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2021 Thomas Condon Lecture by Jim O’Connor

The Missoula Floods and the Channeled Scablands
Jim O’Connor, USGS

Imagine ice-age megafloods that swept boulders the size of cars down the Columbia River in water churning at more than 60 miles per hour. The Missoula floods, some 15 to 20 thousand years ago, transformed the Columbia River drainage forever, carving the Channeled Scablands, rerouting rivers, shaping the Columbia River Gorge, depositing bars of sand and gravel hundreds of feet high, and backfilling broad valleys with silt and clay. Beyond instantaneously transforming the Pacific Northwest landscape, the floods forced the science of geology to grapple with the possibility that catastrophic events play a key role in Earth history. Surprising findings about the nature of the floods continue to emerge, challenging our understanding of one of the greatest and most spectacular events in Earth history.

Jim O’Connor is a Pacific Northwest native long interested in the processes and events that shape the remarkable and diverse landscapes of the region. Following this interest with a Geological Science major at University of Washington and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Arizona, he has spent most of the last 30 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon, focused on understanding the geology of the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, November 3 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm

LaSells Stewart Center, Construction and Engineering Hall
875 SW 26th Street, Corvallis, OR 97331

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Community Members, Faculty and Staff, Student, Alumni








College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
Contact Name

Ernest S. Colantonio

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