Saturday, June 16, 2012

Channeled Scablands...Yup, That's What They're Called!

Some of you might be familiar with the book, FIRES, FAULTS AND FLOODS, by the Muellers (U of Idaho Press).  It describes the geologic history and terrain of Eastern Washington, particularly, the Columbia River drainage.  It tells, among other things, about the geologic formation of the area around our little town of Odessa.  We love to take little drives around, using the maps in the book to learn how different coulees and features might have been formed eons ago; and the forces at work when they were.
 Cache Crater
 Cinnamon Roll
 Goetz Lake (dried up)
 Marlin Hollow
 Sullivan Lake
 Upper Irby Road
Webley Lake

Virtually all the rock you see is basalt.  The lakes and all but the pics of Marlin Hollow and Upper Irby Road are old craters which spewed molten lava eons ago.  Other formations were caused by the upeavals from earth movement or quakes or basalt exposed by rushing waters from gigantic floods.

It's very beautiful country this time of year when the rains have made everything so green.  The lakes are part of a chain that runs from a point about 40 miles east of Coulee City to where Crab Creek runs into Brooks Lake near Stratford, WA.  In recent years, deep well irrigation and dry weather has caused some of the lakes in the chain to disappear from sight.  There is a proposal before the Bonneville Administration to re-hydrate the chain of lakes for irrigation purposes, from Banks Lake (water reserved from the Grand Coulee Dam).

With all the rain we've had, "million dollar rain", as the wheat ranchers call it, even the sage brush looks elegant!

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