Event Details

Location: Vancouver, WA

How would you confront a 2,000’ high wall of water as it raced towards you at 65+MPH? This was not an unfamiliar event in our recent geologic history. Towards the end of the most recent ‘Ice Age’, glaciers had reached their furthest point south. Lobes of the glacial advance formed ice dams that blocked water flow in NW Montana to form a giant lake known as Lake Missoula.

Failure of these ice dams occurred around 100 times between 18,000 and 13,000 years ago, each instantly releasing massive flood waters downstream. Around ±500 cubic miles of water were released when an ice dam failed, an amount equivalent to the volume of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined, or 111 Crater Lakes! Within one week, powerful and erosive Missoula Flood waters scoured east-central Washington to form the famous ‘Scablands’ before blasting into the Columbia River Gorge enhancing its scenic waterfall landscape. The wall of water then roared west to flood what today is Portland to a depth of 400’. Continuing south into the Willamette Valley, the waters reached what is now Eugene, depositing agriculturally important soils scoured from Washington, before finally racing to the Pacific Ocean.

David Lonsdale, among our Club’s favorite science experts, will take us on a fascinating visual journey, pointing out evidence left by the Floods that we can see today. Detailed directions will be available for those who would wish to explore these areas. Our event venue is a wonderful new restaurant with a glass wall facing the Columbia so we can really get a sense of what the floods were like. Appetizers will be provided; bar drinks will be available for purchase.

Be among the 25 alumni and guests to sign up no later than Saturday, May 4 for this event. Interested high schoolers are welcome to join us:

Event date and time: Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 2 to 4:30 pm

Location: Twig’s Bistro, 115 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA 98661

Cost: $25 per person

Please contact Board member Ray Lange at rayelange@gmail.com with any questions.

For event registration questions, please contact Donna Carl at dc37@cornell.edu.