By John Eliot Allen
The formation of the Grand Coulee remained a secret for a few years, until eventually J Harlen Bretz proved that the Columbia River basin was once the positioning of massive floods 15,000 years in the past that created the panorama we see this day.
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Extra info for Cataclysms on the Columbia: a layman's guide to the features produced by the catastrophic Bretz floods in the Pacific Northwest
In scale, however, the difference is astounding, and Bretz, trekking through the vast coulees of eastern Washington, lacked the god-like vantage point that the garden variety of channeling allows. Channels, of course, were only one part of Bretz's growing collection of geological peculiarities. By the early 1920's he had begun to see any number of ways in which the Scabland and Columbia Valley geology were striking and extraordinary. The braided channels, as Bretz himself pointed out, were the most significant feature in his investigation, but there was also the matter of the ice-borne bouldersboulders of a material that Bretz had by now traced to an area many miles north of the Scablands.
Page 21 Chapter 4 Too Many Clues? . . the doctrine of uniformitarianism leads to poverty where riches are desired. Howard Bigelow Baker, 1938 Bretz's first real awareness of eastern Washington's strange and intriguing geology came when he was still teaching high school in Seattle. He made it a habit to keep up with the most recent geological publications by visiting the Library and the Department of Geology at the University of Washington. S. Geological Survey. The impressive dry falls (Potholes Cataract) showed up clearly at the western end of the basin.
And Canada only) * Recipient in 1979 of the Penrose Medal, the highest award of the Geological Society of America. Page v CONTENTS Acknowledgments 1 Preface 3 Part I Introduction Chapter 1. The Living, Changing Earth 9 Chapter 2. Detecting the Clues to the Past 12 Part II The Bretz Saga Chapter 3. Early Days 17 Chapter 4. Too Many Clues? 21 Chapter 5. Scars with a Difference 31 Chapter 6. The Unthinkable Heresy 42 Chapter 7. Solving the Jig-Saw Puzzle 45 Chapter 8. The Great Controversy 49 Chapter 9.