Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Geologic map of the Sauvie Island quadrangle, Multnomah and Columbia Counties, Oregon, and Clark County, Washington

March 3, 2016

Introduction

The Sauvie Island 7.5' quadrangle is situated in the Puget-Willamette Lowland northwest of downtown Portland, Oreg. This lowland, which extends from Puget Sound to west-central Oregon, is a complex structural and topographic trough between the Coast Range and the Cascade Range. Since late Eocene time, the Cascade Range has been the locus of a discontinuously active volcanic arc associated with underthrusting of oceanic lithosphere beneath the North American continent along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The Coast Range, which occupies the fore-arc position within the Cascadia arc-trench system, consists of a complex assemblage of Eocene to Miocene volcanic and marine sedimentary rocks.

The Sauvie Island quadrangle lies along the southwest margin of the Portland Basin, a 2,000-km2 topographic and structural depression. The basin boundary is an abrupt topographic break at the base of the Tualatin Mountains, which separates the Portland and Tualatin Basins. The Tualatin Mountains are underlain by lava flows of the Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group that have been folded into an asymmetric anticline. Oligocene marine sedimentary rocks, not exposed at the surface, are inferred to underlie the basalt flows. The abrupt basin boundary marks the location of the northwest-striking Portland Hills Fault Zone, which is probably an active structure.

The Columbia River flows west and north through the Portland Basin at nearly sea level. The Willamette River enters the Columbia near the southeast corner of the map area. Seismic-reflection profiles and lithologic logs of water wells show as much as 550 m of late Miocene and younger sediments in the deepest part of the basin east of the quadrangle. Deposits exposed at the surface consist chiefly of Holocene and late Pleistocene fluvial and eolian sediments and man-made fill.

This map contributes to a U.S. Geological Survey program to improve the geologic database for the Portland region of the Pacific Northwest urban corridor. The map and ancillary data will support assessments of seismic risk, ground-failure hazards, and resource availability.

Citation Information

Title Geologic map of the Sauvie Island quadrangle, Multnomah and Columbia Counties, Oregon, and Clark County, Washington
DOI 10.3133/sim3349
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse