Megafloods and Clovis cache at Wenatchee, Washington

Quaternary Research



Immense late Wisconsin floods from glacial Lake Missoula drowned the Wenatchee reach of Washington's Columbia valley by different routes. The earliest debacles, nearly 19,000 cal yr BP, raged 335 m deep down the Columbia and built high Pangborn bar at Wenatchee. As advancing ice blocked the northwest of Columbia valley, several giant floods descended Moses Coulee and backflooded up the Columbia past Wenatchee. Ice then blocked Moses Coulee, and Grand Coulee to Quincy basin became the westmost floodway. From Quincy basin many Missoula floods backflowed 50 km upvalley to Wenatchee 18,000 to 15,500 years ago. Receding ice dammed glacial Lake Columbia centuries more—till it burst about 15,000 years ago. After Glacier Peak ashfall about 13,600 years ago, smaller great flood(s) swept down the Columbia from glacial Lake Kootenay in British Columbia. The East Wenatchee cache of huge fluted Clovis points had been laid atop Pangborn bar after the Glacier Peak ashfall, then buried by loess. Clovis people came five and a half millennia after the early gigantic Missoula floods, two and a half millennia after the last small Missoula flood, and two millennia after the glacial Lake Columbia flood. People likely saw outburst flood(s) from glacial Lake Kootenay.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Megafloods and Clovis cache at Wenatchee, Washington
Series title Quaternary Research
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2016.02.007
Volume 85
Issue 3
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 430
Last page 444
Country United States
State Washington
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