Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Yachats Basalt: An upper Eocene differentiated volcanic sequence in the Oregon Coast Range

July 1, 1974

The name Yadials Basalt is proposed for a sequence of largely subacrial basalt flows and breccias and associated dikes of late Eocene age that arc exposed along the central Oregon coast. These volcanic rocks, which have a maximum thickness of 750 m, are  underlain by marine siltstonc of late Eocene age and overlain by marine siltstone and basaltic sandstone, also of late Eocene age. The siltstone contains a foraminiferal fauna indicative of a moderately deepwatcr marine environment, indicating that local uplift preceded the extrusion of the flows and local subsidence followed. The Yachats Basalt varies widely in composition. Although the bulk of the extrusive rocks and dikes arc basalt, some grade in composition to basaltic andcsite and andcsite; a few dikes are rhyodacitic. Most of the rocks arc porphyritic with phcnocrysts of labradorite and less commonly augite and olivine. Typical flow rock contains 50 percent SiO2 and are characterized by high alumina, alkali, titania, and phosphate content. The wide range in composition and porphyritic character of the Yachats Basalt and the abundance of multiple dikes suggest that the magma that produced these rocks was differentiated in the upper crust before extrusion. The Yachats Basalt, and correlative upper Eocene volcanic rocks in western Oregon and Washington, lie along a generally north-trending belt. The predominance of normal faulting in western Oregon and Washington and on the adjacent continental shelf during post mid-late Eocene time suggests that the volcanics were extruded along a zone of tensional rifting. They do not appear to be related to conventional plate models for continental margins that arc characterized by deep trenches flanked by island arcs.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1974
Title Yachats Basalt: An upper Eocene differentiated volcanic sequence in the Oregon Coast Range
Authors Parke D. Snavely, Norman S. MacLeod
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Index ID 70232456
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse