Bretz’s Flood

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J Harlen Bretz was the geologist to answer the riddle of how the dramatic coulees, gullies, and deserts between Idaho and the Cascade Mountains in Eastern Washington came to be.

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BretzsFloodsBretz’s Flood – The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World’s Greatest Flood
By John Soennichsen
Sasquatch Books, 2008

The Riddle of the Scablands: The land between Idaho and the Cascade Mountains in Eastern Washington is characterized by dramatic coulees, gullies, and deserts; it is a wholly unique place on Earth. J Harlen Bretz was the geologist to answer the riddle of how this land came to be.

Conventional scientific thinking held that the scabland region was formed gradually over millions of years. Bretz recognized that the region’s bizarre formations and geologic oddities didn’t conform to the patterns shaped gradually over time. Instead the scablands could only be caused by a sudden rush of an unprecedented volume of water. Scientists decried his views even as they refused to visit the scablands for themselves and Bretz suffered various forms of public and academic humiliation for decades.

Meticulously researched and delivered in stunning prose, Bretz’s Flood brings to life the dramatic story of how the channeled scablands came to be and how one man persevered against the odds to change the course of geologic history.

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