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Day 7 - Monday, September 29

We met with Chief Officer Kinsley at Camp Rilea at 8:30 am this morning to discuss the findings of our research project thus far and to learn about previous research that has been done in the area. Other workers have collected core samples near Slusher Lake in an attempt to locate the two historic Clatsop Indian structures that were originally mapped and described in Lewis and Clark's journal records.

Speaking with Chief Officer Kinsley about our research findings at Camp Rilea.

Based on the auger cores that we have collected so far, which show several meters of recent beach sand accumulation, and on what we have learned about beach progradation during the FOP field trip, we believe that investigations by previous researchers have been unsuccessful at locating the Clatsop Indian village because they failed to account for the significant increase in sedimentation following jetty construction at the mouth of the Columbia River in the early 1900s.


A reference map of the study showing locations of auger cores, laser levelling lines, and geographic features.
At 9:30 am we began the rest of our field work.

The 100 MHz GPR equipment was used to collect two east-west profiles along the western edge of Slusher Lake.

Laser level readings were recorded and additional hand auger samples were collected.

Joel and Ryan used Trimble ProXR GPS equipment to record the locations of auger samples, laser levelling lines, and geographic features within the study area (shown to the left).


Tracy, Beth, and Megan take laser level readings.

Adam and Tracy set up the laser equipment.

Brian collects a soil sample using a hand auger.
Many GPR profiles run along the ridge west of Slusher Lake show parallel to sub-parallel, semi-continuous reflection patterns, which were interpreted to represent a vertically accreting sand dune. An erosional scarp appeared to be present 100 m west of the lake and may represent the past shoreline position.


Listening to the original owner of land around Slusher Lake prior to government ownership.

Group picture of research team at Slusher Lake.
We met with the original owner of the land around Slusher Lake around noon, who provided us with a historical account of the land conditions in the early half of the twentieth century and also gave us a 1973 FEMA photo contour flood map of the study area.

The map indicated that the surface elevation of the lake was around 15 ft above sea level, which indicates that the lake has been perched since the Clatsop River outlet closed. This means that the Clatsop Indian village may be located within close proximity to the western edge of the lake, or may be located within the lake itself.

After finishing our field work we obtained a map of Camp Rilea and satellite imagery of the study area.

Although we did not stumble upon the known native structures, the significant discovery of the historic Clatsop River outlet has allowed us to narrow down the location of the village, and our work will provide a foundation from which to base future archeological investigations.


A beautiful sunset at Canon Beach.

Class picture at Canon Beach during dusk with sea stacks in the background.
We spent the late afternoon and early evening in Canon Beach, where we ate at Moe’s Restaurant and observed a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

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