Virtual Presentation and Q & A with Liz Safran, Associate Professor of Geological Science

Landslides and Lava and Floods, Oh My! How the Owyhee River Puts Up with Oregon’s Lively Geology Presented by Associate Professor of Geological Science, Liz Safran For decades, geologists thought of rivers as the buzz-saws of landscape evolution, chopping down through the bedrock of uplifted landscapes and dragging the adjacent hillslopes along for the ride. But what if the hillslopes actually govern the speed of the saw? In the last two million years of its life, the Owyhee River of southeastern Oregon has been repeatedly invaded by lava flows and giant landslides. If hillslopes have the upper hand anywhere, one might expect it to be here – where the river snakes across the relatively gentle gradients of the high lava plains, far from the sea in the driest corner of the state. In this talk, we’ll explore the geologic history of eastern Oregon in general and the Owyhee River in particular, and consider whether the rude intrusions from beyond the channel hamper the river’s single-minded race to sea level. Wednesday, June 10, 2020 5:00 p.m. (PDT), Virtual presentation followed by Q&A Learn more about Associate Professor Liz Safran here. For questions about this event, please email Emily Decker ’85 at