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Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods

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ISBN13: 9781932010312
ISBN10: 1932010319
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Synopsis:

Cataclysms on the Columbia tells two stories. One follows geological research that challenged the scientific paradigm of the early 20th century, and the other chronicles the result of that research: the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest. The cataclysms at the end of the last Ice Age left a scabland of buttes, dry falls, and rocky gorges, but it took the detective work of geologist J Harlen Bretz to prove it to the world. His lifetime of research and unshakeable belief changed geology forever.

Synopsis:

"Cataclysms on the Columbia" chronicles the geological research that led to the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest.

Synopsis:

The OpenBook Series highlights Ooligan Press's commitment to transparency on our road toward sustainable publishing. We believe that disclosing the impacts of the choices we make will not only help us avoid unintentional greenwashing, but also serve to educate those who are unfamiliar with the choices available to printers and publishers. Efforts to produce this series as sustainably as possible focus on paper and ink sources, design strategies, efficient and safe manufacturing methods, innovative printing technologies, supporting local and regional companies, and corporate responsibility of our contractors. All titles in the OpenBook series will have the OpenBook logo on the front cover and a corresponding OpenBook Environmental Audit inside, which includes a calculated paper impact from the Environmental Defense Fund.

About the Author

John Eliot Allen coauthored the first edition of Cataclysms on the Columbia with Marjorie Burns. He was Professor Emeritus of Geology at Portland State University, a lifelong student of the Columbia Gorge, and author of The Magnificent Gateway, a detailed guide to its geology. He passed away on December 17, 1996, at the age of 88 following an illustrious career as a field geologist, professor, and writer. All three of the authors are native Oregonians.

Marjorie Burns is an author, traveler, and lover of minor adventures, as well as Professor Emeritus at Portland State University. Her main area of expertise is nineteenth-century British literature, though she has also published extensively on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fiction and scholarship. She lives with her husband in Washington State at the base of a Cascade volcano and rock climbs, cycles, or kayaks when she’s freed from writing and work.

Scott Burns is a professor of geology at Portland State University with research interests that include engineering geology, environmental geology, soils, landslides, geomorphology, and Quaternary geology. When not teaching, he serves on various geological committees and has written numerous articles, chapter contributions, and books. He has taught in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado, and Louisiana before coming home to Oregon. His first book was Environmental, Groundwater, and Engineering Geology: Applications from Oregon (1998). At PSU he has received the Distinguished Faculty Award and the George C. Hoffman Award.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments to the First Edition

Acknowledgments to the Second Edition

Preface

Part I: The World of Geology

Chapter 1: The Living, Changing Earth

Chapter 2: Detecting the Clues to the Past

Part II: The Bretz Saga

3: Early Days

4: Too Many Clues?

5: Scars with a Difference: The Channeled Scablands and Gigantic Gravel Bars

6: The Unthinkable Heresy: Catastrophism vs. Uniformitarianism

7: Solving the Jigsaw Puzzle

8: The Great Controversy

9: The Revisionists: Allison, Hodge, and Flint

10: “Unusual Currents”: Pardee Breaks the Silence

11: Vindication

Part III: The Rest of the Story

12: Major Researchers Since Bretz

Part IV: The Landscape Before and After the Missoula floods

13: Setting the Stage for the Floods: Geology, Life, and Witnessing the Floods

14: During the Cataclysms and Immediately Afterward

15: After the Missoula Floods

Part V: Following the Floods from Source to Sea

16: Glacial Lake Missoula and the Purcell Trench Ice-Dam: From Missoula, Montana, to Spokane, Washington

17: Rathdrum Prairie and Glacial Lake Columbia: Gateway to the Scablands: From Pend Oreille to Spokane

18: The Channeled Scablands: Grand Coulee and Moses Coulee

19: The Heart of the Channeled Scablands

20: Lake Lewis Basins

21: Wallula Gap to The Dalles: Lake Condon

22: The Dalles to Portland: The Columbia Gorge

23: The Portland-Vancouver Basin: A Story of Erosion and Deposition from Incoming and Outgoing Flood Waters

