Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cool Land

I was chatting on the phone with a friend and, while doing so, idly gliding around the United States from a satellite's vantage when I noticed hundreds of square miles of curiously-plowed fields over Western Washington... quite cool. I'll have to find out what crops they are... or if somebody knows, leave a comment.


Chetumaire said...

Penawawa ! Mostly wheat, alfalfa, corn and barley there.

• Much of Eastern Washington is known as ‘channeled scablands”. About 40 times, between 12
and 18,000 years ago, the Continental glaciers receded and caused ice dams on the Clark Fork
River at the Idaho/Montana border to break. This flushed the land with water from Lake Missoula. These flows have been estimated at 10 times the combined flows of all the rivers in the
world and raged to the Pacific Ocean in less than 48 hours. These floods scraped the land down
to bedrock. Giant boulders imbedded in ice were carried as far as the Willamette Valley, south of
Portland, Oregon.
• Receding glaciers across the state scraped topsoil and created huge valleys and many rivers
and streams. Tons of fertile soil washed down from mountains and settled into the fertile flood
• The soils from the Palouse region in SE Washington were built up from fine materials carried by
the wind, creating giant soil dunes with extremely deep, fertile topsoil.

Jil Wrinkle said...

Thanks for the input, Chetumaire. I was actually aware of the "channeled scablands". It was that area that I was watching for when I came across these fields. I saw the documentary on that area outlining the massive flood that occurred, and figured it would show up on the satellite images, but these fields were more interesting.