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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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."