17 April 2017

The Zanclean flood

According to this model, water from the Atlantic Ocean refilled the cut-off inland seas through the modern-day Strait of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean Basin flooded mostly during a period estimated to have been between several months and two years. Sea level rise in the basin may have reached rates at times greater than ten metres per day (thirty feet per day).  Based on the erosion features preserved until modern times under the Pliocene sediment, these authors estimate that water rushed down a drop of more than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) with a discharge of up to  2×108 m3/s (7.1×109 cu ft/s), about 1,000 times that of the present day Amazon River. Studies of the underground structures at the Gibraltar Strait show that the flooding channel descended in a rather gradual way toward the bottom of the basin rather than forming a steep waterfall.

Not all scientific studies have agreed with the catastrophistic interpretation of this event. Some researchers have estimated that the reinstallment of a "normal" Mediterranean Sea basin following the Messinian "Lago Mare" episode took place in a much more gradual way, taking as long as 10,000 years.
Related: flooding of the Black Sea basin.

I do hope someone invents time travel soon, because I'd like to go back and watch this.


  1. Time travel? Sorry no!
    Or yes if you don't mind popping out somewhere in space or the middle of a planet.
    We can triangulate and measure in relation to our known Universe but we have no idea which direction/directions it itself moves in, or at what speed, so accurate navigation in 3D would be almost impossible.

    1. When I time travel, I go in a transparent bubble about the size of a golf cart, controlled by a six-direction joystick that self-references to earthcenter. I also wear a sort of "onesie" with transdimensional pockets which I can reach into to grab a warm grilled cheese sandwich or a bourbon and coke or pinot grigio as the occasion warrants. When I hover over the Gibraltar cataract in the sphere I would then push the "fast-forward" button to watch the process time-compressed (and synchronized to avoid light flicker). YMMV.

    2. Best reply I've seen in a while :) ��

  2. LOL, Stan! I would love to go back and watch Britain split from the continent!!

  3. Replies
    1. I may do it again some time, with more details such as this:

      "In the empty Mediterranean Basin the summertime temperatures would probably have been extremely high even during the coldest phase of any glacial era. Using the dry adiabatic lapse rate of around 10 °C (18 °F) per kilometer, a theoretical temperature of an area 4 km (2.5 mi) below sea level would be about 40 °C (72 °F) warmer than the temperature at sea level. Under this simplistic assumption, theoretical temperature maxima would have been around 80 °C (176 °F) at the lowest depths of the dry abyssal plain permitting little life other than extremophiles."


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