“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Ontario in Malheur County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)

Malheur Butte

Malheur Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 28, 2017
1. Malheur Butte Marker
Caption: Malheur Butte, the small volcanic feature rising from the floor of the valley remains a stark reminder of more active geologic times.
Inscription. Between 20 and 15 million years ago, the region from north-central Washington to northeastern California experienced a series of volcanic eruptions and basalt lava floods that covered thousands of square miles. These ancient lava floods often dammed streams, creating lakes and swamps that may have lasted for millions of years before filling with sediment or draining as erosion slowly lowered their outlets. The western Snake River plain contained many such lakes and geologists believe that between 8 and 2 million years ago, “Lake Idaho” covered much of central eastern Oregon. Sediment deposited in this lake once probably covered Malheur Butte, and during the last 2 million years the Malheur River and other eroding forces slowly exposed and shaped today’s landmark.
Although Malheur Butte has been inactive for millions of years, Malheur County is still alive with geothermal activity in the form of hot springs. Today, Oregon Trail Mushrooms uses geothermal energy at their processing plant in Vale, and efforts are being made to further utilize this unique energy source throughout the county.
Erected by Oregon Economic Development Department.
Location. 43° 59.136′ N, 117° 5.976′ W. Marker is near
Malheur Butte Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 28, 2017
2. Malheur Butte Marker
Malheur Butte is in the background. br This marker is second from the right.
Ontario, Oregon, in Malheur County. Marker is on Thundered Boulevard (U.S. 26) near Lee Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 950 Central Oregon Highway, Ontario OR 97914, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Malheur County's Oregon Trail Heritage (here, next to this marker); First People of the Land (approx. 6˝ miles away); Under the Wagon Cover (approx. 6˝ miles away); Imagine a Day's Journey (approx. 6˝ miles away); In Search of a Dream (approx. 6˝ miles away); Cutoff Fever (approx. 6.6 miles away); Vale Oregon Trail Kiosk (approx. 6.8 miles away); John D. Henderson (approx. 6.8 miles away).
Categories. Natural Features
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 18, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 70 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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