, retired geologist, and several assistants.
  • For: Persons with limited geology background, easy walking across some bouldery section of beach.
  • To register. Download the registration form and mail with $20 check.
  • Fri. July 23, 9:30 am. Registration form:  Fort Worden—North Beach Walk.
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by July 16.
  • Tues. Aug. 10, 11:00 am. Registration form:  Fort Worden—North Beach Walk.
    Deadline to register is receipt of check and form by Aug. 3.

05-22-2021 Jennifer Pierce—Wildfires, Climate and Erosion

On Saturday May 22, 2021 @ 4 pm, Dr. Jennifer Pierce of the Dept. of Geology at Boise State University will present a Zoom lecture on “Wildfires, Climate and Erosion in the past, present and future”.  Jennifer has been working on these topics since graduate school and will integrate these three subjects with reference to forests of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Although her studies have been concentrated in the Northern Rockies, the lessons learned apply well to the relatively arid regions of the West. Since she is speaking in late May, we could be into our fire season here in Washington, so the subject will be timely.

04-10-2021 Trevor Contreras, Geology and the Art of Stone Carving

Geology and the Art of Stone Carving

The Lecture

Many members of the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association (NWSSA), including me, use Washington rocks in their art. In this talk, I’ll give an overview of this state’s geological setting  that provide these stones and describe the connections among basalt, dunite, jade, and the glacial erratics that we work with. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite sculptors, talk about some of the stone they work, and touch on tools and techniques we use to sculpt these locally sourced stones.

In 2009 King County geologist Greg Wessel curated a geology and art show on Vashon Island called, “Geo sapiens”.  At the show’s opening I met Shannon and Wilson geologist Bill Laprade. Bill was showing a couple pieces of Texas limestone carved with geology themes. His stone sculpture really made an impact on me. Bill encouraged me to attend a stone-carving symposium put on by NWSSA (see below). I attended my first weeklong symposium in July of 2011 and I’ve been making dust ever since.

You may want to visit some or all of these links before the talk to see artists in action:

The Speaker

Trevor Contreras

Trevor is a Licensed Engineering Geologist with the Landslide Hazards Program at the Washington Geological Survey, where he studies landslides and helps communities under-stand and mitigate landslide hazards. He has worked for the WGS since 2006 in various positions and in the Forest Practices Division helping foresters understand landslides and evaluate timber harvest proposals.

Prior to working for the Survey, he worked for the Washington Department of Ecology, regulating well drilling and water well construction.

Click here to see my bio:   https://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_bio_contreras_trevor.pdf