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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Columbia Plateau covers much of the Columbia River Basalt Group, shown in green on this map. The Washington cities of Spokane, Yakima and Pasco, and the Oregon city of Pendleton, lie on the Columbia Plateau.

The Columbia Plateau is a geologic and geographic region that lies across parts of the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.[1] It is a wide flood basalt plateau between the Cascade Range and the Rocky Mountains, cut through by the Columbia River. In one of its various usages, the term "Columbia Basin" refers to more or less the same area as the Columbia Plateau.[2]

Contents

Geology

During late Miocene and early Pliocene times, one of the largest flood basalts ever to appear on the earth's surface engulfed about 63,000 square miles (160,000 km2) of the Pacific Northwest, forming a large igneous province.[3] Over a period of perhaps 10 to 15 million years lava flow after lava flow poured out, eventually accumulating to a thickness of more than 6,000 feet (1.8 km).[3] As the molten rock came to the surface, the Earth's crust gradually sank into the space left by the rising lava.[3]

The subsidence of the crust produced the large plateau - a large, slightly depressed lava plain sometimes also known as the Columbia Basin.[3] The ancient Columbia River was forced into its present course by the northwesterly advancing lava. The lava, as it flowed over the area, first filled the stream valleys, forming dams that in turn caused impoundments or lakes.[3] Entities that have been found in these lake beds are fossil leaf impressions, petrified wood, fossil insects, and bones of vertebrate animals.[3]

Geography

The Washington cities in the Columbia Plateau include:

Oregon cities in the Columbia Plateau include:

See also

References

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Columbia Plateau
  2. ^ Floyd, Ben, et al. "Glossary". (1998) Hanford Reach Protection and Management Program Interim Action Plan. Prosser, Washington: Benton County Planning Department.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Description: Columbia Plateau Columbia River Basalt. United States Geologic Survey, accessed October 9, 2007.

External links

Coordinates: 45°59′58″N 119°00′05″W / 45.99944°N 119.00139°W / 45.99944; -119.00139

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Columbia River Plateau article)

From Wikitravel

Contents

The Columbia River Plateau is a region of Washington.

Regions

The "Tri-Cities Area" consists of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco, set at the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia river.

  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site[2] - The 1847 Whitman "Massacre" horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. See under Walla Walla#Get out.
  • Daroga State Park[3], on Lake Ential, 6 miles north of Orondo
  • Norman A. Welch Memorial Speedway, in Connell
  • Palouse Falls State Park [4], 23 miles southeast of Washtucna
  • The Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road N.W., +1-206.628.0888, [5]. A 20,000 seat outdoor concert venue, located just off I-90, in the charmingly-named tiny town of "George, Washington". Beautiful sunsets.  edit
  • Rock climbing at Frenchman Coulee
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, (Located off Interstate 84 or on the Historic Columbia River Highway, Oregon Highway 30), +1-(503) 695-2372, [6]. The Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountains in this gorge, many km long. The Multnomah Falls are a particular attraction.  edit
  • Doug's Beach State Park, (On SR 14 about 5 km (3 miles) east of Lyle), [7]. 06:30h to dusk (summer), 08:00h to dusk (winter), open year-round. A day-use park on the Columbia River, a great location for windsurfing. Between Murdock and Lyle.  edit
  • Columbia Hills State Park, (On State Route 14 at milepost 85, 9 miles west of Wishram), [8]. 06:30 h to dusk, April 1 - October 31. A park on the Columbia River's north bank, under Horsethief Butte. A short ways north-east of The Dalles, Oregon. Previously known as Horsethief Falls State Park.  edit
  • Waitsburg Horse Race Track, East 10th Street, +1-(509) 337-6623.  edit, in Waitsburg

Understand

The Columbia River Plateau region consists of Adams, Benton, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Klickitat, Lincoln, Walla Walla, and Yakima Counties.

  • Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge[9], a 14,000-acre wildlife refuge straddling the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon. Entry points are in Irrigon, Oregon, and off Highway 14 in Washington
  • US Dept of Energy Hanford Site Test Facility[10]. One of the major nuclear weapons production sites in the United States Tours happen six times a year and depart from Richland.
  • Crown Point Overlook State Park, (From state route 155 in Grand Coulee, take the turnoff to Bridgeport (state Route 174), drive two miles north, look for a sign 'Crown Point Vista'). The best spot for viewing the Grand Coulee Dam.  edit
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