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The Pleistocene Age Bonneville Flood Event - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Pleistocene age Bonneville Flood event Introduction Lake Bonneville is the latest in an extended sequence of ten more widespread lakes that have occupied the basin of Great Salt Lake for the last several years. There are several significant features in the lake for instance deposits of sediments that reveal geologic proof of a catastrophic flood…
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The Pleistocene Age Bonneville Flood Event
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Download file to see previous pages Stunning erosion occurring as neglected channels, run offs, waterfalls, and scabland signifies the path followed by the flood between American Falls and Twin Falls (Malde, 1). This paper will discuss the conditions before this catastrophic flood, the flood events and the aftermath of the flood. Conditions before the Bonneville Flood Lake Bonneville had an enormous volume, which is almost the same with that of Lake Michigan. In addition, before the flood occurred, the lake occupied a vast area of approximately 20,000 square miles in western Utah, eastern Nevada and southern Idaho. Moreover, the surface of Lake Bonneville was roughly one third of the total area of Utah. This means that before the catastrophic flood occurred, the lake covered a very large area and had a huge volume (Austin, 2). Also before the flood event, Lake Bonneville covered seven inter-montane sub-basins of Utah, Nevada and Idaho. Among these sub-basins, three of them were substantially large while the remaining four were not large enough, they were quite small. As the volume of the water continued to increase, the volume of the lake remained constant causing water to spill over into the Snake River drainage in Southern Idaho (Grayson, 100). Before the occurrence of the great flood, the lake was approximately the level of today’s Great Salt Lake (4,200 feet) at around 28, 000 years ago. As time progressed, the lake started to swell and rise to reach an elevation of roughly 4, 400 feet by approximately 26, 500 years ago. It became more and more hazardous as the lake continued to swell but it did not increase in its size. In addition, the lake continued to swell and rise such that it reached an elevation of 4,500 feet by around 22, 000 years ago. At this point the lake covered an area of approximately 9,300 square miles. This reveals that Lake Bonneville continued to rise through the years, a situation which increased the hazard of the occurrence of a great flood. For the following 1,300 years or so, the lake remained constant at approximately this level. However, during this interval, the lake also recorded some falls of approximately 150 meters and then rising occasionally. This phenomenon generated the complex of features referred to the stansbury shoreline (Grayson, 101). The flood event As a result of the constant rising of the water in the lake, the water in the southern side reached the level of 5, 100 feet of the dam. This led to the overflow and marked the beginning of the catastrophic flood. On the south side of the dam, there was extensive potential energy within the lake. This massive potential energy caused erosion, which eventually created a notch on the top of the dam. It then followed that there was a massive discharge of volumes of water as the notch in the dam got deeper, so did the. In addition, as the notch enlarged to form the overflow path, erosion enhanced. The spill was widened as the collapse of the dam commenced reaching to almost one mile wide. At this point, this became the catastrophic flood with water discharge occurring at roughly 35 million cubic feet per second (Austin, 6). The outflow of the flood crashed down the Portneuf River to the current Pocatello and then followed route as it poured along the Snake River Drainage. The water filled up the whole Snake River Canyon in the current Twin Falls and Shoshone falls and still run ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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