WA Reference NOVA PROGRAM: MEGA-FLOODS

kmudgn

Active Member
#1
Just watched the NOVA program on Ice Age Mega-floods, First of all, I had no idea that WA geography was so complex. I always thought WA was a forested land and represented an archetype for the PNW area. I had never heard of the Scabland and was amazed to see that area is so close to the coast.

In any event, if any of you have an interest in your state's geology and the forces that carved out the Scablands due to mega-floods from the Ice age it is really worthwhile to watch.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#3
Just watched the NOVA program on Ice Age Mega-floods, First of all, I had no idea that WA geography was so complex. I always thought WA was a forested land and represented an archetype for the PNW area. I had never heard of the Scabland and was amazed to see that area is so close to the coast.

In any event, if any of you have an interest in your state's geology and the forces that carved out the Scablands due to mega-floods from the Ice age it is really worthwhile to watch.
Thanks for sharing! I absolutely love Central Washington and the geology and geography - so much of it carved by Glacial Lake Missoula flood events. A few miles east of our house the Basin is littered with countless granite erratics left behind in this basalt basin from those floods. Heck, even Soap Lake has this: http://iafi.org/local-chapters/lower-grand-coulee-chapter/ ! There are some remarkable links and videos embedded in IAFI.org's website.

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IveofIone

Active Member
#4
I have seen much better programs on the Missoula floods. The recent program kind of led the viewer to believe that the featured geologist was instrumental in solving the mystery of the flood's source. In that regard I thought the program was kind of contrived as they treated it like a mystery that was recently solved. In reality Harlen Bretz first suspected that the scab lands were caused by a giant flood back in 1910 and spent the rest of his life trying to be taken seriously by the staid and opinionated geologic community. The ancient shore lines on a mountain high above Missoula eventually sealed the deal but it took years to convince the skeptics. The program further insinuated that a single flood did all of the damage but years of study have revealed that there were many floods over thousands of years spaced 40-55 years apart. I was disappointed that NOVA would present such a kindergarten level assessment of such a major event that defined much of the Washington landscape. I don't think they even mentioned how it placed glacial erratics from Canada in Oregon and contributed the excellent agricultural top soil to the Willamette Valley.

Nevertheless, those of us that have fished the scablands for years are still awed by the sheer majesty of the carved rock, deep canyons and fishing where water was once hundreds of feet deep flowing at nearly 80mph. They are some of the wonders of the earth and we get to experience them on a routine basis.
 
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John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
#7
If you drive the road from Ephrata to Rocky Ford, there are plenty of erratics in the fields on both sides. The scablands south of Potholes are very interesting.
 

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