The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Will Lake Missoula return?  (Read 12903 times)

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« on: 02/01/2010 19:40:12 »
For anyone who does not know the story of Lake Missoula, here's a link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_Lake_Missoula

This piece of history never ceases to amaze me.

Anyway, what are the chances that Lake Missoula will form again?


 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #1 on: 02/01/2010 23:44:07 »
Without another Ice Age, none at all.

When there's another Ice Age, it'll depend upon the disposition of the ice.  Ice will need to dam the river in the same place, as explained in the article you linked to.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #2 on: 03/01/2010 05:12:12 »
Well, OK, but I have a vested interest. If It happens again, I'm toast.
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #3 on: 03/01/2010 11:08:15 »
If it happens again, you'll be very cold toast  :)
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/2010 20:36:53 »
And Bass will finally be swimming with the fishes - as is proper for a bass.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #5 on: 03/01/2010 20:50:22 »
Well, it's not too bad as long as the ice dam holds. It's the bit when it becomes rather boyant that's nasty if you happen to be downstream, which I am. I'm pretty sure several of the floods careened right through this area.

I suppose if there is another iceage, it's fairly likely the lake will form again judging by the number of times it happened in the not too distant past.

BTW, JB, have you ever seen the river banks the Snake made when ice dams let go? They are clearly visible just North of Jackson Hole. The first time I saw them I assumed they were man made! Well worth a look if you get a chance.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #6 on: 04/01/2010 17:56:31 »
Weellll now ......

We're talking about a slightly different animal here. The Jackson Hole part of the Snake River valley was carved by a catastrophic flood from Lake Bonneville, not Lake Missoula. Lake Bonneville was the precursor to the present salt lakes in Utah and was more than 19,000 square miles in aerial extent and was almost 1,000 feet deeper than the present Great Salt Lakes. About 14,500 years ago, the water broke through Red Rock Pass and discharged an immense amount of water to the north, changing the landscape as it flowed. (OK - don't look it up - this was plagiarized and slightly altered from http://imnh.isu.edu/DIGITALATLAS/teach/lsnplns/bonmaplp.htm.)

"It is believed that lava flows in the vicinity of Pocatello began to divert the Bear River through Lake Thatcher and then into Lake Bonneville. This sudden influx caused Bonneville to overflow at Red Rock [Pass]. This overflow caused a sudden erosion of unconsolidated material on the northern shoreline near Red Rock Pass. As the material gave way, Marsh Creek Valley, immediately downstream, was flooded from wall to wall, and the rapid discharge eroded the pass to its present level. The flood then flowed into the Snake River Plain, generally following the path of the present-day Snake River to its outlet in the Pacific Northwest.

"The Bonneville Flood, as it is known, was a catastrophic event. The maximum discharge was about 15 million cubic feet per second (420,000 m³/s), or about three times the average flow of the Amazon River, the world's largest river. The speed of flow was approximately 16 mph (7 m/s), and though peak flow lasted only a few days, voluminous discharges may have continued for at least a year."

From - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rock_Pass

Lake Missoula emptied through the Columbia River water course and its tributaries. The water flow was "about 17 × 106m3/s and total amount of water discharged equal to the maximum estimated volume of Lake Missoula (2184 km3)." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Floods)

The part of the Snake River that was affected by the Lake Missoula floods was that part from the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers back to about the junction of the Washington, Oregon and Idaho borders. During the Lake Missoula flooding water MOSTLY flowed up the Snake River, not down the river. 

"Just the facts, mam, just the facts" - Joe Friday

I have added a map of the Pleistocene lakes of the western US, below - from http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_Idaho/Module14/Bonneville-Pleist-Lakes.gif


Pleistocene Lakes In The Western US



« Last Edit: 04/01/2010 18:02:51 by JimBob »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #7 on: 04/01/2010 19:15:27 »
Thanks JB. My bad. I thought Lake Bonneville was also held back by an ice dam, but not so.

There are multiple "steps" in the river banks on the Snake at Jackson. Did Lake Bonneville drain out on different occasions, or were the steps created by different flow rates during one event?

BTW, did you make the Plasticine map yourself?
« Last Edit: 04/01/2010 19:40:42 by Geezer »
 

Offline Bass

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1338
  • Thanked: 5 times
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #8 on: 04/01/2010 20:16:29 »


Much as I hate to beat a dead horse...

