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Black Sea Flood 5600 BC (What happened ?). Findings and Interpretation of Geologist Dr. William Ryan as Presented by John Kozlowski Friday November 17, 2006 . Overview. Background : Classical Story, then physical and scientific context

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Black sea flood 5600 bc what happened

Black Sea Flood5600 BC(What happened ?)

Findings and Interpretation of Geologist Dr. William Ryan

as Presented by John Kozlowski Friday November 17, 2006


Overview
Overview

  • Background : Classical Story, then physical and scientific context

  • Conditions (Global warming, after the end of last Ice Age; Sea Levels rise)

  • Ryan’s Flood explanation

  • Evidence found




Noah s flood just a story or is there more to it
Noah’s Flood : Just a story, or is there more to it ?

  • Question: Has there been any scientific evidence found that may be associated to the famous story of Noah building an Ark to preserve living animals from the onslaught of the flood ?


Background
Background

Black Sea location : Physical context,

and just how large is the Black Sea ?



Black sea today dimensions
Black Sea today: dimensions

  • At present the Black Sea is 750 miles long and 380 miles wide (1210 km by 610 km), and covers an area comparable to the size of California.

  • The Black Sea’s deepest bed is 7238 feet, ie 2206 m, below the surface.


A global warming trend commences 15000 bp
A global warming trend commences ~15000 BP

  • The last Ice Age (~100,000 yr in duration) began to come to an end ~15,000 BP, as the earth started to warm up.

  • The upper latitudes of the continents laid buried under sheets of glacial ice.

  • At the peak of glaciation, oceans were several hundred feet lower than today.



Glacier melt underway
Glacier melt underway

  • About ~15,000 BP (Before Present), global warming caused the glaciers to start to melt, and the ice-line began to retreat.

  • Average global temperatures have risen by about 5 degrees Celsius, since the last Ice Age (compared to present).

  • Sea Level rose (see graphs)




As the last ice age was ending
As the last Ice Age was ending …

During the timespan (15000-7600 BP):

A global warming ensued, glaciers melted, and as regards this case, rivers emptying into the Black Sea –Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and Don- formed vast freshwater lakes in the Black and Caspian.

Now, Let’s Look at the region …



Black sea isolated
Black Sea isolated

  • Note that during (15000-7600 BP), the Mediterranean was cut off from the Black Lake, so that as the level of the Atlantic Ocean started to rise, the Mediterranean did as well, but the Black Lake did not. The water level discrepancy reached as much as 400 feet.


Ryan black sea was a freshwater body before the flood
Ryan: Black Sea was a freshwater body before the flood

  • By using core samples taken from the floor, and computer reconstruction of the seabed, Ryan and Pitman determined that before the flood, the Black Sea was a freshwater lake. It lay several hundred feet below the Bosporous Valley.

  • A sense of the topography, is seen from…



Mediterranean did not connect to black
Mediterranean did not connect to Black

During the period (9000-7600 BP) the water level of the Mediterranean continued to rise, but in expanding northward, it was only able to reach the edge of the Bosporous Valley, since it was ultimately held back by a natural sediment dam, there (~400 feet high and ~2 mile wide).


Bosporous valley lies between the marmara and black seas
Bosporous Valley lies betweenthe Marmara and Black seas


Black lake remained saline free
Black Lake remained saline free

  • Hence, up to 7600 BP, the Mediterranean had no water exchange with the Black Sea (Ryan, 1998).

  • A diagram presented in the Ruddiman text shows that all that separated the freshwater Black Lake from the saltwater Mediterranean (which reached the Sea of Marmara) was the small Bosporous Valley.


When were the seas connected agean marmara black
When were the Seas connected?Agean ->? Marmara ->? Black


Mediterranean finally overflows
Mediterranean finally overflows

  • Finally, at (~7600 BP, ie 5600 BC): Excess waters in the Mediterranean pushed northward, causing the Agean and Maramara seas to rise, and the water broke through the dam at Bosporous, and finally spilled into the Black Lake, in a massive flood.


Flood lasted 2 years and volume was huge
Flood lasted >2 years, and volume was huge

It has been estimated that each day for two years, ten cubic miles of ocean water cut through the widening Bosporous channel flowed into the Black Lake, henceforth called Black Sea.

Over two years, the water level rose by 330 feet.


Ryan flood force was 200 times that of niagara falls
Ryan :Flood force was 200 times that of Niagara Falls

  • By Ryan’s assessment, the flood hit the Black Lake with a force equivalent to 200 times that associated with Niagara Falls.

  • The incoming salt water, more dense than freshwater, plunged to the bottom of the lake bed, transforming it into a sea where the depths do not support life (anoxic).



Animation
Animation

  • http://emvc.geol.ucsb.edu/download/blackseaflood.php


Flood raised black sea water level by 140m
Flood raised Black Sea water level by 140m

  • Dr. Glenn Jones (Texas Institue of Oceanography, BBC interview):

    “It’s amazing to think of raising the Black Sea basin by 140 m. What that means, if you calculate how much water went into the Black Sea, it would be equivalent to lowering the world’s oceans by approximately one foot.”


