Ancient flooding formed, left behind boulders in Wildcat Ridge

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Jesse Korus, Matt Joeckel and Shane Tucker have worked to document and describe, via drone footage and computer modeling, the Haystack Mountain conglomerate in the Wildcat Ridge in Western Nebraska. Credit: Jesse Korus | Conservation and Survey Division

One year ago, a historic flood struck Nebraska, topping levees; taking out bridges, dams and houses; covering thousands of acres in water; and reminding Nebraskans of the power of a raging river.

But destructive floods in Nebraska’s ancient past have also shaped the state’s geology, forming bouldery rocks in the rim of the Wildcat Ridge of western Nebraska, finds a recent study by University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers.
The boulders—some the size of a smart car and formed about 23 million years ago—were first documented in 1903 by geologist Nelson Horatio Darton. But they…

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