GEOL& 208: Geology of The Pacific Northwest

Class Program
Weekly Contact Hours
Course ID
Meets Degree Requirements For
Natural Science with Lab

Learn Pacific Northwest geology and geologic history by studying rocks, sediments, landforms, fossils, geologic maps and geologic structures. Examine how plate tectonics, volcanoes, faulting, folding, rock formations, geologic time, mountain building, terrain accretion, earthquakes, glaciers, rivers and floods have created our land and resources. May require field trip(s). Includes laboratory.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics


  1. the geologic time scale
  2. relative and absolute geologic time
  3. the rock cycle
  4. identifying and understanding the origins of common rocks and minerals
  5. plate tectonics
  6. plate subduction
  7. orogeny (mountain-building episodes)
  8. terrane accretion
  9. basic types of faults and folds
  10. major faults in the Pacific Northwest, active and inactive
  11. association of active faults with earthquakes
  12. earthquake hazard zones in the Pacific Northwest relative to location and plate boundaries
  13. tsunami, and history of tsunami on PNW coast
  14. major folds, grabens, and metamorphic core complexes in the Pacific Northwest
  15. continental and alpine glaciers
  16. glacial erosional features
  17. glacial depositional features
  18. glaciation history of the Pacific Northwest
  19. Channeled Scablands and glacial Lake Missoula outburst floods
  20. geologic history of the Pacific Northwest over the course of geologic time
  21. fossils of the Pacific Northwest
  22. the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the Pacific Northwest
  23. volcanoes (types of volcanoes, types of eruptions, volcanic arcs at subduction zones, flood basalts)
  24. basic geologic structures (faults, folds, grabens, metamorphic core complexes)
  25. reading geologic maps and geologic map keys
  26. reading geologic cross-sections
  27. drawing geologic cross-sections (optional)
  28. drawing geologic maps (optional)
  29. paleomagnetism (optional)