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Ice Age Floods experts set programs, field trips, hikes

GEOLOGY — There's no better way to soak up the science and history of how the Inland Northwest landscape was shaped than to join in some of the events scheduled this season by area geologists and experts in the Ice Age Floods.

The Cheney-Spokane Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute has a excellent schedule of events ranging from lectures and field trips to a rugged hike. Check them out.

MARCH 12 —  Free lecture, “The Incredible Shrinking Glacial Lake:  A Nonfiction Account of the Rise and Downfall of Glacial Lake Columbia,” 7 p.m.,  Eastern Washington University Science Building, Room 137, in Cheney.

Earth scientist, Michael McCollum presents the incredible story, 20,000 years in the making. He'll describe a 3,000 year onslaught by catastrophic Floods whose sediments finally overtook the lake’s accommodation space and the continuing assault by incremental headward erosion of the southwest bedrock battlements at Grand Coulee, followed by the final betrayal in which global warming caused the disappearance of the once supportive Okanogan ice lobe. 

MARCH 14 — Hike (rated "most difficult"), Palouse Canyon to Palouse Falls, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., covers 8 miles on and off trail. Begins under railroad bridge near Lyons Ferry Fish Hatchery, near Washtucna, Washington. 

Leaders Lloyd Stoess and Gene Kiver, emphasize the Ice Age Floods story as well as Native American and settlement history. Participants must be in good shape, with no serious heart or vertigo problems, and capable of hiking at least 3 miles on rugged terrain without a break. Fee: $10 for students/teachers, $20 for chapter members and  $30 for non-members. 

MAY 8 — Free lecture, “Lower Grand Coulee and Crab Creek Floodways,” 7 p.m., JFK Library Auditorium, EWU Campus, Cheney

Gene Kiver, who taught geology at EWU for 32 years, will give an overview of the Missoula Floods through the Grand Coulee and the merging with floodwaters that descended through the Telford-Crab Creek Scabland.  A complex of minor coulees occur along Interstate 90 and other areas.  Scabland features of note include large flood bars, giant current ripples, and recessional cataract canyons.

MAY 9 — Spring field trip, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Gene Kiver and Bruce Bjornstad, authors of the field guide "On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods," are the guides and lecturers on deluxe buses to sites of Ice Age Floods features through Lower Grand Coulee.  A fee is charged.

OTHER TRIPS coming up, with more details to be posted on the local chapter website include:

May 31, Saturday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.  “Floods, Flowers, and Feathers Festival” at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Cheney.  This is a free public event.

June 2, Tuesday, 7-9 p.m., Vic Baker will lecture at Spokane Community College, The Lair Auditorium.

Sep. 19, Saturday, IAFI Field Trip, Wenatchee.

Oct. 23, Friday, 7-9 p.m., IAFICS Membership Meeting and John Buchanan will lecture “Big, Bigger, Biggest:  A Comparative Look at Megafloods”

October —Two Hikes. Details to come.

Geology program ‘flies’ viewers over path of Ice Age Floods

GEOLOGY — Fasten your seat belts geology buffs, a geologist will present a free program this week that uses technology, personal aircraft and video footage to "fly" viewers over the Ice Age Floods from Lake Missoula to Wallula Gap.

Tom Tabbert will use his "flying Trike" to explore features of the great floods of 12,000-18,000 years ago and the aftermath of carved canyons, potholes and scabland washes through Eastern Washington. Floodies can expect fewer geological facts and more geological WOW in this new perspective of these fascinating geologic events.

The program will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the Eastern Washington University, Science Building, Room 137, in Cheney.

“The Ice Age Floods – A Perspective from Above and Within” program is co-sponsored by the Ice Age Floods Institute and the EWU Department of Geology.

Tabbert is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Geology.  His career, however, led him to a tenure flying in the Navy aboard the USS Nimitz carrier before settling into his present career as a company consultant for knee and hip replacement. 

