How did the Palouse scablands come about?



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    The Cheney-Palouse Scablands of eastern Washington were formed between 12 and 15 thousand years ago. Powerful Ice Age floods comprised of 200-foot waves, several miles wide, split into three major flows across the land, eventually eating down to the underlying basalt. These exposed basaltic rock expanses are called scablands, with the easternmost being the Cheney-Palouse. It is 90 miles long, with widths varying from 10 to 25 miles, covering 1500 square miles from Spokane to the Snake River.

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