The 2018 eruption on the Lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano was a remarkable event in many regards. From early May through mid-August scientists and society alike bore witness to voluminous amounts of lava erupted out of a new fissure system that formed within the middle of the Leilani Estates subdivision, ultimately destroying over 700 homes and creating 875 acres of new land. There are places in the Cascades where a similar eruption could unfold. These include Newberry Caldera near Bend, OR, and also in the greater Portland area which has had a series of cinder-cone-style eruptions occur over the last several million years that collectively form what is known as the Boring Lava Field. Cascades-relevant lessons from the Kilauea volcano include the importance of having monitoring equipment in place before unrest begins; the importance of continuously engaging stakeholders in the emergency response community, in land-management agencies, and in communities near volcanoes so that when a volcano wakes up there is broad familiarity with roles and responsibilities as well as the nature of volcanic hazards; and the importance of having good working models of volcanic systems to help interpret the significance of various unrest phenomena associated with the movement of magma. Our speaker Seth Moran is a seismologist and Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS-CVO) in Vancouver, Washington.
Progress report on an integrated study of an Eocene subtropical shelf-margin delta, Coos Bay, Oregon
The Middle to Late Eocene Coaledo Formation and underlying Beds of Sacchi Beach record a marine history of forearc sedimentation. The sediments aggrade from slope turbidites to shoreface deltaic sandstone encased in deep-water silty mudstone. This talk is a progress report on a multiyear, multidiscipline research program, testing the hypothesis that the Sacchi Beach-Coaledo succession represents a shelf-margin lowstand of sealevel deltaic system. A team of 12 geoscientists is collecting an interdisciplinary database for reassessing the depositional history of the rocks exposed along the Cape Arago, Shore Acres and Sunset Bay State Parks.
PSU Geology doctoral candidate Vanessa Swenton will discuss her research investigating some of the volcanic eruptions that occurred in eastern Oregon approximately 16 million years ago (Ma) to present day. There are two dominant volcanic provinces that have had episodes of high-silica (silicic/felsic) volcanism in eastern Oregon. The older episode is known to be associated with the Yellowstone mantle plume and Columbia River Basalt Group volcanism. The younger episode is within the High Lava Plains, and it is debated as being solely a result of the initial Yellowstone plume, or as a result of Cascadia slab rollback processes.
Yumei Wang, Le Val Lund Lecture, Followed by Panel Discussion
This event is being rescheduled.
Co-sponsored with Portland State University Dept. of Geology.
In her talk, Yumei Wang will present a challenge to develop new and transformative approaches for improving society’s resilience to future natural disasters.
The severity and consequences of disasters caused by natural hazards are greatly affected by the functionality of critical lifeline infrastructure after the events. The resilience of critical lifeline infrastructure – related to fuel, power, water, transportation, and communications – is essential for reducing the frequency and impact of future disasters. Currently, various lifeline systems are designed and operated independently; yet many systems depend on each other to function. A single failure in one lifeline system can lead to multiple failures across multiple systems and escalate into a much larger and more complex disaster. To prevent severe critical infrastructure failures and minimize the detrimental societal effects of major and regional disasters such as a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami, as a society we need to develop new coordinated approaches to control the delivery of lifeline services.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has honored Yumei Wang, P.E., with the 2018 Le Val Lund Award for Practicing Lifeline Risk Reduction for her outstanding contributions to the field of lifeline engineering and for promoting seismic lifeline resilience and fuel resilience in Oregon, including the development of a statewide resilience plan.” Read more: http://stage.news.asce.org/oregon-resilience-work-earns-wang-recognition/
Jon Krier, MA Archeology at University of Oregon will be discussing his work on coastal paleoland forms. In 2016, in a collaboration between OSU and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, a new set of coastline change models for the last 20,000 years were developed. The goal of the project was twofold: First, the straightforward goal was to get a clearer picture of how the Oregon and Washington coastlines had changed since the Last Glacial Maximum in light of newly developed digital elevation models that incorporated isostatic adjustments.
