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Glacial Lake Missoula was repeatedly dammed by the Purcell Trench Lobe of the Cordilleran ice sheet during the last glaciation to maximum altitudes near 4200 ft (1280 m). Studies from outside of the lake basin suggest that the lake filled and drained multiple times in the late Pleistocene. Deposits and landforms within the former glacial lake basin provide evidence for a complex lake-level history that is not well understood for this famous impoundment. At least two general lake phases are evident in the stratigraphy: an earlier phase of catastrophic drainage that was responsible for large-scale dramatic erosional and depositional...

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