First time Glacial Lake Missoula flood deposits are dated in Montana


Butte, Mont.--A Montana Tech Professor Emeritus is the leading author of a recently published article in the journal Geology.

Larry N. Smith and two Danish colleagues are the authors of “Rock surface luminescence dating of gravel determines the age of a glacial outburst megaflood, Glacial Lake Missoula, Montana, USA.” 

“One significance of this work is that we dated flood deposits for the first time by the method that dates when gravel was last exposed to sunlight,” Smith said. “This method may be important in the understanding of when gravel is deposited in prehistoric flooding, landslides, and earthquake events.”

The article is available online at Thanks to funding by the Montana Tech Geological Engineering Department, the article is open access, so anyone can read or print the article.  

For more information, please contact Larry N. Smith, Professor Emeritus, Geological Engineering, at