Ancient River Stories told through Light – The Willamette


Willamette Stream Channels
Willamette River from what is now Albany in the south to Independence in the north.

Using low flight path Lidar laser technology these maps have been made to document the historic chanelling of the Willametter River. Made by the Oregon Department of Geology..

The Luckiamute River (left) and Santiam (right) Joining the Willamette
The Luckiamute River (left) and Santiam (right) Joining the Willamette

These images remind us of a time traveling with the Zimbabwean Chigamba family performing and doing ceremony with and for the water spirits. Irene has the ability to see imaginations emanating from the earth which can have very practical implications. She was being driven to the SeaTac airport at one point by a local who got disoriented and lost. Without missing a beat Irene gave her driver directions without ever having been in the place before. Impressed we were!

Along the way she commented with dismay at the willingness of Americans to build so close to water. She is a woman of ancient memory and knows that water needs space to be free. Loss of that kind of memory leads to “natural” disasters. These maps are an amazingly beautiful reminder of the space and motion free Rivers will claim over time.

Historic Missoula Flood Levels - Conjunction of the Willamette & CheeAwana
Historic Missoula Flood Levels – Conjunction of the Willamette & CheeAwana

The Historic Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age have shaped much of the landscapes along the CheeAwana Basin – this is a Lidar created image of the flood levels at the conjunction of the Willamette and CheeAwana in what is now the Portland/Vancouver Metro area.



Add yours →

  1. Harold Rhenisch April 17, 2013 — 6:41 pm

    This is incredibly beautiful, and not just because all those bridges aren’t there. Are there any like this of the Columbia?

    • Yes it does elicit a feeling of time that is profound… As far as I know this is the first image of this type ever created… I tried to search around on the maps in their website but it doesn’t seem to search friendly at first try and is a huge archive… They have apparently done some mountains in the cascades – unsure of the focus – probably best to call them…

  2. This seems like a strange request but do you know if this image is sold in a poster form or something? I would love to be able to have this in my bedroom! <3

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