Saturday, June 29, 2019

Kootenai Falls

This isn't really a beach. It's actually not a beach at all. But there's moving water and geology, and if you're paying attention, ripples left in the sand by shallow water waves a mere 1500 million years ago.

Kootenai Falls is one the few big, unaltered drops left on any of the large western rivers. Most have been lost to dams and reservoirs, for hydropower and irrigation. Even those that haven't been completely submerged have often been drastically changed by structures and upstream diversions. 


The falls drop over resistant beds within the incredibly thick Proterozoic Belt Supergroup. The photos capture some of the extensive ripple marks, but unfortunately, none of the stromatolites (fossilized mounds formed by layered growth of cyanobacteria - a very, very long time ago) that are also exposed well near here.

Here's an early post on Gravel Beach that featured similar rippled Belt Series rocks, albeit ones found now on Puget Sound: Picnic Point 2007

And here are links to some other waterfall posts, all over at hshipman (waterfalls tend to find themselves on those pages more often than here on Gravel Beach):

Kootenai Falls: September 2012 (a previous visit)
Shoshone Falls: June 2012, September 2017
Great Falls: September 2017
Thompson Falls: September 2014

No comments: