Friday, March 09, 2012

The Undulating Hills of Highway 195

As Wayne and I drove Highway 195 from Spokane to Pullman under cloudy skies, we were very interested in the geology of the area. There were a few hints, volcanic rock visible under the surface in the road cuts, and the smooth surface of the undulating hills rolling from horizon to horizon. I went online and here is a great article at the US Geological Survey website.

Eruptions 30 to 10 million years ago covered a vast area including parts of Idaho, Washington and Oregon with molten lava. Subsequent tilting and folding, and the deposit of wind blown silt (loess) and ash over the surface gave this wheat growing region the beginning of its fertile soil.

Glacial ice fields with melt lakes at their bases encroached on the area about 100,000 years ago. Lake Spokane covered what is now the city and much more. Massive Lake Missoula to the east filled beyond the capacity its ice dam. The resulting flood of catastrophic proportions flooded west towards the Pacific, scouring the surface down to the volcanic basalt, creating the water eroded channeled Scablands to the west. - Margy

12 comments:

  1. Interesting landscape. Nice shots!

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  2. Certainly different from home!

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  3. beautiful countryside...carved and molded by Mother Nature!

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  4. This is lovely!
    My daughter is a hydrogeologist and I often phone her for a lifeline!!!!

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  5. Fascinating, Margy. I'd like to take a look some day. I only took geology for one semester, but I was able to calculate (okay, guess) the strength of the next earthquake to hit Vancouver (it wasn't big, 4 or 4.5, I've forgotten now).
    Very interesting post. Thanks!
    K

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  6. Geology is so incredible. And I'm a sucker for open road shots... these are great.

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  7. Thanks everyone for stopping by for my SkyWatch post. It was very interesting country. I had to go online and learn more about it's unique geological history. - Margy

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  8. Where is all the traffic! You wouldn't see such a main road over here so empty. Lovely shots xxx

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  9. Very interesting post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  10. I like your second photo.

    Regards and best wishes

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  11. Amazing landscapes and photos!

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  12. Fran - This road is fairly busy, but you can go stretches without having a car go by.


    Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting on my post.

    Margy

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