Roadside Geology of Washington (Roadside Geology Series) by David D. Alt

By David D. Alt

As with every of my scans, the intro and desk of contents are on the very finish of the PDF, in order that web page numbers within the TOC are accurate.

The geology of Washington is a narrative of islands--micro-continents--coming in from the ocean. 200 million years in the past such a lot of Washington consisted of 2 huge islands, each a scrap of continent, mendacity someplace within the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. one by one they docked onto the North American continent, each one including its certain bit to the complicated geologic and geographic mosaic of western North the USA.

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56 m THE NORTH CASCADE SUBCONTINENT The North Cascades of Washington are the southern end of the North Cascade subcontinent, which extends north through much of British Columbia. Although most of the story is still undeciphered, there is no doubt that the area was a small continent that went its separate way somewhere in the vast­ ness of the Pacific Ocean for many millions of years. The last of the oceanic crust that formerly separated it from North America vanished into the old Okanogan trench early in Eocene time, about 50 million years ago.

Old clay pits in the Latah formation are good places to look for layers of white volcanic ash full ofbeautifully preserved fossil leaves. Most of the leaves are of species similar to those that live today in southeastern United States and the Caribbean region. They clearly show that the Pacific Northwest had a warm and wet climate during late Miocene time. Granite An exposure ofgranodiorite in a roadcutjust south ofthe Pend Oreille River. The dark inclusions are fragments ofolder rock that the magma picked up, but did not assimilate before it crystallized.

1 £il9 Hayden lake � oeur d'Alene Lake The general distribution of glacial features in the area north of Spokane at the maximum of the last ice age. 37 � @ ® Plateau Basalt Flat-topped hills several miles east of Colbert and Chattaroy are basalt lava flows of the Columbia Plateau, which flooded into this broad valley. Evidently, the valley already existed during late Miocene time when the flood basalts erupted. Wind blown dust exactly like that in the Palouse Hills south of Spokane caps the basalt flows in this area at the northern limit of both plateau basalt and loess.

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