Open main menu

Joseph T. Pardee (* 30 May 1871 in Salt Lake City, Utah; † 2 March 1960 in Philipsburg, Montana) was a U.S. geologist who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, and contributed to the understanding of the origin of the Channeled Scablands. He discovered the trail of evidence left by Glacial Lake Missoula, a lake created by an ice dam 23 miles (37 km) wide and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) high during the most recent ice age. He discovered that when the dam broke, the water flowed towards the scablands, supporting J Harlen Bretz's theory of the cataclysmic floods.

Joseph T. Pardee
Joseph Pardee 1909 portrait.jpg
Joseph Pardee in 1909
Alma materPresbyterian College
University of California
Scientific career



Born in Salt Lake City, Joe grew up in a mining family. The family moved to Philipsburg, Montana, when Joe was three, and his father developed the Algonquin mine. Joe's education was at Presbyterian College in Deer Lodge, Montana, and the University of California at Berkeley. After college he opened an assay office and operated a gold and sapphire mine, but a growing interest in geology led him to the USGS. He was appointed to the Survey in 1909 and retired in 1941. During 32 years of work, his investigations ranged from glacial deposits to gold deposits, from mine sites to dam sites. Joe Pardee spent most of his career on geology in the northwestern United States, with particular emphasis on Montana.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Geological Society of America. GSA Today v.5. no. 9, September 1995. GSA Beneficiary of the Pardee and Kelly Estates

External linksEdit