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2020 Field Studies, Section 1

GEOL-406 Field Studies in Tectonics & Paleontology (CRN 41966) 4 credits  Instructors:  Ray Weldon and Samantha Hopkins.  Graded for Majors; P/NP optional for all other students.  $700 course fee (in addition to the $100 acceptance fee paid to hold your space in the course) and usual tuition and UO fees.

This course will take students to participate in active research in the Crooked River Basin that includes rocks of classic Tertiary John Day Basin stratigraphy, interbedded with Columbia River Basalt (CRBs) and a wide variety of late Tertiary to Quaternary ash-flow tuffs, rhyolite to basalt flows, and fluvial to lacustrine deposits.  The course will include a brief introductory mapping project to familiarize students with the area, different map products, and diverse rock types and two 1-day field trips for everyone.

For 10 days students will split into paleo and mapping groups, according to their interests. The paleontology section (A) will be taught by Samantha Hopkins and will be working in the scenic Oligocene and Miocene deposits of the John Day and Mascall Formations. Students will learn how to measure and describe a detailed stratigraphic section with a Jacob’s Staff and Abney Level, how to sample for paleomagnetic stratigraphy, and how to survey vertebrate fossil resources. We will also learn how to collect fossils in the field, from surface collecting and screen-washing to jacketing large specimens. We’ll relate our finds to the field mapping going on at the same time, integrating paleontology with regional mapping and stratigraphy to develop a picture of the geologic history of this complex area.

The mapping group (B) will be taught by Ray Weldon and will conduct reconnaissance-style mapping to document the distribution of the diverse units and their structural deformation.  Mapping will mainly be 1:10,000 scale on USGS geopdfs, air photos, GE imagery and LiDAR products, and will focus on characterizing two periods of rapid deformation, one largely associated with folding that accompanied the CRBs and the other that is generating faults that are active today.  Students will work in small groups covering individual, previously unmapped, areas of Tertiary to Quaternary units and structures.


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