The Cascade Range in central Oregon has been shaped by tectonics, volcanism, and hydrology, as well as geomorphic forces that include glaciations. As a result of the rich interplay between these forces, mafic volcanism here can have surprising manifestations, which include relatively large tephra footprints and extensive lava flows, as well as water shortages, transportation and agricultural disruption, and forest fires. Although the focus of this multidisciplinary field trip will be on mafic volcanism, we will also look at the hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology of the area, and we will examine how these elements both influence and are influenced by mafic volcanism. We will see mafic volcanic rocks at the Sand Mountain volcanic field and in the Santiam Pass area, at McKenzie Pass, and in the southern Bend region. In addition, this field trip will occur during a total solar eclipse, the first one visible in the United States in more than 25 years (and the first seen in the conterminous United States in more than 37 years).
The Cascade Range is the result of subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate underneath the North American plate. This north-south-trending volcanic mountain range is immediately downwind of the Pacific Ocean, a huge source of moisture. As moisture is blown eastward from the Pacific on prevailing winds, it encounters the Cascade Range in Oregon, and the resulting orographic lift and corresponding rain shadow is one of the strongest precipitation gradients in the conterminous United States. We will see how the products of the volcanoes in the central Oregon Cascades have had a profound influence on groundwater flow and, thus, on the distribution of Pacific moisture. We will also see the influence that mafic volcanism has had on landscape evolution, vegetation development, and general hydrology.
|Title||Field-trip guide to mafic volcanism of the Cascade Range in Central Oregon—A volcanic, tectonic, hydrologic, and geomorphic journey|
|Authors||Natalia I. Deligne, Daniele Mckay, Richard M. Conrey, Gordon E. Grant, Emily R. Johnson, Jim O'Connor, Kristin Sweeney|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Volcano Science Center|