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Further, Shaw's team proposed the scabland flooding might have partially originated from an enormous subglacial reservoir that extended over much of central British Columbia, particularly including the Rocky Mountain Trench, which may have discharged by several paths, including one through Lake Missoula.
This discharge, if occurring concurrently with the breach of the Lake Missoula ice dam, would have provided significantly larger volumes of water.
Because of the fragmentary nature of older glaciofluvial deposits, which have been largely removed by subsequent Missoula floods, within the Hanford formation, the exact number of older Missoula floods, which are known as Ancient Cataclysmic Floods, that occurred during the Pleistocene cannot be estimated with any confidence.
Geologist J Harlen Bretz first recognized evidence of the catastrophic floods, which he called the Spokane Floods, in the 1920s.
He was researching the Channeled Scablands in Eastern Washington, the Columbia Gorge, and the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Over a period of time, the friction from water flowing through these cracks generated enough heat to melt the ice walls and enlarge the cracks.
This allowed more water to flow through the cracks, generating more heat, allowing even more water to flow through the cracks.