Telling the story of a stunning geological event isn’t easy, especially 15,000 years after it happened.
The Washington Geological Survey managed to do it using a story map. Maps, images, videos and text are combined to tell the story of ice age floods that swept across Washington.
It might be difficult to picture floods when you’re standing in a dry canyon, but the clues are everywhere. The story map brings them to life.
It begins with the story of Seattle high school teacher-turned-geologist J. Harlen Bretz.
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Today’s climate-change deniers would be old hat for Bretz. He faced scorn and ridicule when he proposed in the 1920s that Washington’s massive canyons and other geologic formations must have been carved by a major flooding event.
His theories are now scientific fact, and the new story map shows why.
Users simply scroll through the site, which does the rest with overlays, videos and other bells and whistles.
The path of ancient Glacial Lake Missoula’s floodwaters are shown as they sweep from present-day Montana into Washington over 2,000 years.
Aerial photography and lidar imaging show ancient ripples at West Bar and the bizarre Potholes Coulee near Trinidad.
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