The White Bluffs at Hanford Reach – Columbia River Free Flowing Stretch


Hello Young People. The White Bluffs. Just
north of Richland, Washington. Welcome to the Hanford Reach National Monument. The last
free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River. The White Bluffs are on the east side of the
river. Three hundred feet of soft, sedimentary layers. And another two hundred feet of that
sediment below river level. And below that, more than two miles of lava rock, the Columbia
River Basalt flows. On the other side of the river here is the
Hanford Site. Back in 1943, restricted due to the top-secret Manhattan Project. Since
2000, this side of the river has been opened up and available for recreation. Here, on
this side of the river, the White Bluffs are composed of the Ringold Formation. A series
of sedimentary layers deposited between eight and three million years ago. This is back
during a time when the ancestral Snake and Columbia Rivers were bringing sediment into
this area. Sluggish streams eventually becoming broad lake deposits. And there’s a rich fossil
record in Ringold Formation. Prehistoric animals including horses and camel. So the main lesson from the Ringold Formation
– a series of sluggish streams, developing then into a lake system. That was earlier
than three million years ago. But, there is a small section of the White
Bluffs that looks very different. These sediments are rhythmically deposited. They’re Ice Age
flood deposits that were deposited in a pre-existing channel that was cut into the Ringold. This
is Lake Lewis time during the Ice Age floods. Just a few thousand years ago. Not millions
of years ago. On the surface of the White Bluffs, you’d
probably be surprised at how many exotic rocks are littering the surface. Those are ice-rafted
erratics. Even more evidence of the Ice Age floods sweeping down into Lake Lewis which
existed in the Pasco Basin. The White Bluffs just north of Richland, Washington.

7 thoughts on “The White Bluffs at Hanford Reach – Columbia River Free Flowing Stretch

  1. Okay, I think this answers my question I posted on your other video. The basalts came first, and then the floods?

  2. Millions of years? Not. But wonderful little video with style. I wonder if he got any radiation contamination? 

  3. Hi Nick – do you have any insight into waterfalls that once flowed in the Wahluke Slope and/or through the White Bluffs?  I am looking for a connection between waterfalls and White Bluffs/Ringold Formation – any insight?

  4. It's difficult to find more information regarding the ancient camels…google search wants to give results for the US army camels.

  5. How does this guy ignore the BIOLOGICAL LAYERS in everything that isn't clay? 1:20 that red and black looks like sediment layering? Mud Fossils, strangling the mainstream sheep feed

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