The Johnson Creek Watershed contains volcanoes, Missoula flood deposits, and the oldest rocks in the East Portland Metro. Though this dramatic geologic history is usually obscured by vegetation and development, the creek cuts a slice down through the geologic layer cake to reveal the rock formations underlying Gresham, Southeast Portland, and Milwaukie. Paul Edison-Lahm will lead this virtual tour of the Watershed and give tips for exploring Portland's Eastside.
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country invites you to its 83rd Annual Banquet. Speaker Ellen Morris Bishop will present “Mountains out of Molehills: A Brief History of The Wallowas.” The banquet will be held March 11, 2018, at Ernesto’s Italian Restaurant. Doors to the banquet room open at 1:00 p.m. Dinner at 1:30 p.m. Program will begin at 2:15 p.m.
Recent lidar mapping of large landslides in the western Columbia Gorge in Skamania County, WA, shows that there are many more landslides than previously thought. The mapping area contains at least 215 discrete landslides of various ages — ranging from more than 15,000 years old to currently active. Tom Pierson is a senior research scientist at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, where his investigations focus mainly on volcano hazards involving lahars (mudflows), floods, and landslides—processes occurring both during and following volcanic eruptions.
This car caravan/carpool field trip will focus on the diverse geology of Idaho’s Snake River Plain and the granitic core and the exterior ‘skin’ of the Albion Mountains/Middle Mountain region. The trip will be based in Boise for three nights (June 2, 3, 7) and Twin Falls for three nights (June 4, 5, 6). Participants will rendezvous in Boise the morning of June 3 after traveling from Portland the previous day. Some light walking/hiking will be on the agenda (maximum 1.6 miles one way) and moderate elevation gain (approx. 200 ft.). Most travel will be on paved roads but also there is about 46 miles of good quality gravel, four miles of graded dirt track, and two miles of a dirt track with a few patches of ruts and rocks, which is negotiable by normal clearance vehicles.
GSOC field trip leaders will present our "Year in Review" program with brief slide show summaries of their trips.
Rik Smoody: “The Eclipse! And More…,” August 18-21
Larry Purchase: “GSOC Rock Quarry and Gravel Pit Field Trip,” June 11-12
Sheila Alfsen, “Mt. St. Helens Helicopter Tour,” September 9
Paul Edison-Lahm, "Downtown PDX Building Stone Tours," June 24, Oct 7
GSOC Annual Holiday Party is scheduled for SATURDAY, December 16, at 614 NE 114th Ave., Portland. GSOC Board Members will provide main dishes with protein of various sorts. Other members please bring vegetable, side dishes or desserts for 6 to share, plus beverage of their choice. Music program to be announced.
There will be no December Friday night meeting due to the Holiday Party.
Friday Night Lecture — Leslie Moclock, "Oregon’s Gems: The Geologic Stories Behind Beautiful Stones"
Oregon’s volcanic history has given us more than mountains. Come learn how sunstones and opals feature in our state’s geologic past. Leslie Moclock has been the curator at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals since 2014. She holds a MS in Geology from University of California-Davis and a BA from Amherst College.
(Geode photo by Jeff Scovil, courtesy Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals.)
The Middle Columbia Basin of north-central Oregon lies across the axis of the High Cascades volcanic arc, stretching from Cascade Locks east to Biggs and southward from the Columbia River to Tygh Valley. Ongoing Geologic mapping in the basin by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is providing new insight into the middle Miocene to present volcanic and structural development of the region. Jason McClaughry, DOGAMI Eastern Oregon Regional Geologist, will summarize local Columbia River Basalt Group stratigraphy, discuss new geochemical data and geochronologic constraints on late Miocene to Pleistocene Early to Late High Cascades Volcanic Rocks, and characterize the major structural trends in the region.
We can't get enough of exploring Downtown Portland Building Stone! If you missed our Spring tour or just want to see more interesting buildings, join us for this two-hour walking tour of more of downtown Portland's geological mysteries and oddities. This tour is open to public. We will be meeting at Pioneer Courthouse Square, across from the 6th Avenue Pioneer Courthouse entrance.
