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Volcanology and Active Faulting in the High Lava Plains

406 (undergraduate) or 606 (graduate) – Field Studies: Volcanology and Active Faulting (4 credits)

Students will learn to identify, map, and interpret volcanic and active fault features in the High Lava Plains of Central Oregon. In one project, students will make a detailed geologic map of the flows and cinder cones of the Four Craters field from stereo air photos and determine the sequence and volume of eruption.  In the other project students will make a detailed topographic map of the Crack in the Ground fault from LiDAR data, map the structures on this map, and generate balanced cross sections across the fault zone.  There will also be two field trips to learn more about the volcanism and active faulting of the Oregon High Lava Plains and Basin and Range Provinces.

The group will be camping in tents for this segment. Be prepared to live in a tent for 2 weeks! Large tents with tables will be provided for group cooking, equipment storage, and working on maps at night. We will have a camp cook, and all equipment and utensils for meals will be provided. Students should bring their own tent, sleeping bag and pad, towel, and plenty of warm clothig. See the equipmentlist for details.

Students are advised that work will be physically strenuous and will involve hiking on steep and irregular terrain, generally during hot weather. Graduate students will synthesize the results of field work and submit summary maps and/or a report within two weeks after we return from the field.

More information for this course will be posted soon.


  • Introduction to Field Methods (GEOL 318)
  • Mineralogy (GEOL 331)
  • General Petrology (GEOL 332)
  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (GEOL 334)
  • Structural Geology (GEOL 350)


  • Equivalent level of geologic expertise and instructor’s permission