The video above offers a sampling of how the program is put together. Says Tabbert:

This is a cross-country Trike adventure George and I flew in early August 2014 from Spokane WA to Polson Mt where we set off to explore northern Idaho and NW Montana. Our adventures in this video include a 5:20 am departure and flight into Bonners Ferry Idaho and track SE down the Kootenai river. This video is useful in giving the viewer a perspective of the terrain in this region. He began flying Trikes four years ago and today his passion is for flying and Geology together in a unique format. 

Check out an overview of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness and other areas in the YouTube videos he's been posting recently.

For info about the program or the local chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute, contact Melanie Bell, iaficheneyspokane@gmail.com; (509) 954.4242.

Geology to be highlighted in hike along South Hill bluff

HIKING — Here's a chance to get some exercise and hear a geologist explain how massive floods around 14,000 years ago shaped the landscape around South Spokane, not to mention Eastern Washington.

The Friends of the Bluff and the Cheney-Spokane Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute are leading a three-hour hike to various spots along Hangman Creek below High Drive starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14.

A $3 fee will be charged.

The story of the Ice Age Floods is recorded in the sandy cliffs along the creek, also known as Latah Creek. Gene Kiver, EWU professor emeritus of geology, will lead the field trip. 

Kiver did much of the original research on High Drive bluff’s Ice Age Floods sediments revealing the secrets hidden in the bluff’s sandy cliffs.

Pre-register:  Kent Moline, kent.moline@gmail.com, (509) 230.5207 or Melanie Bell, mbell4242@comcast.net, (509) 954.4242.

Ice Age Floods center opens with festival at Dry Falls

GEOLOGY — The Dry Falls Visitor Center south of Coulee City, Washington, will open Saturday, June 28, with a new exhibit and a festival celebrating the unique geologic heritage of Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park.

The annual Flood Fest, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday highlights the Ice Age floods that carved the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington.

Educational stations will be staffed by event partners, including the National Park Service, Ice Age Floods Institute, Coulee Corridor Consortium, Bureau of Reclamation and David Shapiro, author of the popular children’s book “Terra Tempo.” New this year will be the Birds-of-Prey station where visitors can view a live golden eagle and great horned owl.

Three guest speakers are scheduled to present in the Dry Falls Visitor Center Theater:

10 a.m.—Nick Zentner, professor of geology at Central Washington University, discusses how the Grand Coulee and channeled scablands were formed.

1:30 p.m.—Bruce Bjornstad, geologist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, discusses the extremely diverse topography created by Ice Age Floods.

3 p.m.— Dr. Robert Weaver, professor of biology at Central Washington University, educates visitors about the reptiles and amphibians that call Grand Coulee home.

On Sunday, June 29, geologist Bruce Bjornstad will guide a kayak tour of Deep Lake to explore the local geology of Dry Falls of the Grand Coulee by water. The tour will begin at 9 a.m. at the Deep Lake boat launch in Sun Lakes/Dry Falls State Park. Participants will need to supply their own watercraft and life jackets for this event.

“New Interpretations of the Ice Age Floods” Exhibit Opening

During this year’s Flood Fest the Dry Falls Visitor Center will host a noon-time grand opening of a new exhibit, “New Interpretations of the Ice Age Floods.” The exhibit explores the geologic history of the Grand Coulee from multiple perspectives, with a focus on the pioneering field work of J. Harlen Bretz and the resulting Ice Age flood debate of the 20th century. The exhibit was developed in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and members of the Ice Age Floods Institute.

A Discover Pass is required to park at the visitor’s center and the boat launch. For more information about the pass.

About the Dry Falls Visitor Center and Sun Lakes – Dry Falls State Park

The Dry Falls Visitor Center opened to the public in 1966 and serves as a primary destination along the four-state Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail. Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is 4,027-acre camping park located in the heart of the Grand Coulee. The state park offers opportunities to explore this remarkable National Natural Landmark by foot, bike, boat and vehicle.

The visitor center offers Friday night movies and weekend interpretive programs and nature hikes. Visitor Center hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during the summer months. 

More information about and directions to Sun Lakes – Dry Falls State Park.

