Now Playing:

News

Environment | News | History | local

New Mapping Reveals History Of Columbia River Gorge Landslides


In this June, 7, 2011, file photo, Multnomah Falls is shown in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Using new mapping technology, the USGS was able to uncover a richer history of how landslides helped shape the Columbia River Gorge.

In this June, 7, 2011, file photo, Multnomah Falls is shown in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Using new mapping technology, the USGS was able to uncover a richer history of how landslides helped shape the Columbia River Gorge.

Rick Bowmer/AP

The Columbia River Gorge is famous for sweeping dramatic vistas, but new research published by the U.S. Geological Survey reveals a shifting landscape beneath the forest.

Three researchers with USGS mapped a history of 215 different landslides across 64 percent of a 86-square-mile area between Prindle and Carson in Skamania County.

“I think most of us think about the Earth being pretty static, but depending on the time scale you’re looking at, it’s all really dynamic,” said Thomas Pierson, a research hydrologist at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver.

The landslides have occurred over a broad time line. About a fifth of the slides the researchers observed are more than 1,000 years old. Around a dozen occurred in the last two decades or are currently moving.

Read more at The Columbian.

More News

More OPB

Related Content