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Noah’s Flood: New Evidence of Catastrophic Flooding in the Black Sea

December 12, 2005

Results from a July 2005 cruise in the Black Sea may settle a longstanding debate over evidence of a megaflood in the Black Sea, the so-called “Noah’s Flood.” Multibeam bathymetry and sub-bottom profiling reveals ridges, some more than 12 meters (40 feet) high, and channels formed by erosion of the seafloor. The channels and ridges organize into a unique landform – a shelf fan, probably constructed by the flood. Mud drifts are associated with many ridges on the shelf, a phenomenon previously described only in the deep sea. At about 9,000 years ago, the Black Sea was a lake with a level lower than the ocean. The catastrophic flood of saltwater from the Mediterranean Sea led to a dramatic reorganization of the shelf seafloor close to the Bosporus and favored an exceptional preservation of shorelines and coastal bedforms elsewhere along the Black Sea shelf.

PP32A-03 10:50h Megafloods in Marginal Basins: New Data from the Black Sea