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Oregon geology

Oregon is known for its many spectacular landscapes. These landscapes were shaped by millions of years of major volcanic activity, massive Pleistocene era floods, landslides, and earthquakes. Much of what you see today in Oregon's landscapes is tied to the process of plate tectonics, including accreted terranes underpinning most of the state, the folded coast range, and Cascade volcanoes. Tectonic processes continue to shape Oregon today. 

You may learn more about Oregon geology via a web-based map application provided by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). Oregon: A Geologic History” (Interpretive Map 28, 2009) contains a series of map layers describing rock units that reflect the major events in Oregon’s geologic history.

Please note that the Board office is not staffed by geologists. In addition to the resource described above, you may wish to visit the websites of the geologic organizations listed below for more information about Oregon geology or the geologic sciences in general. These links are provided for your convenience only.

Find someone to evaluate geologic specimens

The Board does not have professional geologists on staff. Board staff are not able to answer questions about particular geologic specimens or related issues. Board members serve as volunteers and are not in the Board office. You may want to check with your local community college or university to inquire about any evaluation services available to the public through their science programs. Alternatively, you may need to hire a qualified geologist to conduct a review of your geologic specimen.

Hire a geologist

For information about hiring a geologist, the Board recommends you consider:
The following links are provided for convenience only.  

Geological resources

  • AEG (Assoc. of Environmental & Engineering Geologists)
  • AGI (American Geosciences Institute)
  • AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)
  • ASBOG (National Assoc. of State Boards of Geology)
  • GSA (Geological Society of America)
  • NGWA (National Groundwater Assoc.)
  • USGS (United States Geological Survey) 

Geoscience Career Exploration

  • GROW (Geoscience Resources on Opportunities in the Workforce)

State of Oregon Resources

  • DOGAMI (Oregon Dept. of Geology & Mineral Industries)
  • OSBEELS (Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying)
  • OSU (Oregon State University - College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • PSU (Portland State University - Dept. of Geology)
  • UO (University of Oregon - Dept. of Earth Sciences)
  • WOU (Western Oregon University - Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • State of Oregon Home Page
image of geologist inspecting road cut