Sunset Bay and Cape Arago, Oregon

March 01, 2017

Cape Arago 01 (2)

Photographer: Rebecca Roush
Summary Author: Rebecca Roush

Shown above is Sunset Bay, near Cape Arago, Oregon, an inlet that's easily accessible along coastal Highway 101. At low tide at Sunset Bay, the casual observer might catch a glimpse of submerged tree trunks (not shown in this photo). These spruce trunks were inundated during an earthquake that occurred approximately 1,200 years ago.

Numerous transverse faults lie between Sunset Bay and Cape Arago, evidence of which can be seen by pulling off the highway in several safe locations. At Sunset Bay in particular, the bench formed by waves breaking down the cliff exposes the complexity of the faulting. This area is also home to headlands composed of sedimentary rock that's been tilted and layered over the eons. Research indicates that the rate of uplift along the coast is about 3.1 ft (1 m) every 1,000 years. Photo taken on January 20, 2017.