Common sense tells us a global flood is impossible. The hydrosphere is a closed system, so where did the huge amount of water (around a million cubic kilometres) come from to cover the whole globe to the depth of the highest mountains (plus those 15 cubits)? And if it really rained for only 40 days and nights, it rained hard – over 220 metres of rain in every 24 hours.
What about when it was over? Just as we have to ask where all the water came from, we must ask where it went. And what happened to all the living creatures – you might expect a layer of fossils, all of the same date, to be found across the earth – plants, animals and humans? No such layer has been found.
So, a truly global flood can be safely ruled out. But might a regional flood event, though obviously not one which would overwhelm all the mountains, somewhere in the Middle East (fixed by the Biblical reference to Mount Ararat and by the other locally written references such as the epic of Gilgamesh) actually have occurred?
Tsunami, Storm Surge or Cataclysmic Geological Event?
According to Bruce Parker, in his book The Power of the Sea, the first suggestion that the Flood came from the sea (rather than the sky) was made as early as 1885, when Edward Suess proposed a great storm along with a tsunami. Examining this theory further, Parker dismisses a tsunami event as being too short-lived and instead proposes a storm surge (such as that which accompanied Hurricane Sandy).
Storm surges occur when very strong winds drive the waves onshore: coupled with a high tide (especially a high spring tide) they can produce enormous rises in sea level and the floods produced can persist, depending on the topography, for days. Parker argues that although storm surges are relatively rare in the Arabian Sea they are not unheard of and that with a possibly higher sea level and different configuration of land and sea, such a storm surge might have occurred many thousands of years ago.
Decoding Science. One article at a time.