The surface material which covers most of the Puget Basin is

The Lawton Clay

The Vashon Till

The Whidbey Sand

The Possession Till

The modern landscape of the Puget Basin was formed

By rivers, eroding the landscape after the glacier retreated from the area

By subglacial erosion, beneath the Puget Lobe Glacier

By rivers emanating from the glacier terminus, eroding into the Esperance Sand in front of it.

In the bottom of Glacial Lake Russell, as pro-glacial sediments were being deposited.

Evidence suggests that people appears on the scene shortly after the retreat of the Puget Lobe, perhaps as early as 13,500 years ago. What is the evidence for this?


The contact between the Esperance Sand and the Lawton Clay is

A sharp, well-defined contact

Gradational, over several meters

An irregular, eroded surface

At the Vashon Till

The oldest glacial deposits exposed on Whidbey Island are the

The Double Bluff Till

The Vashon Till

The Alderton Till

The Possession Till

The waters of Glacial Lake Russell eventually rose to overtop the divide south of Olympia, and flowed to the Pacific Ocean by way of the Chehalis Valley. What is the evidence for this?


During the Whidbey non-glacial episode, the climate in this area

Was considerably warmer than now, warm enough to grow palm trees

Was considerably colder than now, as evidenced by the glaciers

Was broadly similar to that which exists today

Was much more variable than today, with wide swings in temperature over time

The Esperance Sand

Was deposited by rivers draining from the terminus of the Puget Lobe

Comprised what is known as a “glacial outwash plain”

Was essentially deposited as an extensive river delta, in the waters of Glacial Lake Russell

All of the above

Glacial Till is a unique deposit in that

It lacks the sorting typical of water-laid deposits

It blankets the landscape, rather than accumulating in flat layers

It lacks the layering characteristic of water-laid deposits

All of the above

Despite the fact that the continental icecap continued to advance southward until about 14,000 years ago, evidence suggests that the climate actually started warming after 21,000 years ago. What is the evidence for this?


During the last ice-age, the ice over the Seattle area was on the order of

300 feet thick

3000 feet thick

30,000 feet thick

Three miles thick

Sediments (sand, silt, gravel, clay) can be deposited by a number of agents (wind, water, glaciers, landslides). In looking for definitive evidence for past glaciations, the most important observations are

The presence of (lakebed) clay deposits

Thick layers of outwash sand and gravel

Buried layers of glacial ice

Layers of till deposits

The deposits of the Whidbey Formation either support or refute the possibility that there was a large marine body of water in the Puget Basin ~80,000 years ago. What position do these deposits support, and what is the evidence which makes that case?


As a rule, drumlins are always oriented

North-south, and steepest on the north end

Parallel to the pull of gravity

Downhill, with a gentle slope on the lower end

Parallel to the flow of the ice

We know that the Whidbey Formation dates from a non-glacial episode. What is the evidence for this?


Glacial Erratics are

Irregular landscape features which formed beneath the glacier

Exotic blocks of rock deposited by glaciers

An early-90’s grunge-rock band from Coupeville

Deep hollows cut by the retreating ice

The modern landscape of the Puget Sound Basin

Developed before the last ice-age

Will likely exist for another twenty million years

Is similar to that of the Whidbey non-glacial period

Will be re-arranged over the next ice-age

The Puget Lobe advanced into a non-glaciated landscape in this region. This resulted in the damming of local rivers and the development of ice-marginal “spillways” between adjacent valleys, as floodwaters flowed to the south. Give two examples of rivers which were diverted in this manner.


