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Scientific Investigations Map 3328

Prepared in cooperation with King County, Washington

Geologic Map of the Vashon 7.5' Quadrangle and Selected Areas, King County, Washington

By Derek B. Booth, Kathy Goetz Troost, and Rowland W. Tabor

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (40 MB)Introduction

This map is an interpretation of a 6-ft-resolution lidar-derived digital elevation model combined with geology by Derek B. Booth and Kathy Goetz Troost. Field work by Booth and Troost was located on the 1:24,000-scale topographic map of the Vashon and Des Moines 7.5' quadrangles that were published in 1997 and 1995, respectively. Much of the geology was interpreted from landforms portrayed on the topographic maps, supplemented by field exposures, where available. In 2001, the Puget Sound Lidar Consortium (see obtained a lidar-derived digital elevation model (DEM) for Vashon Island and the Des Moines quadrangle. For a brief description of lidar and this data acquisition program, see Haugerud and others (2003). This new DEM has a horizontal resolution of 6 ft (1.83 m) and mean vertical accuracy of about 1 ft (about 0.3 m). The greater resolution and accuracy of the lidar DEM facilitated a much-improved interpretation of many aspects of the surficial geology, especially the distribution and relative age of landforms and the materials inferred to comprise them. Booth and Troost were joined by Tabor to interpret the new lidar DEM but have done no futher field work for this map.

This map, the Vashon quadrangle and selected adjacent areas, encompasses most of Vashon Island, Maury Island, and Three Tree Point in the south-central Puget Sound. One small area in the Vashon quadrangle on the east side of Puget Sound is excluded from this map but included on the adjacent Seattle quadrangle (Booth and others, 2005). The map displays a wide variety of surficial geologic deposits, which reflect many geologic environments and processes. Multiple ice-sheet glaciations and intervening nonglacial intervals have constructed a complexly layered sequence of deposits that underlie both islands to a depth of more than 300 m below sea level. These deposits not only record glacial and nonglacial history but also control the flow and availability of ground water, determine the susceptibility of the slopes to landslides, and provide economic reserves of sand and gravel. The islands are surrounded by channels of Puget Sound, some as deep as the islands are high (>600 ft (~200 m)). The shorelines provide many kilometers of well-exposed coastal outcrops that reveal abundant lithologic and stratigraphic details not ordinarily displayed in the heavily vegetated Puget Lowland.

First posted June 11, 2015

This publication is online only

For additional information, contact:
Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
345 Middlefield Road, MS 901
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3591

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Suggested citation:

Booth, D.B., Troost, K.G., and Tabor, R.W., 2015, Geologic map of the Vashon 7.5' quadrangle and selected areas, King County, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3328, pamphlet 11 p., scale 1:24,000,

ISSN 2329-132X (online)

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