The Geological Society of the Oregon Country invites you to its 84th Annual Banquet. Ian Madin, DOGAMI Senior Scientist and Earthquake Hazard Geologist will discuss three recently discovered fault systems: Mt Hood, The White Branch of The McKenzie, and the John Day fault. Registration is now closed.
CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER.
Dr. Michael Cummings, PSU Emeritus Professor of Geology, will discuss implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for students in Oregon. Supporting teachers as they made the shift from the old way of teaching science to the expectations of NGSS has been the focus of professional development since 2015. Dr. Cummings will describe three examples that illustrate working with teachers and districts to implement NGSS. These include: 1) Project based learning in the Mitchell School District, 2) Groundwater studies in Harney basin at Crane Union High School, and 3) Integration and implementation of NGSS in multi-grade classrooms.
GSOC field trip leaders will present our "Year in Review" program with brief slideshow summaries of their trips.
Dave Olcott: Snake River Plain
Sheila Alfsen, Mt. St. Helens Helicopter Tour
Paul Edison-Lahm, Camp Hancock and John Day Basin President’s Trip; Downtown PDX Building Stone Tours; Eastbank Bike GeoTour; Johnson Creek Watershed Tour
Our GSOC Annual Holiday Party is scheduled for FRIDAY, December 14, 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. Please RSVP.
Bring a Rock to Help Us Decorate the Audubon Geologic Fireplace at Marmot Cabin!
Portland Audubon has been working with GSOC and Poetry in Stone to design a rock veneer for the fireplace at their new Marmot Cabin environmental educational facility which will represent the geological story of Oregon and they are requesting donations of locally representative accent rocks. Do you have any nice rocks collected in Oregon or Washington that you’d like to donate? Bring them to the potluck and meet our friends from Audubon!
Schedule of activities
6:00 pm: Set-up for party
6:30 pm: Dinner buffet
7:15 pm: Welcome presentation. Nominations for GSOC Board members for the 2019-2020 year will be open.
7:30 pm: Dessert and musical program. A slide show of the field trips will be displayed during the meal and afterwards.
8:30 pm: Clean-up
Oregon’s premier paleontology, Dr. Bill Orr will speak on the topic of "Extinctions." Although we perceive them as catastrophes, mass extinctions are one of the most powerful tools geologists employ as time markers. The presentation will address the major phanerozoic extinctions was well as their probable causes. Included will be a summary of the ever changing cause and effect of the Cretaceous/Tertiary event.
The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. The cataclysmic flood-from the rapid 115 meter drop of Lake Bonneville from the Bonneville level to the Provo level-was nearly 200 meters deep in places and flowed at a maximum rate of about 1 million cubic meters per second — about 100 times greater than any historical Snake River flood. Jim O’Connor has worked at the U.S. Geological Survey since 1991, intent on improving understanding of the processes and events that shape the remarkable and diverse landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.
This trip will focus on the geology and hydrology of the Johnson Creek Watershed. This will be an approximately 6 hour van tour led by Melanie Klym and Matthew Brunengo. Thanks to GeoEngineers for their generous sponsorship of this event. New start/end location: front of MILWAUKIE CITY HALL, 10722 SE Main St.
Bill Burgel will speak on the topic of Earthquake Early Warning Systems. His presentation will focus on efforts to provide extremely quick and accurate information of a seismic event especially Magnitude 5.0 and higher to businesses and communities so that they can react to minimize the extent of earthquake damage and/or loss of life. Bill spent 48 years in Railroad Industry after receiving his MS in Structural Geology from Idaho State University and his BS in Engineering from the University of Michigan, with a minor in Geologic Oceanography.
This field trip, organized by GSOC President Paul Edison-Lahm, will focus on the geology of Camp Hancock and the John Day basin. We will be attending an Astronomy Star Party as guests of the Rose City Astronomers and OMSI. This event is sold out.
Once again this year, Sheila Alfsen will host a tour by helicopter of Mt. St. Helens and the surrounding devastation area on Aug. 18, 2018. The price includes a presentation in the gift shop theater of the 1980 eruption and its aftermath, and a 40 minute flight over the devastated area and close up to the crater where you can see the effects on the landscape. Additionally Nathan Reynolds, Ethno-ecologist and Habitat Program Manager for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, will be giving a presentation about the federal designation of Lawetlat’la/Mt. St. Helens as a Traditional Cultural Property of the Cowlitz Tribe and Yakima Nation. This event is sold out.
