Much of the lava flowed north into Washington as well as down the Columbia River channel to the Pacific Ocean; the tremendous flows created the Columbia River Plateau. [19] Steens Mountain and related sections of Oregon Plateau flood basalts at Catlow Peak and Poker Jim Ridge 70 to 90 km (43 to 56 mi) to the southeast and west of Steens Mountain, provide the most detailed magnetic field reversal data (reversed-to-normal polarity transition) yet reported in volcanic rocks. Where the interbed is identified, the interbed name, for example, "Vantage," is used. Such large, widespread, high-volume flows are called flood basalts. Interflow zones, which consist of the top of one basalt flow, the bottom of the overlying flow, and any intervening sediment, if present, generally are permeable where the basalt is vesicular or brecciated. The Group is divide… [31], The Saddle Mountains Basalt, seen prominently at the Saddle Mountains, is made up of the Umatilla Member flows, the Wilbur Creek Member flows, the Asotin Member flows (13 million years ago), the Weissenfels Ridge Member flows, the Esquatzel Member flows, the Elephant Mountain Member flows (10.5 million years ago), the Bujford Member flows, the Ice Harbor Member flows (8.5 million years ago) and the Lower Monumental Member flows (6 million years ago). The observed change in direction was reported as 50⁰ over 15 days. In the CRBG deposits 40Ar, which is produced by 40K decay, only accumulates after the melt solidifies.[4]. Storage of ground water behind subsurface dams in the Columbia River basalt, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho; 1961; PP; 383-A; Newcomb, R. C. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), Mapping, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Data, Columbia Plateau Groundwater Availability Study, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program, Groundwater Data for Sites in Middle Columbia River Basin (Washington State), CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Data for Sites in Eastern Columbia River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Data for Sites in Middle Columbia River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Data for Sites in Willamette River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Sites in the Eastern Columbia River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Sites in Washington, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Sites in the Middle Columbia River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Groundwater Sites in the Willamette River Basin, CRB Stratigraphy Study, Waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge. Although permeable interflow zones may yield large amounts of water initially, continued large withdrawals result in declines in water levels because of low storage properties and limited recharge of water reaching these productive zones. Although the greater Columbia River Basalt Group has been intensively studied, research specific to the Clearwater Sub-area is rather limited. In all, more than 300 individual large (average volume 580 cubic km!) Groundwater sites in the Willamette River Basin used in the Columbia River Basalt Stratigraphy study. Groundwater availability issues in the basin include: 1) widespread water-level declines caused by pumping, 2) reduction in base flow to rivers and... More than 80 percent of drinking water in the mid-Columbia Basin comes from ground water. It can be found exposed along the Clackamas River and at Silver Falls State Park where the falls plunge over multiple layers of the Grande Ronde basalt. [26], The Grande Ronde basalt flows flooded down the ancestral Columbia River channel to the west of the Cascade Mountains. Few flows of the Saddle Mountains Basalt are as widely distributed, but one flow, the Pomona Member, did reach the Pacific Ocean, and it crops out along the lower Columbia River. Geologists estimate that the Grande Ronde Basalt comprises about 85 percent of the total flow volume. These astounding lava floods occurred on a scale unequalled anywhere else on the entire planet. Columbia River Basalt Group has been listed as a level-5 vital article in Science, Earth science. Most of the volume of the Columbia River Basalts had erupted by 14 million years ago. The Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) hosts a regional aquifer system that is the primary, and in many cases the only, water supply for numerous communities, small water systems, individual homes, industry, and agriculture in east-central Washington. There were approximately 300 different eruptions. Other flood basalts include the Deccan Traps (late Cretaceous period), that cover an area of 500,000 km2 (200,000 sq mi) in west-central India; the Emeishan Traps (Permian), which cover more than 250,000 square kilometers in southwestern China; and Siberian Traps (late Permian) that cover 2 million km2 (800,000 sq mi) in Russia. Wanapum Basalt . lava flows cover parts of the states of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Some time during a 10–15 million-year period, lava flow after lava flow poured out of multiple dikes which trace along an old fault line running from south-eastern Oregon through to western British Columbia. The Columbia River Basalt Group is the youngest, smallest