For the love of Southern Oregon

Glide 1
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Glide, OR. and see my partner’s family. Glide is located in the Umpqua Valley of Southern Oregon and, in my opinion, has some of the best geology the state has to offer. I realize I’m making a tall statement when the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, and the John Day Fossil Beds (just to name a few) reside within the state boundaries. However, I love this part of the state because a lot of it resides on what used to be the ocean floor. Thanks to uplift and erosion (either man made or river cut), that ocean floor can be seen at the surface. And with some help from fellow geo tweep, Ron Schott, I was able to learn more about the geology of the area.

Glide basically lies at the foot of the Western Cascades on what was probably Oregon’s old coast line. Most of the rocks are from the Eocene era (~30-50 mya) and are composed primarily of basalt and sedimentary rocks.
Glide 2
Interestingly enough these same basalt flows are roughly the same age as the Clarno Formation of central Oregon.

Both of these images are of the same out crop exposed at the road cut in Glide. I can’t get into the details of the geology too much because, quite frankly, I don’t understand it well enough to offer up a sound explanation, but I’m working on it.

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4 thoughts on “For the love of Southern Oregon

  1. Weloome to the geoblogosphere! I’ve been to the Glide area a couple of times, but in the mid-late 80’s… don’t remember it very well. I’ll see if I can find some info for you.

    Do you have a copy of Orr & Orr’s “Geology of Oregon?” It’s spendy new, but sometimes you can find it used (obviously, try Powell’s) for cheaper. That book is a great place to start with almost any Oregon geo question. If your early in your degree work, you’ll find it dense and perhaps too technical, but it’s a great investment. Try to find the most recent edition- 7th, I think.

    • I don’t have a copy of “Geology of Oregon”, but I will keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the heads up! Currently I have “Roadside Geology of Oregon” which is a nice little primer and has some good info about the state. However, it’s by no means comprehensive.

      I’m curious about the ophiolitic rocks in the area. There is a lot of sandstone and mudstone. Was that part of the accretionary wedge from the subduction process?

  2. Pingback: How a small Oregon town continues to teach me about geology | Glacial Till

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