24: The Willamette Valley South of Portland and the Tualatin Valley West of Portland

25: Portland to the Pacific Ocean

Part VI: Floods from an Even More Distant Past

26: Ancient Cataclysmic Floods

Part VII: The Conclusion and the Future

27: The Conclusion But Not the End

Appendices and Resources

Index

About the Authors

Ooligan Press Acknowledgements

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

kylebrittain, February 24, 2011 (view all comments by kylebrittain)
"Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods" tells story of an exceedingly large geological event that began when an ice-impounded lake in Montana began to melt. When the water level rose high enough, the ice dam broke and a colossal volume of water was rapidly unleashed. This flood created the striking channeled scablands of Eastern Washington.

"Cataclysms" is also the story of geologist J Harlen Bretz, who first posited the cataclysmic flood hypothesis. Bretz began postulating his theory in a hostile academic period, when uniformitarianism was the dominant paradigm. The authors of Cataclysms tell the Bretz’s thrilling biography, detailing the history of his research, his critics and his eventual vindication.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book for anyone interest in the geology of the Pacific Northwest. Three authors working on separate sections wrote the book, but it feels like an organic whole; John Elliot Allen, Marjorie Burns, and Scott Burns each have distinct voices and perspectives, but all show a profound respect for the work and legacy of Bretz.

This book, with its detailed maps and photographs, also serves as an indispensible tour guide for anyone interested in visiting the areas around the Columbia and Grand Coulee rivers.
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Susan Wiget, October 18, 2009 (view all comments by Susan Wiget)
In the early twentieth century, J. Harlen Bretz was a geologist who walked around what were believed to be glacial formations carved through mountains and valleys in the states of Oregon and Washington. He took detailed notes and observed rock patterns from Spokane to Portland, Oregon…and came to the conclusion that a huge prehistoric flood created the canyon called the Scablands. This was completely at odds with the beliefs of established geologists of the time, and he knew this, but he stood up for truth anyway. This book proves to be not only a scientific study but also a riveting drama.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781932010312
Author:
Allen, John Eliot
Publisher:
Ooligan Press
Author:
Burns, Marjorie
Author:
Burns, Scott
Subject:
Rivers
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geology
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Pacific Northwest
Subject:
Natural Disasters
Subject:
Bretz, J. Harlen
Subject:
Erosion -- Columbia Plateau.
Subject:
Geology-General
Subject:
Geology
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Second Edition, Revised
Series:
OpenBook
Publication Date:
20091131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
8.92x7.08x.60 in. 1.06 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Geology
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Nature
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Pacific Northwest
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods Used Trade Paper
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Product details 216 pages Ooligan Press - English 9781932010312 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Cataclysms on the Columbia tells two stories. One follows geological research that challenged the scientific paradigm of the early 20th century, and the other chronicles the result of that research: the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest. The cataclysms at the end of the last Ice Age left a scabland of buttes, dry falls, and rocky gorges, but it took the detective work of geologist J Harlen Bretz to prove it to the world. His lifetime of research and unshakeable belief changed geology forever.

"Synopsis" by , "Cataclysms on the Columbia" chronicles the geological research that led to the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest.
"Synopsis" by , The OpenBook Series highlights Ooligan Press's commitment to transparency on our road toward sustainable publishing. We believe that disclosing the impacts of the choices we make will not only help us avoid unintentional greenwashing, but also serve to educate those who are unfamiliar with the choices available to printers and publishers. Efforts to produce this series as sustainably as possible focus on paper and ink sources, design strategies, efficient and safe manufacturing methods, innovative printing technologies, supporting local and regional companies, and corporate responsibility of our contractors. All titles in the OpenBook series will have the OpenBook logo on the front cover and a corresponding OpenBook Environmental Audit inside, which includes a calculated paper impact from the Environmental Defense Fund.
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