The Johnson Creek Watershed contains volcanoes, Missoula flood deposits, and the oldest rocks in the Portland Metro. Though this dramatic geologic history is usually obscured by vegetation and development, the creek cuts a slice down through the geologic layer cake to reveal the rock formations underlying Gresham, Southeast Portland, and Milwaukie. Grab a pint at the Eagle Eye Tavern and find out more at this science talk, by the GSOC's own Paul Edison-Lahm. This is a Johnson Creek Watershed Council event. Register here.
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country will host a one-day helicopter field trip of Mt. St. Helens. The helicopter tour is approximately 40 minutes of spectacular scenery as you fly over both the devastated area from the 1980 eruption and the crater itself. An educational presentation by Sheila Alfsen will precede your tour so that you can recognize and interpret the landscape in light of the greatest volcanic event in recorded U.S. history.
This trip limited to GSOC members and their guests only. Become a member today!
Frank Hladky, Oregon Registered Geologist and Geology Instructor will discuss Getting the Science Right: Teaching and Doing Geology in Southern Oregon. Teaching geology to youth requires clarifying the philosophy of rational thought. Geology, like other sciences, relies on evidence to substantiate interpretations. Utilizing vignettes from geological field studies in southern Oregon, Mr. Hladky shows how multiple lines of evidence leads to an understanding of the natural world with greater clarity.
Registration now open. Limited to GSOC members and their guests only. This field trip, organized by GSOC President Rik Smoody, will focus on the geology of the Cascades and will climax in the total eclipse of the sun on the morning of August 21. It will be held at a private property in Mill City, Oregon, and will be limited to 48 GSOC members and their guests and 12 vehicles. Cost $80 per person.
This year’s GSOC picnic will be held at the farm belonging to GSOC Past President Janet Rasmussen and her husband Doug Rasmussen. It is open to GSOC members only. It will be held at 5401 NE Riverside Drive, McMinnville, Oregon. If you are coming, bring $5 a head to offset production costs, your favorite picnic chair, your favorite beverage and a side dish or dessert. Janet will be providing hamburgers and veg hamburgers, buns and condiments. Games will include croquet and billiards.
Because of the high temperatures forecast for Saturday, the starting time for this tour has been pushed up to 9:00 a.m. We will fully refund your fee if you have already registered and the new time doesn't work for you. Sorry for the inconvenience. Email Paul with questions or cancellations.
Come see billion-year-old building stones and the fossils hidden under our feet. Join us for a two-hour outdoor walking tour of downtown Portland’s geological mysteries and oddities. This tour is open to the public.
Join us for a one day field trip to study Missoula Floods gravel and cobble deposits, and Boring volcanism in Clark County on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Tour will be given by Bill Montgomery, CEMEX Executive, and GSOC Past Presidents Bo Nonn and Larry Purchase.
At the end of the Ice Age when the Lake Missoula Flood roared across the landscape, the floodwaters carried with it granite and other boulders. These rocks, referred to as erratics, were encased in the floating sections of the broken ice dam and distributed along the path of the mighty waters from Montana to the Pacific Ocean. Rick Thompson of the Ice Age Floods Institute will tell about the ongoing hunt for these iceberg erratics in the Portland/Willamette Valley area, explain how to recognize an erratic, and discuss ice age floods around the world.
Thomas Condon, Frontier Missionary and Oregon’s First State Geologist, came to the Oregon Territory in 1852 and soon became interested in its remarkable fossil assemblage.
Condon's personal collection of Oregon plant and animal fossils reflect not only his science but his travels and associates as well. Dr. Orr will examine these aspects of his life as well as the nature of his work and achievements.
The High Lava Plains is an enigmatic province between the hot-spot related Steens Basalts and the subduction-related Cascades. Dr. Grunder will explore the implications of the westward age progression of rhyolites and the effect of protracted magmatism on the composition of the volcanic rocks and the crust.
Social hour before the lecture: join us at 6:00 p.m. at Pizzicato, 1708 SW 6th Avenue for delicious pizza and salads and beverages.
