Scientific discovery explains how flood waters covered all of Earth

While for many Christians the biblical account of Noah is an indisputable fact, for others this story is a myth, an allegory.

CSome prefer to think that only the known world of the time would have been covered by water and we could thus continue to decline all the different hypotheses put forward in Christian circles. Two articles published by very serious journals Nature et Science in March and June 2014 put into perspective a word of the genesis sometimes forgotten in the comments of the story:

In the year 600 of Noah's life, the seventeenth day of the second month, all the sources of the great abyss gushed out and the windows of heaven were opened. (Gen. 7:11)

The sources of the great abyss ...

The JUc29 diamond sample, from Juina, Brazil, containing the hydrated inclusion of ringwoodite (40 microns, not visible), as reported by Pearson et al., Nature 2014. The unusual shape of this rough diamond was carved naturally by the corrosive liquids of the mantle during its transport to the surface. / Photo Richard Siemens, Univ. Alberta
The JUc29 diamond sample, from Juina, Brazil, containing the hydrated inclusion of ringwoodite (40 microns, not visible). / Photo Richard Siemens, Univ. Alberta

The discovery in Brazil in 2009 of a diamond aroused the interest of geophysicists around the world. Indeed, this diamond contains a mineral called ringwoodite, form of olivine, which would have formed in the transition zone of the Earth's mantle. Ringwoodite consists of 1% to 3% water, which is considerable.

Several teams then hypothesized the existence of a colossal body of water distributed in the mantle transition zone between 410 and 660 km deep, where a large amount of ringwoodite is found. In this unknown zone, the temperature and pressure conditions are such that it is difficult to envisage the existence of free liquid water. It would be integrated with minerals.

This mass of water would be accumulated in minerals following the phenomena of subduction and recycling of the oceanic lithosphere, as this infographic by Kathy Mather suggests.

The journal Nature concludes that the existence of this water transition zone would play a key role in magmatism and plate tectonics.

The journal Science concludes that the high water storage capacity of mantle ringwoodites increases the probability of the existence of a large reservoir of water in this area of ​​the earth's mantle.

Some scientists even speak of a sixth ocean. The mass of water present in the mantle could correspond to the total volume of the seas and oceans of the earth. Some estimates even suggest the figure of 3 times the volume of the oceans.

Let us now return to the biblical text: “All the fountains of the great deep welled up. "

The existence of a large volume of water sufficient to cover the surface of the earth was only a few decades ago an aberration for scientists. It is today a solid hypothesis published in the most prestigious journals!

This is enough to feed the debates on the authenticity of the biblical account of the flood.


You might also be interested in: Could Noah's ark really float with all the animals on board?

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