Plateau on the Road: Columbia River Flood Basalt in the American Museum of Natural History

I recently had a chance to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. While perusing the Rose Center for Earth and Space, I glanced across the exhibit and saw something comfortingly familiar. Of all the amazing geological specimens, from all over the world, Columnar Basalt Pillars of the Columbia River were featured! These particular specimens of basalt columns were from the Pomona Flow of the Columbia River flood basalt.

The Pomona Flow is one of the longest known flood basalt plains on the planet. The Pomona started in lava vents near the Washington-Idaho border and flowed nearly 600 kilometers down the Snake and Columbia river drainages until reaching the Pacific Ocean.  The Columbia River flood basalt province, which covers 200,000 square kilometers of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, is actually one of the smallest, but best known, basalt provinces.

Apparently the American Museum of Natural History in New York realizes that Columnar Basalt Pillars ROCK!!

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