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Feb. 12 Portland Audubon talk covers geologic changes wrought by Ice Age floods

Scott Burns’ “Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods” presentation is part of Audubon’s free Nature Night series

Between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago, a series of momentous floods crashed through the Pacific Northwest, reaching heights of up to 400 feet where Portland lies today and carving the landscape of the Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley. Portland Audubon’s Feb. 12 Nature Night presentation will discuss this deluge, one of North America’s greatest sets of geological events – known as the Missoula Floods.

Feb. 12 Portland Audubon talk covers geologic changes wrought by Ice Age floods

Scott Burns.

Portland, Ore. Jan 18, 2013

Between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago, a series of momentous floods crashed through the Pacific Northwest, reaching heights of up to 400 feet where Portland lies today and carving the landscape of the Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley. Portland Audubon’s Feb. 12 Nature Night presentation will discuss this deluge, one of North America’s greatest sets of geological events – known as the Missoula Floods.

As part of Audubon’s Nature Night lecture series, “Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods” is free and open to the public. The event begins at 7 p.m.

Geologist and gifted speaker Scott Burns will lead this thrilling presentation. Burns’ talk will focus on the incredible story of J Harlen Bretz’s discovery of the Ice Age floods and the pioneering research that Bretz used to prove his discovery to the world. Burns will also discuss the floods’ effect on the formation of 16,000 square miles of Pacific Northwest terrain, from eastern Washington to Astoria and the Willamette Valley.

Scott Burns, a sixth generation Oregonian, is a Professor of Geology and past Chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University, where he just finished his 22nd year of teaching. Scott has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University, plus a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Scott has been teaching for 42 years and specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. In Oregon, his projects include those involving landslides and land use, earthquake hazard mapping, paleosols, loess soil stratigraphy and the Missoula Floods. He is a prolific writer and has authored more than 90 publications, including the recent rewriting of the book Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods.

Whether or not you’re a geology buff, you’ll be glad you joined us for this fascinating and humorous presentation about our region’s natural history.  For more information, visit the Portland Audubon website at www.audubonportland.org/about/events/nn-feb13

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