Join us at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals for our annual potluck picnic, Sunday, August 12 at noon. Your $10 will go both to your day's museum admission and to your annual membership to the Rice Museum as a GSOC member. This year will be a great time to take advantage of this offer and treat yourself to a tour of this highly esteemed Pacific Northwest treasure.
Our speaker this year is Dr. Nick Famoso, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument Chief of Paleontology & Museum Curator, who will discuss the world-class John Day Fossil Beds. Nick's work has focused on the recovery of mammalian eco-systems after volcanic eruptions such as Mt. St. Helens and the Picture Gorge ignimbrite.
Picnic is potluck style, so board members will bring a main protein-based dish and general members may bring any type of side dish, dessert, or beverage (no alcohol). The Rice Museum is at 26385 NW Groveland Drive, Hillsboro, OR. Hope to see you there!
Our sister organization Central Oregon GeoScience Society (COGS) is inviting GSOC members as their guests on their field trip to "Lave Butte and Lava Lands Visitor Center." Lava Butte is a 7,000 year old cinder cone located on the flanks of Newberry Volcano. This field trip will be led by Daniele McKay and will focus on the volcanology and hazards of cinder cone eruptions. This trip is for COGS and GSOC members only.
July Lecture: A Tail Between Two Cities: the Yellowstone Plume (Head and Tail) Between John Day and Burns, Oregon
Emily Cahoon's talk will focus on volcanic deposits around the John Day Valley and further south to Burns, Oregon. This includes the Clarno Formation, John Day Formation, and lots of mid-Miocene lavas and tuffs. Also, there are unstudied Oligocene to mid-Miocene basaltic lavas and dikes exposed south and east of known PGB localities. These help to reevaluate Picture Gorge Basalt (PGB) distribution and to better understand evolution, mantle components, and possible petrogenetic connections among PGB, Steens Basalt, and the Strawberry Volcanics. Broadly, we will explore the proposed connections between the John Day Formation, the Columbia River Basalts, and the Yellowstone plume.
With cooler weather forecast for Saturday, ride with us along the Eastbank from the Portland's youngest rocks to its oldest. We will dine after at the Milwaukie Station Food Carts and Beer Garden. No geologic knowledge required.
This is a 3-hour moderately-paced bike ride (9 miles) with a return by MAX. (A shorter 5 mile route, with return by MAX, is also available.) We will be starting from "Peace Sign Park" at NE Oregon and Interstate.
Evaluating the Influence of Cascadia Subduction and the High Lava Plains on Magmatism at a Geologic Crossroads in Central Oregon. Our speaker Dr. Jeffrey Templeton is a Professor of Geology at Western Oregon University, where his research interests include igneous petrology, volcanology, and undergraduate geoscience education.
Sign-ups are now full. If you have already signed-up for this field trip with Dave Olcott, use the registration page to complete your registration and pay your registration fee. If you'd like to be on the alternate list, please email Dave.
May Lecture: Oregon's Slow Rotation Is Responsible for Earthquakes in NW Urban Corridor (Ray Wells, USGS)
Paleomagnetists — scientists who track the motions of continents from ancient magnetic field directions frozen into rocks — have long known that Oregon has been slowly rotating clockwise over geologic time. Today, GPS documents that the entire Pacific Northwest is rotating clockwise at a little less than 1 degree per million years, causing the Coast Range to move northward and push against slow-moving Canada. The northward push is responsible for crustal earthquakes on shallow faults in the Northwest urban corridor. Dr. Ray Wells has been a research geologist with the USGS for 40 years, where he used field geology, paleomagnetism, and GPS to understand the tectonic evolution and seismic hazards of active continental margins.
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.
Sorry registration is now closed. 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. Buffet Luncheon at 1:30 p.m. Program will begin at 2:45 p.m.
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.
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.