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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Regretfully we have had to cancel Mr. Palani's talk due to snow and will be rescheduling.
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.
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.
Ticket deadline March 8th
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country invites you to its 81st Annual Banquet. Speaker Dr. Alan Mix, Oregon State University and co-chief scientist for the international research project on Petermann Glacier in Greenland, will present “Viewing Climate “Tipping Points” from Petermann Glacier.”
Investigative Geology: Combining Historic and Paleoseismic Data to Characterize Earthquake Hazard
Dr. Ashley Streig has sixteen years experience in active tectonics, paleoseismology, structural geology and tectonic geomorphology. Her research experience includes the study of active faults and folds, earthquakes and associated hazards, earthquake recurrence, fault behavior, and rupture characteristics. Dr. Streig has investigated pre-historic seismic activity of fault systems around the world, including local studies of the San Andreas Fault, CA and crustal faults along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Nicolas Steno: Founding Father of Geology
Friday Night Lecture, January 8, 2016: Kyle Dittmer, GSOC member and faculty member, PCC Southeast Campus and Portland State University, will present “Steno.”
Prof. Dittmer will talk about a little known but brilliant Renaissance Danish scientist named Nicolas Steno. What were Steno’s contributions to Geology? Why is his story unique? Come join us and find out! Prof. Dittmer has taught Earth Science for 25 years. Come hear this interesting thought-provoking science-history talk!
Past-president Sheila Alfsen at the Ice Age Flood Institute
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.
Dr Nancy Price, Portland State University: Addressing Tectonic Questions from the Perspective of Rheology*
*Rheology: the study of the flow of matter
There are two ways in which structural geologists look at the formation of mountain belts and transform plate boundaries. The first is to describe the folds and faults as rocks reacting to events, and to study the deformation and mineral growth as a reaction to these events. The second is to study the material properties and deformations of the rock layers as a response to stress fields, and to explain the formation events in terms of these properties. In effect, the strength and deformation behaviors of the rocks control the formation of the mountain belts and fault zones. This is the perspective of rheology. In this lecture, Price will show examples of viewing rocks from a rheological perspective and interpreting tectonic history in this light.
Dr. Marli Miller, University of Oregon
Author of the New Edition of Roadside Geology of Oregon (2014)
Dr. Miller's research emphasizes the use of small-scale structures to reconstruct the structural and kinematic histories of high strain zones. She is especially interested in the transition from brittle to ductile behavior in these zones at meso- to microscopic scales. Much of Marli's work is in Death Valley, California where she is also involved with tectonic interpretations.
About Roadside Geology of Oregon, Second Edition (Amazon Review) "Geologist, photographer, and author Marli Miller has written a completely new second edition based on the most up-to-date understanding of Oregon s geology. [Dr. Miller's] spectacular photographs showcase the state’s splendor while also helping readers understand geologic processes at work. Roadside Geology of Oregon, Second Edition, is a must-have for every Oregon resident, student, and rockhound alike."
Rock and Mineral Treasures: Geological Digital Photography
Featuring photos of otherworldly color and beauty from the Rice Museum collection.
Julian Gray, Executive Director
Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum
Geologists constantly need to depict rocks, minerals, and fossils for presentations and publications. Digital photography has extended the range of possibilities in illustrating samples. One common problem, reduced depth of field at high magnifications, is easily overcome using stacking techniques. This technique uses sharply focused portions of sequential photographs focused on different slices or stacks to produce a synthesized images in which the subject is crisply focused. Julian Gray, executive director of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, is a geologist and semi-professional photographer who has experimented with stacking techniques and others to produce stunning images. Julian's specialty is photomicrography. His images have been published in mineral magazines and books.
The Geology of Megafloods: Earth, Mars and Beyond
Dr. Vic Baker, University of Arizona
For more than 40 years University of Arizona Regents’ Professor Victor R. Baker has been studying the most spectacular and immense flood phenomena that are currently known to occur anywhere in the solar system. The immense megafloods of the last Ice Age created bizarre landscapes like the Channeled Scabland and altered the circulation of the oceans thereby changing Earth’s climate. More surprising was the discovery that much larger megafloods occurred billions of years ago on the planet Mars. The Martian megafloods formed temporary bodies of water on that planet, even generating a kind of ocean that facilitated environmental conditions on Mars that may have been like those of an ice age on Earth. These discoveries are showing that Mars, like Earth, had a long-term cycle of water circulation that produced a habitable planet, and these are exactly the kinds of processes to seek out in the newly initiated search for the other habitable planets of the universe.
Meteorites "Latest Hits"
Meteorite Expert Dr. Alex Ruzicka, PSU Geology Dept.
Dr. Alex Ruzicka is a Professor in the Department of Geology at Portland State University. He has a Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from University of Arizona.
Dr. Ruzicka’s areas of expertise include Meteorites, Planetary Science, Cosmochemistry, and Geochemistry. His areas of interest also include differentiation in asteroidal bodies, solar nebula processes, and the extent and role of collisions and shock metamorphism in the early solar system.
