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The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle

December 1, 2016

The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. First discovered by G.K. Gilbert in the 1870s during his inspection of the outlet at Red Rock Pass, it was rediscovered in the 1950s by Harold Malde and coworkers, leading to mapping and assessment of spectacular flood features along Marsh Creek, Portneuf River, and Snake River for over 1100 km between the outlet and Lewiston, Idaho. The cataclysmic flood—from the rapid ~ 115 m drop of Lake Bonneville from the Bonneville level to the Provo level—was nearly 200 m deep in places and flowed at a maximum rate of about 1 million ms− 1; about 100 times greater than any historical Snake River flood. Along its route the Bonneville Flood carved canyons and cataract complexes and built massive boulder bars. These flood features have been a rich source for understanding megaflood processes. Yet it still offers much more with new and developing techniques for hydrodynamic modeling and landscape analysis.

Publication Year 2016
Title The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-444-63590-7.00006-8
Authors Jim E. O'Connor
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70179233
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center