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Geology of the Okanogan Highlands 2014

Geology of the Okanogan Highlands
Saturday, August 16th




Introduction


Okanogan Highlands Alliance (OHA) provided another extraordinary outdoor learning opportunity: a tour highlighting the geology of the highlands, expanding on what was shared during the past three years’ Highland Wonders geology tours. On Saturday, August 16th, Geology of the Okanogan Highlands, Part IV was led by a team of speakers who each brought a different emphasis. The team was headed by Dr. Karl Lillquist, a professor in the Geography Department and Co-Director of the Resource Management Graduate Program at CWU. He was also an instructor for the Ellensburg Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute, and co-led last year’s OHA Geology Tour. Karl has degrees in Geography and Geology, and a special interest in geomorphology, a field of study that focuses on landforms and how they originated. 
Karl Lillquist instructing during OHA's Geology Tour 2013

Teaching in the Okanogan Highlands has a personal connection for Karl, having lived in Oroville as a child, and returning to Lost Lake each summer for family reunions. "I am especially fascinated with the glacial history of the highlands. The landforms suggest clues about how the ice, thousands of feet thick, and flowing meltwater moved through the area -- creating the features we see today. This tour will help people read the story of the land."

Ralph and Cheryl Dawes

Ralph and Cheryl Dawes (left) also helped lead the event, for the fourth year in a row. Dr. Dawes is a professor at Wenatchee Valley College and Cheryl has a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. Both focus on how to interpret rocks and minerals to understand the geology of the landscape. Ralph and Cheryl have played an instrumental role in the development of OHA’s geology tours through generous contributions of time and energy.
The 2014 geology tour touched on three major geologic processes that have shaped the area: glaciation, terrane accretion, and volcanic activity. Participants observed the impact of continental glaciers repeatedly advancing from the north over the region, sculpting the highlands and sprinkling them with sediments and erratic boulders. The glaciers smoothed the ridges and peaks, deposited flat layers of sediment on the valley bottoms, formed flat benches along the sides of the valleys, and created the system of lakes and streams that water the Highlands today. It is on this foundation that the modern flora and fauna of the highlands, including people, have established themselves and made their homes. Underneath and sometimes protruding from the landforms, a wide array of mineral types can be found, telling the story of ages past. The group viewed up-close examples of mineral metamorphism and recrystallization in rock outcrops, observing the effect of heat and pressure within earth’s crust, a process that replaced the original minerals in the rocks with new minerals. The event provided insight into how the unique combination of bedrock, geologic structures, and glacial features create the wondrous landscape of the Okanogan Highlands. 

Click on the images to view larger versions.


Stop 1


 
Stop 1- Mt Hull
Stop 1- Mt Hull
 
Stop 1- Mt Hull - Karl Lillquist sketch



Stop 2



Stop 2 - Chesaw Grade

Stop 2 - Chesaw Grade, east of Oroville
  
Stop 2


 
Stop 2 - Gypsum crystal
Stop 2 - Gypsum crystal
  
Stop 2 - Kame terrace
 
Stop 2 - Chesaw Grade

  
Stop 2 - bedding in glacial lake sediments
Stop 2 - Bedding in glacial lake sediments

Stop 3


Stop 3 - Molson
Stop 3 - Molson
 
Bus map
 



Molson - Panorama


  

 
Karl sketches the formation of a Roche Moutonnee
Karl sketches the formation of a Roche Moutonnee

  
Karl Lillquist sketch


 
The group makes use of the custom map printed for this event
The group makes use of the custom map printed for this event.


(Stop 4 was lunch in Chesaw.)
  

Stop 5

Stop 5 - Byers road panorama above Chesaw

Stop 5 - Byers road panorama above Chesaw
 


 
Karl speaks at Stop 5
Karl Lillquist speaks at Stop 5

 
Ralph Dawes speaks at Stop 5
Ralph Dawes speaks at Stop 5

 
Ralph Dawes discusses the geologic history of Buckhorn Mountain
Ralph Dawes discusses the geologic history of Buckhorn Mountain
 

(Stop 6 was viewed from the bus while driving by.)


Stop 7


Hummocks on the way to Stop 7, along Hungry Hollow road


Hummocks on the way to Stop 7, along Hungry Hollow road
 
The group looks at the interior of a Kame
The group looks at the interior of a Kame

Layering inside the kame
Layering inside the kame

 
Karl illustrates how a kame is formed
Karl illustrates how a kame is formed.

Stop 8


Nealy/Havillah road junction
The group views the landscape from the Nealy/Havillah road junction.
 

View from Nealy and Havillah road junction
The view from Nealy and Havillah road junction

 
One of the cirques on Mount Bonaparte
One of the cirques on Mount Bonaparte.
  
Karl Lillquist sketches the formation of a cirque.
Karl Lillquist sketches the formation of a cirque.



Stop 9



Antoine Gneiss and overlook of the Antoine gorge
Antoine Gneiss and overlook of the Antoine gorge
  

 
The group looks over the Antoine gorge
The group looks over the Antoine gorge.

Antoine Overlook
Antoine overlook