I gave a talk on the Columbia River Flood Basalts to our local 4H Club a bit ago, and got a request afterward for book recommendations. I figured I'd stick them here since we're shortly going to be discussing both the flood basalt province and the Missoula Floods in depth. Whether you're looking for cool summer reading (Southern Hemisphere) or some hawt winter stories (Northern Hemisphere), I've got you covered. Here's your all-ages pass to the stories behind some of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth!

Books for Kids

There are, unfortunately, no children's books dedicated to either topic. But they're covered at least a little in the following book, and you'll learn a lot about other awesome geological processes at work in the Pacific Northwest, too.

Geology of the Pacific Northwest: Investigate How the Earth Was Formed with 15 Projects (Build It Yourself) by Cynthia Light Brown

Easy, Breezy Books for Adults

Alas, no one's written a really good book on the Columbia River Flood Basalt Province for laypeople, but there are a ton of great non-technical books about the Missoula Floods, and most of them talk a bit about the eruptions that created the enormous expanses of basalt the floods later carved into the coulees of the Channeled Scablands. All of these are great resources for understanding how those baffling landscapes came to be.

Credit: Ooligan Press

Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods by John Eliot Allen, Marjorie Burns, and Scott Burns

Bretz's Flood: The Remarkable Story of a Rebel Geologist and the World's Greatest Flood by John Soennichsen

Credit: Mountain Press

Glacial Lake Missoula and Its Humongous Floods by David Alt

Field Guides

Here are a few absolutely marvelous guides to the Channeled Scablands, and some more guides that include features on the Washington and Oregon coasts that were formed when enormous floods of molten basalt reached the Pacific Ocean. These are indispensable for anyone who's going to be traveling through these areas and wants to know more about what they're seeing.

Credit: Mountaineers Books

Washington's Channeled Scablands Guide: Explore and Recreate Along the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail by John Soennichsen

Credit: Caxton Press

Fire, Faults, and Floods: A Road and Trail Guide Exploring the Origins of the Columbia River Basin by Marge Mueller and Ted Mueller

Credit: Keokee Books

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods: a Geological Field Guide to the Mid-Columbia Basin by Bruce Bjornstad and Eugene Kiver

Credit: Keokee Books

On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods - Northern Reaches by Bruce Bjornstad and Eugene Kiver

General Guides to the Region

Credit: Mountain Press

Roadside Geology of Washington by Marli B. Miller and Darrel S. Cowan

Credit: Mountain Press

Roadside Geology of Oregon by Marli B. Miller

Ready to Get Technical?

For those of you who aren't afraid to handle the super hard stuff, here are some books written for advanced audiences. They're difficult, but keep in mind that geology is a very friendly science, and these might prove easier to grasp than you think!

Floods, Faults and Fire: Geological Field Trips in Washington State and Southwest British Columbia by Peter L. Stelling and David Samuel Tucker

Large Igneous Provinces by Richard Ernst