The Channeled Scabland of east-central Washington in the United States is a complex of anastomosing rock-cut fluvial channels, cataracts, loess islands, rock basins, broad gravel deposits, and immense gravel bars. In the 1920s, J Harlen Bretz demonstrated that the Channeled Scabland formed by cataclysmic erosion and deposition from Pleistocene megaflooding derived from the margins of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, particularly glacial Lake Missoula in western Montana and northern Idaho. Studies of this region and the high-energy flood processes that generated it are stimulating ( a ) discoveries of similar megaflood-related landscapes around the world and on Mars, ( b ) enhanced understanding of the processes involved in the fluvial erosion of bedrock, and ( c ) the use of paleoflood indicators for understanding the magnitudes and frequency of flooding.
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: May 30, 2009
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