and one of the best-preserved continental flood basalt province on Earth, covering over 210,000 km2 (81,000 sq mi) mainly eastern Oregon and Washington, western Idaho, and part of northern Nevada. The Columbia River Basalt Group is a large igneous province that lies across parts of the Western United States. Tholeiitic basalt is relatively rich in silica and poor in sodium. Abbreviated as “CRBG”, it covers a lot of Washington too, as well as parts of western Idaho and northern Nevada. Some of the more voluminous fl ows followed the ancestral Columbia River across the Cascade arc, Puget-Willamette trough, and the Coast Range to the Pacifi c Ocean. As the North American Plate moved several centimeters per year westward, the eruptions progressed through the Snake River Plain across Idaho and into Wyoming. As the youngest continental flood-basalt province on Earth (16.7–5.5 Ma), it is well preserved, with a coherent and detailed stratigraphy exposed in the deep canyonlands of eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Click on a pin on the map to see more information. These eruptions were located in a 150 square mile area in South East Washington, NE Oregon, and Western Idaho. Analyses indicate that the flow must remain laminar, as turbulent flow would cool more quickly. There were 26 major flows over the period, one roughly every 15,000 years. [29] They originated from vents between Pendleton, Oregon and Hanford, Washington. Many of the dikes were fissures 5 to 10 m (16 to 33 ft) wide and up to 10 miles (16 km) in length, allowing for huge quantities of magma upwelling. 41 The Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) is a typical example of a within-plate 42 continental flood basalt. It is an important regional aquifer system, and, in its folded and faulted flows, it records the late Cenozoic structural evolution of much of the Pacific Northwest. Flows locally grade laterally into subaqueous pillow-palagonite complexes and bedded palagonitic tuff and breccia. [3] The Latah Formation sediments of Washington and Idaho are interbedded with a number of the Columbia River Basalt Group flows, and outcrop across the region. The Columbia River Basalt Group covers an area of more than 210,000 km 2 with an estimated volume of 210,000 km 3. [17], The Steens Basalt flows covered about 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi) of the Oregon Plateau in sections up to 1 km (3,300 ft) thick. [citation needed] The many layers of lava eventually reached a thickness of more than 1.8 km (5,900 ft). Frenchman Coulee. Although estimates are that this amounts to about 10% of the total flows, they have been buried under more recent flows, and are visible in few locations. The Columbia River Basalt Group. The weight of this flow (and the emptying of the underlying magma chamber) caused central Washington to sink, creating the broad Columbia Basin in Washington. Both flows are similar in both composition and age, and have been attributed to a common source, the Yellowstone hotspot. Notes on geologic logs of the Columbia River Basalt Group: Field mapping, subsurface well logs and samples, aeromagnetic surveys, and paleomagnetic and geochemical studies are used to identify and assign individual flows to formations, members, and flow units in the Columbia River Basalt Group. This article has been rated as B-Class. In this central portion of the semi-arid Columbia Plateau, primarily in Adams County and As the molten rock came to the surface, the Earth's crust gradually sank into the space left by the rising lava. Stratigraphy of the Grande Ronde Basalt, Columbia River Basalt Group, From the Lower Salmon River and Northern Hells Canyon Area, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington by Stephen P. ReidelI ABSTRACT The Grande Ronde Basalt is the most voluminous formation (85 percent) of the Columbia River Basalt Group. Once the interflow zones are mapped, the permeability and hydraulic connection of interflow zones can be determined and informed management options considered. The Columbia River Basalt Group reveals a complete and detailed stratigraphic succession to assess the interplay of lithospheric and asthenospheric processes. However, several of the flows, which freeze from both the upper and lower surfaces, progressively toward the center, captured substantial variations in magnetic field direction as they froze. The CRBG has been divided into six formations: Imnaha Basalt, Picture Gorge Basalt, Prineville Basalt, Grande Ronde Basalt, Wanapum Basalt, and Saddle Mountains Basalt by Swanson and others (1979). Geologic unit mapped in Oregon: Subaerial basalt and minor andesite lava flows and flow breccia; submarine palagonitic tuff and pillow complexes of the Columbia River Basalt Group (Swanson and others, 1979); locally includes invasive basalt flows. A long-term goal is to compile geochemical and paleomagnetic data, and stratigraphic interpretations of the CRBG over its extent in three States. The Picture Gorge and Prineville Basalt formations are limited to areas in central Oregon defining the southern extent of CRBG. The Miocene epoch is most noteworthy for the eruption of the Columbia River Basalt Group. Columbia River Basalt Group–outrageous! Frenchman Coulee. By Esther M. Pischel, Henry M. Johnson, and