Massive Landslide, Dodson, Oregon
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Rose Red
N 45° 36.088 W 122° 02.427
10T E 574831 N 5050217
More than 15,000 years ago the largest and most powerful scientifically documented freshwater flood to occur on earth happened in the Pacific Northwest. Afterwards the drastically eroded Columbia River valley walls ended in steep vertical slopes.
Waymark Code: WM16PD
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 02/03/2007
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Blue J Wenatchee
Views: 122

More than 15,000 years ago the Missoula Flood, the largest and most powerful scientifically documented freshwater flood to occur on earth, happened in the Pacific Northwest. During a period of several thousand years a single large flood, a few, or possibly as many as 100 of these floods scoured the 600-mile path when the glacial ice dam repeatedly reformed, the lake filled up again, and the ice dam broke again. Each flood was separated by decades or centuries.

Before the flood, the Columbia River valley walls sloped gently down to the river. The powerful flood scoured the landscape of vegetation, removed up to 150 feet of topsoil and deeply eroded its volcanic bedrock on both sides of the river. After the flood, the drastically eroded valley walls ended in very steep vertical slopes.

Every since the eroding flood steepened the valley wall, volcanic rock has been sliding in a series of giant landslides. On February 8, 1996 a massive landslide gave way on the south side of the valley. Actually it began the day before with slides coming down all over the gorge. It had been raining hard for several days. The snow had melted at the top of the cliff which was unusual, adding even more water.

Around noon on February 8th, a 2,000 feet vertical cliff gave way. The earth shook as the huge wall of mud, water, rocks and trees roared down toward Carol & Hersh Royse’s farmhouse on the frontage road along Highway 84. They ran out the front yard, crawled through the board fence and down through the field to the frontage road.

The slide engulfed the farmhouse, filling the basement and first floor with water, mud and rocks up to the kitchen counter tops and tore out the living room on the west side. It pushed their earth stove about 100 feet out in front of the house. Four to 15 feet of mud, boulders and trees completely covered their property down to the Frontage Road.

On Friday afternoon, February 2, 2007, Carol Royse and I walked through the farmhouse, empty except for debris and mud covered objects and a lot of good memories. Before I left, I purchased her pamphlet “Our Story” and received permission to use the photographs.

Instructions for logging waymark: A photograph is required of you (or your GPS receiver, if you are waymarking solo) and the place. Do not trespass. Trees have taken over the scarred landscape, making it difficult to see the farmhouse. A photo at the huge log entrance is sufficient. However, if you talk to Carol at the white house at 60404 NE Frontage Road, she might allow you to walk closer to the ruined farmhouse.

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