Glaciers, past and present

Two events: tour Newton-Clark Glacier, hear experts describe ancient Gorge, Northwest geology

On scene or “armchair,” two events this week provide a chance to learn about the geological forces at work in the Gorge both past and present.

Geologists Bruce Bjornstad and Eugene Kiver will speak Sept. 25 at Hood River Library in a program sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute. (Details below.)

Join U.S. Forest Service Geologist Tom DeRoo on a strenuous hike to the base of the Newton-Clark Glacier Sept. 22 from 8:30-5 p.m.

This is a unique opportunity to observe U.S. Forest Service photographic monitoring of the landslide hazard in the upper Newton Creek valley, the source of the November 2006 debris flow. The trip will showcase recent geological activity on the mountain, including ridge failures, debris flows and glacial recession.

Participants should be prepared to hike seven miles round trip at 7,000 feet elevation for a total 2,220 feet of elevation gain.

Cost is $18. Transportation is provided from the Park and Ride across from China Gorge Restaurant. Space is limited. Register with Hood River Community Education online at www.hrcommunityed.org or 541-386-2055.

For more information, contact Megan Saunders at 541-386-6063 or hrwg@gorge.net.

Ice Age cataclysms violently transformed the Northwest thousands of years ago, leaving behind scores of flood features, many found nowhere else on Earth.

n A pair of geologist authors share their knowledge Sunday about the Ice Age floods in a new book, “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: The Northern Reaches: A geological field guide to northern Idaho and the Channeled Scabland.”

Bjornstad and Kiver will be in Hood River Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. at Hood River Library, 502 State St.

Following up on his first volume, On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: A geological field guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin, Bjornstad joined forces with colleague Kiver to guide readers upstream — northward into the Channeled Scabland and northern Idaho.

The authors explore numerous flood features and present dozens of trails and tours directing readers to experience, firsthand, the striking aftermath of the Ice Age floods.

The authors will present a 45-minute slide lecture followed by a book signing. For details call 509-493-4288.

The floods helped gouge out Idaho’s largest and deepest lake, Pend Oreille, and sculpted the weird topography of eastern Washington. This new geological field guide in a series leads readers upstream – northward into the Channeled Scabland and northern Idaho.

“On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: The Northern Reaches” explores numerous flood features and presents dozens of trails and tours directing readers to experience, firsthand, the striking aftermath of the Ice Age floods. The authors explain 19 types of landforms and point out 65 flood-formed features. They include 39 hiking and biking routes, five driving tours, and two aerial tours with self-interpretive narratives for readers. The 480-page, softcover book includes 32 pages of color plates and sells for $26 (Keokee Books, Sandpoint, Idaho). Both volumes of “On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods” feature cover illustrations by Stev Ominski (stevominski.com), a Corvallis, Ore., artist renowned for his series of paintings on the Ice Age floods.

Both titles make ideal companions when exploring the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, named one of “The 10 Most Spectacular Geologic Sites” in the continental United States by Smithsonian Magazine.

Bjornstad, a resident of Richland, Wash., is a licensed geologist/hydrogeologist who has studied the Ice Age floods since 1980. Also a licensed geologist, Kiver retired from EWU in 2002 and divides his time between Cheney and Anacortes, Wash., while still conducting research.

Both are active members of the Ice Age Floods Institute and regularly lecture and lead field trips on the subject.

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