Posted by: magmatist | June 9, 2012

Field Trip- August 8

The Pinus Lake lava is known for its 240′ north face of columnar lava just east of Nooksack Falls. The field trip will go to the top of the cliff from the gentle backside. Click to enlarge.

The first Mount Baker Volcano Research Center geology field trip of 2012 will travel up the North Fork Nooksack on Wednesday, August 8. The  all-day trip will visit:

  • The Pinus Lake andesite flow, a 202,000-year-old lava that predates Mount Baker and issued from an uncertain source area up Wells Creek.
  • A greenstone quarry near Nooksack Falls. This is sea floor basalt lava, metamorphosed to a bright green during subduction beneath North America.
  • Nooksack Falls, flowing over lava of the Wells Creek Formation.
  • Deposits of the gigantic Church Mountain Landslide at Glacier; the landslide roared from high on Church Mountain into the North Fork valley, then down the valley for 6 miles.
  • Deposits of the ancient Racehorse Creek Landslide near Deming.

The trip to the lava flow requires a 1/2 mile walk on an old, partially overgrown logging road and then a cross-country walk for 150 yards through old growth forest to the brink of the 240′ lava cliff. The river and Mount Baker Highway are far below. There is very little elevation gain on the walk.

The 2000-year-old Church Mountain landslide is outlined in yellow. Note the location of Glacier, and the 1-mile scale bar. Google Earth screen save. Click to enlarge

The trip will be led by Whatcom Community College geology professor Doug McKeever, who also serves on the MBVRC board of directors. The trip is open to all – academic or professional background in geology is not necessary, though students and working geologists are welcome and invited.

The trip fee is $75 – van rental and a written trip guide are provide. Fees are used by MBVRC to support our grant program [read about this year’s grant awards here].

To reserve a place or ask for more information, send an email to:

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Tell us how many people are registering. You will receive payment and trip information. This trip will likely fill very quickly, so don’t delay! Participants on this trip will receive discounts on other trips offered in 2012, to be announced.


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