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The Wild Rivers Watershed is an arbitrarily defined section of the southern Oregon coastal region that extends north from the border with California to the latitude of Coos Bay, and east from the ocean to the peaks of the coastal mountains.
Just off the southern Oregon Coast, the Cascadia fault marks a subduction zone at the junction of two tectonic plates. It has been the source of a number of powerful (magnitude 9+) earthquakes and tsunamis that determined the region's geology and topography. Earthquakes along the fault created the coastal mountains that rise steeply from the coast.
Heavy winter rainfall comes from the southwest and erodes the rising mountains, creating a complex and very rugged terrain. The rains are also responsible for the numerous east-west flowing rivers in this 100 mile section of Pacific coast.
The quickly rising mountains and heavy winter rainfall create multiple rivers with short watersheds. Here, it is possible to get to know an entire river from beginning to end within a relatively short period of time.
Nancy and I lived on the southern Oregon for 15 years and explored each of the rivers and good portions of their watersheds. Much of the upper portions of the watersheds are in extremely difficult terrain and is difficult to access, and seasonal wildfires also complicated exploration.
Nevertheless, we were able to achieve a degree of familiarity with the landscape achievable only by locals. I now share my photographic impressions with you.
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