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Questions regarding the amount of water required for a great flood as described in Genesis 7


ChristopherAndrew
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Hi I’m a fictional writer now by trade but I’m composing a short educational work that talks about Creation Science and how it can possibly jive in many areas with other scientific discoveries or theories apart from Christian creation science. I’m not debating the issues against each other, but looking to expose how they can and do appear to be complimentary of each other when they are examined differently than the opponents of any group commonly seem to do.

I’m posting this in two different independent forums. One is a Christian forum with creation science topics in it, and the other is a non-religious affiliated science forum. I tried to pick forums that had equal popularity and discussion traffic. I may have to post it in more if I do not get responses.

So just that you know I’m a scientific friendly person in my professional experiences and I’m not the typical Christian believer who knows very little to nothing in regards to science, history, and other world religions. I’m definitely not an atheist or creator-less type either. I know a lot about my own faith in Christianity. I’ve worked as a civil engineer, computer systems engineer, federal investigator (computer/fraud/economic crimes), and my education degrees are in civil engineering, computer systems and networks engineering, and business administration with an emphasis in investment management and economic fraud detection and prevention. Some of my hobbies are making good friendships, learning new stuff and reexamining my old knowledge, target shooting, fishing, and mentoring my children.

So let’s get to it...

In Genesis Chapter 7, it says, “
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.

All the English translations agree that some version of “the great deep” was mentioned, and this indicates that water not only rained from the sky but came from the ground and/or from under the seas.

I’ve been searching for someone who has calculated this scenario:
Using modern historical weather data of heavy rainfall quantities, if we calculate how much water would fall if it steadily and heavily rained over 40 days (or 960 hours), over all of the Earth, how much water from “the great deep” would be necessary to completely cover every existing mountain top we currently have in our modern era? I’ve seen some online discussions of just rainfall not being enough to cover the highest existing peaks on our current landmasses, but no one made up the difference, or considered, with water from the ground (a.k.a. underground aquifers) also contributing to the flood.

I’m not asking where the water would come from that rained and/or came from the deep. I’m not considering the ultimate water sources or their storage locations. I’m assuming the amount of water was available between the atmospheric water and underground water. I’m only curious in the amount of water, from two sources--rainfall and underground, it would take on the current Earth’s surface and what amount would be needed by the sub-surface water (“fountains of the great deep”) to cover all the Earth’s surface and it’s highest peaks by about 22 feet.

Does this make sense?

If you want to also comment on how such huge amounts of water accumulating on the Earth’s surface might affect the landmasses/surface elevations, shapes of the continents, etc, and how massive erosion would sweep huge portions of the Earth’s surface around as it subsided and flowed downward again, that would be welcomed. I think it’s a given that massive amounts of water flowing downward (back into the Earth and seas) would cause massive land carving, so where is the evidence of that in archaeological findings? What has been found in the oceans that could have originated from landmasses in the Earth’s current mountain ranges?  If the great Genesis flood wasn't 100% across all earthen landmasses, what might show that (the north and south poles, etc)?  What if snowfall/ice fell instead in the colder climates?  I’m just throwing out a couple of questions for brainstorming.

Thank you and I’ll be sure to give you credit for anything I use. It’s a not for profit paper I’m writing so I’m sorry I can’t pay you! lol

 

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I'm not sure if you are asking how much rain would need to fall to cover the mountains, or how much water could conceivably fall as rain.

You could start with the highest recorded rainfall figures here: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/extreme-weather-records/index.html

Greatest rainfall in 24 hours = 1.825 m. So in 40 days and nights that would be 73 metres (about 240 feet?)

Greatest rainfall in 1 minute = 31.2 mm. In 40 days and nights that would be 1797 metres (just under 6,000 feet)

So it seems implausible that rainfall alone could flood things to the depth required (about 8855 m to cover Mt Everest by 22ft). Of course that assumes that the height of Everest hasn't changed significantly since then. 

So it sounds like your fictional "fountains of the deep" would have to provide the missing 7 km of water. As there is no data for these (for obvious reasons) you can invent any quantity and mechanism that you wish.

Also, not a geologist, but I assume that intense rainfall, for an extended time, would cause significant changes.)

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6 minutes ago, Strange said:

I'm not sure if you are asking how much rain would need to fall to cover the mountains, or how much water could conceivably fall as rain.

You could start with the highest recorded rainfall figures here: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/extreme-weather-records/index.html

Greatest rainfall in 24 hours = 1.825 m. So in 40 days and nights that would be 73 metres (about 240 feet?)

