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Mystery of the Mega Flood (PBS)

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posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 07:03 AM
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I searched Missoula and Mega Flood and did find one thread in the religion forum but I wanted to cover the science aspects of the Missoula mega flood. (Religion forum thread: Possible explanation for native american flood mythology )

If you're not familiar with this topic, first let me say it's not directly related to the biblical flood myth, though that topic does form an interesting part of the history of the science regarding this flood. But this Megaflood involving glacial lake Missoula occurred 15,000 years ago so that was 8000 or 9000 years before the earth even existed according to some proponents of the biblical flood story.


This Mega flood was first hypothesized in the 1920s by a geologist named J. Harlen Bretz, and according to the PBS documentary, his idea of a great flood was considered heretical as geologists had come to believe that the Earth was formed by slow processes over millions of years (which in many cases is true). It probably also sounded a little too much like the biblical flood except on a smaller scale, and the bigger problem was that initially Bretz didn't know where all the flood water came from. Here are some pictures of the landscapes he was looking at:

hugefloods.com...

Evidence of a 15,000 year old mega flood, perhaps many of them.


What caused this 40-50 foot deep "pothole"? Research has indicated it may have resulted from a hydrodynamic vortex in a mega flood, as discussed in the documentary below.

After nearly a century of forensic study and research, scientists think they have pieced together much of what happened 15,000 years ago in Washington state, though research is still ongoing and they still don't have all the answers. Apparently there was indeed a megaflood of not quite biblical proportions, however it would certainly have been a dramatic event. One of the questions in ongoing research is how many times it happened because it's apparently more than once (research suggests it happened perhaps 25-40 times in a cyclical process).

One incident that provided some clues about what happened in Washington state is the large flood that occurred in Iceland in 1996, when an ice dam broke and a huge body of water behind it was suddenly and catastrophically released, setting the roadbuilding efforts back 20-30 years in just 4 hours according to the prime minister:

The 1996 Iceland Glacier-Flood

"In just four hours this has knocked us back 20-30 years in terms of our road building endeavours," said Prime Minister Davíd Oddsson after flying over south Iceland witnessing first hand the damage resulting from the immense flood water of the Vatnajökull glacial eruption.


The flood in Washington state was much larger and involved a body of water that existed 15,000 years ago called Lake Missoula which contained more water than modern day Lakes Erie and Ontario combined...an estimated 520 cubic miles of water (I think the Iceland flood involved a little less than 1 cubic mile, which is still a lot). So if you can imagine all the water from more than two great lakes rushing across the landscape when a dam broke, that will give you some idea of the scale of the catastrophe.

PBS made a good documentary on this, and one of the things I like about it is not only do they explain the flood, but they provide a lot of detail about the history of scientific research behind it which gives the viewer insight into how the scientific process works (and into how it can stall when evidence is lacking to support a heretical hypothesis like a great flood).

The documentary is on youtube:

Mystery of the Mega Flood (PBS)


Here is a transcript of the documentary, however, this topic is so visual with many dramatic views of the flooded landscape you really need to see the imagery to appreciate this topic:

Mystery of the Mega Flood-Transcript

Here is another link about it with a quote about the scientific process which I think is worth mentioning since I see many comments in the science forum which fail to appreciate this:

Megafloods of the Ice age


the fact that we have science today is by definition an indication we haven't solved things. This is an important point. Some people think science is the collection of facts and truths and everything about the world. Absolutely not. Science is about raising questions about the things we don't know and being very sophisticated about pursuing those problems. If everything was solved, there would be no science. There'd be discussion of facts, but there wouldn't be science.
This nearly century-long forensic analysis of something that happened 15000 years ago reveals as much about how science works as it does about the geological features involved. I would also add that some of this research involves analyzing the erosion processes of flowing water and can even provide insight into some water-related features on the Martian landscape.

There's a wiki article but the scablands link is very weak: en.wikipedia.org...
The Wiki link on the Missoula Floods is better en.wikipedia.org...
This link is nice if you can't watch the video because it shows some of the dramatic imagery: hugefloods.com...

