Geologist to discuss overlooked Glacial Lake Columbia March 1

The Columbia Gorge chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute, Waucoma Bookstore, and Hood River County Library District are pleased to 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.

The presentation will be on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m. in the Reading Room at the Hood River Library

Massive 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, Wash., Bruce Bjornstad is a licensed geologist/hydro-geologist 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.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Hood River County Library District at 541-386-2535,, or visit the website of the Columbia Gorge Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute at

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