Presentation Title

PL-1 Deciphering a Slice of Washington’s History Writ Large

Presenter Status

Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology

Second Presenter Status

Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics

Preferred Session

Oral Session

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Start Date

30-10-2015 12:40 PM

End Date

30-10-2015 1:00 PM

Presentation Abstract

Washington State comprises one of the most geologically active regions in North America. A series of exotic terranes have plowed into one another to form the bulk of the state. The Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is diving beneath Washington from its western margin, generating earthquakes and pushing up the Olympics and Cascades. Lava, repeatedly oozed out from enormous fissures, has built up basalt deposits nearly two kilometers deep. Volcanoes in the Cascades intermittently erupt and spew gritty ash over vast areas. Continental glaciers have edged their way into the state from the north multiple times and created a set of unmistakable landforms and deposits. A series of enormous floods repeatedly have swept over the eastern part of the state creating the channeled scablands. Protection Island, where we study the biology of seabirds, preserves a thin but magnificent slice of the Pleistocene component of this history – one of the finest in the state. In collaboration with two geologists, we are producing the first detailed description and interpretation of this spectacular series of deposits. This talk will feature an overview of Washington’s geologic past, followed by a description and preliminary analysis of the interval of history revealed by Protection Island’s strata.

Acknowledgments

We thank geologists Roy Jensen, Hart Crowser, Seattle and Bob Cushman, Walla Walla University for collaborating with us on this project; Andrews University's Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, Walla Walla University, and Hart Crowser, Seattle, for their financial support; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their permission to work on Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge.

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Oct 30th, 12:40 PM Oct 30th, 1:00 PM

PL-1 Deciphering a Slice of Washington’s History Writ Large

Washington State comprises one of the most geologically active regions in North America. A series of exotic terranes have plowed into one another to form the bulk of the state. The Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is diving beneath Washington from its western margin, generating earthquakes and pushing up the Olympics and Cascades. Lava, repeatedly oozed out from enormous fissures, has built up basalt deposits nearly two kilometers deep. Volcanoes in the Cascades intermittently erupt and spew gritty ash over vast areas. Continental glaciers have edged their way into the state from the north multiple times and created a set of unmistakable landforms and deposits. A series of enormous floods repeatedly have swept over the eastern part of the state creating the channeled scablands. Protection Island, where we study the biology of seabirds, preserves a thin but magnificent slice of the Pleistocene component of this history – one of the finest in the state. In collaboration with two geologists, we are producing the first detailed description and interpretation of this spectacular series of deposits. This talk will feature an overview of Washington’s geologic past, followed by a description and preliminary analysis of the interval of history revealed by Protection Island’s strata.