Erosion of a Sea Stack Over 100 Years

Science Center Objects

The following photographs show the demise of Jump-Off Joe, a one-hundred-foot-high sandstone formation known as a “sea stack”. In 1890, the sea stack was composed of middle Miocene concretionary sandstone of the Astoria Formation. Yaquina Head on the Horizon is composed of middle Miocene basalt flows and breccia. Note remnant of Pleistocene terrace deposit along the wave cut bench on the stack. Jump-Off Joe was a well-known tourist attraction, but it weathered rapidly. Its arch collapsed in 1916, a few years after the last black-and-white photo, shown below, was taken. There is nothing left of Jump-Off Joe today.

Nye Beach, Newport, Oregon

Black-and-white photographs courtesy of Pacific Studios, Newport, Oregon.
Dates are approximate.
Color photographs taken by Parke D. Snavely, Jr. of the USGS.

1890s

Historic photograph of a rocky outcrop on a beach near the shoreline.

1910s

Historic photograph of a rocky outcrop on a beach near the shoreline.

1910s, likely some time just before the arch’s collapse in January 1916. 

Historic photograph of a rocky outcrop on a beach near the shoreline.

1970

Vintage photograph of a beach with rocky formations jutting up out of the sand.

Photo Credit: Parke D. Snavely, Jr., USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

1990

Vintage photograph of a beach with small, rocky formations jutting up out of the sand.

Photo Credit: Parke D. Snavely, Jr., USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

For more information, see:
“Beach Processes and Sedimentation, 2nd Edition” by Paul D. Komar, Oregon State University, published by Prentice Hall, 1998.