Missoula Flood, Scablands, Grand Canyon and Floating Material
|To my knowledge, the floods were toward the end of the last Ice Age and happened when an ice dam blocking the flow of a river ...|
You're good on it. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Flood
The Missoula Floods (also known as the Spokane Floods or the Bretz Floods) refer to the cataclysmic floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and down the Columbia River Gorge at the end of the last ice age.
These glacial lake outburst floods, or jökulhlaups, were the result of periodic sudden ruptures of the ice dam on the Clark Fork River that created Glacial Lake Missoula. After each ice dam rupture, the waters of the lake would rush down the Clark Fork and the Columbia River, inundating much of eastern Washington and the Willamette Valley in western Oregon. After the rupture, the ice would reform, recreating Glacial Lake Missoula once again.
The peak flow of the largest floods is estimated to be 40 to 60 cubic kilometers per hour (9.5 to 15 cubic miles per hour). The maximum flow speed approached 36 meters/second (80 miles per hour). Up to 1.9×1019 joules of potential energy were released by each flood, the equivalent of 4500 megatons of TNT. The cumulative effect of the floods was to excavate 210 km³ (50 mi³) of loess, sediment and basalt from the channeled scablands of eastern Washington and to transport it downstream.
What would be interesting would be to compare the geography of these scablands with the geography of the Grand Canyon -- particularly to see if ANY features of the Grand Canyon are seen in these areas.
Even if it took a year for a global flood to drain the earth there should be extensive areas all over the globe that would be similar to the scablands due to the sheer volume of water involved, no matter how you alter the geography in the process.
Instead you have extensive areas like the Grand Canyon, the Badlands and Bryce Canyon.
Another point to make on flood hydrodynamics is the behavior of floating material while the water recedes. Notice the deposition of erratics way downstream by these flood events, and consider the sleigh-ride they had getting there. Compare that to the biblical version of the landing of the ark ... slowly coming to rest on calm waters? There is no mention of torrid currents and roller-coaster rides.
What you get deposited along shorelines of receding water is what is blown there by winds that overcome the current that tends to flow out the outlet(s). For an event like the Missoula Floods such floating material would have to be already deposited at the shoreline not to be swept out with the outflow of water.
It would be interesting to see some modeling of the hydrodynamics to allow a peaceful landing of the ark, the sheer volume of flow for the waters to recede, and produce a lack of geographic features so evident in the scablands.
Edited by RAZD, : badlands & bryce canyon
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