Point of dispute
Point of Dispute

An issue of dispute is whether the conversion period of the Black Sea from freshwater to salty water was long and gradual (hundreds, or thousands of years), or whether it occurred over a short period of time (~ from 2 to 30 years), as would happen due to a cataclysmic flood, as suggested by Ryan.


Ryan and pitman seek evidence
Ryan and Pitman seek evidence

Deep gorge discovered at Bosporous

Freshwater -> saline water

Carbon 14 dating of mussel shells



Deep gorge 80m 100m at bosporous
Deep gorge (~80m-100m) at Bosporous

  • Ryan discovered a large gorge in the Bosporous, which cut deep into the bedrock. It is interpreted as evidence of the passage of an enormous flow of water (pouring) through it.

  • Dr. Walter Pitman: “The depth of the hard rock below the sediment was between 80m to 100m. It indicated that this channel had to have been cut by a rush of fast-moving water”. (100 km/hr) (BBC interview)


Coarse sediments tilted northward to the black sea
Coarse sediments tilted northward, to the Black Sea

The coarse sediment at the gorge’s bottom was found arrayed in dune shapes, tilted to the north, thereby indicating flow from Agean to Black Seas.


Dating of black sea mussel shells
Dating of Black Sea mussel shells

Carbon 14 dating of shells of freshwater mussles (found in sediment core investigation), were compared with shells of mussles and plankton that lived in saline water, in order to test the abrupt transition hypothesis. (ie Transition from freshwater to saline water composition.)



Mussel shells dated
Mussel Shells dated

  • Mussel shells were pulled from core samples of the deepest sediments of the Black Sea.

  • Carbon 14 dating of mussel shells from across the bredth of the Black Sea, would show whether the shells were of the same age. (If so, this would be support the “instantaneous flood” interpretation.)


Confirmed flood occurred over a short time span
Confirmed: Flood occurred over a short time span

  • Amazingly, the carbon 14 dating showed that the mussel shells from across the Black Sea transect were all pretty much the same age: about (7500-7600) yrs old.

  • This indicated that the flooding took place over a short time period, termed as “instantaneous” on a geological time scale.


Summary
Summary

  • Ryan found evidence of a massive flooding event at the Black Sea (5600 BC), including the deep gorge at Bosporous.

  • Carbon 14 dating of mussel shells indicated that the transition from freshwater to saline water occurred within a short period of time, thereby supporting Ryan’s massive flood interpretation.


Ryan suggests the flood may have been the source of noah s story
Ryan suggests the Flood may have been the source of Noah’s story

  • Ryan suggested that the flood he found, may have been the source of the well known story of Noah’s Flood, initially passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation.

  • Ryan’s flood was local to the Black Sea, and not a global one, and this is one of the points of contention.


Migration
Migration story

  • Ryan also proposed that the flood may have triggered massive migrations of people from the Black Sea region, to destinations as far away as Egypt, western Europe and central Asia.


People fled and dispersed in their escape
People fled, and dispersed, in their escape story

  • Pitman: “We think it (the Flood event) had a great effect on human history, because it widely dispersed people who had different methods of farming and had different languages.”


Migration spreads
Migration spreads story

  • The change from hunter-gatherer societies to farming communities in Europe at approximately 6th millenium BC, may have been catalyzed by this great migration to escape the Flood.


Ballard finds old shoreline confirming ryan
Ballard finds old shoreline, confirming Ryan story

  • Marine archaeologist Robert Ballard, in a separate investigation of the Black Sea Flood, identified ancient shorelines, freshwater snail shells, drowned valleys and man made structures. Ballard’s research of the Black Sea, found a previous shoreline, ~450 feet below present water level, supporting Ryan’s contention.


The end
The End story



Flood raised black sea water level by 140m1
Flood raised Black Sea water level by 140m story

  • Dr. Glenn Jones (Texas Institue of Oceanography, BBC interview):

    “It’s amazing to think of raising the Black Sea basin by 140 m. What that means, if you calculate how much water went into the Black Sea, it would be equivalent to lowering the world’s oceans by approximately one foot.”


A few more notes on the flood
A few more notes on the Flood story

  • During the flood, the Black Sea rose (on average) by ~15 cm, each day.

  • By Ryan’s account it took ~2 years for the water to rise 330 feet, inundating 60,000 square miles of land (10 cubic miles of sea water per day).

  • The expanse of the flood covered 155,000 square km.


Flood raised black sea water level by 140m2
Flood raised Black Sea water level by 140m story

  • Dr. Glenn Jones (Texas Institue of Oceanography, BBC interview):

    “It’s amazing to think of raising the Black Sea basin by 140 m. What that means, if you calculate how much water went into the Black Sea, it would be equivalent to lowering the world’s oceans by approximately one foot.”


Black sea expanded in bredth due to the flood
Black Sea expanded in bredth due to the Flood story

  • Overall, there was a ~30% expansion in the size of the Black Sea, leaving it with its modern day configuration.



