The Ore bin ; Vol. 36 No. 3 (March 1974) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/administrative_report_or_publications/cv43p212k

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  • Wright's Point, Harney County, Oregon : an example of inverted topography
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  • Wright's Point, a 250-foot-high, sinuous, flat-topped ridge, projects eastward into Harney Basin, Harney County, Oregon. This 6-mile-long feature ranges from 200 to 600 yards wide and merges with a broad mesa at its western end. The nearest topographic highs are Dog Mountain, 2 miles southwest, and foothills of the Blue Mountains near Burns, 12 miles northwest. The point is composed of a fluvial sequence of tuffaceous channel sandstones, mudstones, and conglomerates (Pliocene-Pleistocene Harney Formation) capped by two thin, early Pleistocene diktytaxitic olivine basalt flows. The configuration of the ridge and the paleocurrent pattern, sedimentary structures, fossils, and stratigraphic relations of the rocks to nearby topographic highs suggest that the fluvial sequence and capping basalts were deposited in a narrow valley of an eastward flowing meandering stream(s). The basalts acted as a protective cap while the less-resistant valley walls were eroded away to produce an inverted topography. Remnants of the valley walls consist of a Plio-Pleistocene palagonite tuff ring at Dog Mountain and ignimbrites and tuffaceous sediments of the middle Pliocene Danforth Formation in the Blue Mountain foothills. Reworked palagonite tuff, pumice sands, and Danforth ignimbrite pebbles compose the sandstone and conglomerates of Wright's Point. Measured elevation differences at the base of the lower flow, orientations of filled and open lava tubes, and increasing number of flows to the west suggest that the basalt flowed from west to east down the stream valley. Probable sources of the basalts are several vents 6 miles west of Wright's Point near the Palomino Buttes.
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  • Abstract -- Introduction -- General geologic setting -- Stratigraphy -- Basalts -- Geologic interpretations -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Glossary.
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