Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Flood and the Ice Age

The nature of the flood mechanism required to generate Noah's flood depends in part on the scope of the flood. If the flood was worldwide, then that requires a more ambitious flood mechanism. If, however, the flood was regional, then different flood mechanisms might be available. 

One of the challenges for a scientific explanation of the flood is where the extra water came from, and where it went. On old-earth chronology, the flood may have been pre-Holocene. Suppose it took in the late Pleistocene era. According to conventional geology, there were cycles of glaciation and deglaciation. Frozen water is a source of extra water. Ice can both store and release extra water. 

What are sources of flooding? The annual springtime snowmelt is one example. Of course, that's insufficient to produce a regional flood. Some mountains have a year-round snowcap. The springtime thaw only affects a lower portion of the snow cap. 

Above a certain elevation, the temperature is always subfreezing, so the snowcap never melts. Hence, many high mountains have a permanent snowcap or icecap.

If, however, it's a volcanic mountain, and it erupts, the entire snowcap suddenly melts, which creates massive flooding. I assume a similar dynamic could take place in the case of continental glaciers. That would release vast quantities of water.

Collapsing glacial dams are a related phenomenon. 

In addition to fluvial flooding is coastal flooding. Submarine volcanoes can melt frozen seas, which raises the sea level. Although that might not flood the interior, if population centers are located on the coast, it can wipe them out. 

Sometimes the forces combine. Some rivers empty into the sea. A coastal location at the mouth of a river is appealing to humans because it gives them the benefits of a river for fishing and freshwater along with the ocean for fishing. 

Glacial periods cause many species to migrate to warmer latitudes. They are concentrated in a smaller area. That would make it easier for Noah to collect the animals, since the local fauna would be both more representative and more accessible. Likewise, glacial periods expose continental shelves, which facilitate animal migration. Admittedly, that's less of an issue on the local flood interpretation. 

This is all hypothetical. I'm just discussing some neglected explanations. 


  1. Physicist Anthony Edridge wrote that "Mesopotamia is a special candidate for a catastrophic local flood caused by the collapse of glacial dams. To the east and northeast lie the Zagros Mountains, which are known to have had huge glaciers. Almost one-third of the world's 1,000 water and wind gaps are located in these mountains, indicating considerable flood activity in the past. The Taurus Mountains lie to the north of Mesopotamia, stretching from Iran all across southern Turkey. Many glacier covered mountains exist along this chain, including Mt. Ararat. A few hundred miles further north are the Caucasus Mountains, which still have destructive floods generated by the collapse of glacial dams." -After the Beginning: Creation Revealed in Science and Scripture

  2. Hugh Ross has also theorized that a collapsed berm or ice dam at the Strait of Hormuz would have flooded the largely-dry Persian Gulf with water from the Indian Ocean, and indeed have flooded a fair bit more than just Mesopotamia. I find this proposal attractive inasmuch as it would comport with the Ark's landing site being somewhere on the north side of Mesopotamia.