by Bruce Bjornstad and Eugene Kiver
434 pages, $26
During the last Ice Age, the Northwest was violently transformed by ancient floods. Imagine 530 cubic miles of roaring water racing through Idaho, across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River valley to the Pacific Ocean. That’s how large the biggest floods were.
They shaped the land as it is today and some of the features they left in their wake can be found nowhere else on Earth.
On the eastern Palouse, their path can be seen where the fine soil was stripped away down to the dark underlying basalt bedrock. It was called “scabland” by farmers and others who settled the area.
“On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods — Northern Reaches” is the follow-up to Tri-Cities geologist Bruce Bjornstad’s first volume, a guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin. It’s written with geologist Eugene Kiver of Anacortes, Wash.
Besides explanations of 19 types of landforms and guides to 65 flood-formed features, the book includes detailed maps, photos, 39 biking and hiking trails, five driving tours and two aerial tours.
Bjornstad will present a 45-minute slide lecture, “Exploring the Ice age Floods Through Science and Art,” and sign books at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main Ave., Spokane.