Geology of Dry Canyon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 18.151 W 121° 11.419
10T E 644351 N 4907066
Sign about the geology of the Dry Canyon in Redmond, Oregon.
Waymark Code: WM5YRA
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 03/02/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

At the north trailhead for the Dry Canyon Trail there are two small interpretive kiosks. On kiosk has information on the Redmond Wastewater Treatment Plant. The other kiosk has information (geology, plants, and wildlife) on the Dry Canyon.

NOTE: This sign presents the basic geology of the Dry Canyon but there are many problems with the details in the sign. Some updates to the sign are listed after the text of the sign.

Marker Name: Geology of Dry Canyon
Marker Text: The lava that floors the Dry Canyon is known as Deschutes formation basalt. These are sheet like flows with smooth to ropy-textured upper surfaces. The lava erupted from vents on the north flank of Newberry volcano. The exact vent area is uncertain but would be south (upslope) of US Highway 20 and southeast of Bend. The lava is younger than 780,000 years and much of it in the Bend area is younger than 400,000 years.
Prior to the basalt flows, water in the Dry Canyon was thought to come from melting glaciers in the Forked Horn Butte area. Thus it was a tributary to the Deschutes River.
The lava flowed north across the broad plain extending to Redmond. Beyond Redmond the basalt flowed into Deschutes and Crooked Rivers canyons and, via the Deschutes Canyon reached to Lake Billy Chinook. The flows that entered the Crooked River drainage grew stagnant and solidified at Crooked River Ranch.
The Dry Canyon rim is made up of “Rimrock” basalt which overlays the Deschutes Formation. This is composed of volcanic debris ranging from fine ash to large block as much as 10 feet in diameter.
Lava tubes at the south end of Dry Canyon distributed lava northwesterly into the canyon. The lava was funneled through the canyon and spread out into wide area to the north. The canyon floor was left with a flat surface over the years. This has been overlain by alluvium (soil) built up by the forces of weather and plant life.

The flows on the floor of the canyon are not part ot the Deschutes Formation which ranges in age from 4 to 8 million years old. Instead the flows are from Newberry Volcano which is less than a half million years old. Recent geologic work on this intercanyon flow indicates that it is only about 75,000 years old and comes from a group of small vents west of Horse Butte, south of Bend.
There were no glaciers in the Forked Horn Butte area. Recent geologic work indicates that the prior to about 78,000 years ago the canyon was the main channel of the Deschutes River. At about 78,000 years ago a flow in the Bend area diverted the river westward in to its present channel. Then about 75,000 years ago another eruption sent flows northward which spilled into the old canyon and partially filled it.

Historic Topic: Geological

Group Responsible for placement: City Government

Marker Type: Roadside

Region: Central Oregon

County: Deschutes

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

Include your thoughts and observations pertaining to this location and your visit. Provide any additional history that you are aware of that pertains to this location. If the marker commemorates a historic building tell us what it is used for now or share with us the circumstances of an earlier visit to bring this locations history to life.

Please upload a favorite photograph you took of the waymark. Although visiting this waymark in person is the only thing required of you to receive credit for your visit, taking the time to add this information is greatly appreciated.

Be creative.

Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Oregon Historical Markers
Nearest Geocaches
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
rwasner wrote comment for Geology of Dry Canyon 10/19/2019 rwasner wrote comment for it
lavabears visited Geology of Dry Canyon 01/27/2014 lavabears visited it
Volcanoguy visited Geology of Dry Canyon 03/02/2009 Volcanoguy visited it

View all visits/logs