Layered | Coastline Complexity

How many ways can you describe the layered appearance of the Oregon Coastline?

After seeing the obvious …

Did you include layered formations created by ancient Pacific Northwest flood basalts?

About seventeen million years ago complex geologic events heated up magma at a hot spot (modern day Yellowstone) that caused the Columbia River continental flood basalts…  lavas that erupt rapidly in a geologically short period of time and inundate vast areas. One particular flow, reached the Pacific Coast. When it did, the heavy Columbia River basalt sank into soft mud.

The shattered appearance of the many basalt headlands and sea stacks (layered horizontally in this photograph) … attest to the explosive interaction as hot lava met cold seawater. As the flows sank into the sands, they often disrupted the softer sediments, creating dikes and stringers of lava.)

E.M.Bishop;”In Search of Ancient Oregon


Weekly Photo Challenge: August 16 ,2017 |“Layered”

15 comments

  1. This entry is a wonderful reminder of our OMN class and the lessons learned at these spots. Makes me want to find a refresher course -and delve deeper!
    Thank You Jane

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    1. Thank you, Lindy. Our geologic history is so rich. Several years ago, this viewpoint was the final stop in an Oregon Master Naturalist class. Prior to this stop, we spent the day with a PSU geology professor touring a number of beach sites below. He literally read the rocks for us and unveiled the geologic events that formed our coastline. Then he tied it all together up here with concluding remarks… love this panorama.

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