One thing I wonder about...are there scientists today, who like Harlen Bretz in the 1920s, have some good hypotheses, but are scoffed at by the rest of the scientific community because they just don't have enough evidence yet to support their hypotheses? What heretical hypotheses today, in any branch of science, are going to be vindicated with evidence in the future, like the mega flood Bretz described was considered heretical and finally vindicated with evidence?




posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 07:51 AM
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As a geologist I took several spring break trips to the American Southwest. There is a place in Utah where a ancient glacial lake which was confined to a valley by small moutain range suddenly drained. The adjacent valley flooded very quickly and a huge delta of sand was left behind once the water retreated. The sand dunes (flood delta) associated with Delta Utah can easlily be seen on G00gle earth. There have been may flood stories through the history of mankind. The epic of Gilgamesh predates the great flood story in the bible and and both are most likely associated with glacial retreat and melting events. A good example of this is the Black Sea. Study of the sedimentary layers indicate that this area of the world was not only populated by early man but was flooded by the Mediteranian very suddenly when the isthmis that is now Istanbul (Contantinople to the early christian inhabitants) final broke. This is the kind of epic story that would have been passed down through the generations using foklore and legend. They now think the the garden of eden is under water at the northern tip of the Persian Gulf. This body of water was also as a result of glacial melting event. The Garden's location is supported by references in the Bible as it being located at the confluence of three rivers. Turns out there is a third river that used to drain into the valley that is now the Persian Gulf (the other two being the Tiggres and Euphrates). The stream bed of the third one was recently located using ground penetrating radar. The point here is that flood stories although spread across all of the early cultures now matter what their level of isolation from each other, are most likely rooted in truth and glacial melting events associated with drastic climate changes.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 07:59 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Interested read.

We are exploring the stars, but i dont think we are done exploring Earth just yet


great pictures.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:00 AM
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I'm sure there are scientists today that stay quiet with their hypothesis of many things because of fear of being discredited by the science organizations. Many of these hypothesis are real and true but are against the accepted principles of the sciences they relate to. Not much can be done to fix this problem at this time.

To an ancient civilization a major flooding would seem to be worldwide even though it was just a severe flooding event spanning a great area. This hypothesis explains the American Indians version of the flood. As far as the Mediteranian and European versions, they still need to be explained. What people perceived in these legends should never be discounted because there are possible events that could have driven there creation. A flood that could have driven a ship onto a mountain? I don't know if that is probable but it could be possible. The Great flood could have happened a real long time ago and the tale may have been passed down verbally for a hundred generations before being written down. The writer could have put a name of someone at the time and created a story for the event within their history also. The event could be real but the story depicting it could be created. Since the earth was the god Gaia and The sun was a god also, the creation of the events can be attributed to the anger of god.

Who knows what really happened. all I know is that according to many writings a lot of the water came from within the earth itself, meaning a lot of trapped groundwater was involved. That tends to tell me that there may have been a lot of seismic activity somewhere to release the water from underground aquifers. Either that or a volcanic vent opened into some large aquifer system and pushed the water out. There are a thousand possibilities for this recorded history, and more than one at a time is also possible.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


One of the problems with the current scientific theories of today is that they are supported by the people that orginally discovered them. These people have now risen to the top of their fields and don't like to be told that they are wrong. Sometimes it take for these people to retire or pass away in order for new theories to be published and accepted. Imagine that you are agraduate student and your world recognized professor says that 1+2=4. You know it isn't true and can prove it. How long do you think you would be his graduate in that program if you publish?



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by ozarkdiver
 


A very good book to read that tends to fly in the face of current beliefs about the ancients cultures of the North American continent is 1491. There was a lot more going on in the Americas than was previously thought. The populations were highly educated and the populations rivaled that of Europe at the time. The interesting thing is, that knowledge that was thought to have been of European or Asian Origin was also being developed, or shared by the peoples of the Americas. At almost the exact same exact time in human history.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by ozarkdiver
 


You are right, people who have gained prestige by their big discoveries aren't going to like having their discoveries validity tarnished. People who are taught to respect that person's discoveries aren't going to allow it either even if the discovery is severely flawed. Most of the time these well accepted theories are just flawed by misconception and need a major adjustment to make them apply to the truth. Sometimes the discovery was real to begin with but was cut with Occam's razor to make it acceptable to present consensus of the time. There are a lot of reasons for errors, some of them so long ago that the reason was forgotten.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Awsome,
The draining of glacial lakes is for sure the origin of some native American flood myths but not all.