Greatest rainfall in 1 minute = 31.2 mm. In 40 days and nights that would be 1797 metres (just under 6,000 feet)

So it seems implausible that rainfall alone could flood things to the depth required (about 8855 m to cover Mt Everest by 22ft). Of course that assumes that the height of Everest hasn't changed significantly since then. 

So it sounds like your fictional "fountains of the deep" would have to provide the missing 7 km of water. As there is no data for these (for obvious reasons) you can invent any quantity and mechanism that you wish.

Also, not a geologist, but I assume that intense rainfall, for an extended time, would cause significant changes.)

Wouldn't calculating the depth from all the world's ice melting set the limit, plus a bit for whatever the atmosphere is holding?

Edited by StringJunky
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The rainfall would be about 384,000 inches of rain in 40 days.  That is simply the height of mt Everest above sea level.  That would be a per day average of about 8,700 inches of rain.  This would probably require that you empty your rain gauge every day!

If you want to make 1/2 of the water come from the fountains of the deep you of course would only need 4,350 inches of rain a day. 

If you want to know the volume of that water just calculate the volume of the earth (r=3958.5) -  the volume of the sphere equal to the height of mt Everest (r=3964.0)

Edit:  I do not know why religious people try to use science to 'prove' religious stories.  It does not work - period.  This is religion we are talking about (ferchrisake!) use God to make it work, like this.  God made the excess water appear in the form of rain and stuff and then he made all the excess water disappear after the flood.  Problem solved....

Edited by Bufofrog
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13 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Wouldn't calculating the depth from all the world's ice melting set the limit, plus a bit for whatever the atmosphere is holding?

Yes, if you calculate the height from the available water supply. But that doesn't seem to be what the OP is asking.

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22 minutes ago, Strange said:

So it sounds like your fictional "fountains of the deep" would have to provide the missing 7 km of water. As there is no data for these (for obvious reasons) you can invent any quantity and mechanism that you wish.

Good idea, got me thinking. I would probably start by looking into research on Water in Earth's mantle and maybe extrapolate or make up something "plausible-sounding" scenario. By "plausible" I mean something that sounds reasonable to the audience of the fictional writing.

Here is a picture from theguardian.com that might illustrate what I mean:

img.thumb.png.f587f97b4e205470f23e973f566232f1.png

Important note: I haven't checked the sources for scientific correctness, my intention at this time is only to post something that might inspire something fictional.

 

Edited by Ghideon
image did not show up
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3 minutes ago, Ghideon said:

Good idea, got me thinking. I would probably start by looking into research on Water in Earth's mantle and maybe extrapolate or make up something "plausible-sounding" scenario. By "plausible" I mean something that sounds reasonable to the audience of the fictional writing.

Here is a picture from theguardian.com that might illustrate what I mean:

water_mantle_transition_web.svg

Important note: I haven't checked the sources for scientific correctness, my intention at this time is only to post something that might inspire something fictional.

 

The fact that he says he's fiction writer is irrelevant to his question. He's asking a question with educational intent.

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15 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

Edit:  I do not know why religious people try to use science to 'prove' religious stories.  It does not work - period.

Quite. Even if the required quantity of water were hidden in the Earth (it isn't) then it would still require non-physical (magical/miraculous) processes to make it flood the Earth.

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56 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

Edit:  I do not know why religious people try to use science to 'prove' religious stories.  It does not work - period.

 

40 minutes ago, Strange said:

Quite. Even if the required quantity of water were hidden in the Earth (it isn't) then it would still require non-physical (magical/miraculous) processes to make it flood the Earth.

Come to think about it, better try explaining god/gods with science then the other way around.

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Thanks. This conversation is going very much as I envisioned, lol.  Don't worry, same way on the other forum. Lol

On the other forum, the Christian one, I was given the ringwoodite article as well.  It suggests that the trapped water in that layer of mineral/rock would fill the world's oceans roughly 3 times.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/184564-scientists-discover-an-ocean-400-miles-beneath-our-feet-that-could-fill-our-oceans-three-times-over

I was also referred to another article and that writer (an atheist) believed the amount of water to flood the Earth's surface, such as described in Genesis 7 would be less than 3 times the Earth's ocean present volume. I don't recall the exact amount. But it only considered the rain factor and no subterranean water. It appears the folks on a mission to disprove biblical history could read the details a little more completely. Lol

https://medium.com/@AndrewLSeidel/how-much-water-would-be-needed-for-noahs-flood-ef3145ae1945

Between these articles it seems there is not only a possibility the water could come from subterranean sources but that it would be enough and then some to do so.  

