Geology of Mount Baker's Easton Glacier

Geology of Mount Baker's Easton Glacier

Geology of Mount Baker's Easton Glacier

Event Details

When
Jul 25, 2020 from 07:30 AM to 07:30 PM
Where
Mount Baker
Instructor
Class Tuition
$110.00
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The stratovolcanoes of the Cascades — Rainier, Baker, Glacier, Adams & others — contain the largest glaciers in the contiguous United States. They exemplify the wild grandeur and beauty of these rugged mountains. They also provide a myriad of benefits to the environment and society by providing abundant cool meltwater to rivers downvalley, sediments for fish spawning, and numerous recreational opportunities for avid outdoor enthusiasts.

Their size and remoteness, however, does not make them immune from the forces of climate change. In the past 150 years, these glaciers have receded dramatically, substantially altering the landscapes surrounding them.

The Easton Glacier on the southwest side of Mt. Baker provides a remarkable and relatively accessible example of these changes.

In this one-day field excursion, we will visit the recently exposed landscape preserved below the Easton Glacier and investigate the geologic story laid bare by the historical retreat of the glacier. We will see evidence of glacial scour and erosion, investigate evidence for multiple prehistoric advances of the glacier, discuss the causes of glacier change and retreat, and see first-hand the unique nature of glacier ice emerging from the glacier terminus.

We will also discuss the effects of these changes on water and environmental resources downstream, as well as what we can do to help mitigate those changes through thoughtful environmental stewardship of the river basins.

Participants should be in relatively good hiking shape and able to travel over uneven terrain.