Presentation: Geologist Bruce Bjornstad

The Columbia Gorge chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute, Waucoma Bookstore, and Hood River County Library District host author and geologist Bruce Bjornstad for a presentation about the overlooked Glacial Lake Columbia, a known source of the ancient floods that helped shaped the Columbia Gorge. Humongous Ice Age floods from Glacial Lake Missoula are well known and documented for this region. Another, less-well known source for outburst floods was Glacial Lake Columbia that released a last deluge at the end of the Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago. Prior to that time, Lake Columbia played a major role in resupplying our deeper basalt aquifers for thousands of years. However, with the draining of Lake Columbia, recharge water to the deep basalts was permanently cut off. Today water levels are dropping precipitously as irrigation wells continue to mine the unreplenished “fossil” water. A resident of Richland, Washington, Bruce Bjornstad is a licensed geologist/hydrogeologist who has studied the Ice Age floods since 1980. He is a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is an active member of the Ice Age Floods Institute and regularly lectures and leads field trips on the subject. The program is free and open to the public. For more info contact the Library District at 541-386-2535 or, or visit


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