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Depoe Bay is a community located on a small embayment with the same name on the central Oregon coast. The harbor is only 6 acres (2.4 ha) and promoted as the world's smallest navigable port. Depoe Bay was named for Siletz Native Charles "Charley" Depot who was originally allotted the land in 1894 as part of the Dawes Act of 1887.
The coastal rocks underlying the town and highway are volcanic basalts and over time seawater has eroded blow holes, a common feature on many volcanic islands and along the Oregon coast. A blowhole or marine geyser is formed as sea caves erode and undercut overlying rock. Vertical shafts may develop as the roof of the sea cave erodes or collapses to expose the surface, creating a vent. Hydraulic compression of sea water entering the sea cave is released through the vent resulting in a marine geyser. The geometry of the cave and blowhole along with tide levels and swell conditions determine the height of the spray.
U.S. Highway 101 was built through Depoe Bay along the ocean and is now protected from large waves by a seawall. However, on March 11, 2011, the port was damaged by a tsunami caused by the Tōhoku earthquake off the coast of Japan. Read more here and here. See a short video here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Depoe Bay and the Oregon coast.