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More than 10,000 years ago the Lake Missoula floods created some of the most stunning land forms on earth - studied by NASA for their similarity to Martian landscapes. Much of the eastern half of what is now the state of Washington was scoured down to bedrock by a series of gargantuan flood events, released from an ancient ice-dammed glacial lake that once formed in what is now Montana. The resulting formation of dramatic canyons, coulees, cataracts and flood plains occurred in a mere matter of days, not the millions of years once thought. This photo shows one of the pothole lakes that dot the Ancient Lake Coulee - lakes that were violently scoured out of bedrock by whirlpools within the furiously swirling floodwaters. The name given to this landscape is the Channeled Scablands. This photo was taken looking northwest from within the coulee, only four miles from the Columbia River.
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