The Elusive Water Level

Gösta Lindwall, July 13, 2020

In a previous post, I published an illustration of a sunken city as part of my ongoing book project together with Mikael Kindborg. I have now made an updated version of this image.

The image shows a hypothetical coastal town from 12,800 BP (Before Present), and the following two stages of dissolution on the seafloor.

The stages of an ancient city sinking into the ocean

The stages of an ancient city sinking into the ocean

The town is submerged into the ocean as a result of a rapid water level rise, caused by a melt water pulse from a cosmic impact at the end of the Pleistocene.

This is the famous Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH), which suggests that a comet or meteor swarm hit the earth 12,800 BP, causing the destruction of an alleged advanced global civilization. Graham Hancock and others have written extensively about this event, and the Comet Impact Group has scientifically studied historical cosmic impacts.

The first version of the illustration was based on the popular hypothesis of a massive water level increase at the onset of the Younger Dryas. Our initial research pointed to a rapid melt water pulse that led to a 122 m (400 ft) water level rise over a short time span, on the scale of weeks or months.

When examining facts and sources, including papers on historical temperature changes based on drill archives from Greenland and Antarctica, we also reviewed several scientific reports on historical water levels. Previous water levels can be estimated by using a combination of methods, such as studies of old coast lines, deposition of sediments, and tests of organic materials.

We have come to understand that internal terminology and unspoken facts exist in scientific disciplines. What appears to be vague and imprecise terminology can be readily understood by people inside a field, but is easy to misunderstand by a layman or a representative of another discipline.

When a geologist refers to a ”very short passage of time” this may, depending on the context, be implicitly understood as something like 7,000 years, but to someone outside of the particular field, it could be interpreted as a much shorter timespan, like 7 days. This means that the actual meaning of facts presented in scientific papers sometimes reveal itself only after studying multiple papers over and over until you're tuned into the perspective of the discipline.

What we have found, is that the historical water level rise occurs over a much longer time period than we initially believed. It started at about 19,500 BP and escalated between 14,700 BP and 8,500 PB. There are sequences of more rapid increase of the water level in this period, but for millennia the average rise was one meter in a hundred years.

The largest increase occurs under a period of a thousand years before 13,700 BP of 30 meters. After that the water level rise enters a more linear phase of slower increase until 13,000 PB, where another melt water pulse causes an increase of about 17 m over a 1000 years.

The conclusion is that there is no overwhelming evidence in the scientific reports supporting the hypothesis of a massive flood raising the water levels over the globe with hundreds of feet in matter of days or weeks or months.

The question is what is scientifically proven concerning the cataclysmic time of cosmic impact and floods at the beginning of the Younger Dryas?

Well, the cosmic impact itself seems to be proven. The Black Mat layer, which is a distinctive geological earth layer, contains substances indicative of a cosmic impact. This cataclysmic event resulted in the megafauna extinction and the Younger Dryas cooling. There are also large scarrings in the landscape, like the Channeled Scablands in Washington State, showing remnants of massive melt water outbursts.

Historical temperature data is far more accurate than water level data. Drillings in Greenland and Antarctica have resulted in an archive of ice core samples, which has given us precise historical knowledge of gas composition in the atmosphere and temperature data for the last 200,000 years. This means that the temperature graph is much more accurate than the water level graph for the timespan representing our illustration.

The temperature graph gives an indication that something happened at the time of the cosmic impact. 12,800 BP there is a clear indication of a temperature fall at the onset of the Younger Dryas cooling.

An interesting aspect of the water level graph, is the relatively flat curve at the time before the impact event, which indicates a low water level increase on a time span of a thousand years before the impact 12,800 BP. This could mean that an ancient human society might not have been aware of any imminent threat from rising water levels. The cataclysm following the impact could therefore have affected an unprepared society in dramatic ways.

The impact event itself caused massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on a near global scale. Continental wide forest fires roamed the earth and air became filled with burning particles and ash. If the comet fragments did hit the ice shield on the North American continent, a massive outburst of melt water was released across the landscape and flooded into the oceans.

One thing is clear about the scientific research on water level rise in historical times. It’s not that accurate compared to research results on temperature and atmospheric composition. The indications are not so straightforward to interpret and scientific studies don't give as precise results for short timescales.

This means that a massive melt water outburst resulting in a 10 meter water level rise, in a couple of days or weeks, could pass unnoticed in the scientific results, but would have been devastating for any existing coastal residence of the time. An outburst like that would also result in massive tsunamis, and combined with the rest of the effects of the cataclysmic event, there would be catastrophic consequences along the coastal regions.

The tsunamis alone could have been devastating. If an increase of 10 m occurred, the tsunami waves alone could have wiped out a civilisation. The waves causing a 10 m increase could have been a wall of water 30 or 40 m height swiping across the globe.

To sum up, the illustration presented in this post is meant to be an accurate depiction of a hypothetical ancient coastal town, sinking into the sea, based on current scientific knowledge of historical water levels.

This article has also been published on Facebook in the group Forbidden Archaeology and other Mysteries.

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