ADVERTISEMENT

Image 5

Massive floods have struck California every 200 years or so, according to analysis of sediment deposits left by the torrents in four widely separated locations. Different dating methods used at the sediment sites have varying margins of error, but the midpoints align fairly well. If the pattern holds, the state could be due for another catastrophe; the most recent megaflood was in 1861, and it left Sacramento underwater for six months (photograph).




DAVID JOSLYN COLLECTION/CENTER FOR SACRAMENTO HISTORY

megastorms-could-down-massive-portions-of-california_sidebar.jpg

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content


It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com.
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Special Universe

Get the latest Special Collector's edition

Secrets of the Universe: Past, Present, Future

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X