3-D Finite Element Simulation of the Global Tectonic Changes Accompanying Noah's Flood

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Presented at the Second International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 30–August 4, 1990. Published in: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh & C. L. Brooks (Eds.), pp. 35–44, 1990.

© 1990 Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Published with permission. All rights reserved.

Abstract

This paper presents a mechanism for the large-scale tectonic change that accompanied Noah’s Flood. It assumes that the onset of the Flood only a few thousand years ago correlates with the notable stratigraphical and paleontological discontinuity of the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary. This implies that the geological history recorded in the rocks usually classified as Paleozoic and Mesozoic unfolded in a catastrophic manner within a few months time. It also suggests that the primary energy source for the catastrophe was the gravitational potential energy of the pre-Flood ocean lithosphere relative to the base of the mantle. The geological and geophysical data suggest that subduction of the pre-Flood ocean lithosphere began around the margin of a pre-Flood supercontinent. It is proposed that the mantle’s viscosity at that time was lower than at present to permit rapid sinking of the lithosphere into the mantle and that the sinking rate was enhanced by a thermal runaway effect associated with a temperature-dependent rheology and localized shear heating near the slabs. Rapid replacement of the cold, dense pre-Flood oceanic lithosphere with hot, less dense mantle material from below resulted in significant elevation of the ocean floors relative to the continental surfaces causing a temporary rise in the world sea level by as much as 1,500 m. Huge volumes of sea water were converted to pressurized steam where the ocean floors rifted apart to produce intense global rain. The deformations induced in the mantle pulled the supercontinent apart, opened the present Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and caused large vertical tectonic motions that strongly influenced sedimentation patterns on the continents. A 3-D spherical finite element simulation of the dynamics of this catastrophe is described.

Keywords

Noah’s Flood, Subduction, Lithospheric Slabs, Thermal Runaway, Numerical Experiment

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