A little more info,

During the most recent episode of major ice-sheet expansion, between about 18,000 and 13,000 years ago, a lobe of the Cordilleran ice sheet advanced into the Idaho Panhandle to the area that is now occupied by Lake Pend Oreille, thus blocking the Clark Fork River drainage and causing Glacial Lake Missoula to form. At its largest, the lake was deeper than 2,000 feet deep at the dam and held over 500 cubic miles of water—as much as Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined. The ice dam, however, was subject to repeated failure.

When the dam broke, a towering mass of water and ice was released and swept across parts of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon on its way to the ocean. The peak rate of flow was ten times the combined flow of all the rivers of the world. The huge lake may have emptied in as little as two or three days. Over a period of years the glacier would advance, once again blocking the river, and the dam and the lake would form again. This process was repeated scores of times, until the ice sheet ceased its advance and receded to the north at the end of the Ice Age. It is assumed that the same processes would have occurred earlier during other glacial advances throughout the Ice Age, although most of the evidence for th
e earlier events may have been removed by the flooding that occurred during the last glacial advance.

The source,
www.iafi.org...



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I have also looked at this phenomenon and also questioned what the scientist are saying about it. However, I looked at it from a bit different view. Charles Hapgood wrote of the earth's poles shifting at about 13,000 years ago. I agree with him on the poles shifting at that time. He wrote of the north pole being at Hudson Bay - which accounts for the north american glaciation. The pole then shifted northwards to its current location, which ended the north american glaciation.

Our ancient ancestors were not dummies and they left a legacy of myth for us. In those myths are clues of what took place in so called pre-history. I have concluded that the earth's poles shift regularly every 13,000 years or so. So the north pole would shift further south and then northwards again. This would account for the hard to explain anomalies of the mega floods, which were caused by glaciation as a result of repeated pole shifts. But it also means that we are due for another pole shift soon.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by punkinworks10
A little more info,

Over a period of years the glacier would advance, once again blocking the river, and the dam and the lake would form again. This process was repeated scores of times, until the ice sheet ceased its advance and receded to the north at the end of the Ice Age.
www.iafi.org...
Thanks for posting that! It's some good info, but I'm wondering if it's somewhat dated. I mentioned how the 1996 Iceland flood gave us some clues about what may have happened with the Lake Missoula floods. One of the interesting findings is that it may not be necessary for the ice sheet to retreat and advance to create the flooding cycles, as the source you posted states. A researcher of the Iceland flood determined a process by which the ice dam can break without the glacier retreating. The video shows some good graphics of how this process might work, and it's some interesting research, though I don't know how well confirmed it is yet. And of course they are still trying to determine how many times the flood repeated, but it may have happened more times than the ice retreated..this seems likely from what I've seen so far, but as I said research is ongoing.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Hawk2012
Charles Hapgood wrote of the earth's poles shifting at about 13,000 years ago. I agree with him on the poles shifting at that time. He wrote of the north pole being at Hudson Bay - which accounts for the north american glaciation. The pole then shifted northwards to its current location, which ended the north american glaciation.
What is your basis for agreeing with Hapgood? The scientific community finds pole shift credible but over longer time scales than Hapgood claims:

Pole shift hypothesis

It is now established that true polar wander has occurred at various times in the past, but at rates of 1° per million years or less. Analysis of the evidence does not lend credence to Hapgood's hypothesized rapid displacement of layers of the Earth.


