ExplOregon: New interactive map explores state's geology

A screengrab of the new map (From

EUGENE, Ore. - How did the Wallowas form? What kind of rock makes up the Painted Hills? Why do rocks in creek beds look different on the Umpqua National Forest than on the Mount Hood?

Great questions. Let's start exploring!

A new interactive online map allows visitors to explore the geology of the State of Oregon.

"With this map, it's possible to take a closer look at the geology of the amazing places we can see, as well as the geology we never see because it's covered by our built environment," said Ali Ryan Hansen, communications director for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, also known as DOGAMI.

The interactive map is nearly a decade in the making, said Rudie Watzig, DOGAMI Senior GIS analyst.

The goal: build a map that was simple to use and incorporated the best available geologic data.

"People can finally explore Oregon's geology in a way that's easy, but also access GIS data, reports, and map sources with a click," Watzig said.

DOGAMI integrated 342 maps into the data behind the interactive map, released in time for Geologic Map Day (October 14) and Earth Science Week, which ends Saturday.

"Geologic maps tell the story of how our Oregon landscape formed," Hansen said. "They also help us understand today's geologic resources and hazards."

Explore the map:

It's the latest in a series of user-friendly maps released by the state agency.

Earlier this year, DOGAMI put out maps of landslide dangers in the state.

In January, the agency released new maps focused on Oregon's South Coast.

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