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USGS Geology in the Parks

North Cascades Geology

Canadian and American Border Peaks
Canadian and American Border Peaks, Mount Baker Wilderness

Feeling the Mountains' Pulse

A traveler in the North Cascades, on the highway or along the trails, will soon get a feeling of nature’s changing and evolving ways. Roaring cascades, fresh rockfalls, uprooted 500-year-old trees, all indicate the slow-motion change of the mountain scene. Many of the significant changes in the scenery come in bursts during great storms, or earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions. We brief visitors can see the evidence of these more recent changes all around us in the mountains, and if we look carefully at the rocks, we can also see the evidence of similar changes in the geologic past. A thoughtful visit to the North Cascades may let us all feel the slow but ever present pulse of the mountains and in them the pulse of the Earth itself, the planet we call home.
Thanks for visiting this very special place with us!

Material in this site has been adapted from a book, Geology of the North Cascades: A Mountain Mosaic by R. Tabor and R. Haugerud, of the USGS, with drawings by Anne Crowder. It is published by The Mountaineers, Seattle.

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