Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage (HM1KEB)

Location: LaCrosse, WA 99143 Franklin County
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Country: United States of America
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N 46° 39.774', W 118° 13.653'

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Long before the Ice Age floods could carve the coulees, waterfalls, and cliffs that dominate this landscape, basalt was needed, and in huge quantities! Vents from deep in the earth's crust supplied the basalt, erupting again and again to cover much of eastern Washington and parts of Oregon and Idaho in a layer cake of basalt thousands of fee thick. Over time, tectonic forces pushed and pulled at the bedrock, opening deep fractures in the basalt.

Millions of years later, Ice Age floods swept through this area. The floodwaters took advantage of these fractures, cutting steep chanels where the bedrock was weakest and creating Palouse Falls and its canyon. The floods also changed the course of the river.

(Left Illustration Caption)
During the height of the floods, this entire area was under hundreds of feet of water. This painting shows a flood in progress after the water level dropped several hundred feet.

(Center Illustration Caption)
Palouse Falls today.

(Right Photo Caption)
See the large crack in the basalt cliffs across the canyon? This is one of the fractures in the basalt opened by tectonic forces coming from deep within the earth. Can you see any others?
Placed ByWashington State Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 at 2:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11T E 406089 N 5168436
Decimal Degrees46.66290000, -118.22755000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 46° 39.774', W 118° 13.653'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds46° 39' 46.44" N, 118° 13' 39.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)509
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse WA 99143, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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