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ABSTRACT

The Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) covers a large part of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and is one of the youngest and perhaps the best studied flood-basalt province on Earth. Decades of study have established a regional strati-graphic framework for the CRBG, have demonstrated the CBRG flows can be correlated with dikes and vents, have documented a wide variety of physical features within the CRBG flows, and have demonstrated that many characteristics of the CRBG are recognizable throughout its extent. Detailed studies of individual flows and their feeder dikes have allowed the development of models for the emplacement of voluminous basaltic lava flows. The interplay between the regional structure, contemporaneous deformation, preexisting topography, and paleodrainage systems helped to control the emplacement of individual CRBG flows. These features have also affected the nature of late Neogene sedimentation in the region covered by basalt flows. Finally, the distribution of sediments within the CRBG and the character of the intraflow and interflow structures have played a significant role in the development of aquifers within the CRBG. In this paper we present an overview of the regional aspects of the stratigraphy, structural geology, tectonics, and hydrogeology of the CRBG.

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