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Vantage in Kittitas County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

In the Path of Cataclysmic Floods

 
 
In the Path of Cataclysmic Floods Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 24, 2010
1. In the Path of Cataclysmic Floods Marker
Inscription. You are standing in the pathway of some of the largest floods ever known. They carved steep-walled canyons, sculpted immense waterfalls, and left behind landscapes found nowhere else on earth.

Massive Glacial Dams and Lakes
During the last Ice Age, a lobe of ice at least a half-mile high blocked the Clark Fork River in Idaho, creating an enormous lake called Glacial Lake Missoula. This ice dam failed - over and over - sending billions of tons of waters rampaging across the land.

Raging Journey to the Pacific
The thundering torrent of water, icebergs, and mud raced at speeds up to 60 mph, stripping away tons of soil and rock. The floodwaters raged across eastern Washington, through the Columbia River Gorge, and to the ocean.

How Many Floods Were There?
No one knows for sure, but geologists discovered evidence that Lake Missoula and other glacial lakes filled and emptied many times during the last Ice Age.

(Left Illustration Caption)
At times, the ice dam was more than two miles wide and 30 miles long.

(Center Illustration Caption)
Pressure from rising water caused the ice dam to leak and crack. Over time, water began pouring from large fractures beneath the surface, eroding the dam from below until it suddenly failed.

(Right
Basalt Layers Along the Columbia River image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 24, 2010
2. Basalt Layers Along the Columbia River
View to northeast from marker location
Photo Caption)

You can visit many of the remarkable features created by the Ice Age floods, including Dry Falls, Steamboat Rock, and Beacon Rock.
 
Erected by Washington State Parks.
 
Location. 46° 57.286′ N, 119° 59.276′ W. Marker is in Vantage, Washington, in Kittitas County. Marker can be reached from Ginkgo Avenue half a mile from Vantage Highway. Touch for map. Marker is located at the interpretive center for the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park; a entrance fee may be required. Marker is in this post office area: Vantage WA 98950, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Explore Massive Floodscapes! (here, next to this marker); A Living Landscape (here, next to this marker); Carving Out Basalt Layers (a few steps from this marker); Here and Gone (a few steps from this marker); Buried by Enormous Lava Floods (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Wanapums (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Vantage.
 
More about this marker. There is an identical interpretive sign located in Palouse Falls State Park in Franklin County, Washington.
 
Also see . . .  Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park - Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on May 2, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 2, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 183 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 2, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of wide-view of marker and surrounding area • Can you help?
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