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country invites you to its 82nd Annual Banquet. GSOC President Bo Nonn will present “Cascade Geology From the Top Down: Features You Won't See From the Road.” The banquet will be held March 12, 2017, at Ernesto’s Italian Restaurant. Doors to the banquet room open at 1:00 p.m. Dinner at 1:30 p.m. Program will begin at 2:15 p.m.
Speaker Mike Collins, mountaineering and geology enthusiast, will present “Time Travel Tales from the Yellowstone Hotspot and Great Basin Geological Province.”
GSOC Members and their guests are invited to the 8th GSOC Annual Holiday Party and field trip slideshow.
There will be no December Friday night meeting due to the Holiday Party.
Dr Richard Waitt from USGS CVO will elaborate on his recent book In the Path of Destruction: Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens: "The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was an international sensation. Those who lived through it never forget the experience. A geologist with intimate knowledge of Mount St. Helens, Richard Waitt chronicles the eruption story through unforgettable, riveting narratives—the heart of a masterful chronology that also delivers engrossing science, history, and journalism." (Washington State University Press)
PSU Has Discontinued Free Evening Parking. GSOC has just received a communication from the Portland State University Geology Department office that stated “Please be advised that beginning Monday, September 19th, all PSU parking facilities will require payment or valid permit at all hours, all days, except for university holidays. Vehicles found on campus without proof of payment or valid permit will be subject to citation.” This means that we will no longer be able to park for free in the PSU parking garage on Friday nights.
The cheapest option is to look for nearby on-street parking. If you find a spot it's $2.00 per hour until 7:00 pm and free after that. For people willing to walk a few blocks, either PSU Parking Structure 3 at 12th and Mill Street or the Shattuck parking lot at Broadway and College Street will charge $2.50 per hour. The structure we have been using, PSU Parking Structure 2, will now charge a flat $7.00 for the evening, with no hourly rate. A useful map is at the PSU website.
FOR PEOPLE USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Look for a convenient park and ride near a MAX train or bus stop. The #19 bus and the Orange Line MAX drop you off within a block or two of PSU. The bus gets scarce after 9:00 but MAX runs pretty frequently.
A One-day Field Trip
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country will host a one-day helicopter field trip of Mt. St. Helens. We will be based at Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center on the North Fork of the Toutle River. The helicopter tour is approximately 40 minutes of spectacular scenery as you fly over both the devastated area from the 1980 eruption and the crater itself. An educational presentation by Sheila Alfsen will precede your tour so that you can recognize and interpret the landscape in light of the greatest volcanic event in recorded U.S. history.
The deadline for your payment is Thursday, Sept 29th, 2016. Click for tour and payment information.
Registration now closed. Stay tuned for our report on the trip!
Our four-day excursion will travel down the coast to Brookings and across to Grants Pass before returning via I-5. The emphasis will be on the complex geology of the Mesozoic accreted terranes of the Klamaths but on the way we will take a look at Tertiary terranes of the north coast and interactions of Columbia River Basalt flows with coastal sediments.
This year’s annual picnic will be held at Tualatin Community Park, 8515 SW Tualatin Rd, Tualatin, OR. At this year’s annual picnic, we have reserved the north side of the main picnic shelter, which also has rest rooms, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Electricity is provided, and alcohol is permitted. The shelter will accommodate about 75 people.
Fossils are protected resources at ground-disturbing construction sites on public lands in the United States. A matrix of federal, state, and county laws require the retrieval of fossil objects that might be used for display, research or teaching. Sheila Alfsen will speak on her experiences in salvage paleontology industry, working in the states of the western United States.
A Lagerstätte (German from Lager 'storage, lair', Stätte 'place'; plural Lagerstätten) is a sedimentary deposit that exhibits extraordinary fossils with exceptional preservation—sometimes including preserved soft tissues. These formations may have resulted from carcass burial in an anoxic environment with minimal bacteria, thus delaying decomposition.
Image: middle Cambrian Ottoia, a soft-bodied worm, from the Burgess Shale; Credit: Martin R. Smith.