"In a series of papers published between 1923 and 1932, J Harlen Bretz described an enormous plexus of proglacial stream channels eroded into the loess and basalt of the Columbia Plateau, eastern Washington. He argued that this region, which he called the Channeled Scablands, was the product of a cataclysmic flood, which he called the Spokane flood. Considering the Nature and vehemence of the opposition to his hypothesis, which was considered outrageous, its eventual scientific verification constitutes one of the most fascinating episodes in the history of modern science."
Victor R. Baker, 1978

In Baker's 1978 paper, he highlights the relationship between the flood morphology of the channeled scablands and the flood channels on Mars. In both cases, cataclysmic floods scoured the landscape, producing deeply incised river valleys, streamlined hills, and other indicative erosional features.
The recent discovery of columnar jointing in Martes Valles, Mars (Milazzo et al., 2009) has strengthened the relationship between the Channeled Scablands, where jointing is readily observable in the Columbia basalts, and our terrestrial neighbor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Welcome to the official blog for the LPSA expedition to the Channelled Scablands of eastern Washington. Here you will find useful links, information about the trip leaders and participants, testimonials direct from the field, and tales of our findings. Please take a moment to check out the links on the right hand side of this page. At this moment, we have included: A comprehensive overview of the Scablands written by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), a link to the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) home page where you can view photographs of the martian surface and the columnar basalts for which the Scablands will serve as an analog, and a link to the biographies of the participating LPSA interns.

We hope you enjoy!

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