This September the Palouse Falls Chapter kicks off the return of its traveling lecture series, stopping in six towns for a lecture that covers one of the more exciting and oft visited of all the Ice Age Floods sites.
Try to envision flood waters rushing down the Cheney-Palouse scabland tract only to be funneled into the Palouse River which is so overwhelmed that floodwaters spill over the divide between the Palouse River Valley and the Snake River Valley. As the water rages, over one hundred square miles of loess soil up to 200 feet thick is stripped away; once exposed, the underlying fractured basalt rock is then plucked away as well. Learn how the landscape around you tells the story of how a fracture zone is eroded deeper than the Palouse River Valley and the river takes a shortcut across the divide.
This traveling lecture series will serve as the chapter’s pre-trip lecture for their bus tour on October 1, 2016 and will include a variety of aerial views you won’t get on the tour of a feature known as the Staircase Rapids and spillways including the Palouse Canyon, HU Canyon, and Devil’s Canyon.
Audience members will learn how stream capture during the floods diverted the Palouse River from the Washtucna Coulee to its present day location, creating Palouse Falls in the process.