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Were the Ice Age floods the largest ever? Researcher to speak in Richland

A view of Banks Lake and Steamboat Rock from the top of Rock feature in Northrup Canyon. Grand Coulee, Northrup Canyon and Steamboat Rock were all carved by flooding 15,000-18,000 years ago.
A view of Banks Lake and Steamboat Rock from the top of Rock feature in Northrup Canyon. Grand Coulee, Northrup Canyon and Steamboat Rock were all carved by flooding 15,000-18,000 years ago. McClatchy

Almost a century after the idea was first floated that Ice Age floods had carved out some of Eastern Washington’s most unusual geology, many questions remain.

Ralph Dawes, professor of geology at Wenatchee Valley College, will be in the Tri-Cities Nov. 13 to give a lecture on the questions researchers are working to answer.

Questions remain on how many ice age floods happened, whether they were really the largest floods ever and whether there might have been earlier floods, dating back a million or more years.

Dawes also will discuss whether the science of floods like those that created the region’s channeled scablands have useful applications for the present and the future of the natural world.

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Ralph Dawes

He will speak at a 6:45 p.m. meeting of the Lake Lewis Chapter of the Ice Age Flood Institute.

The public is invited to the free lecture, which starts at 7 p.m., at the Reach museum, 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland. There is no admission charge to the museum.

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