Oct 6 2011: Megafloods

Prof. Victor Baker
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona

Megafloods (terrestrial water flows with discharges exceeding one
million cubic meters per second) are the largest known freshwater
floods, with flows comparable in scale to (though of shorter duration
than) ocean currents. Although there are no modern examples of
megafloods, such flows occurred during major periods of Earth’s
glaciation and during past epochs on Mars. A prominent example is the
paleoflooding caused by late Pleistocene outbursts from Glacial Lake
Missoula, which formed when the Purcell Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice
Sheet extended south from British Columbia to the basin of modern Pend
Oreille Lake in northern Idaho.

Baker, 2008

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