Part of the purpose of this thread is to expose the detailed forensic analysis which science uses in answering questions such as these. I suppose we can never be completely sure of what happened 15,000 years ago but when I look at all the work and verification experiments that have taken place to confirm or dispute these various ideas, it's quite impressive.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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Originally posted by ozarkdiver
As a geologist I took several spring break trips to the American Southwest. There is a place in Utah where a ancient glacial lake which was confined to a valley by small moutain range suddenly drained. The adjacent valley flooded very quickly and a huge delta of sand was left behind once the water retreated. The sand dunes (flood delta) associated with Delta Utah can easlily be seen on G00gle earth. There have been may flood stories through the history of mankind. The epic of Gilgamesh predates the great flood story in the bible and and both are most likely associated with glacial retreat and melting events.
Thanks for posting! I'm not a geologist so it's nice to have a geologist post in a thread about geology...studying it is just a hobby of mine.

I'm sure the many flood stories have a basis in some real floods, but I'm not so sure about the epic of gilgamesh and the subsequent biblical story...sure the some of the glacial floods were vast which is kind of the point of this thread, but still not as vast as that.

Regarding the Black Sea flood, I've seen some sources attach more importance to that than I think is warranted and as you suggest there were many other significant floods. It would be interesting to know if any humans were around to witness the Missoula floods, but at present this is unknown. Apparently animal remains have been found swept up in the floodwaters but so far no human remains.


Originally posted by ozarkdiver
Imagine that you are agraduate student and your world recognized professor says that 1+2=4. You know it isn't true and can prove it. How long do you think you would be his graduate in that program if you publish?
Wouldn't that depend on how good the proof is? If the proof isn't very good you may not convince him. If the proof is good, and he was smart enough to rise to the top of his field, I'd hope there's a good chance he's still smart enough to recognize good proof when he sees it. I suppose it would depend a lot on the individual personality too but I'm not sure you can overgeneralize on what would happen in that case.

Anyway, the best approach is probably to pick a not too controversial topic for your thesis, and then once you get your PhD, you can publish your more controversial proof.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 02:44 PM
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If you happen to live near the NW, the drive to this area to view it in person is most spectacular. They have a nice visitors center where they have great interactive displays and videos that allow you to see what they think happened. Plus the scenery is quite impressive.
www.parks.wa.gov...

It is thought that the main Columbia river mouth at the Pacific Ocean and valley were created by this repeated flooding.

There is a dry falls that make Niagra falls seem puny in comparison as well.
en.wikipedia.org...

Just adding some color to the OP


Danno



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Actually they aren't saying the lake formed as the ice sheet retreated, they are saying it formed during advances of the ice, and as the ice advanced and retreated the lake would form and dissapear.
There is thought that the lake would form and drain on a roughly 140 year cycle.



posted on Aug, 22 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks10
Actually they aren't saying the lake formed as the ice sheet retreated, they are saying it formed during advances of the ice, and as the ice advanced and retreated the lake would form and dissapear.
There is thought that the lake would form and drain on a roughly 140 year cycle.
I understood that and I'm not sure why you think I didn't.

I think you completely missed my point about the guy who researched the Iceland incident saying it was not necessary for the ice sheet to retreat for the lake to drain. Maybe watch the video, which demonstrates how it might be possible for the lake to drain without the ice sheet retreating.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 

we are in agreement , the forming of the lake has nothing to due with the ice sheets retreating.
In fact the lake would form during advances of the ice sheet, as the ice blocked the main river channel that drained the area.
And what really appears to have caused the lake to form is the deposition of volcanic materials , from mt st helens.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by punkinworks10
 


To add to my previous post,


The current understanding

The dating for Waitt’s proposed separation of layers into sequential floods has been supported by subsequent paleomagnetism studies, which supports a 30–40 year interval between depositions of Mount St. Helens’ ash, and hence flood events, but do not

preclude an up to 60 year interval. [8] Offshore deposits on the bed of the Pacific at the mouth of the Columbia River include 120 meters of material depositedovera several thousand year period that correspondstothe period of multiple scabland floods seen in the Touchet Beds. Based on Waitt's identification of 40 floods, this would give an average separation between floods of 50 years


Although these sources provide support for temporal separation of floods, they do not definitively identify the source of water for the floods, which remains an open question.

The source,
en.m.wikipedia....
We can get a little insight to the mechanism that would help fill the lake from one of slayers many excellent threads,

Towards the end of the last ice age, at the time of mammoths and primitive humans, the climate naturally warmed. This started to melt ice at increasingly high elevations, eventually reaching and melting the saddle area between the ice domes. This triggered a vicious circle in which the melting saddle would lower, reach warmer altitudes and melt even more rapidly until the saddle had completely melted. In just 500 years, the saddles disappeared and only the ice domes remained.


