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xConnectNW 122 - NW Floods

xConnectNW
We sit down with Bruce Bjornstad, a geologist from Richland, WA. He shares with us the history of Ice Age Floods and how they have shaped our region.

 

Producer: Destiny Liley

Online Version: Destiny Liley, Associate Producer

Posted: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | 5:00 p.m.

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Geologist Bruce Bjornstad claims he was a “late comer” and had to declare a major while in college, so he chose to major in geology. “Geology appealed to me because I could see myself being outside and enjoying nature, and I always enjoyed science.” Bjornstad said. After graduation, Bjornstad taught science to middle and high school students for a few years before pursing a Master’s degree in Geology.

“Huge volumes of water equal to two of the Great Lakes in the Midwest, all drained out of glacial Lake Missoula as recently as 15,000 years ago, and they made their way down through Spokane and across the channel Scabland and eventually through here into the Tri-Cities before they all drained through one little opening.” Bjornstad said. There were a couple hundred feet of topsoil that was stripped away from the Palouse region with the Ice Age floods, and the earliest floods - which were the biggest- had the greatest impact. 

Bjornstad believes if we continue in the same cycle that we’ve been in for the last million year, we could enter another glacial cycle within about 35,000 years from now. 

Bonus Material: Deep Lake Potholes Floodscape

NW Floods

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