Harlen Bretz, who studied the geology of the area for years in the 1920s, was the first to propose that the channeled scablands had been formed suddenly, by a catastrophic flood.
It also serves as a prelude to the real story of Mystery of the Megaflood: how modern scientists, armed with Bretz's critical insight into the nature of the channeled scablands, and far more detailed knowledge of Glacial Lake Missoula than he or Pardee possessed, attempt to reconstruct the complex series of overlapping events that made much of the Pacific Northwest what it is today.
Tom and I then drove to the Scablands. We saw spectacular landforms carved by the floods, including Palouse Falls, Dry Falls (five times larger than Niagara Falls, but with no flowing water), Grand Coulee, Moses Coulee, and West Bar (a location alongside the Columbia River where wave action formed giant ripples in the terrain).
I want to thank University of Arizona geologist Vic Baker for recommending specific sites in the Scablands, and for sending us scientific papers about the floods.
An explanation for the formation of the Channeled Scablands was proposed in 1929 by J.
This explanation for the formation of the Channeled Scablands was initially rejected as a catastrophist notion.
But with trips to Mars hard to come by, the interns of the 2011 Lunar and Planetary Sciences Academy (LPSA) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., travelled to the Channeled Scablands
of eastern Washington state.
Lower areas, including the angular scablands
near Horsethief Butte, were stripped of soil by giant Ice Age floods that roared down the Columbia River from a glacial dam in northern Idaho about 10,000 years ago.
Those inundations, which occurred when a glacial lake burst through the edge of the ice sheet that constrained it, sculpted a chaotically eroded terrain in eastern Washington that geologists aptly call the Channeled Scablands
The 8-by-10-foot structure with a sliding metal roof is nestled in the channeled scablands
and ponderosa pines of eastern Washington State a few miles southwest of Spokane.
When I was hunting mule deer in the eastern Washington scablands
last year, I witnessed a red-tailed hawk plunge out of the stratosphere like a meteor and absolutely explode into a covey of quail.