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Geologic Map of the Woodland Quadrangle, Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington

August 1, 2004

The Woodland 7.5' quadrangle is situated in the Puget-Willamette Lowland approximately 50 km north of Portland, Oregon (fig. 1). The lowland, which extends from Puget Sound into west-central Oregon, is a complex structural and topographic trough that lies between the Coast Range and the Cascade Range. Since late Eocene time, the Cascade Range has been the locus of an active volcanic arc associated with underthrusting of oceanic lithosphere beneath the North American continent along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The Coast Range occupies the forearc position within the Cascadia arc-trench system and consists of a complex assemblage of Eocene to Miocene volcanic and marine sedimentary rocks.

The Woodland quadrangle lies at the northern edge of the Portland Basin, a roughly 2000-km2 topographic and structural depression that is the northernmost of several sediment-filled structural basins, which collectively constitute the Willamette Valley segment of the Puget-Willamette Lowland (Beeson and others, 1989; Swanson and others, 1993; Yeats and others, 1996). The Portland Basin is approximately 70 km long and 30 km wide; its long dimension is oriented northwest. Its northern boundary coincides, in part, with the lower Lewis River, which flows westward through the center of the quadrangle. The Lewis drains a large area in the southern Washington Cascade Range, including the southern flank of Mount St. Helens approximately 25 km upstream from the quadrangle, and joins the Columbia River about 6 km south of Woodland (fig. 1). Northwest of Woodland, the Columbia River exits the broad floodplain of the Portland Basin and flows northward through a relatively narrow bedrock valley at an elevation near sea level. The flanks of the Portland Basin consist of Eocene through Miocene volcanic and sedimentary rocks that rise to elevations exceeding 2000 ft (610 m). Seismic-reflection profiles (L.M. Liberty, written commun., 2003) and lithologic logs of water wells (Swanson and others, 1993; Mabey and Madin, 1995) indicate that as much as 550 m of late Miocene and younger sediments have accumulated in the deepest part of the basin near Vancouver. Most of this basin-fill material was carried in from the east by the Columbia River but sediment deposited by streams draining the adjacent highlands are locally important.

The Portland Basin has been interpreted as a pull-apart basin located in the releasing stepover between two en echelon, northwest-striking, right-lateral fault zones (Beeson and others, 1985, 1989; Beeson and Tolan, 1990; Yelin and Patton, 1991; Blakely and others, 1995). These fault zones are thought to reflect regional transpression and dextral shear within the forearc in response to oblique subduction of the Pacific Plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (Pezzopane and Weldon, 1993; Wells and others, 1998). The southwestern margin of the Portland Basin is a well-defined topographic break along the base of the Tualatin Mountains, an asymmetric anticlinal ridge that is bounded on its northeast flank by the Portland Hills Fault Zone (Balsillie and Benson, 1971; Beeson and others, 1989; Blakely and others, 1995), which is probably an active structure (Wong and others, 2001; Liberty and others, 2003). The nature of the corresponding northeastern margin of the basin is less clear, but a poorly defined and partially buried dextral extensional fault zone has been hypothesized from topography, microseismicity, potential field-anomalies, and reconnaissance geologic mapping (Beeson and others, 1989; Beeson and Tolan, 1990; Yelin and Patton, 1991; Blakely and others, 1995). Another dextral structure may control the north-northwest-trending reach of the Columbia River between Portland and Longview (Blakely and others, 1995; Evarts, 2002; Evarts and others, 2002).

This map is a contribution to a U.S. Geological Survey program designed to improve the geologic database for the Portland Basin part of the Pacific Northwest urban corridor,

Publication Year 2004
Title Geologic Map of the Woodland Quadrangle, Clark and Cowlitz Counties, Washington
DOI 10.3133/sim2827
Authors Russell C. Evarts
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Map
Series Number 2827
Index ID sim2827
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse