Skip to main content

Geologic units in Wallowa county, Oregon

Additional scientific data in this geographic area

Grande Ronde Basalt (middle and lower Miocene) (Early to Middle Miocene) at surface, covers 28 % of this area

Flows of dark-gray to black, aphyric tholeiitic basalt, including both high- and low-Mg chemical types (Swanson and others, 1979). Potassium-argon ages mostly in the range of 15 to 17 Ma (Lux, 1982; Watkins and Baksi, 1974; Fiebelkorn and others, 1983)

Lithology: basalt

Saddle Mountains Basalt (upper and middle Miocene) (Middle to Late Miocene) at surface, covers 21 % of this area

Petrographically diverse flows of basalt erupted between about 13.5 and 6 Ma (McKee and others, 1977; Swanson and others, 1979)

Lithology: basalt

Imnaha Basalt (lower Miocene) (Early Miocene) at surface, covers 10 % of this area

Mostly coarse-grained, plagioclase porphyritic basalt; flows commonly contain zeolite amygdules and montmorillonitic alteration is widespread. Potassium-argon ages mostly 16 to 17 Ma (McKee and others, 1981)

Lithology: basalt

Sedimentary and volcanic rocks (Upper? Triassic) (Late Triassic) at surface, covers 6 % of this area

Undifferentiated marine sedimentary rocks and volcanic rocks, locally slightly to moderately metamorphosed, of Late(?) Triassic age, exposed principally in Hells Canyon of Snake River, locally in tributary canyons of Imnaha River, and in several areas marginal to the Wallowa Mountains

Alluvial deposits (Holocene) (Holocene) at surface, covers 6 % of this area

Sand, gravel, and silt forming flood plains and filling channels of present streams. In places includes talus and slope wash. Locally includes soils containing abundant organic material, and thin peat beds

Lithology: sand; gravel; silt; peat

Lacustrine and fluvial deposits (Miocene) (Miocene) at surface, covers 5 % of this area

Poorly to moderately consolidated, bedded silicic ash and pumicite, diatomite, tuffaceous sedimentary rocks, minor mudflow deposits, and some coarse epiclastic deposits. Vitroclastic material in some beds diagenetically altered to zeolites, secondary silica minerals, and clay minerals. In eastern Blue Mountains province vertebrate fossils indicate unit is mostly of late Miocene (Clarendonian) age, but may also include some rocks of middle Miocene (Barstovian) age. In High Lava Plains and northern Owyhee Upland provinces, vertebrate fossils indicate unit is partly late Miocene (Clarendonian), but probably is mostly middle Miocene (Barstovian) in age. Interfingers and grades laterally into unit Tmb. Includes lake and stream sediments and tuffaceous lake and stream deposits of Prostka (1962, 1967), Deer Butte Formation of Corcoran and others (1962) and Kittleman and others (1967), Juntura Formation of Shotwell and others (1963), some rocks originally assigned to the lower part of the (now obsolete) Danforth Formation of Piper and others (1939), and interbeds in upper part of Columbia River Basalt Group in northern Wallowa County

Wanapum Basalt (middle Miocene) (Middle Miocene) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Flows of gray to dark-gray, medium-grained, commonly plagioclase porphyritic basalt of Frenchman Springs petrochemical type (Wright and others, 1973). Generally exhibits blocky to platy jointing. Potassium-argon ages mostly about 15 Ma (Lux, 1982; Fiebelkorn and others, 1983)

Lithology: basalt

Columbia River Basalt Group and related flows (Miocene) (Miocene) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

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. Flows locally grade laterally into subaqueous pillow-palagonite complexes and bedded palagonitic tuff and breccia. In places includes tuffaceous sedimentary interbeds. Joints commonly coated with nontronite and other clayey alteration products. Occurs principally in the Willamette Valley from Salem north to the Columbia River, and in the northern Coast Range. Unit includes correlative Cape Foulweather and Depoe Bay Basalts in the Coast Range (Snavely and others, 1973, 1976a, 1976b; Swanson and others, 1979; Wells and others, 1983). In Eastern Oregon, occurs principally in Deschutes-Umatilla Plateau and in the Blue Mountains. K-Ar ages range from about 6 to about 16.5 Ma (McKee and others, 1977; Swanson and others, 1979; Sutter, 1978; Lux, 1982). Locally separated into Tcs, Tcw, Tcg, Tcp, and Tci

Lithology: basalt; andesite

Sedimentary rocks (Jurassic and Upper Triassic) (Triassic to Jurassic) at surface, covers 3 % of this area

Black, dark-gray, and dark -brownish-gray, thin-bedded siliceous or limy mudstone mostly consists of the Hurwal Formation in the Wallowa Mountains. In lower and middle parts contains Triassic fossils and in upper part Early Jurassic fossils (Nolf, 1966). Contact metamorphosed adjacent to Wallowa batholith

Lithology: mudstone

Volcanic and metavolcanic rocks (Upper Triassic) (Late Triassic) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Green to gray spilite and keratophyre flows and flow breccia; and subordinate amounts of coarse volcaniclastic sandstone, tuff, sandstone, siltstone, chert, conglomerate, and limestone. Marine fauna from interlayered sedimentary rocks indicates unit is mostly of Karnian (Late Triassic) age. Includes Late Triassic "andesitic and basaltic rocks" of Nolf and Taubeneck (1963), and the basaltic to rhyolitic metavolcanic rocks and interbedded sedimentary rocks of the Huntington Formation of Brooks (1979). Equivalent, in part, to unit TrPv

Marine sedimentary rocks (Upper Triassic? and Upper and Middle Triassic) (Early Triassic) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Black, green, and gray argillite, mudstone, and shale; graywacke, sandy limestone, tuff, and some coarse volcaniclastic rocks; chert, sandstone comprised of chert clasts, and chert pebble conglomerate; thin-bedded and massive limestone. Locally contains some interbedded lava flows, mostly spilite or keratophyre. In places metamorphosed. Invertebrate marine fauna indicates unit mostly of Late Triassic (Karnian and Norian) age. Includes the Begg and Brisbois Formations of Dickinson and Vigrass (1965; Vester Formation of Brown and Thayer, 1966) and the Rail Cabin Argillite of Dickinson and Vigrass (1965); Fields Creek Formation and Laycock and Murderers Creek Graywackes of Brown and Thayer (1966); Martin Bridge Formation and lower sedimentary series in and near the Wallowa Mountains (Prostka, 1962; Nolf, 1966); and Doyle Creek and Wild Sheep Creek Formations (Vallier, 1977). Probably partly age correlative with rocks of the Applegate Group (Wells and Peck, 1961) of southwestern Oregon

Lacustrine and fluvial sedimentary rocks (Pleistocene) (Pleistocene) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Unconsolidated to semiconsolidated lacustrine clay, silt, sand, and gravel; in places includes mudflow and fluvial deposits and discontinuous layers of peat. Includes older alluvium and related deposits of Piper (1942), Willamette Silt (Allison, 1953; Wells and Peck, 1961), alluvial silt, sand, and gravel that form terrace deposits of Wells and others (1983), and Gresham and Estacada Formations of Trimble (1963). Includes deltaic gravel and sand and gravel bars, in pluvial lake basins in southeastern part of map area. In Rome Basin, includes discontinuous layers of poorly consolidated conglomerate characterized by well-rounded, commonly polished pebbles of chert and pebbles and cobbles of quartzite. In places contains mollusks or vertebrate fossils indicating Pleistocene age; mostly deposits of late Pleistocene age, but locally includes some deposits of early Holocene age. Includes Touchet Beds of Flint (1938), deposits of valley terraces of Newcomb (1965), and, in southeast Oregon, basin-filling deposits that incorporate Mazama ash deposits (Qma, Qmp) in the youngest layers

Lithology: clay or mud; silt; sand; gravel

Glacial deposits (Pleistocene) (Pleistocene) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Unsorted bouldery gravel, sand, and rock flour in ground, terminal, and lateral moraines. Locally partly sorted

Lithology: gravel; moraine

Fanglomerate (Holocene? and Pleistocene) (Pleistocene to Holocene) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Poorly sorted and poorly stratified alluvial fan debris, slope wash, colluvium, and talus; composed mostly of silt and fragments of basalt, basaltic andesite, and andesite. In places includes small areas of pediment gravels and colluvium

Granite and diorite (Jurassic and Triassic) (Triassic to Jurassic) at surface, covers 2 % of this area

Felsic to intermediate, granitoid intrusive rocks. Includes Jurassic muscovite granodiorite, hornblende gabbro, tonalite, and quartz diorite of southwest Oregon (Smith and others, 1982)

Lithology: granite; quartz diorite

Sedimentary and volcanic rocks, partly metamorphosed (Triassic and Permian) (Permian to Triassic) at surface, covers 1 % of this area

Complexly folded, locally highly foliated and recrystallized undifferentiated sedimentary and volcanic rocks that in places are lithologically similar to Jurassic and Triassic rocks in the Aldrich Mountains of the Blue Mountains province and in other places resemble Elkhorn Ridge Argillite, Clover Creek Greenstone, and Burnt River Schist (Gilluly, 1937). Age probably mostly Late Permian to Late Triassic, but, as shown, may include some Early Jurassic rocks

Mafic and intermediate vent rocks (Pliocene? and Miocene) (Miocene to Pliocene) at surface, covers 0.9 % of this area

Basaltic and andesitic agglomerate, breccia, scoria, cinders, flows, and intrusive masses forming lava cones and small shields

Lithology: basalt; andesite

Intrusive rocks (Cretaceous and Jurassic) (Jurassic to Cretaceous) at surface, covers 0.9 % of this area

Hornblende and biotite quartz diorite (tonalite), trondhjemite, granodiorite, and small amounts of norite, in batholithic masses and large dikelike bodies. Includes Bald Mountain Tonalite and Anthony Lake Granodiorite of Taubeneck (1957), tonalite and trondhjemite of Wallowa batholith and Cornucopia stock (Taubeneck, 1964; Nolf, 1966), quartz diorite intrusion in the Snake River area (Morrison, 1963), quartz diorite and minor other intrusive rocks in the Caviness quadrangle (Wolff, 1965), quartz diorite northeast of John Day and southeast of Ironside Mountain (Thayer and Brown, 1964), quartz diorite in the Sparta and Durkee quadrangles (Prostka, 1962; 1967), and granodiorite and related rocks of the Pueblo Mountains (Roback and others, 1987). Rubidium-strontium and potassium-argon ages indicate an age range from about 94 to 160 Ma (Taubeneck, 1963; Thayer and Brown, 1964; Armstrong and others, 1976)

Sedimentary rocks (Jurassic) (Jurassic) at surface, covers 0.7 % of this area

Black and gray mudstone, shale, siltstone, graywacke, andesitic to dacitic water-laid tuff, porcelaneous tuff, and minor interlayers and lenses of limestone and fine-grained sediments metamorphosed to phyllite or slate. Locally includes some felsite, andesite and basalt flows, breccia, and agglomerate. Marine invertebrate fauna indicates age range from Early Jurassic (Hettangian) to early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian). In northeast Oregon, includes Graylock Formation, Mowich Group, and Shaw Member (of Snowshoe Formation) of Dickinson and Vigrass (1965); Keller Creek Shale of Brown and Thayer (1966); Weberg, Warm Springs, Snowshoe, Trowbridge, and Lonesome Formations of Lupher (1941); the Coon Hollow Formation of Morrison (1964); and unnamed Jurassic rocks near Juniper Mountain in northern Malheur County (Wagner and others, 1963)

Lithology: shale; siltstone; graywacke

Open Water (Holocene) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

water

Lithology: water

Landslide and debris-flow deposits (Holocene and Pleistocene) (Pleistocene to Holocene) at surface, covers 0.3 % of this area

Unstratified mixtures of fragments of adjacent bedrock. Locally includes slope wash and colluvium. Largest slides and debris flows occur where thick sections of basalt and andesite flows overlie clayey tuffaceous rocks. May include some deposits of late Pliocene age

Lithology: landslide

Silicic vent deposits (Pleistocene and Pliocene) (Pliocene to Pleistocene) at surface, covers 0.1 % of this area

Complex domal masses of rhyolite and dacite that include near-vent flows, breccia, pumicite, perlite, obsidian, and ash-flow tuff

Lithology: rhyolite; dacite

Sedimentary rocks, partly metamorphosed (Triassic and Paleozoic) (Paleozoic to Triassic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Poorly bedded argillite, chert, phyllite, phyllitic quartzite, calc-phyllite, impure limestone, and marble. In places rocks are strongly foliated. Sparse fossils (Fusilina, corals, and crinoids) indicate that the unit includes rocks of Leonardian, Ochoan, and Late Triassic age (OR084). Includes Elkhorn Ridge Argillite (OR035), Mesozoic and Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of Brown and Thayer (OR008), and the Permian Coyote Butte Formation (OR085). In Baker County includes "sedimentary and volcanic rocks" (MzPza) of Brooks and others (OR039) and metamorphosed sedimentary and minor volcaniclastic rocks containing mineral assemblages indicative of quartz-albite-muscovite-chlorite subfacies and quartz-albite-epidote-biotite subfacies of the greenschist facies. In Jefferson and Wasco Counties north of Prineville, includes "phyllite and sedimentary rocks " of Swanson (OR031). Includes part of the Burnt River Schist (OR035; OR081) and volcaniclastic facies of several metavolcanic units of Permian and Late Triassic age. Not on State map (OR001) in area of La Grande 100K quadrangle, butmapped in OR291 as Elkhorn Ridge Argillite (Triassic Permian, Pennsylvannian, and Devonian?)

Sedimentary and volcanic rocks, partly metamorphosed (Permian and Permian?) (Permian) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Epiclastic and volcaniclastic rocks, chert, limestone, and lava flows of mid- or Early Permian(?) age that are moderately to intensely metamorphosed. Includes part of Hunsaker Creek Formation of Vallier (1977), in the eastern Blue Mountains province, composed mostly of keratophyre flows, keratophyric volcaniclastic rocks and minor spilite, mudstone, and limestone. In Wheeler County, includes phyllite, chert, and fusulinid-bearing crystalline limestone of probable Early Permian (Wolfcampian?) age (Oles and Enlows, 1971), associated with phyllite, chlorite, and muscovite schist, and lawsonite-crossite blueschist (Swanson, 1969b)

Carboniferous and Permian volcanic rocks (Devonian to Permian; Triassic in Asotin County) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Predominantly altered andesite, basalt, and diabase with interbedded chert and argillite; includes some tuff, greenstone, and spilitic volcanic rocks; northern Cascade Mountains. Mostly schistose greenstone, some agglomerate, and rarely lapilli; includes minor beds of limestone with associated argillite and graywacke; northwestern Stevens County.

Metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks; Middle to Lower Triassic greenschist-facies metamorphic rocks; western Idaho, Blue Mountains island-arc complex (Middle and Early Triassic) at surface, covers < 0.1 % of this area

Middle and Lower Triassic metabasalt and submarine volcaniclastics of western Idaho