The source article
archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com...
And slayers thread


www.abovetopsecret.com...

So take the idea of ice melting at higher elevations, and combine that with the obvious connection to mt st helens
vulcanism.

There was a study several years ago on the effects of dust on the rate of ice melt.
They found that even a relatively thin layer, 05 mm, of dust or ash or even dirty rain can dramaticly increase the melt rate , even in the arctic. The reason is the layer changes the reflectivity of the ice, the darker, even if not obviously visible, layer absorbsore heat from the sun causing melting.

So Mt St Helens would periodically erupt, depositing a fine layer of ash over the ice sheet, causing localized surface melting of the ice sheet, thereby filling the valleys with water till the ice dam failed.

From a different study, but one that is relevent to the discussion,

ch winter and spring, airborne dust from the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin regions settles on the snow cover in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. The dust increases the absorption of solar radiation, which dramatically accelerates snow melt.

The source
earthobservatory.nasa.gov...
edit on 23-8-2012 by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by punkinworks10
And what really appears to have caused the lake to form is the deposition of volcanic materials , from mt st helens.
Have you got a source for this? I see where they mention deposits but I don't see where anyone said the deposits caused the lake to form, though I may have missed it.


Originally posted by punkinworks10

... which remains an open question.

The source,
en.m.wikipedia....
Can you please fix the link? The end of it is missing.

Thanks.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


The whole link,
en.m.wikipedia.org...
And the connection with mt st helens is implied in this sentence,

The dating for Waitt’s proposed separation of layers into sequential floods has been supported by subsequent paleomagnetism studies, which supports a 30–40 year interval between depositions of
Mount St. Helens’ ash, and hence flood events,but do not preclude an up to 60 year interval. [8]

And the connection between deposition of dust and higher rates of ice melt is covered in this
earthobservatory.nasa.gov...



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks10
The whole link,
en.m.wikipedia.org...
And the connection with mt st helens is implied in this sentence,

The dating for Waitt’s proposed separation of layers into sequential floods has been supported by subsequent paleomagnetism studies, which supports a 30–40 year interval between depositions of
Mount St. Helens’ ash, and hence flood events,but do not preclude an up to 60 year interval. [8]
I think you may be reading something into that which isn't really there when you say "implied". If Mt St. Helens erupted regularly and the lake formed and drained regularly there is not necessarily an implied connection in that statement. Now the fact that statement doesn't imply a connection, doesn't mean there is no connection, and there could be one, which is why I asked you if you had a source for that, but that is not such a source.

What they are actually suggesting in the documentary I posted, is that they are using the Mt. St. Helens ash layers as a clock of sorts because they can date layers of ash that formed when the lake was dry:

www.pbs.org...

RICHARD WAITT: This is what caught my eye first time down in the canyon. It's a, it's an ash layer from Mount St. Helens. We've analyzed it. Once you've become familiar with these ash layers they become old friends, so I knew what this was. It's an ash layer from Mount St. Helens. It's about 15,000 years old.

NARRATOR: Mount Saint Helens, in Washington State, erupts regularly. The ash from the eruption can spread over thousands of square miles, as it did some 15,000 years ago, near the time of the Scablands flood.

At first, it was thought that the ash had fallen into the water and drifted down into these layers. But could a layer of ash really sink through hundreds of feet of turbulent floodwater to form this amazingly neat, clear line?

RICHARD WAITT: This whole column would be full of mud and sand and silt. And to have something settle through it and come out like this is impossible.

NARRATOR: This suggested something completely new: that all these layers weren't laid down together.

RICHARD WAITT: And it's clear evidence that, periodically, during the accumulation of this sediment...that there had to have been dry land.



And the connection between deposition of dust and higher rates of ice melt is covered in this
earthobservatory.nasa.gov...
I don't have any doubt about the connection about ash deposits and melt rates, but won't the ash deposits cause everything they fall on to melt faster, including the ice dam?



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