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Abstract

The Middle Miocene Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) is the youngest and smallest continental flood basalt province on Earth, covering over 210,000 km2 of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and having a volume of 210,000 km3. A well-established regional stratigraphic framework built upon seven formations, and using physical and compositional characteristics of the flows, has allowed the areal extent and volume of the individual flows and groups of flows to be calculated and correlated with their respective dikes and vents. CRBG flows can be subdivided into either compound flows or sheet flows, and are marked by a set of well-defined physical features that originated during their emplacement and solidification. This field trip focuses on the Lewiston Basin, in southeastern Washington, western Idaho, and northeastern Oregon, which contains the Chief Joseph dike swarm, where classic features of both flows and dikes can be easily observed, as well as tectonic features typical of those found elsewhere in the flood basalt province.

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