Dry Falls, Washington

June 12, 2019

Dry FallsJune 2019 Viewer's Choice

Photographer: Rebecca Roush 
Summary Author: Rebecca Roush 

Some of the largest floods the North American continent has ever experienced likely occurred during the last glacial epoch when massive lakes were formed and plugged by ice. When the ice damming these lakes collapsed, a devastating amount of water was released. One example of this was Glacial Lake Missoula, which held about as much water as Lake Ontario does now. Glacial Lake Missoula was repeatedly released, re-sculpting Central Washington by burying it under hundreds of feet of water and removing much of its topsoil.

Dry Falls is the 3.5 mile-wide (5.6 km), 400 foot high (122 m) rock face that the floodwaters from Glacial Lake Missoula plunged over. The falls were probably at least ten times the size of Niagara Falls, and the massive flow of water is estimated to have been ten times the current flow of the world’s combined contemporary rivers. Now it is just one of many geological remnants of Washington’s ice age past. Photo taken on May 31, 2019.

Photo Details: Camera: SONY DSC-WX220; Exposure Time: 0.0010s (1/1000); Aperture: ƒ/3.3; ISO equivalent: 100; Lens: 4.45-44.5mm