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Nick on the Rocks

Giant Lava Flows

January 19, 2017

Some of the largest lava flows in the world can be found in the deserts of Eastern Washington.  The massive lavas erupted from giant cracks that can still be found today, if you know where to look.


Nick Zentner

Nick Zentner is the science outreach and education coordinator for the Department of Geological Sciences at Central Washington University.  He has produced more than 40 short videos about Central Washington geology. Since 2008, Zentner’s colloquial, humorous lectures have made him a popular speaker at educational and civic organizations throughout the Northwest. In 2015, Nick received the prestigious James Shea Award, a National Association of Geoscience Teachers award recognizing exceptional delivery of Earth Science content to the general public.  

More stories by Nick Zentner

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After this teaser I was glad to find your hour long lecture on the Flood Basalts on YouTube.

Glad you foud the lecture, Gal.  Am hoping that many can find if they are wanting to go more in depth.

Where is that giant fissure? We live outside of Pullman near the northwestern end of the Moscow Mountains and we can see Kamiak Butte and Steptoe Butte from our deck. We have driven to the Tri-Cities via Washtucna to Kahlotus to Connell and 395 and on the grade out of Kahlotus, there is a wide band of that reddish rock you called splatter. We have also seen the red rock in the basalt cliffs on the grade to and from Lewiston, ID. We love driving around in this part of Washington and exploring. We have also heard that the island in Bonnie Lake outside of Thornton is an anomaly because it is granite and the cliffs around the lake are basalt. My husband once helped a WSU geology professor collect a core sample from the bottom of some of the drainage pond/lakes near Hooper, WA. I can't remember the professor's name but his research was about proving that there was more than one Missoula Flood. He was carbon dating the pollen in the core samples.

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