Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood

Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood

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by John Soennichsen
     
 

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Channeled Scablands, between Idaho and the Cascades, is a unique landscape of basalt cliffs, dry waterfalls, canyons, and coulees. Legendary geologist J Harlen Bretz was the first to explore the area, starting in the 1920s. This dramatic book tells the story of this scientific maverick — how he came to study the region, his radical theory that a flood of

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Overview

Channeled Scablands, between Idaho and the Cascades, is a unique landscape of basalt cliffs, dry waterfalls, canyons, and coulees. Legendary geologist J Harlen Bretz was the first to explore the area, starting in the 1920s. This dramatic book tells the story of this scientific maverick — how he came to study the region, his radical theory that a flood of biblical proportions created it, and how a campaign by the mainstream geologic community tried to derail him for pursuing an idea that satellite photos would confirm decades later.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
J Harlen Bretz was an unusual geologist: more than a maverick-turned-icon, more than a conscientious and thorough field worker, and more than a demanding professor, he also had a remarkable sense of humor and the strength to persevere despite professional obloquy. Author Soennichsen (Live! From Death Valley) delivers a vivid portrait of the man whose pioneering work began by accident, when a 1921 summer field trip to the Cascade Mountains fell through. Instead, Bretz led his students on foot through the Washington Scablands around Spokane, and returned every summer after with his students and family to map, measure, and record the unique terrain-including the gigantic "ship" of eroded basalt at Grand Coulee and the dried remains of the world's largest waterfall. Bretz's conclusions, of a massive flood unlike anything ever observed, met with intense opposition (largely from those who never observed the Scablands in person). Only over time, and with the advent of aerial photography, were Bretz's ideas confirmed; it's now known that glacial Lake Missoula drained dozens of times, each time unleashing a vast flood across the Pacific Northwest. Soennichsen's book explores a fascinating life in science, and should have appeal for Pacific Northwesterners and science buffs. 20 b&w photos.
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From the Publisher
For the hardcover edition of Bretz's Flood: "This is a masterful story of the spirit of adventure as embodied by a man who, though almost forgotten today, was instrumental in bringing scientific inquiry out of the Victorian era and into the modern age

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570615054
Publisher:
Sasquatch Books
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 5.74(h) x 0.86(d)

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