The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) was created in 1937 as an independent state agency. It has evolved from its early focus on mining to become Oregon’s major source of information to help Oregonians understand and prepare for the vast array of natural hazards that accompany the state’s spectacular geology. Mapping the state’s varied geology and natural hazards is a primary function of the agency. These hazards include earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and coastal erosion.
The department also regulates surface mining, in addition to oil, gas and geothermal resource exploration. DOGAMI’s Mined Land Reclamation Program regulates Oregon’s mining industry to ensure that mine operators protect the environment while mining and return the land to beneficial use after mines are closed. The Oil and Gas Program has essentially the same responsibilities in regulating natural gas and geothermal exploration and production.
The most widely recognized product of the department is the creation of geologic maps. These maps are valuable tools for a variety of uses, including describing the general geology and geologic history of an area, locating potential mineral resources, identifying geologic hazards, and providing essential information for groundwater studies.
The ongoing scientific study of hazards and the information generated from those studies is also important in helping Oregonians understand the risks faced from earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and other hazards. This information is shared through traditional paper maps, digital maps, academic reports, exhibits, workshops, conferences, websites, and public presentations.
DOGAMI has also helped develop important partnerships and programs among business, industry, local government and citizens to help reduce the risk Oregonians face from natural hazards. Oregon has been designated a "Showcase State" by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) because of our efforts in understanding and mitigating our hazards.
Oregon’s location on the "Ring of Fire" circling the Pacific Rim makes it vulnerable to dynamic geologic processes that influence the health, safety, and welfare of Oregonians. Recent scientific investigations reveal that large earthquakes and tsunamis have affected Oregon in the past and will again. Other natural hazards in Oregon include coastal erosion, landslides, floods, and volcanic eruptions.
Effective preparation for chronic and catastrophic geologic hazards requires knowledge and understanding of local geology and geologic processes. As part of this hazards mitigation program, the department studies and maps geologic hazards, informs governments and the public about the hazards, and works actively to reduce future loss of life and property.
Click here for more information on geologic hazards in Oregon.