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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Hermiston in Umatilla County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

How Do You Make a Hat?

 
 
How Do You Make a Hat? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
1. How Do You Make a Hat? Marker
Caption: (map, lower left) The Columbia Basalt eruptions lasted for about 10-15 million years and covered 63,000 miles of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho with 40,000 cubic miles of basalt. They are famous in the world of geology and are the most-studied basalts on the planet.
Inscription.  
Hat Rock is evidence of on of the most remarkable geologic events of all time.
Around 17 million years ago, when prehistoric rhinoceros and camel roamed here, a chain of events began that drastically changed this region. A series of volcanic eruptions covered the landscape with spreading pools of basaltic lave. This happened repeatedly over millions of years, building up layers of basalt almost a mile thick.

Tropical Forest: 17 million years ago - before the eruptions The warmer climate supported forests of ginkgo, elm and cypress.

Eruptions: Long cracks, called fissures, opened in the earth's crust and spewed a spending pool of lava over the land, destroying everything in its path.

Cooling: The lava gradually cooled and cracking in vertical columns. Some rocks are more evenly colonnaded than others. Slow, even rates of cooling caused straight, wide columns, while rapid cooling resulted in a more jumbled look.

Repeated Layers: Over millions of years, flow built upon flow. Different flows are often distinctly colored. In some places the basalt
Hat Rock and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
2. Hat Rock and Marker
is over a mile thick.

Erosion: Erosion stripped away topsoil and left cliffs exposed. Today, the rocks are beautifully exposed at Hat Rock. If you look of in the distance, you can see similar rocks. They are pieces of the same flow.
 
Erected by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Natural Features.
 
Location. 45° 55.001′ N, 119° 10.238′ W. Marker is near Hermiston, Oregon, in Umatilla County. Marker can be reached from Marina Drive near Hat Rock State Park Road. The marker is a short hike from the Marina Drive parking lot in Hat Rock State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hermiston OR 97838, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Naamí Tiičám Ku Waqíšwit (approx. ¼ mile away); A Team of Discovery (approx. ¼ mile away); It's All Downhill From Here (approx. ¼ mile away); The Umatilla Rapids (approx. 6½ miles away); The Lewis and Clark Expedition (approx. 6½ miles away); Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Homeland (approx. 6½ miles away); Patímaša Tiičámna (approx. 6½ miles away); Strangers "from the clouds" (approx. 8.8 miles away in Washington). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hermiston.
 
Hat Rock image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 14, 2020
3. Hat Rock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 26, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 17 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2020, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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Mar. 7, 2021