Palouse Falls

Essay by ginosimone1College, Undergraduate October 2011

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Introduction and Background Paper


My project area is Palouse Falls, which is located specifically in La Crosse, WA. I chose this location because I have heard numerous times of how amazing the falls are and I felt this would be a great opportunity to finally see the 198 feet high falls. Palouse Falls interestingly enough doesn't reside in Palouse County; its closest recognizable city is La Crosse or the smaller town of Washtucna, which are in Franklin County. The towns run right along Highway 26. However even when in these towns you still face a little drive either down Ward street Or get onto 261 to get to Palouse falls state park. ("")

Geologic Setting, Historical, and Geological significance

More than 12,000 years ago the largest and most powerful scientifically documented freshwater flood to occur on earth happened in the Pacific Northwest. During the last ice age, ice sheets, could be over 10,000 feet in thickness, an Ice Sheet called the Purcell Trench lobe advanced southward blocking the river in the Clark Fork Valley in northern Idaho and Montana with a 2,000 foot high and 30 mile wide ice dam.

A glacial lake was created that covered much of present-day northern and western Montana under approximately 2,000 feet of water in a 200-mile-long lake. ("Waymarking"). Eventually, water got into the ice dam, which broke down the dam from the inside. The water exploded out of the lake, swept across northern Idaho into eastern Washington, then rushed southwest across the Columbia Plateau, and split at a bluff--part of the flood traveled east but the main thrust traveled down the Columbia River. The floodwaters, moved up to 60 miles per hour, which in turn caused the soil to be stripped away and helped to create created the 198 feet...