How Did The Bonneville Flood Help Shape The Snake River Canyon?

Feb 20, 2018

Some of the boulders left behind by the Bonneville Flood got the name “Petrified Watermelons.” Back in the 1980s this sign was along Highway 30, southeast of King Hill, Idaho (on the back of a Stinker Gas Station billboard). Jim O’Connor took one home to his mother-in-law.
Credit Karen A. Demsey

The Snake River Canyon is an iconic landscape -- especially for people who live in central Idaho. And one of our listeners from Twin Falls was curious to know more about how it was formed.

"I’d like to know more about the Bonneville Flood and its relationship to the Snake River Canyon," asked Boise State Public Radio News listener Nancy Pizzi.

So we turned to a geologist who has spent years studying the event to help answer her question.

Jim O’Connor works for the U.S. Geological Survey based in Portland, Oregon. He’s studied the Bonneville Flood and he once spent three summers on the Snake River Plain putting together his Ph.D. thesis on the event.

Samantha Wright started off asking O’Connor when the Bonneville Flood happened.

Credit Jim O'Connor

This story is our latest installment in our “Wanna Know Idaho” series and came from Nancy Pizzi. If you don't want to miss any of our Wanna Know Idaho stories, be sure to subscribe to the podcast!

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Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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