The Lake Bonneville floods did not create the terraces at Jackson Hole. 
psst JimBob- Jackson hole is in Wyoming, not Idaho

The Snake River terraces at Jackson Hole were created by glacial outwash during times of glacial melting and by continued downwarping of Jackson Hole by the Teton  and other faults.  To my knowledge, waters from Lake Bonneville never reached the uppermost Snake River.

As to Lake Missoula re-emerging- the waters have not yet flooded my basement.  But with all this (BRRRRRR) global warming- I may soon have to once again start using my gills.  Either that, or fire up the old evinrude and go water skiing.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #9 on: 04/01/2010 20:26:37 »
I was kind of wondering about that because that part of the Snake (where the terraces are) is at quite an elevation.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #10 on: 04/01/2010 20:31:53 »
Ok, Ok - I am old and decrepit, what do you expect from a senile old man.

But lake Bonneville did empty through the Snake River - downstream of the Wyoming part.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #11 on: 04/01/2010 20:34:21 »

I have added a map of the Pleistocene lakes of the western US, below - from http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_Idaho/Module14/Bonneville-Pleist-Lakes.gif


I give credit where credit is due.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #12 on: 04/01/2010 23:12:05 »
WAIT A SECOND !!

The Snake River is not the outlet for Lake Missoula is it?? All I can find is that ..

"Two of these catastrophic flooding events affected the river. Pluvial Lake Bonneville spilled catastrophically into the Snake River Plain about 14,500 years ago. The Missoula Floods also played a role in the shaping of the lower Snake's watershed, although its effects were more pronounced along the Columbia River." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_River)

So, Mr. Bass, just how did Lake Missoula flow into the Uppermost tributary of the Snake River in Jackson Hole??? This area is separated from the former Lake Missoula by the Continental Divide. It passes north of Jackson Hole through Yellowstone does it not???

SO please explain why the above statement is incorrect?


P.S. I know that Jackson Hole is in Wyoming above the place Lake Bonniville entered the Snake but it seems that other people don't think that lake Missoula emptied into The uppermost Sanke river either.

One is left only for the oracle of Missoula to speak.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2010 00:56:31 by JimBob »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #13 on: 04/01/2010 23:21:52 »
I don't think he said it did, but, having started the fight, I will now retire gracefully, and let you gents duke it out  ;D
 

Offline Bass

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1338
  • Thanked: 5 times
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #14 on: 05/01/2010 05:34:53 »
Wow, did I say that Lake Missoula drained into Jackson Hole?  I hope not!  If so, my senility is showing.

Glacial outwash was from Yellowstone and the surrounding mountains.

Now that you bring up Yellowstone, I'll get to that thread when time allows.  I know you're giddy with anticipation.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #15 on: 05/01/2010 06:13:46 »
Well, not exactly "giddy", but Yellowstone is really cool (er, well, I suppose "hot" would be more accurate) not to mention that it scares the BeeGees out of me.

Can you make a Plasticene map of Yellowstone, like the one JB made?
« Last Edit: 05/01/2010 06:16:17 by Geezer »
 

Offline Bass

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1338
  • Thanked: 5 times
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #16 on: 05/01/2010 17:29:30 »
"Saturday Night Fever" is frightening, no matter what happens at Yellowstone.

Send me a box of Plasticene and I'll be more than happy to make a map!
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #17 on: 06/01/2010 17:15:50 »
Under strict instructions from Geezer, who likes to see a good fight and emailed me this: "Oh, come on. At least tell Bass he's full of prunes or reply to my plasticene joke." I am going to try to fulfill these instructions to the letter.

Bass you are full of prunes.

Geezer, was that a joke?


There - finished.
« Last Edit: 07/01/2010 01:38:13 by JimBob »
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #18 on: 08/01/2010 15:49:17 »
I only just found out about Lake Agassiz; I guess we should all hope that never happens again, regardless of where we live.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Agassiz
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #19 on: 10/01/2010 16:38:47 »
It really only matters if you are a mastodon or a giant sloth.
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #20 on: 11/01/2010 00:01:18 »
Hmm... you mean already dead then?

----------------

"She noted that the [garden] gnomes were a length more obviously masculine than hitherto, and now knew why Gerald had squandered so much pocket money on Plasticene"

  Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (Vivian Stanshall)
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #21 on: 11/01/2010 09:01:39 »
Mrs G often tells me I'm a giant sloth. Does that mean I'm extinct already?
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #22 on: 11/01/2010 21:18:02 »
One can only make assumptions. If you walk like a duck ...
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Will Lake Missoula return?
« Reply #22 on: 11/01/2010 21:18:02 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length