Anoxic bottom water
Anoxic bottom water story

  • The dense Mediterranean salt water sank to the bottom of the freshwater lake.

  • Ever since (the flood occurred), the less dense water on top has acted as a 150m lid on a 2125m deep oxygen-free abyss.

  • If shipwrecks lie at the bottom, they could be preserved in recognizable condition.


Mussel shells dated1
Mussel Shells dated story

  • In order to do a test, mussel shells were pulled from core samples of the deepest sediments of the Black Sea.

  • Carbon 14 dating of such shells from across the bredth of the Black Sea, would show whether the shells were of the same age. (If so, this would be support the “instantaneous flood” interpretation.)


Confirmed flood occurred over a short time span1
Confirmed: Flood occurred over a short time span story

  • Amazingly, the carbon 14 dating showed that the mussel shells from across the Black Sea transect were all pretty much the same age: about (7500-7600) yrs old.

  • This indicated that the flooding took place over a short time period - on a geological time scale. (Some term it “instantaneous”.)


Shoreline of black sea increased 500 feet
Shoreline of Black Sea increased 500 feet story

  • Seismic soundings and sediment cores reveal traces of the Black Sea’s former shoreline, showing a 500 foot rise in water level.



Ballard finds old shoreline confirming ryan1
Ballard finds old shoreline, confirming Ryan story

  • Marine archaeologist Robert Ballard, in a separate investigation of the Black Sea Flood, identified ancient shorelines, freshwater snail shells, drowned valleys and man made structures. Ballard’s research of the Black Sea, found a previous shoreline, ~450 feet below present water level, supporting Ryan’s contention.




Ryan suggests the flood may have been the source of noah s story1
Ryan suggests the Flood may have been the source of Noah’s story

  • Ryan suggested that the flood he found, may have been the source of the well known story of Noah’s Flood, initially passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation.

  • Ryan’s flood was local to the Black Sea, and not a global one, and this is one of the points of contention.


Migration1
Migration story

  • Ryan also proposed that the flood may have triggered massive migrations of people from the Black Sea region, to destinations as far away as Egypt, western Europe and central Asia.


People fled and dispersed in their escape1
People fled, and dispersed, in their escape story

  • Pitman: “We think it (the Flood event) had a great effect on human history, because it widely dispersed people who had different methods of farming and had different languages.”


Migration spreads1
Migration spreads story

  • The change from hunter-gatherer societies to farming communities in Europe at approximately 6th millenium BC, may have been catalyzed by this great migration to escape the Flood.



Summary1
Summary communities in Europe at approximately 6

  • Ryan found evidence of a massive flooding event at the Black Sea (5600 BC)

  • Carbon 14 dating of mussel shells indicate the ls from across the bredth of the Black Sea, would show whether the shells were of the same age. (If so, this would be support the “instantaneous flood” interpretation


Bosporous strait
Bosporous Strait communities in Europe at approximately 6


Ryan land
Ryan Land communities in Europe at approximately 6


Ryan land1
Ryan Land communities in Europe at approximately 6


Ryan 1997
Ryan (1997) communities in Europe at approximately 6


  • Ryan suggested that prior to flood, the Black Sea was an isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland and many dwellers (inhabitants).

  • During the flood, seawater pushed northward and water funnelled through the Bosporous Strait, and (by Ryan’s estimate) exploded into the Black Sea.


Shells of mussels
Shells of mussels isolated freshwater lake surrounded by farmland and many dwellers (inhabitants).



Summary carbon 14 dating of mussel shells
Summary Carbon 14 dating of mussel shells that the remains of freshwater mollusks dredged from an ancient beach in the depths of the Black Sea, date back to 7500 years ago, and also saltwater species dating from 6900 years ago.

Carbon 14 dating of shells of freshwater mussles (found in sediment core investigation), compared with shells of mussles and plankton that lived in salty waters, indicated an abrupt transition from freshwater to saline water composition in in the Black Sea (within 40 years).


Evidence radiocarbon dating
Evidence: Radiocarbon dating that the remains of freshwater mollusks dredged from an ancient beach in the depths of the Black Sea, date back to 7500 years ago, and also saltwater species dating from 6900 years ago.

Carbon 14 dating of shells of freshwater mussles (found in sediment core investigation), compared with shells of mussles and plankton that lived in salty waters, indicated an abrupt transition from freshwater to saline water composition in in the Black Sea (within 40 years).


Key question
Key Question that the remains of freshwater mollusks dredged from an ancient beach in the depths of the Black Sea, date back to 7500 years ago, and also saltwater species dating from 6900 years ago.

  • The key question to be addressed, in assessing Ryan’s claim was whether the water level of the Black Sea changed gradually or within a very short period of time (a few years).


Mediterranean agean black
Mediterranean-Agean-Black that the remains of freshwater mollusks dredged from an ancient beach in the depths of the Black Sea, date back to 7500 years ago, and also saltwater species dating from 6900 years ago.


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