Geologists detail discoveries on Wind River backpack trek

PUBLIC LANDS — See the rugged Wind River Range of Wyoming from the perspective of backpacking geologists in a free program Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Jack & Dan's Bar and Grille, 1226 N. Hamilton St. in Spokane.

Geologists Andy Buddington of Spokane Community College and Nigel Davies of Eastern Washington University will discuss the hard rock geology of the northern winds and discuss the lake sediment coring research.  The scenery will be excellent.

 

Geologists lead hike through time in Palouse canyon

HIKING — Geologists with the Ice Age Floods Institute are organizing a rigorous full-day hike to explore the geology of the Palouse Canyon from Lyons Ferry  State Park upstream to Palouse Falls on March 15.

Gene Kiver and Lloyd Stoess will lead the eight-mile hike near Washtucna emphasizing the impact of the great Missoula floods in shaping the landscape as well as the history of native Americans and settlements in the area.

Pre-register by email lindakl@centurytel.net or call (509) 235-4251.

In addition:

Tuesday, March 18, 7-9 p.m. Spokane Community College,  Free Public Lecture “Geologic Crossroads in Central Washington” by Nick Zentner, Geology Professor at Central Washington University. 

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Science at Spokane Community College and the lecture is scheduled  at SCC’s Lair Auditorium, Building #6, 1810 Greene Street, Spokane.  Zentner will discuss that Central Washington is a crossroads for many important geologic forces—Ice Age Floods from the northeast, Columbia River Basalts from the southeast, and Cascades Ice, ash, and mudflows from the west.  Photos, maps, and short videos will be featured.

Gophers may be source of mysterious mima mounds

LAND FORMS — A modern pest may be the answer to an ancient geological land form, according to a California geology professor who says he’s solved one of the enduring geological mysteries of the Pacific Northwest.

Emmanuel “Manny” Gabet, a geomorphologist at San Jose State University, says prehistoric generations of pocket gophers created the vast fields of Mima mounds found in south Puget Sound, Eastern Washington  and in other locations around the world.

Hikers on the Pine Lakes loop trail at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge often have scratched their heads and wondered who made the forms that look somewhat like a bunch of baseball pitchers mounds scattered across the scablands. 

Gabet’s findings, aided by two co-researchers, were presented in December at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The conclusions have been reported by dozens of media outlets around the world, including the BBC, The Economist, Der Spiegel, Popular Science and public radio.

Not so fast, say local geologists and wildlife researchers.

“Any time a scientist says, ‘I solved the mystery of .’ almost every normal scientist starts rolling their eyes,” University of Puget Sound geology professor Barry Goldstein told The Olympian newspaper. “It’s not the style most of us are accustomed to. It almost always means what you’re going to get is something pretty simplistic.

“Things are usually more complicated than that.”

Read on for the rest of the story filed by the Associated Press.

Program highlights overlooked feature of Ice Age Floods

ICE AGE FLOODS — Bruce Bjornstad, geologist and co-author of On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods, will present a free lecture Thursday, Nov. 14, entitled "Ice Age Floods and Long-Term  Recharge from Glacial Lake Columbia." 
 
The program will start at 7 p.m. at the Eastern Washington University Science Building, Room 137, in Cheney sponsored by Ice Age Floods Institute Cheney-Spokane Chapter and the EWU Department of Geology.  Parking is available along Washington Street.
 
Lake Missoula was not the only source for Ice Age floods. At least one flood from Lake Columbia went down the Grand Coulee several hundred years after the last Missoula flood. Not long after this a final Lake Columbia flood went down the Columbia Valley from the breakup of the Okanogan Lobe. Before Grand Coulee was breached Lake Columbia recharged the Columbia River basalts for thousands of years, but ended 13-14 thousand years ago with the draining of Lake Columbia. Therefore, Lake Columbia does not get as much credit as it deserves. 

Sign up for Ice Age Floods scablands field trip

GEOLOGY — “Anatomy of Cheney-Palouse Scabland Tract,” a free lecture by geologist Gene Kiver, will be presented by the Ice Age Floods Institute, 7 p.m., on May 3 at the JFK Library Auditorium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney campus.

