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Oregon Geologic Map

Geologic Maps of the 50 United States


Oregon is the most volcanic state in the continental United States, but that's not all. (more below)
Oregon's rocks

U.S. Geological Survey

Click the map for a larger version
Oregon is a mostly volcanic state, thanks to its position at the edge of the North American crustal plate where a small oceanic plate, the Juan de Fuca plate (and others before it), is being subducted beneath it from the west. This activity creates fresh magma which rises and erupts in the Cascade Range, represented by the stripe of medium-red in the western part of Oregon. To its west are more volcanics plus marine sediments from episodes when the crust was lower and the sea higher. Older rocks not quite covered by volcanic deposits are found in the Blue Hills of northeastern Oregon and in the northern Klamath Mountains in the extreme southwest, a continuation of the California Coast Ranges.

Eastern Oregon is divided between two large features. The southern part is in the Basin and Range province, where the continent has stretched in the east-west direction, breaking up into great blocks with intervening valleys, like the rocks of Nevada. This high lonesome place is known as the Oregon Outback. The northern part is a vast expanse of lava, the Columbia River Basalt. These rocks were emplaced in fearsome fissure eruptions as the continent overrode the Yellowstone hotspot, during Miocene time some 15 million years ago. The hotspot has torched its way across southern Idaho and now sits at the corner of Wyoming and Montana beneath the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, far from dead. At the same time, another trend of volcanism led westward (the darkest red) and now sits at Newberry Caldera, south of Bend at the center of Oregon.

See a gallery of Oregon geological attractions.

This is a scanned copy of U.S. Geological Survey Map I-595 by George Walker and Philip B. King, published in 1969. I've created two more versions: the 1200x1550 pixel version (1.1 MB) includes the explanation of the map units, and all of it is legible. The 2000x2600 pixel version (2.6 MB) is suitable for printing.

Visit the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries to find more information and published products. Its new section, "Oregon: A Geologic History," is an excellent place to learn more detail.

More about Oregon Geology

More Oregon resources on About.com:
About Portland, Oregon
Oregon Maps
Oregon Geography, State Symbols & Facts
Oregon National Parks
Oregon State Parks
Oregon Campgrounds
Oregon Nude Beaches and Resorts
Oregon Hotels
Oregon Hunting
Oregon Skiing
Oregon Wineries
Oregon Saltwater Fishing
Oregon Bed & Breakfasts
Oregon Archaeology

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