Huge Ice Age Floods of the Pacific Northwest

Dec. 19, 2014

Discover the Ice Age Floods



The catastrophic floods from Glacial Lake Missoula and Lake Bonneville
are among the largest known floods in geologic history

New Video Published on Dec 8, 2014

Floods of lava (Columbia River Basalts) and Ice Age Floods of water (Lake Missoula floods and the Bonneville Flood) are world-famous topics among geologists. To have both sets of floods in the same area means the geology of the Inland Northwest is truly Disneyland for Geologists!

Tom Foster ( and Nick Zentner (Central Washington University) have been hiking together in eastern Washington for years. The result? A series of short videos that showcase geological wonders in the Pacific Northwest.

This 16-minute video - Huge Floods in the Pacific Northwest - offers an introductory overview of spectacular geologic events that impacted much of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. 

The program begins in Lewiston, Idaho where the floods of lava and water are beautifully on display near the mouth of Hells Canyon. Early on, the Columbia River Basalts - eruptions of fluid lava from deep fissures - are featured. The Missoula Floods from Montana and the Bonneville Flood from Utah - the Ice Age Floods - are surveyed at an introductory level. And finally, the interaction between bedrock and fluid dynamics of the floodwater are highlighted through discussion of Ice Age erosional and depositional landforms. Key locations in the Pacific Northwest are featured, including the Snake River Canyon, Grand Coulee, Dry Falls, the Drumheller Channels, Wallula Gap, and the Columbia River Gorge.


Ice Age Floods - Lake Missoula

Uploaded on Feb 11, 2011

Story of Glacial Lake Missoula by with photos of many amazing features created when 600 cubic miles of water filled western Montana valleys - Approx. 15,000 years ago. View more photos and videos of the Lake Missoula and Ice Age Floods features at


Ice Age Floods - Lake Bonneville Flood

Uploaded on Nov 13, 2010


Story of Lake Bonneville Flood by with photos and illustrations of many amazing features created when 1,000 cubic miles of water raced down the course of the Snake River - Approx. 17,400 years ago. View more photos and videos of the Ice Age Floods at and