Sucia Island

Geological Phenomena of Sucia Island

Fossil Bay, unique weathering formations, and dinosaurs oh my! Sucia Island has a rich and diverse geological history and is a destination for anyone interested in the topic.

On a small horseshoe-shaped island above Orcas Island, centuries of geological history and phenomena are being discovered. Sucia Island, which was once part of Baja California’s sea floor, is home to many archaeological, geological, and ecological discoveries. Fossil Bay is one of the larger bays on the island and gets its name from the abundance of marine fossils it holds. These marine fossil sediments include clams, snails, and ammonites and can be dated back to about 75 million years ago.

In addition to the fossils, Sucia Island contains many unique geological points of interest along its shores. Among these, mushroom rocks, china caves, honeycomb weathering, and more are all geological phenomena found on the island. These weathering features form due to consistent wetting and drying patterns that can be attributed to the tides. The chemical weathering caused by the salt water and relatively porous rock like sandstone can create different shapes within the rocky shore.

A more recent discovery on Sucia Island added Washington to the list of states within the United States to find a dinosaur fossil. The fossilized bone was discovered in Fossil Bay in 2012 and finally successfully excavated in 2015. It took experts three years of extremely careful work to ensure the specimen was as intact as possible and the excavation went smoothly. The fossil is too incomplete to tell the exact species the bone belongs to, but experts deduced that due to its size the fossil likely belonged to an individual slightly smaller than a Tyrannosaurus rex.