Patterns of Ocean Circulation over the Continents During Noah's Flood

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by John R. Baumgardner, Ph.D. and Daniel W. Barnette, Ph.D.

Presented at the Third International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 18–23, 1994. Published in: Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh (Ed.), pp. 77–86, 1994.

© 1994 Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Published with permission. All Rights Reserved.


This paper presents results from a set of numerical experiments that explore the patterns of ocean circulation that arise when the earth’s continental surface is mostly flooded. The calculations employ a code that solves the 2-D shallow water equations on a rotating sphere with surface topography. Several continental configurations are considered, including that of a single Pangean-like supercontinent. A surprising yet persistent feature in these calculations is the appearance of high velocity currents generated and sustained by the earth’s rotation above the flooded continents. Water velocities in the deeper ocean by contrast are much smaller in magnitude. The patterns typically include strong cyclonic gyres at high latitudes with water velocities on the order of 40–80 m/s. The gyres tend to be compressed against the western continental margins and produce strong equatorward currents parallel to the western coastlines. The calculations argue that strong currents spontaneously arise over flooded continents. They suggest that accurate observational data on the current directions in the Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks coupled with careful numerical modeling could be extremely fruitful in understanding the origin of much of the earth’s sedimentary record.


Genesis Flood, Ocean Currents, Sediment Transport, Sedimentation Patterns, Shallow Water Equations

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