Sign-up for the May 4 Ice Age Floods annual field trip, which involves a bus tour from Lake Steptoe Ridge to the headwaters of Rock Creek. Cost: $55-$70.

Info: Melanie Bell, (509) 954-4242.

Ice Age Floods group explores subtleties of scablands

 GEOLOGY — “Anatomy of Cheney-Palouse Scabland Tract,” a free lecture by geologist Gene Kiver, will be presnted by the Ice Age Floods Institute, 7 p.m., on May 3 at the JFK Library Auditorium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney campus.

  • Sign-up in advance for the May 4 Ice Age Floods annual field trip, which involves a bus tour from Lake Steptoe Ridge to the headwaters of Rock Creek.  Cost: $55-$70.
  • Info: Melanie Bell, iaficheneyspokane@gmail.com, (509) 954-4242.

 Read on for details about the field trip.

Photos of Whidbey Island landslide



  

Thinking about the news out of Whidbey Island and hoping everyone's okay. 

Residents were evacuated and about 400 to 500 yeards of earth gave way. Check the full story HERE. I grew up near an area were landslides were scary stuff - sometimes lethal - between January and March during heavy rainfall. It's a reminder why we need to carefully examine shoreline buffers and steep slopes when it comes to new development although in many slides houses are grandfathered in with old septic systems that can create slide conditions. 

 
  

Geology prof talks on Ice Age floods

LAND FORMS – A free program on “Missoula Floods in the Northern Rockies,” will be presented Thursday, 7 p.m., at Spokane Community College Student Union Building.  

The program will be presented by Gene Kiver, a book author, retired geology professor and stalwart in the Ice Age Floods Institute.

Ice Age Floods guidebook authors coming to Auntie’s

GEOLOGY — A just-published guidebook on the region's channeled scablands — a second volume on exploring the aftermath of the Ice Age Floods — is being celebrated with a reading and lecture Wednesday at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane.

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: A geological field guide to northern Idaho and the Channeled Scabland" will be unveiled by geologist and Eastern Washington University alumnus Bruce Bjornstad and retired EWU geology prof Eugene Kiver.

The event is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Auntie's, 402 West Main Ave.

The floods helped gouge out Lake Pend Oreill, Idaho’s largest and deepest lake, and sculpted the weird topography of Eastern Washington.

This field guide explores a vast expanse of land on the ground and with great aerial photos. Specific hikes are recommended to see key features.

After hiking and exploring the Channeled Scabland region for 35 years, I didn’t know what I was missing until I read this book.

Authors of new Ice Age Floods book celebrate at EWU

GEOLOGY — A just-published guidebook on the region's channeled scablands — a second volume on exploring the aftermath of the Ice Age Floods — is being celebrated Saturday at Eastern Washington University.

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: A geological field guide to northern Idaho and the Channeled Scabland" will be unveiled by geologist and Eastern Washington University alumnus Bruce Bjornstad and retired EWU geology prof Eugene Kiver.

The event is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Science Building, located on Washington Street across from Roos Field.

The floods helped gouge out Lake Pend Oreill, Idaho’s largest and deepest lake, and sculpted the weird topography of Eastern Washington. This field guide explores a vast expanse of land on the ground and with great aerial photos. Specific hikes are recommended to see key features.

After hiking and exploring the Channeled Scabland region for 35 years, I didn’t know what I was missing until I read this book.

Three events focus on Ice Age Floods

WILD LANDS — Publication of new guidebooks is revving up interest in cataclysmic floods that swept through North Idaho and Eastern Washington some 15,000 years ago.

Read on for details about different upcoming presentations on the Ice Age Floods as well as pre-registration info for May field trips sponsored by the Cheney-Spokane Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute.

The trips are filling up, organizers say.

Flying Deep Into Kaua’i

   The helicopter lifted carrying six strangers, all of us tourists from across the United States. Our pilot, Gary, turned immediately toward the center of the island and within minutes, the bright Kaua’i coastline was lost in the dense vegetation.


