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August-September 2013

As summer inevitably winds down and fall ramps up, the geologic mapping staff are gradually trickling back into their offices to begin the cartography phase of their 2013 quadrangle maps and to put the finishing touches on their 2012 maps that are due to be published by the end of October. Although we are reluctant to bid farewell to the spectacular summer weather (which many claim was the best in recent memory), we are excited to look forward to the new host of projects and activities to come in the months ahead. For now, we invite you to take a look at an exciting number of new products, publications, and technological advances that DGER achieved over the 2013 summer months. Read on... 
August Geology Image of the Month

The August geology image of the month was taken by mapping geologists Gabriel Legorretta Paulin and Trevor Contreras. It was taken during the 2012 field season while mapping along the Hood Canal, a region that Trevor and others have been working in for the past five years with the aid of grants provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. The mappers have made an number of important discoveries in Hood Canal, including recognition of the dominance of nonglacial sediments in the basin, and the mapping of Seattle fault zone strands as well as previously unknown faults. They have concluded that deposits and landforms in the Hood Canal area are indicative of stagnant or dead-ice terrain, rather than the result of active ice conditions during the Vashon glaciation.

The lovely landscape photo was taken from the southern end of the Toandos Peninsula looking south down Hood Canal. To the southeast is the Kitsap Peninsula and the community of Seabeck. To the southwest are the Olympic Mountains and the community of Brinnon.

September Geology Image of the Month

The September geology image of the month
was taken by State Geologist, Dave Norman. It shows a well-exposed angular unconformity in the rocks at Beach 4, located along coastal Highway 101 between Ruby Beach (to the N) and Kalaloch (to the S), and within the bounds of Olympic National Park.

An angular unconformity is created when strata that were originally deposited horizontally are then uplifted, deformed, and eroded before being covered by a later horizontal deposit (see diagram below). An unconformity represents a gap of geologic time missing in the rock record.


At Beach 4, the tilted strata are comprised of Miocene-aged turbidite deposits overlain by weakly stratified Pleistocene glacial outwash deposits. Also see Dave Tucker's geoblog for an excellent field trip guide to this area.  

3D PDF of the Seabeck-Poulsbo quadrangles available for download from the Subsurface Geology webpage.
What's New on the Web?
As discussed in our previous newsletter, we continue to work on the generation of geologic maps as 3D PDFs.

We have just released the Seabeck-Poulsbo 3D PDF map, which joins the Sultan 3D PDF (available in July) in our growing selection of digital 3D maps. Currently, the DNR Subsurface Geology webpage hosts the downloadable 3D PDFs, but beware as they are large files! Seabeck-Poulsbo is over 50 MB.


3D PDF files are a fun way to explore the relationships between topography, surface geology, and subsurface geology (represented by cross sections and borehole data). What's even better is that no expensive or special software is needed to view them! Files can be viewed and manipulated with the freely-available Adobe® Reader®.

Users can zoom, pan, and spin the map, viewing the geology in 360°, and experiment with different lighting and transparency options. Users can also identify subsurface geologic units by clicking on layers within the cross sections and boreholes.

The new Natural Hazards theme icon.
What's New on the Portal?

The migration of the Washington State Geologic Information Portal to Esri's ArcGIS for Server 10.1 platform is now complete, but there won't be a noticeable difference to the way you use it. The changes you will notice consist of data additions and theme changes.

Here is a summary of the latest portal enhancements:

  1. The Subsurface geology theme has been updated with the addition of approximately 8000 points, expanding the former, primarily Seattle-area coverage to statewide coverage. The new points have a variety of sources including the Washington State Departments of Transportation, Health, and Ecology, the Columbia Basin Groundwater Management Area, the U.S. Geological Survey, and many County Public Utility Districts. Further data additions are planned for the Subsurface theme in the near future, so check back often.
  2. The Geothermal Resources theme has additional gradient heat flow wells and earthquake event points. It now also includes a number of earthquakes with relocated hypocenters, based on results from the HypoDD modeling program, as well as new volcanic vents and geophysical data layers. Volcanic vents can be viewed categorized by vent group or by age, and the Geophysical Data layers add statewide aeromagnetic and gravity anomaly maps to the mix.
  3. Volcanic vents, geophysical data, and updated earthquakes have also been added as options within the Washington Interactive Geologic Map theme.
  4. We have added a Natural Hazards theme. You will notice that we have eliminated the individual Landslide and Lahar themes and have incorporated them into a combined Natural Hazards theme represented by the hazards icon in the portal menu webpage. In addition to landslides and lahars, the Natural Hazards theme also includes earthquake and liquefaction hazards, tsunami hazards, and tsunami evacuation zones. We intend to update the Natural Hazards viewer with flood and other hazards in the future, so stay tuned!   
New Publications

Information Circular 115. Inactive and abandoned mine lands-Old Dominion Mine, Colville Mining District, Stevens County, Washington, by F. E. Wolff, B. T. Garcia, D. T. McKay Jr., N. J. Heheman, and D. K. Norman
A great read if you are interested in mining history in the State of Washington, this information circular details the history of one of the state's first metal mines. Discovered in 1885, the Old Dominion Mine produced silver, lead, zinc, and copper during sporadic operations that ceased in the 1950s.

 TsuInfo Alert August (v. 15, no. 4)
TsuInfo Alert is a bi-monthly newsletter that links scientists, emergency responders, and community planners to the latest tsunami research. This newsletter is published by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources on behalf of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, a state/federal partnership funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is made possible by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency via the Washington Military Department, Division of Emergency Management.

Apologies to those disappointed by the lack of an individual August newsletter. This omission was due to time constraints and other commitments of the editors involved. Sometimes the relentless calendar just gets the best of us! However, We hope you enjoy this combined August-September 2013 edition of our newsletter.

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Washington State Department of Natural Resources | 360-902-1000 | bob.redling@dnr.wa.gov | http://www.dnr.wa.gov
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