AN­CIENT FLASH FLOOD­ING ON A GRAND SCALE

American Survival Guide - - NEW PRODUCTS -

Dur­ing the last ice age, be­tween 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, cat­a­clysmic floods known as the Mis­soula Floods cre­ated an on­slaught of wa­ter like noth­ing en­coun­tered be­fore. In what is now the north­west­ern United States, sud­den rup­tures of the ice dams caused an in­cred­i­ble amount of wa­ter to flow down the Columbia River Gorge and in­un­date much of what is now Washington State and Ore­gon.

The amount of wa­ter es­ti­mated to have poured through the bro­ken ice dams was cal­cu­lated at 10 cu­bic kilo­me­ters per hour. For com­par­i­son, that is 13 times the amount of wa­ter flow­ing in the Ama­zon River each hour. It was also es­ti­mated that the flow speed of the flood was around 80 miles per hour. This cy­cle con­tin­ued many times over a 2,000-year pe­riod. The time it took for the dam to break, re­freeze and re­struc­ture it­self was es­ti­mated at nearly 55 years.

So, the next time you en­counter a flash flood dur­ing your trav­els, con­sider your­self truly lucky that you don’t have to face the un­fath­omable power and de­struc­tion of the Mis­soula Floods!

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