George W. Moore was a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1951 until his retirement in 1987, when he became a Courtesy Professor of Geology at Oregon State University. Moore earned BS (1950) and MS (1951) degrees from Stanford University and completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in 1960.
Moore's research speciality was tectonics and he is known for his contributions to the theory of plate tectonics, especially understanding the significance of tectonic terranes. He authored more than 230 publications ranging from scientific papers to geological maps and map compilations as well as works of general interest about geological catastrophes, a book on speleology (the study of caves), and a manuscript on wine and terroir in Oregon.
A native of Palo Alto, California, Moore married Ellen Moore, also a geologist, in 1960. George died in an automobile accident near Monroe, Oregon, in 2007.
The George W. Moore Papers consist predominantly of field and laboratory notebooks documenting Moore's work as a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The bulk of the field notebooks are for projects in Alaska: Beaches (1959-1960), Aleutian Trench and vicinity (1961-1965), and Kodiak Island (1976-1977). These include observations following the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Notes about studies of deep sea sediments in the North Pacific are part of the collection. Field notebooks for Moore's research on evaporites during the 1950s in Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, Nevada, and Utah and for projects during the 1960-1980s in California, Oregon, Washingtion, and Hawaii, as well as field work in New Zealand, are included. Some of these projects address cave geochemistry. A few field notebooks document work in Oregon and Washington in the 1990s, after his retirement from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The laboratory notebooks are for uranium absorption experiments conducted in 1952 and sea water studies done in 1956.
The collection also includes a copy of his 1960 Ph.D. dissertation, Origin and Chemical Composition of Evaporite Deposits and the 1978 book, Speleology: The Study of Caves written by Moore and G. Nicholas Sullivan.