Stephen B. Gingerich. [5][6], In the middle Miocene, 17 to 15 Ma, the Columbia Plateau and the Oregon Basin and Range of the Pacific Northwest were flooded with lava flows. Grande Ronde basalt flows and dikes can also be seen in the exposed 2,000-foot (610 m) walls of Joseph Canyon along Oregon Route 3. Revisions in stratigraphic nomenclature of the Columbia River Basalt Group; 1979; B; 1457-G; Swanson, D. A.; Wright, T. L.; Hooper, P. R.; Bentley, R. D. The Columbia River Basalt Group: from the gorge to the sea; 2009; Article; Journal; GSA Field Guides; Wells, Ray E.; Niem, Alan R.; Evarts, Russell C.; Hagstrum, Jonathan T. Stratigraphy and structure of the Yakima Indian Reservation, with emphasis on the Columbia River Basalt Group; 1980; OFR; 80-200; Bentley, Robert D.; Anderson, James L.; Campbell, Newell P.; Swanson, Donald A. The Willapa Hills include exposures of Miocene-age Columbia River Basalt Group flows. Columbia River Basalt Group–outrageous! An abrupt transition to shield volcanic flooding took place in the mid-Miocene. Massive lava flows uncovered and shaped by the Ice Age Floods from Glacial Lake Missoula. The CRBG is a series of basalt flows (flood or fissure basalts) that were erupted between 17 million and 6 million years ago during the Miocene. Frenchman Coulee. Frenchman Coulee. The geologists assigned the geologic names and elevation of formations. The permeable interflow zones within the Columbia River Basalt Group are an important source of water supply in the Pacific Northwest. Miocene fl ood basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group inundated eastern Washington, Oregon, and adjacent Idaho between 17 and 6 Ma. Flows of the less voluminous, but widely distributed Wanapum Basalt commonly overlie the Grande Ronde Basalt in most areas. Dominating the geology of the Clearwater Sub-area are the Columbia River Basalts. The naming convention used in this website is based on work by Swanson and others (1979a) with revisions by subsequent investigators. The Basalt group includes the Steen and Picture Gorge basalt formations. These plumes are much more focused than the upwelling observed with large-scale plate-tectonics circulation. This technique uses the pattern of magnetic polarity zones of CRBG layers by comparison to the magnetic polarity timescale. Less extensive eruptions continued 14–6 million years ago.[2]. Massive lava flows covered much of the inland Northwest 17-6 million years ago. The nine contributions that make up the main body of the text are devoted to the Pleistocene megaflood landscapes of the Channeled Scabland, basalt and rhyolite volcanism in the western Snake River Plain of Idaho, the Columbia River Basalt Group of western Idaho and … The basalt group includes the Steen and Picture Gorge basalt formations. Although CRBG eruptive activity spanned an 11-million-year period from 17 million to 6 million years ago, most of the CRBG flows were emplaced over 2.5 million years, from 17 to 14.5 million years ago. Further, the Yellowstone images show necking of the plume at 650 km (400 mi) and 400 km (250 mi), which may correspond to phase changes or may reflect still-to-be-understood viscosity effects. Although the greater Columbia River Basalt Group has been intensively studied, research specific to the Clearwater Sub-area is rather limited. The basalt is lava that cooled and hardened after it flooded over the landscape. Columbia River Basalt by http://HUGEfloods.com. Within the detailed subdivisions of the CRBG, multiple flows may occur. The lava must have spread quickly to achieve this uniformity. The many layers of lava eventually reached a thickness of more than 1.8 km (5,900 ft). Additional data collection and further modeling will be required to achieve a consensus on the actual mechanism. [24][25] The type locality for the formation is the canyon of the Grande Ronde River. Columbia River Basalt Group Grande Ronde Basalt . The basalt lava issued from fissures and vents in eastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, and western Idaho. The ultimate cause of the volcanism is still up for debate, but the most widely accepted idea is that the mantle plume or upwelling (similar to that associated with present-day Hawaii) initiated the widespread and voluminous basaltic volcanism about 17 million years ago. The Columbia River Basalt Group is composed of over 170,000 km3of basalt erupted from 300 identified high volume basalt flows over a period of 11.5 million years (17.5-6.0 mya). Although the Imnaha Basalt overlies Lower Steens Basalt, it has been suggested that it is interfingered with Upper Steens Basalt. Water management in the arid Umatilla Basin has become increasingly complex in recent years. [27], Individual flows included large quantities of basalt. Individual flows are numbered consecutively within the subdivision starting with the uppermost flow in a series of flows. I can’t stop thinking about the Columbia River Basalt Group–the series of basalt flows that blanketed so much of my state of Oregon about 15 million years ago. Flood basalts, the largest volcanic events in Earth history, are thought to drive global environmental change because they can emit large volumes of CO2 and SO2 over short geologic time scales. 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