First Advisor

Michael L. Cummings

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geology






Structural geology, Mineralogy -- Grande Ronde River Valley (Or. and Wash.), Basalt -- Grande Ronde River Valley (Or. and Wash.), Geology -- Grande Ronde River Valley (Or. and Wash.), Radioactive waste disposal in the ground



Physical Description

1 online resource (170 p.)


Altered flows that are low-MgO chemical types of the Grande Ronde Basalt crop out in the steep walls of the Grande Ronde River canyon near Troy, Wallowa County, Oregon. The alteration effects in these flows are being investigated as a natural analog system to a high level nuclear waste repository in basalt. The flows within the study are referred to as the analog flow, in which the alteration effects are the strongest, and the superjacent flow. The analog flow crops out at Grande Ronde River level and a roadcut-outcrop is developed in the flow-top breccia of this flow. The two flows have been divided into flow zones based on intraflow structures observed in the field and primary igneous textures observed in thin section. These zones include, from the base upward, the flow interior, transition, and flow-top breccia zones of the analog flow, the interflow contact zone, and the flow interior and flow-top breccia zone of the superjacent flow. The intraflow structures and textures of the transition and interflow contact zones are atypical of Grande Ronde Basalt flows. The transition zone is transitional in textures between the flow interior zone and flow-top breccia zone, and includes holocrystalline spines mantled with fused in situ breccias. The interflow contact zone reflects the dynamic interaction during the emplacement of the superjacent flow manifested as invasive basalt tongues, clasts shed from tongues, pipe vesicles and tree molds, and pockets of breccia caught up in the base of the superjacent flow.


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