(L to R) Columnar Basalt, Crab Creek Buttes, Ice Age Floods Erratic, Rhythmites White Bluffs.
HUGEfloods.com Home Page Not much time? ... Click here for a quick Ice Age Floods summary Ice Age Floods Feature of the month For many years one man understood the clues but no one would listen Glacial Lake Missoula Channeled Scablands of Eastern Washington Temporary Lake Lewis Columbia Gorge Explore the variety of features created by the Ice Age Floods Columbia River Basalt Group The Pleistocene Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project Washington Wines Ice Age Floods Institute Red Mountain erratic. Transported by the Ice Age Floods.
Ice-rafted erratic on Red Mountain surrounded by blooming balsamroot.

Express Tour - Section V

Evidence of the Huge Lake and Catastrophic Floods is Scattered Over Four Western States

Summary of the spectacular catastrophic floods that raged through eastern Washington and the Columbia Gorge at the end of the most recent Ice Age

Ice Age Floods, Dry Falls Channeled Scablands.
Dry Falls


In addition to the mammoth coulees of eastern Washington, direct evidence of the floods exist in several forms. Giant current ripples, such as those at West Bar, near Quincy, Wash., and at Camas Prairie, Mont. , offer some of the most conclusive proof that the massive flooding occurred. Other flood-caused phenomena include massive bars of sediment at various locations along the Snake and Columbia rivers...the scoured buttes, basins, and potholes of the scablands...impressive recessional cataracts at Dry Falls and Palouse Falls...and boulders transported hundreds of miles on ice rafts.

Aerial view of Frenchman Coulee and Columbia River.
Aerial view of Frenchman Coulee
Geologist/Author Bruce Bjornstad inpects a small bergmound in the Pasco Basin.

Geologist/Author Bruce Bjornstad inpects a Pasco Basin bergmond. The material shown was carried from the Rocky Mountains to this location by an iceberg during one of the Ice Age Floods.


Erratic boulder stranded above Crab Creek in the Drumheller Channels.
Erratic boulder above Crab Creek
(Drumheller Channels)

The pioneering research carried out by geologist J Harlen Bretz in numerous treks through the Columbia Basin region beginning in the 1920s convinced him that only huge floods--not normal erosion processes--could have wreaked so much havoc upon the area's landscape. But most leading geologists scoffed at his findings. Not until the 1950s, after additional research by Bretz, coupled with that of geologists Joseph T. Pardee, did opinions begin to change. Pardee proved that glacial Lake Missoula was the source of the floods. Bretz's controversial thesis was vindicated fully by the mid-1960s.

Ice Age Flood carved potole and channels.
Columbia River looking east from Rowena Crest, Oregon. Lyle, WA at left.

Ice Age Floods Express Tour: Continue

Section I
Lava Flows
Ice Age
Section II
Ice Dam
Lake Missoula
Section III
Scabland Floods
Wallula Gap
Section IV
Columbia Gorge
To the Pacific
Section V
Solving the Mystery

All photos by Tom Foster unless otherwise noted.

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