Tree-ring studies in the Cascade Range and Puget Lowland
Undergraduate Field Studies and Research in the Earth Sciences at Centralia College
updated May 31, 2013
Glacier Lake Landslide Puzzle of the ~2,300 yr B.P. buried and submerged trees
Research published at the Northwest Scientific Association's 84th Annual Meeting at Portland State University in Portland Oregon
2nd Undergraduate Geoscience Research Conference—April 19, 2013 at the University of Puget Sound Tacoma WA
~1,100 yr B.P. buried forests in the Puyallup and Duwamish River valleys [coming soon]
Field and lab research gives students experience in making observations
about the natural world while doing field studies, collecting data,
taking notes, conducting lab work, and writing up and communicating
about their inquiries. They not only learn how to organize a study, but
find out that field and lab studies help you to direct and focus your
research—It's an iterative process.
Investigations of Glacier Lake landslide and other landslides near Packwood, Washington
Colleen Suter takes a core of a Douglas-fir atop the Glacier Lake
rockslide deposit while Christina Williams waits to give her break from
the coring. The landslide is one of several young rockslide-debris
avalanches in the southwest Washington Cascade Range near Packwood.
Estimating the age of the oldest tree growing atop the landslide will
help establish a minimum age.
Christina and Colleen slide a straw sleeve over the core as they prepare to extract it from the bit.
The core cooperates and comes out in one piece!
And back at the Centralia College tree-ring lab...
...the cores are untwisted by steaming (if necessary), glued down to pieces of wood lath, and the taped for drying.
When the glue is dry, the tape is removed and the cores are
sanded/polished ending with 2000 grit abrasive paper (the kind use in
autobody finishing). The samples were then blasted with compressed air
to remove any grit.
Colleen examines the annual growth rings of the Glacier Lake trees with a stereomicroscope.
Suter, Colleen; Pringle, Patrick Patrick T.; Schuster, Robert
L., 2013, New environmental and radiocarbon evidence for the ages of
two Holocene landslide-dammed lakes in the southern Washington Cascade
Range, USA [abstract]: Northwest Scientific Association, Annual
Meeting, 84th, p. 78–79.
Colleen and Katie Glew, outgoing President of the Northwest Scientific Association, at the poster session.
Return to the top of the page.
Puzzle of the ~2,300 yr B.P. subfossil trees
We compared the mysteriously similar radiocarbon ages of buried
and/or submerged trees at several sites in, and near the Puget Lowland
and are using tree-ring methods to test possible correlations.
Pringle, Patrick T.; Williams, Christina A., 2013, What geologic
event(s) killed the circa 2,300 yr B.P. submerged or buried subfossil
trees at multiple sites in and near the Puget Lowland, Washington USA?
Northwest Scientific Association, Annual Meeting, 84th, p. 69–70.
Subfossil trees in Woodland Creek near Olympia, Washington are
preserved because they are in the intertidal zone of Henderson Inlet.
The middle tree yielded a radiocarbon age of ~2,300 yr B.P. What killed
Christina Williams discusses the poster with Serrafina Ferri and Megan Walsh of Centralia Washington University.
Christina Williams discusses the poster with David Jordan of Trinity College in BC.
Riding the streetcar in Portland after the opening reception at the NW Science meeting.
2nd Undergraduate Geoscience Research Conference—April 19, 2013 at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma WA
Colleen Suter and Michelle Kearns attended the conference with Pat
Pringle. Participants were from the University of Puget Sound, Pacific
Lutheran University, University of Washington Tacoma, and Centralia
Colleen Suter discusses her poster with Professor Kena Fox-Dobbs of
the University of Puget Sound Geology Dept. while Michelle Kearns looks
on. Barry Goldstein of UPS at right and Duncan Foley of Pacific
Lutheran University in the background.The conference was held in the science building at the Univer
sity of Puget Sound. Michelle is just beginning a research project
looking at subfossil trees buried ~1,100 years ago in the Puyallup and
White River valleys.