    I’d already skirted the coast by road and onboard a catamaran, but with as much as 80 percent of Kaua’i accessible only by air, I needed this flight to truly see it all.


    The oldest of the Hawaiian islands, Kaua’i is in some ways still the most natural. The sprawling sugar cane fields are gone, replaced by a nascent coffee industry, and there are still long stretches of coastline that are undeveloped, lush and private.


    This is the Hawaii of my imagination, the landscape I’d hoped to see.


    We flew over the razor-sharp edges of volcanic ridges and through clouds that misted the windshield before we broke through to clear blue skies once again.


    The pilot banked smoothly to the right and we descended to the foot of the the sheer drop of the waterfall featured in the movie Jurassic Park. The only way to access the waterfall is by helicopter and when the blades stopped turning we walked the short trail to take photos splashed with water drops thrown from the falls.


    Back in the air we flew into valleys, crossed the breathtaking chasm of the red rock Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and then chased the breathtaking Na Pali Coast, banking in and out of hidden valleys between the vertical peaks. After a while I noticed we’d all put down our cameras and surrendered to the experience, overwhelmed by the views from every angle.


    The radio crackled in my ear and the pilot announced we were going to be the fortunate ones. Then he turned in the direction of the Wai’ale’ale Crater, the heart and center of Kaua’i. The clouds had moved on and we descended into the broken mouth of the crater.


   Where before we’d looked down on mountaintops and waves with a god’s-eye view, now we circled and banked like a mechanical bird riding a current of air, surrounded by the evidence of the violence of the island’s birth.  Waterfalls plunged over the vertical walls, ribbons of pure water undulating in the breeze, and plants and trees clung to every surface. I’d been warned about the effect of the crater and had shrugged off the idea of being moved to tears by such a thing. But within its walls, like so many before, I felt the power. Who were we to drop in uninvited to such a sacred space?


    Slowly we circled, taking it all in. Each of us still and silent, the music in our headsets providing a soundtrack that only emphasized the grandeur. I put down my camera again, wanting nothing between me and the beauty of the monument to the raw force of nature.


    When we flew up and out, cresting the edge, I leaned out looking over my shoulder, straining for one more look, half expecting the crater to lower a veil of clouds and in that way disappear from view, suggesting that the mystical place I’d just experienced had never really been there at all.    

 

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance journalist based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country.

CAM is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com


    

  

Sage-country hike near Odessa picturesque, tick-free

HIKING — I made some footprints on the BLM's Pacific Lake/Lakeview Ranch near Odessa on Wednesday. The 40-degree day was perfect for hiking this dry country studded with magnificent basalt rock formations.

The area's signature end-to-end hike is featured in my guidebook, 100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest.

Downside to hiking this week: The wildflowers are not yet blooming.

Upside: The tick's aren't active.

Confounding scientists of the future

I once threw a rock that had come from the New England coastline into Puget Sound.

Let some geologist eons from now figure that one out.

"Clearly those two ancient seas, the Atlantic and the Pacific, merged at some point."

(By the way, I carefully washed the rock. It transported no invasive organisms.)

The Weight of Affection

   I knew even before I opened my eyes, something wasn’t right.
Lying on my back in the dark room, I could feel a heaviness on the center of my chest, a pressure that made taking each breath an effort. My mind raced, inventorying the signs of a heart attack. Shortness of breath? Yes. Pressure? Yes. Pain? Oddly, no.

   Fully awake by this time I realized the “elephant” occupying my chest was nothing more than a snoring two-year-old in footie pajamas, her precious blankie tucked under her arm, one thumb in her mouth, the thumb and forefinger of the other hand twisted—as was her habit—around one of her curls. She’d come into our room at some point and since her older brother and sister had—one by one—already made the trip and had staked out their places in the crowded bed, simply climbed up on top of me, popped her thumb in her mouth and drifted off again.

   I shifted, rolling her gently onto the bed beside me.

