Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Connecting curious minds with uncommon, undeniably Northwest reads

The Restless Northwest

A Geological Story

Hill Williams


In an easy, conversational style, The Restless Northwest provides a brief overview of the remarkable geological processes that shaped the Pacific Northwest.

2003 Washington State Book Award winner

An OARS Essential Oregon reading list selection 


Gift Wrap Design

Gift wrap ($5.00)


The Restless Northwest provides a brief, easy-to-follow overview of the geologic processes that shaped the Northwest.

One of the attractions of the Northwest is its varied terrain, from the volcanic Cascade Range to the flood-scoured scablands of eastern Washington and the eroded peaks of the northern Rockies. These vast differences are the result of a collision of the old and the new. The western edge of Idaho was once the edge of ancient North America; as eons passed, a jumble of islands, minicontinents, and sediment piled up against the old continental edge, gradually extending it west to the present coastline.

Figuring out how and when these various land forms came together to create the Northwest took much geological detective work. Unlike many geology books that focus on rocks, The Restless Northwest emphasizes the human drama of geology. The narrative is sprinkled with firsthand accounts of people involved in the exciting geological discoveries made in recent years.

Hill Williams uses an informal conversational style to explain complex processes to a general readership. He enlivens the story of long-ago geologic events with fascinating asides on everything from enormous undersea tube worms to the Willamette meteorite, the largest ever found in the United States. Interested readers will discover much about Pacific Northwest geology without getting bogged down in an overabundance of details and scientific terms.

Illustrations / maps / index / 176 pages (2002)


2003 Washington State Book Award winner

“A superb story constructed by a master of scientific writing for all to read. You don’t need an earth science background to enjoy this story.”—James Whipple, retired, U.S. Geological Survey

“Hill Williams writes in a manner easily understood by the general public, not in the technical jargon of a professional geologist.”—Dr. Gary D. Webster, WSU Department of Geology

“Retired Seattle Times Science Writer, Hill Williams, presents a straight-forward and lucid discussion of the geologic activity that shaped the scenery of the Pacific Northwest.”—Jan Walsh, Washington State Librarian

Additional information

Weight .53 oz
Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 in

eBook, Paperback