The Makah Formation of the Twin River Group crops out in a northwest-trending linear belt in the northwesternmost part of the Olympic Peninsula, Wash. This marine sequence consists of 2800 meters of predominantly thin-bedded siltstone and sandstone that encloses six distinctive newly named members--four thick-bedded amalgamated turbidite sandstone members, an olistostromal shallow-water marine sandstone and conglomerate member, and a thin-bedded water-laid tuff member. A local unconformity of submarine origin occurs within the lower part of the Makah Formation except in the central part of the study area, where it forms the contact between the older Hoko River Formation and the Makah. Foraminiferal faunas indicate that the Makah Formation ranges in age from late Eocene (late Narizian) to late Oligocene (Zemorrian) and was deposited in a predominantly lower to middle bathyal environment.
The Makah Formation is part of a deep-marginalbasin facies that crops out in the western part of the Olympic Peninsula, in southwesternmost Washington and coastal embayments in northwestern Oregon, and along the central part of the coast of western Vancouver Island. On the basis of limited subsurface data from exploratory wells, correlative deep-marginal-basin deposits underlie the inner continental shelf of Oregon and the continental shelf (Tofino basin) along the southwestern side of Vancouver Island.
Directional structures in the Makah Formation indicate that the predominantly lithic arkosic sandstone that forms the turbidite packets was derived from the northwest. A possible source of the clastic material is the dioritic, granitic, and volcanic terranes in the vicinity of the Hesquiat Peninsula and Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Vertical and lateral variations of turbidite facies suggest that the four packets of sandstone were formed as depositional lobes on an outer submarine fan. The thin-bedded strata between the turbidite packets have characteristics of basin-plain and outer-fan fringe deposits.
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USGS Numbered Series
Makah Formation; a deep-marginal-basin sequence of late Eocene and Oligocene age in the northwestern Olympic Peninsula, Washington