By TOM PAULSON
Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 26, 2006
QUINCY — From the rocky terrace overlooking the small resort community of Crescent Bar clustered far below on the Columbia River, it becomes apparent just how bizarre a place this is and how stunningly violent its creation.
Not Crescent Bar.
We’re talking about an event that took place 15,000 years before the development of the resort, an almost incomprehensible catastrophe that left its mark across the river.
“Over there on the other side, on West Bar, you can see the giant ripples,” said Bruce Bjornstad, a geologist who has been studying the natural history of the Columbia Basin for decades.
The “ripples” are more like rolling hills when a person stands among them, since they are spaced about 350 feet apart and range from 20 to 40 feet in height. A huge flood, anywhere from 700 to 1,000 feet deep at this point, created the megaripples. The flood ripped across the region at the close of the last Ice Age.