Image by A. Ruzicka: Chondrule in L-melt (low iron) breccia cross-polarized transmitted light image. Chondrules form as molten or partially molten droplets in space before being accreted to their parent asteroids.
High Altitude Dentistry: Using Fossil Teeth to Understand How and When the Andes Formed
Dr. John Bershaw PSU Geology Dept.
The Altiplano and Andes Cordillera of South America are one of the most significant topographic features on Earth. Though basic models exist to explain how they formed, the details are not well understood.
Banquet at Ernesto's Italian Restaurant (Registration Closed)
Since our founding in 1935 by Dr. Edwin Hodge to promote interest in geology, a complete revolution in the Earth Sciences has taken place. To commemorate GSOC’s 80th year, Dr. Tanya Atwater will recount some of her memorable moments of insight at the dawn of Plate Tectonics. Our 80th Annual Banquet will be be held Sunday March 8, 2015 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. Registration is now closed.
Mt. Lassen is a national park that few people visit, but it is very interesting. It is not that far away from Portland and the talk is put together to encourage everyone to make to trip there if they have not seen it. It has every type of volcanic eruption there in one place, and Mt. Lassen is the largest volcanic dome in the world. The Cinder Cone in the NE corner of the park is one of the most perfect in the US! An incredible debris avalanche landslide came off of the top of the volcano and formed the main lake on the west side. Come and hear Scott Burns talk about one of his newest favorite parks!
NEW ROOM: CRAMER HALL 53. Dr. Orr’s talk will address some of the issues and items that keep paleontologists awake late at night. An example is wings of fish, amphibians, mammals and birds as well as arachnids and insects. For the vertebrates, the wing won't work until it meets very stringent requirements as an airfoil. Dr. Orr will also address some of the other unlikely structures we see on fossils that seem impossibly complex and sophisticated.
Friday, November 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Dr. Martin Streck, Portland State University Department of Geology, will present "Eastern Oregon Rhyolites Provide New Clues to CRB Mysteries" in PSU's Cramer Hall S17 (sub-basement). Dr. Streck's recent work on mid-Miocene rhyolites in eastern Oregon provides a critical clue to the origins of Columbia River Basalt magmatism.
Join GSOC members at Pizzicato Pizza, 1708 SW 6th Ave., at 6:00 p.m. before the lectures for an informal dinner and conversation.
Free parking is available at Portland State University Friday nights after 5 p.m. in Parking Structure 2 on Broadway Ave. directly across from Cramer Hall and on level one of Parking Structure 1, bounded by Broadway and 6th Aves. and Harrison and Hall Streets.
Past Field Trips
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 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!
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.
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.
Registration is now closed.
A two day field trip under the guidance of an all-star cast of geologists that not only know the story but can enthusiastically tell the geologic story of this dynamic area.
Tour Portland Geology with Us by Public Transportation.
A short survey of some of Portland's geologic features that reveal its past and structure. This is a great tour for those new to geology or Portland or both. Registration open now! Trip requires TriMet day pass.
President Janet Rasmussen will lead a field trip to the Steens Mountain area of Southeast Oregon.
Learn the dramatic story of the great flood basalts of the Columbia River Gorge which form its spectacular walls and waterfalls.
Join us for our annual potluck picnic, Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 at 12:00 noon at Guy Talbot State Park in the Columbia Gorge (same location as last year). Learn the dramatic story of the surrounding Columbia River Gorge and the great flood basalts which form its spectacular walls and waterfalls. After the picnic, participants may wish to take the short walk to Latourell Falls, or drive to the trailhead near the freeway exit and hike up to Angel's Rest.
Bring your own beverages and we will provide the plates and plastic utensils. The format for the picnic will be a potluck. If your last name begins with:
A through G - bring a main dish
H through P - bring a side dish or salad
Q through Z - bring a dessert.
Past President Larry Purchase and current Vice President Bo Nonn will lead a two-day field trip to the north side of Mt. Hood. From our camp at Cloud Cap Saddle Campground we will climb onto the nearby Cooper Spur moraine to view the terminus of Eliot glacier and discuss the morphology of the Hood’s largest glacier and its periglacial features. Farther downslope we will examine the site of a major debris flow which passed down Eliot Creek in 2006. Nearby is the upper end of the 9km long Parkdale lava flow, a basaltic lava flow less than 8,000 years old. If possible we will examine the more accessible portions of the lava flow including the vent area.
Interested in being a tour guide for our upcoming PDX Downtown Geology Tour? We are doing a pre-run/organizational meeting for the tour Wednesday, April 8th, 9:00 a.m at the Pioneer Place Mall Fountain (the one with the black limestone bollard caps with crinoid stars).
Come if you're interested in helping or just curious to watch geologists with hand lenses crawling around Portland's most distinguished buildings. RSVP to Paul Edison-Lahm.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 – Saturday, September 6, 2014
Join us for this year's President's Field Trip to Silver Falls State Park and the Eastern Cascades! Led by GSOC President Sheila Alfsen, this trip will feature Dr. William Orr as guest speaker on the western side of the Cascades and Jason McClaughry of DOGAMI on the eastern side....