What is the nature of the Permian-Triassic unconformity in the Wallowa Terrane, of which Hells Canyon is a part? What caused it to form? How does it relate to the worldwide Permian-Triassic unconformity?
What are the stratigraphic relationships of Triassic strata in Hells Canyon? How much strata was deposited on volcanoes’ deep slopes? How much was deposited on shallow shelves? How much was deposited on land? Where were the volcanoes located?
How was the Permian island arc initiated? Why were the volcanic eruptions predominantly rhyolitic?
What was the ancestral Pacific Ocean like in the Permian? The Triassic?
Where are the missing pieces of crust and upper mantle that existed in the region between the ancestral North America Continent and pre-Cenozoic terranes of the Blue Mountains?
What are the U-Pb radiometric ages of all pre-Cenozoic units in the Blue Mountains Province?
How do terranes in the Blue Mountains Province relate to terranes in other parts of the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and southern Alaska?
What caused the great Miocene lava eruptions that are dominated by the Columbia River Basalt?
Which faults in the Blue Mountains region are active (moved in the last ten thousand years)? What is the potential for a large magnitude (greater than magnitude 7.0) earthquake in the Blue Mountains region? Which fault is most likely to move?
Where in Hells Canyon, and in tributaries of the Snake River, are landslides most likely to occur? How would those catastrophic events affect dams and cities that lie downstream?
What are the effects of climate change on the landscape of Hells Canyon? How can they be measured?