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Further, Shaw’s team proposed the scabland flooding might have partially originated from an enormous subglacial reservoir that extended over much of central British Columbia, particularly including the Rocky Mountain Trench, which may have discharged by several paths, including one through Lake Missoula.This discharge, if occurring concurrently with the breach of the Lake Missoula ice dam, would have provided significantly larger volumes of water.Bretz coined the term Channeled Scablands in 1923 to refer to the area near the Grand Coulee, where massive erosion had cut through basalt deposits.Bretz published a paper in 1923, arguing that the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington were caused by massive flooding in the distant past. Pardee, had worked with Bretz and had evidence of an ancient glacial lake that lent credence to Bretz's theories.
The two layers of volcanic ash are separated by 1–10 cm of airborne nonvolcanic silt. The controversy whether the Channeled Scabland landforms were formed mainly by multiple periodic floods, or by a single grand-scale cataclysmic flood from late Pleistocene Glacial Lake Missoula or from an unidentified Canadian source, continued through 1999.These glacial lake outburst floods were the result of periodic sudden ruptures of the ice dam on the Clark Fork River that created Glacial Lake Missoula.After each ice dam rupture, the waters of the lake would rush down the Clark Fork and the Columbia River, flooding much of eastern Washington and the Willamette Valley in western Oregon.This feedback cycle eventually weakened the ice dam so much that it could no longer support the pressure of the water behind it, and it failed catastrophically.This process is known as a glacial lake outburst flood, and many such events have occurred in recorded history.