Lake Washington has its origins as

A deep canyon carved by the advancing glacier

The original Glacial Lake Russell

A huge sub-glacial drainage channel

The course of the ancestral Snoqualmie River

The “kettles” on the central portion of Whidbey Island

Were formed by sub-glacial erosion beneath the Puget Lobe Glacier

Are covered in glacial till

Usually contain “kettle” lakes

All of the above

None of the above

In the area around Everett, hills are typically steepest

On the northern end

On the downhill side

On the west sie

On the southern end

The modern landscape of the Puget Basin largely reflects the irregular (eroded) contact between

The Olympia Beds and the Lawton Clay

The Lawton Clay and the Esperance Sand

The Esperance Sand and the Vashon Till

The Vashon Till and younger deposits

Recent developments in LIDAR imaging have revolutionized our view of the landscape in this area. LIDAR imaging uses

Ultra-sophisticated aerial radar imaging

Satellite-based terrane imaging cameras

Ground-penetrating radar imaging

LASER range-finder technology

24. Glacial Lake Russell did not form until the continental ice-cap had reached to what is now the mid-point of Whidbey Island. What is the evidence for this?


The overall shape of the Puget Basin was

Carved out by continental glaciers over the last 2 million years

Excavated by melt-water over the last several glaciations

Established long before the start of the ice-ages

Formed as the land sank beneath the weight of the glaciers

North of Whidbey Island, the San Juan Islands rise to over 2000 feet in elevation. In contrast, the islands of the Puget Basin never exceed 500 feet in height. This difference is accounted for by the fact that

The Puget Lobe didn’t cover the San Juan Islands, like it did the Puget Basin

The Puget Lobe carved the landscape of the Puget Basin down to an elevation of 500 feet

The San Juan Islands are made of different materials than the Puget Basin islands

The San Juan Islands were uplifted after the glacier retreated from the landscape.

The characteristic which distinguishes Lake Pondilla as a probable “kettle” lake is that

It has no outlet

It is roughly circular

It is floored by the Vashon Till

It has been excavated out of the Vashon Till

In the town of Clinton (on the east side of the island, the Ferry terminal), the land rises from the water in a series of distinct “steps”. These features now serve as convenient routes for surface streets, but have their origins

When this region was last occupied by glacial ice

In the original formation of the larger Puget Basin

As the land rose after the last ice-age

As massive sub-glacial landslides

On the large prairies on the central portion of Whidbey Island, the Vashon Till is conspicuously absent from the landscape, which is made up of loose sand and gravel. This arrangement is owed to

Large-scale sub-glacial erosion beneath the Puget Lobe Glacier

The ancestral Skagit River, which deposited these sediments over the glacial till

The fact that this area was below sea level at the end of the last ice age, and didn’t accumulate till

None of the above

The small hills which pattern the upland portions of the Puget Basin are the end-result of a process which started

As the glacier carved deep channels into the older landscape

As streams emanating from the glacier cut channels into the outwash plain

Before the start of the last ice-age

with sub-glacial melt-water erosion

31. The Puget Sound (the marine body of water) is

a recent feature, formed over the last ice-age

a recurring feature on the landscape, formed during the early episodes of glaciation

an ancient feature, formed before the ice-ages

a modern feature, formed after the last ice-age

The continental-scale icecaps which filled the Puget Basin during the recent ice-ages

Had their origins in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains

Originally developed in the Rocky Mountains and Coast Ranges of British Columbia

Were part of an immense icecap which originated at the North Pole

Developed in the Puget Basin from accumulated snowfall over thousands of years.

Researchers have come to recognize that

There have probably been hundreds of glacial episodes over the last two million years

There have probably been over a dozen glacial episodes over the last two million years

There have probably been seven major glacial episodes over the last two million years

None of the above

The layering (“bedding”) pattern in the sand of the Whidbey Formation reflects the setting in which it was deposited. That setting was

An ocean-floor setting

A river floodplain

An extensive river delta

A much warmer setting than now

Sunlight Beach (adjacent to Double Bluff Beach) is an idyllic setting with a spectacular view looking down the length of Puget Sound. Recently, scientists did some digging in the swamplands behind the town, and found

Evidence that people were hunting mastodons here, as ice retreated from the landscape

Evidence that tsunami have repeatedly washed over this area

Evidence that people were living here before the last ice-age

Evidence that the entire area is now sinking

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