New Geologic Map Unveils Port Ludlow's Underground

Aspect Staff Geologist Jesse Favia is a co-author of the recently published geologic map of the Port Ludlow area in Kitsap and Jefferson Counties. The map—officially the Geologic Map of the Port Ludlow and southern half of the Hansville 7.5-minute quadrangles, Kitsap and Jefferson Counties, Washington, Map Series 2015-02 by M. Polenz, J. G. Favia, I. J. Hubert, G. L. Paulin, and R. Cakir— was a joint effort between the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the United States Geological Survey. Much like a dictionary is an official reference point for language, geologic maps are the official references in the field of geology, and it is thought an honor to have a hand in creating one.

Jesse worked on the map through an internship with Michael Polenz at DNR. They started in July of 2014, when Jesse, Michael, and Ian Hubert set out to map the quadrangle, which covers Port Ludlow and about 50 square miles around it that includes parts of Kitsap and Jefferson County. The group spent the summer exploring the land—sometimes in a truck on rural roads, sometimes on foot through the forest, sometimes by boat floating by bluffs on the coastline. They looked for cut banks and slopes, any place where soils were exposed and allow them a peek below the ground surface. Some days were slow; some days they’d stumble upon a huge exposure where the layers of soil deposits were clearly visible and they could easily take samples to date and analyze.

When fall arrived, Jesse spent from November 2014 to May 2015 in Olympia conducting the “mini science experiment” that would ultimately make the map. They ran lab tests on the approximately 200 soil samples they collected, worked with DNR’s editing section to display the deposits, and wrote the corresponding report.

The result of their efforts created an updated geologic map that will be used by everyone from government agencies to local engineering firms to inform them about what’s underground around Port Ludlow. 

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