   Most mornings when the children were small, I woke up to find everyone who mattered most to me curled, warm and safe, around me. Our bed was an island—not always a comfortable island, with two adults, three children and the occasional cat—but in those moments, it was a sanctuary. 

   Now, the toddler who climbed me and stretched out like I was the top bunk at summer camp, is 22. Today is her birthday and there is a box of cupcakes waiting to welcome her home. 

   Now, she’s about to graduate from college and fling herself into the real world with all the enthusiasm, humor and jolly determination that have marked everything she’s done since the day she was born. She talked early. She walked early. She read early, asking me at five years old, her head cocked as she scanned a book on the shelves in the living room, “What is El-e-men-tal Ge-ol-o-gy?” Her only mispronunciation was a hard “ghee instead of “G”. It was at that moment I realized she hadn’t memorized all the children’s books in her room, as we’d thought. She’d been reading them since she was four.

   This middle daughter is an adult now, soon to have a degree in, of all things, geology. These days, nobody but the cat pads into our room in the wee hours.  But that doesn’t mean she isn’t still on my mind.

   Even now there are nights when I wake and lie quietly in the dark, thinking about her, about the baby she was and the woman she’s grown to be. About the balance of time and how easily it shifts from now to then. And in those moments I feel, again, the warm, familiar weight of love pressing down on my heart.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet , Treasure Hunting and  CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

Whitman geology prof to speak on Grand Coulee origins

THE LAND — The Cheney-Spokane Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute is sponsoring a free public lecture “Latest Pleistocene Geologic History of Upper Grand Coulee” by Dr. Patrick Spencer on Thursday, (Nov.17), 7 p.m., on the Eastern Washington University, Cheney Campus, in Science Building, Room 137.

Dr. Spencer,  professor of geology, Whitman College will lecture on recent work on fine grained sediment in Upper Grand Coulee, including analysis of grain size distribution, sedimentary structures and radiocarbon age dates on key localities, suggesting that some of the sediments accumulated in a calm-water setting, possibly in a lake behind a moraine-dam.  Grand Coulee was then swept by Missoula Floods, leaving behind a record of high energy processes. 

Geologists to lead bus tour of Ice Age Floods

NATURAL HISTORY — Geologists with decades of experience studying the region's landscape will present a weeknight lecture followed by a guided bus tour focused on the Ice Age Floods next month, sponsored by the Cheney-Spokane Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute.

Sign up in advance for the tour in the bus, which has comfortable seats and a sound system.  Costs vary, with discounts for students, teachers and Institute members.

Read on for details.

Tracking the great Missoula floods

“You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” 

Next time you find yourself driving through the Palouse, or out and around the outlying parts of the county, look around and ask yourself, “what happened here 15,000 years ago?” The answer is this - the great Missoula Floods.  Never has something so cataclysmic and so absolutely critical to the existence of our region been understood less (hopefully not the case once the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail becomes a reality - more on this later). 

Fortunately, there are still scientists who care a great deal for figuring out what happened, and from that comes this recent breakthrough. As reported by The Oregonian, scientists have found a way to travel back in time to watch the megafloods unfold, in a virtual bird’s eye view - via a computer simulation that displays the likely timing and play-by-play action, starting with the collapse of an ice dam and outpouring of a lake 200 miles across and 2,100 feet deep.



More from the Oregonian:

The computer model, developed by Roger Denlinger with the U.S. Geological Survey in Vancouver and Colorado-based geophysicist Daniel O’Connell, is filling gaps in scientific explanations of the floods and the baffling landforms they left, including the fabled Channeled Scablands — scars hundreds of miles long cut into the bedrock of eastern Washington and visible from outer space. The simulations also may help settle a lingering scientific controversy about what caused the repeating ice-age catastrophes.

“It’s just really powerful visualization that gives a sense of the scale of the floods, how they came down through the channel system and backed up the big tributary valleys,” said Jim O’Connor, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland who has written extensively on the Missoula floods. He said the modeling work provides the first “really good information” on the timing of events.