December’s geology image of the month of the Nisqually Glacier was taken by State Geologist Dave Norman. The glacier, located on the southern flank of Mount Rainier, is the source of the Nisqually River that wends its way along the boarder between Pierce and Thurston Counties before emptying into southern Puget Sound at Nisqually Reach. The glacier is easily viewed from Paradise Rd. E, which runs by many of Mount Rainier’s most scenic viewpoints, including many waterfalls. Christine Falls (pictured below) is located less than a mile west of the Nisqually River bridge and is characteristic of the picturesque scenery in this region.
Have you ever wanted to be a better Geologic Information Portal (online interactive map) user?
Have you wanted to dive into the world of 3D geology with Google Earth KMZs and 3D PDFs, but didn’t know where to start?
DGER has recently released a number of tutorial guides for our portal and 3D data offerings via YouTube videos hosted on DNR’s YouTube site. The portal tutorials are divided into 4 user-friendly presentations covering a variety of topics and frequently asked questions related to the geology map portal. The 3D PDF and Google Earth overlay tutorials serve as user guides and demonstrate the functionality of these products that we have previously highlighted on this blog.
To access these videos, click on the hyperlink above or the YouTube logo below. This will take you to the Washington State DNR YouTube channel. From there scroll down until you see the “Geology” category and the tutorial videos. This is also where we will add other DGER-related videos in the future.
This year’s theme is “Discovering the World Through GIS.”
As in previous years, there will be ongoing presentations in the State Capitol Building (Olympia, WA) highlighting the use of GIS in the public and private sectors. Both oral and poster presentations will continue until 3:45 PM.
Highlights of this issue include an article on the vertical tsunami evacuation structure to be incorporated into the design of the new Ocosta Elementary School in Grays Harbor County, and the publication announcement for Landslide and liquefaction maps for the Long Beach Peninsula, Pacific County, Washington: Effects on tsunami inundation zones of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake, authored by DGER geologists.
Pictured are geothermal geologist Jeff Bowman (DNR) and Adam Lewis (Snohomish Co. PUD) logging an exploration well for temperature gradient. This well was located on private land next to the Garland Hot Springs in Snohomish County. The trip to the well required a 3 hour Snowcat (in picture) ride each way. They logged the well in March of 2011.
Exploratory geothermal well logging is an important element of DGER work, and occurs statewide. Below is a picture of a drilling on U.S. Forest Service land in the upper Wind River Valley, Skamania County (from August 2012). In the picture geologists are collecting a sample of the drill cuttings for analysis and lithologic description. The drilling is part of DGER’s National Geothermal Data System (NGDS) grant received from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. It is part of a larger effort to compile and collect existing and new data related to geothermal resources.
Geothermal drilling in Wind River Valley, Skamania County, Washington.
Erick Burns, a USGS hydrologist at the Oregon Water Science Center in Portland, is in the final stages of publishing the results of modeling groundwater and heat flow in the Columbia Basin. He’s graciously agreed to come to Olympia to give a presentation about the results of the work. All are welcome. Anyone interested in geothermal or groundwater resources in the Columbia Basin, GIS, or modeling is especially encouraged to attend.