Preliminary report on the geology of the Molalla quadrangle, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hq37vs79g

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  • The Molalla quadrangle is located in northwestern Oregon along the eastern edge of Willamette Valley about 30 miles south of Portland. The area includes part of the Western Cascade foothills as well as a portion of the Willamette Valley lowland. The rocks in the Cascade foothills are marine and terrestrial sediments interlayered with volcanic flows and pyroclastics which range from Eocene (?) to Pliocene or early Pleistocene in age. The oldest rocks consist of approximately 1500 feet of basaltic and andesitic lavas, present in the southeastern portion of the area, and described here as the Pre-Butte Creek lavas. The base or lower part of the series contains interbedded marine pebble conglomerates presumably of Eocene age. To the southwest the laves are unconformably ever-lain with about 1200 feet of marine and terrestrial sediments which have been termed the Butte Creek beds. Field relations indicate a correlation of these sediments with the Oligocene Illahe sandstone, while the faunal study made by Durham suggests a lower Miocene age. In the southwestern part of the quadrangle the Butte Creek beds are unconformably overlain by the middle Miocene Stayton lavas. Several hundred feet of pyroclastics and terrestrial sediments considered early Pliocene in age and described as the Molalla formation are exposed along Molalla River in the eastern and northeastern part of the quadrangle. They rest unconformably on the Pre-Butte Creek lavas and are overlain by Pliocene or early Pleistocene Boring lavas. Where exposed along the western edge of the Cascade foothills these older formations are covered by middle Pleistocene alluvial deposits which blanket the Willamette valley lowland. All of the Tertiary rocks have been tilted or gently folded. Dips observed in the Butte Creek beds in the southern half of the area average about 6 degrees and indicate an elongate domal fold trending northeasterly. A regional dip of 5 to 8 degrees to the northwest is present in the Molallla formation in the northern part of the area. Minor normal faulting in present locally in the Butte Creek beds. Residual and transported high-alumina clays are present in the Molalla formation. Exploration by the United States Bureau of Mines and Unites States Geological Survey revealed an estimated 53,460,000 wet tons of ore in the Molalla area.
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