Ocean Circulation Velocities over the Continents during Noah's Flood

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by Raj Prabhu, M.S., Mark F. Horstemeyer, Ph.D., and Wesley Brewer, Ph.D.

In A. A. Snelling (Ed.) (2008). Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism (pp. 247–254). Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship and Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.


This paper focuses on numerical experiments that qualitatively explore the velocities and patterns of ocean circulations that could have risen when the earth’s continental surface was mostly flooded during the catastrophic event of Noah’s day. Velocities and flow patterns are observed resulting from the earth’s rotation and gravity and other pertinent parameters: change in latitude, water depth, supercontinent size, number of days, and mesh size. This parametric study can provide insight into the water velocities that carried Noah’s Ark and insight regarding the hydraulic mechanisms that transported millions of cubic kilometers of sediment during Noah’s Flood. The hydraulic sedimentation may explain many present-day geological formations, which reveal sudden and catastrophic formation. In many cases the sedimentary distributions horizontally extended hundreds and thousands of kilometers and accomplished a vast amount of geological work in a matter of months. The geological conditions were assumed to be similar to that of late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic era, when the Pangea supercontinent existed. The numerical calculations employ two codes, one written by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the other by Dr. Baumgardner (1994). Both codes solve the 2-D shallow water equations on a rotating sphere with surface topography. The calculations from Dr. Baumgardner’s code showed a surprising yet persistent result with high velocities of the ocean currents over the Pangean-like continental configurations. The magnitudes of these velocities were around 40–80 m/s at higher latitudes. Catastrophic cavitation occurs for water velocities around 20-30 m/s and for free stream conditions lead to vaporous cavitation (Brennen, 1995; 2005, p. 142; Brewer, 2002, p. 4). This depends on the cavitation number for the prevailing conditions. Around such velocities, one would expect severe and rapid erosion to be associated with any major transgression of the continents by the ocean currents. Such currents would be expected to arise in the context of the scripture “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered with water” (Genesis 7:19). The NCAR code results showed some slightly lower velocities ranging up to the mid-20 m/s range. Even with these velocities, which are lower than those of the Dr. Baumgardner’s code results, the velocities are still sufficiently large to induce a global movement of sedimentation. As such, these types of calculations strengthen the evidence for Noah’s Flood and the associated consequences on the geological history of sedimentary rocks.


Genesis Flood, Ocean currents, Sediment transport, Sedimentation patterns, Shallow water equations, Current velocities, Cavitations.

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