Scientific Evidence for Noah’s Flood: Storm Surge or Geological Event?

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Noah’s Ark is said to have come to rest on Mount Ararat. Photo by Christian Koehn

Parker places Noah in Mesopotamia, whereas Ballard and his colleagues searched in the Black Sea, some way to the north, yet still in the broad Biblical region. This raises an alternative hypothesis – that the Flood was in fact the opening up of what we now know as the Black Sea. It’s argued that rising sea level around 7600 years ago breached the neck of land we know as the Bosphorus, flooding the low-lying basin beyond.

The geological evidence is there: changes in the sedimentary record indicate an inrush of salt water and buried shorelines show a former lake level. There are archaeological finds, in the form of flooded settlements.  Coe and Church estimate that the floor of that basin was 160-170m below present day sea level and that the breach of the Bosphorus would have generated a flood rising at a rate of 15cm per day and locally moving inland as rapidly as a mile a day.

Flood or No Flood?

There’s certainly geological and archaeological evidence to suggest that a major flood of some kind could have occurred somewhere within the wider Middle East, although the precise nature of that event remains undetermined. (There may, of course, have been more than one). But until the remains of an Ark are found, the arguments about the accuracy of the Bible version will, no doubt, continue.

Sources

Daily Telegraph. Noah’s Ark Great Flood may have happened, says Robert Ballard. (2012). Accessed 9 January 2013

Angela Kay Harris. Flood Myths in the Religions of the Ancient World. (2012). Accessed 9 January 2013.

Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version.

National Center for Science Education. The Impossible Voyage of Noah’s Ark. Accessed 9 January 2013.

Coe, A.L and Church, K.D. Sea Level Change in Coe (ed) The Sedimentary Record of Sea Level Change. (2003). Cambridge University Press/Open University.

Parker, B. The Power of the Sea. (2012). Macmillan.

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