Presentation Shows Beauty and Beast of Oregon Coast Geology
(Yachats, Oregon) – The title is Beauty and the Beast, but he subject is far from Disney-esque. In fact, it's more about fiery lava flows and scary waves from the ocean deep. OSU Geosciences Professor Bob Lillie will give a presentation on earthquakes and tsunamis of the Oregon coast on November 15 at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center Theater. It starts at 1 p.m.
“The same geological forces that threaten our lives with earthquakes and tsunamis also nourish our spirits by creating the magnificent coastline of the Pacific Northwest,” Lillie has said in the past.
This presentation reveals the dynamic landscape of Oregon's coast and its impact on scientific, cultural and societal issues. This region has a wealth of dramatic landscapes - Cape Arago, Cape Perpetua, Yaquina Head, Cape Lookout, and Cannon Beach, to name just a few - that are preserved and showcased as national forests, state parks and other special places.
Such beauty was formed, and is continually modified, by geological processes that also unleash the beast of earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides.
This 'Beauty and the Beast' story is vital to help the public enjoy scenic destinations along the Oregon Coast, appreciate how geology relates to the Coast's natural and cultural history, and understand how individuals and communities might mitigate the impacts of geological hazards.
Lillie's past presentations are many, covering a diverse range of geologic subjects. He often teaches others how to teach coastal geology and science to the public – a valuable skill for the tourism industry along the Oregon coast but in many other tourist hotspots around the Northwest as well.
Some of his previous discussions centered around this idea: “Speeding up the geological clock along the Oregon Coast reveals Earth becoming fluid as the sea itself.” He then proceeds to show just that by taking you all over time and space, looking not only millions and millions of years in the past but also wandering from the coast to eastern Oregon, then to mountains in northern Washington and all the way out to Yellowstone National Park.
There are distinct and surprising links between areas seemingly completely unconnected to each other, such as a massive hole in the Earth's crust that now produces the geysers at Yellowstone, but some 45 million years ago was responsible for many of the lava flows that created major coastal landmarks we're all familiar with. Yaquina Head, Cannon Beach, Cape Meares and many others poured from that leak of lava.
Lillie also talks about the surprising journeys that grains of sand make. For instance, he shows how granules can be eroded out the Olympic Mountains in Washington but eventually wind up as sand on the Oregon coast.
The center is about three miles south of Yachats, Oregon. Call 541-547-3289 for more information.
More about this area just south of Yachats at the Upper Lane County Virtual Tour, Map, as well as below.
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