So that's interesting!  Thanks and I'll continue to review any answers!

 

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This article says there is more water in the Earth than on it also, per USGS:

https://www.livescience.com/29673-how-much-water-on-earth.html

And this one proposes another way the existing water in the oceans could have been manipulated to flood the whole surface:

https://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-floodwater.html

Maybe the water didn't come from the subterranean areas through large cracks or holes appearing on land, but rather from the oceans, either the water in them and returned (as proposed above), or it came from cracks and holes that opened up on the ocean floors and then returned the same way.

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6 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

Thanks. This conversation is going very much as I envisioned, lol.  Don't worry, same way on the other forum. Lol

On the other forum, the Christian one, I was given the ringwoodite article as well.  It suggests that the trapped water in that layer of mineral/rock would fill the world's oceans roughly 3 times.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/184564-scientists-discover-an-ocean-400-miles-beneath-our-feet-that-could-fill-our-oceans-three-times-over

I was also referred to another article and that writer (an atheist) believed the amount of water to flood the Earth's surface, such as described in Genesis 7 would be less than 3 times the Earth's ocean present volume. I don't recall the exact amount. But it only considered the rain factor and no subterranean water. It appears the folks on a mission to disprove biblical history could read the details a little more completely. Lol

https://medium.com/@AndrewLSeidel/how-much-water-would-be-needed-for-noahs-flood-ef3145ae1945

Between these articles it seems there is not only a possibility the water could come from subterranean sources but that it would be enough and then some to do so.  

So that's interesting!  Thanks and I'll continue to review any answers!

 

Be careful, this is starting to look like a religious agenda dressed in Earth Science after all.

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7 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

Between these articles it seems there is not only a possibility the water could come from subterranean sources

It absolutely does NOT say that. Where is the mechanism to extract all that water and cause it to flow to the surface?

5 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

And this one proposes another way the existing water in the oceans could have been manipulated to flood the whole surface:

I thought you were interested in scientific answers, not magic.

 

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20 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:


Hi I’m a fictional writer now by trade but I’m composing a short educational work that talks about Creation Science and how it can possibly jive in many areas with other scientific discoveries or theories apart from Christian creation science. 

jibe to be in harmony or accord; agree:

jive perform the jive or a similar dance to popular music

creation science does neither one

!

Moderator Note

Having made that observation, a reminder that we are discussing science here, not religion.

 
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15 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

Edit:  I do not know why religious people try to use science to 'prove' religious stories.  It does not work - period.  This is religion we are talking about (ferchrisake!) use God to make it work, like this.  God made the excess water appear in the form of rain and stuff and then he made all the excess water disappear after the flood.  Problem solved....

If one is going to take the fundamentalist/literalist approach and say that these things must have happened because they are in the bible then that god is omnipotent and can just make as much water appear as he/she wishes. 

To try and undermine this by saying that "the water must have come from somewhere" implies that god is not all that powerful and has to find some way of exploiting resources that exist. 

On the other hand, if you want to try and say that these are entirely natural phenomena and god had nothing to do with it, then why would you think the stories had any credibility at all - there is no evidence for this flood. (And, if one takes the literalist approach, then it is surely simpler to assume that god put everything back as it was before the flood, which is why there is no evidence for it.)

 

[A more reasonable approach might be to say that these are old, pre-Abrahamic myths (which they are) that just got ascribed to god, in the same way that many clever quotations are ascribed to Mark Twain. The fact he didn't say all those things down't make him any less of a writer. And if your chosen god didn't;t do all the things claimed, surely that doesn't make her a lesser god.]

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Can everyone who is not helping the way I asked just stop commenting please?  I appreciate the chit chat, like over a beer and smoke, but I'm not into online debating.  I'm in Western CO if you'd like to meet up for in person discussion.

I asked for calculations or references to completed calculations of the amount of water from two sources, the rain and the subterranean flow upward, to flood the current world's surface to about 22' over the highest elevation. 

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7 minutes ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

I asked for calculations or references to completed calculations of the amount of water from two sources, the rain and the subterranean flow upward, to flood the current world's surface to about 22' over the highest elevation. 

surely that is just about taking a volume of the earth subtracted from the volume of the earth were it an extra 44 inches in diameter no?

