Since 1972 the “Roadside Geology” series has provided introductory information on the geology of states and small regions of the United States.
The books provide a combination of maps, travel logs, photos and commentary for the geology that can be seen along highways or visited at parks and public viewing areas. They are popular with geologists, teachers, students and others who are interested in the Earth.
You have probably heard of the Richter Scale for measuring earthquakes, the Saffir-Simpson Scale for hurricanes and the Fujita Scale for tornadoes. The Volcanic Explosivity Index is used to compare the size of explosive volcanic eruptions.
The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries has published an interactive online map that allows you to explore the geothermal resources of Oregon. You can use it to get information about geothermal exploration wells, water wells with elevated temperatures, warm springs, hot springs and more – all plotted on nine dirrerent basemaps. You can also get the data on CD-ROM.
The folks at MyTopo.com are now printing supersized topo maps; large enough make a huge 8′ x 5′ (or 5′ x 8′) map that will look fantastic on the wall of your office, conference room, lobby, cabin or den. These maps are custom-centered on any location that you pick using their online map-making tool.
We are affiliates of MyTopo.com and receive a commission on sales.
Raven Maps are beautiful examples of shaded-relief wall maps that display the elevation of a state in vibrant colors. These large maps look great in a classroom, den or office. Use one to mark the locations of your work or company.
“The HazVu map provides a way to view many different geohazards in the state of Oregon. You can enter the address for your home, school, business, or public buildings in your area to see what hazards might affect you. You can print the map you create.
Geohazards include 100-year flooding; Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake shaking and tsunami; coastal erosion; volcano; landslide; active faults; earthquake soft soil; and more. Assets include state-owned/leased facilities and public buildings such as schools, police and fire stations, and hospitals, as well as links to seismic assessment reports for these public buildings.” Quoted from the HazVu website.
“A rainbow descends into the Great Basin after a spring storm. The Great Basin is the largest terminal basin in the U.S., located in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon.” Photo by Larry Crist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“The importance of hydropower as a source of electricity generation varies by geographic region. While hydropower accounted for 8% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2011, it provided over half of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest. Because hydroelectric generation relies on precipitation, it varies widely from month to month and year to year.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration article.
“Now researchers have another tool for observing fires around the world. The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite (S-NPP) carries an instrument so sensitive to low light levels that it can detect wildfires in the middle of the night.” Quoted from the NASA Earth Observatory image release.
“The subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath North America changes markedly along the length of the subduction zone, notably in the angle of subduction, distribution of earthquakes, volcanism, geologic and seismic structure of the upper plate, and regional horizontal stress.” Quoted from the USGS article.
“A comprehensive analysis of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest coast confirms that the region has had numerous earthquakes over the past 10,000 years, and suggests that the southern Oregon coast may be most vulnerable based on recurrence frequency.” Quoted from the Oregon State University press release.
Dating of organic materials and DNA extracted from human coprolites discovered in Oregon’s Paisley Caves enabled researchers to date projectile points to at least 13,200 years, bracket the geographic origin of projectile point technologies, point to a Siberia-east Asian origins of the people who used the points and possibly confirm the authenticity of what is the oldest direct evidence for humans in the Americas.
“The United States has 169 active volcanoes. More than half of them could erupt explosively, sending ash up to 20,000 or 30,000 feet where commercial air traffic flies. USGS scientists are working to improve our understanding of volcano hazards to help protect communities and reduce the risks.” Quoted from the USGS video release.
“Oregon scientists who correctly predicted the 2011 eruption of the Axial Seamount underwater volcano years before it occurred, now say another underwater volcano off the Oregon coast gave off signals just hours before it erupted.” Quoted from the Voice of America press release.
Numerous landslides have plagued a project to straighten a section of Oregon’s Highway 20 through a part of the Coast Range that receives over 100 inches of rain per year. Landslide damage will force the state to demolish four new bridges.
A process known as hydro-shearing is being used to develop a geothermal resource near Newberry Crater. The process involved pumping large volumes of water into subsurface rock units with the goal of widening existing fractures. This contrasts with hydraulic fracturing which is done using higher pressures with a goal of creating new fractures.
“The importance of hydropower as a source of electricity generation varies by geographic region. While hydropower accounted for 6% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2010, it provided over half of the electricity in the Pacific Northwest.” Quote from the Energy Information Administration article.
USGS investigates the long-term decline in water-levels in basalt aquifers near Mosier Oregon. “…water levels continued to drop at approximately the same, nearly constant annual rate of about 4 feet per year, resulting in a current total decline of between 150 and 200 feet in many wells with continued downward trends.” Quoted from the USGS press release.
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Homeowners Insurance usually does not cover damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes and other geohazards.
Frac Sand is a high-purity silica sand used in hydraulic fracturing to enhance the flow of oil and gas from tight rock units.
Diamonds from Coal? Diamonds form under a variety of conditions that rarely involve coal as a source of carbon.
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors when illuminated in the dark with an ultraviolet lamp.
Helium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.