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Geology of Idaho. The Snake River Plain. Idaho can be divided into 6 natural geologic regions, each with its own unique characteristics. Clearwater Plateau. Northern Rockies. Snake River Plain. Middle Rockies. Owyhee- Bruneau Plateau. Basin & Range Province.

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geology of idaho

Geology of Idaho

The Snake River Plain



Northern Rockies

Snake River Plain






Basin & Range Province

the columbia plateau spills over into other states from washington even into 3 regions of idaho
The Columbia Plateau spills over into other states from Washington, even into 3 regions of Idaho
these are the 3 regions of idaho that share a volcanic origin by extension of the columbia plateau
These are the 3 regions of Idaho that share a volcanic origin by extension of the Columbia Plateau

Clearwater Plateau

Snake River Plain

Owyhee-Bruneau Plateau

The Snake River is the main one, arising from Jackson Lake in Jackson Hole, WY, on the eastern slope of the Grand Teton range
It flows westward across the southern edge of the SRP. Over thousands of years it has eroded huge canyons in some places, like the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls (below)
The deepest, most rugged part is called Hell’s Canyon, the deepest gorge in North America, 8000 feet below the surrounding mountain peaks
lewiston l and clarkston r lie at the confluence of the snake back and the clearwater bottom rivers
Lewiston (L) and Clarkston (R) lie at the confluence of the Snake (back) and the Clearwater (bottom) Rivers
lost river range
Lost River Range
  • Lost River Sinks
The Lost Rivers flow out of the valleys of the Lost River Range and disappear into the ground of the Plain
The waters become part of the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer flowing to the Snake River on the west
srp formation
SRP Formation
  • Volcanic activity
  • Water erosion
  • Sedimentation
Located in the east-central part of the plain in a triangular area formed by Arco, Idaho Falls and Pocatello

Cinder cones


Lava tubes

a series of dams to control flooding create recreation and provide irrigation water

A series of dams to control flooding, create recreation, and provide irrigation water

On June 6, 1976 the Teton Dam near Rexburg, Idaho failed during its initial filling.  At 350 feet high, it was the largest dam break in US history and the damages reached $1 billion.

this water has increased the value of the mixed volcanic sediment soil to
This water has increased the value of the mixed volcanic-sediment soil to…….
  • Mild and pleasant
  • Summers sunny and warm with few cloudy days; winters cool and dry
  • Precipitation averages 10 inches (25cm); semi-arid (quick thundershowers)
  • Summer temp.= 81degrees (105 max) with cool evenings
  • Winter temp.=13-35 degrees with snow in the mountains surrounding