V = 3/4 pi r3

The earths radius according to google is on average 6371km.

 

 

sorry - you said highest elevation.... so 'over' mount Everest? -  add the height of Everest to r for the larger sphere for a rough check.

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39 minutes ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

I asked for calculations or references to completed calculations of the amount of water from two sources, the rain and the subterranean flow upward, to flood the current world's surface to about 22' over the highest elevation. 

Which has been answered.  What more do you need?  

I think based on the answers we can say the scenario of a world wide flood above the height of mount Everest is impossible - there is not enough water to do that.  So since it is not possible scientifically, we must say it is only possible with a supernatural intervention by God. 

Edited by Bufofrog
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51 minutes ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

I asked for calculations or references to completed calculations of the amount of water from two sources, the rain and the subterranean flow upward, to flood the current world's surface to about 22' over the highest elevation.

This is schoolboy arithmetic. Why have you come to a science forum to talk about your religion, instead of just using a calculator?

51 minutes ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

Can everyone who is not helping the way I asked just stop commenting please? 

No.

Edited by Strange
Deleted some off-topic comments
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20 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

I’m only curious in the amount of water, from two sources--rainfall and underground, it would take on the current Earth’s surface and what amount would be needed by the sub-surface water (“fountains of the great deep”) to cover all the Earth’s surface and it’s highest peaks by about 22 feet.

Just over 1 billion cubic miles or 5x1021 litres

https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=4%2F3+*+pi+*+(radius+of+Earth+%2B+height+of+Mount+Everest+%2B+22+feet)^3+-+(volume+of+Earth)

This is about 3 times the volume of water on Earth: "The total volume of water on Earth is estimated at 1.386 billion km³ (333 million cubic miles)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_distribution_on_Earth

So your magic fountains would have to summon up two thirds of that

20 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

If you want to also comment on how such huge amounts of water accumulating on the Earth’s surface might affect the landmasses/surface elevations, shapes of the continents, etc, and how massive erosion would sweep huge portions of the Earth’s surface around as it subsided and flowed downward again, that would be welcomed. I think it’s a given that massive amounts of water flowing downward (back into the Earth and seas) would cause massive land carving, so where is the evidence of that in archaeological findings? What has been found in the oceans that could have originated from landmasses in the Earth’s current mountain ranges?  If the great Genesis flood wasn't 100% across all earthen landmasses, what might show that (the north and south poles, etc)?

As you say, that much water would cause massive effects. From this we can conclude that the "Great Flood" covered approximately 0% of the Earth's surface.

Which helps enormously, because then it is entirely possible for natural causes to explain it. Quite possibly, the regular floods of the Tigris and Euphrates in the area where the story originated. These would have been devastating to the local populations and was probably one of the drivers behind Babylonian astronomy and mathematics.

20 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

Thank you and I’ll be sure to give you credit for anything I use.

Don't you dare.

20 hours ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

It’s a not for profit paper I’m writing

Thank goodness for that. 

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17 minutes ago, swansont said:

 

4/3

Thanks - of course  -  sorry.  My point is that it is a trivial calculation....

 

27 minutes ago, Strange said:

This is schoolboy arithmetic

 

...as Strange also suggested.

 

 

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Ooooh now the incomplete sarcasms come out. Lol.

To whom it concerns: I've been posting random questions, maybe half dozen a year, if that, on forums since 2002ish.  It is almost always the same toxic culture of bad debate skills.  Even when I'm not asking for a debate.  I've not seen anywhere that an internet forum is translated or defined as "be a cyber punkass". 

I'm so sorry if you're lonely but realize not everyone is looking to engage with toxic behavior.

If anyone knows of an online source that has calculated a days (24 hours) heavy rainfall volume, across the globe, I'd like to reference that, even if you're the calculator.  I would think the calculation could employ a record rainfall figure, as in heaviest volumes ever dumped over any area and then applied globally.

Thanks!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, ChristopherAndrew said:

If anyone knows of an online source that has calculated a days (24 hours) heavy rainfall volume, across the globe, I'd like to reference that, even if you're the calculator.  I would think the calculation could employ a record rainfall figure, as in heaviest volumes ever dumped over any area and then applied globally.

 

p.s. It doesn't help that you keep changing the question: first it was about the amount of rainfall, then it was the volume to cover Mount Everest then it was back to the amount of rainfall.

 

p.p.s If you think people are being offensive or off-topic, please use the report function on the relevant posts rather than trying to discuss it in the thread.

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