What about the water for the biblical Flood?

posted in: Landscapes | 28
Grampian Mountains, Victoria, Australia
Grampian Mountains, Victoria, Australia
It’s easy to forget how questions about Noah’s Flood, answered years ago, still bother so many people. An email friend sent me this message:

I have a question for you if you have a minute…..I am a believer in Noah’s flood of course and I just had this comment sent to me…..

“Oceans, though covering 71% of the world’s surface, make up 97% of the world’s water. Now, the average oceanic depth is about 3800m, and the average altitude of Earth’s landmass is around 800m. That remaining 3% of water just aint gonna cut it. I wouldn’t even get my feet wet! So, friend, where did all this water come from and more importantly, where … did it go?”

Tas, is there an easy answer to the question of where did the water go? I’m assuming the present day oceans are the ‘run off’ from the flood, assuming of course that the surface of the earth before the flood didn’t have nearly as much ocean area.

Yes, there is an easy answer that has been around for a long time. His conclusion is based on the assumption that today’s oceans, continents and mountains have always been where they are now. He needs to understand just how enormous Noah’s Flood was. It was a huge tectonic event. Today’s continents did not exist before the Flood as they do today; they consist of sediments deposited mostly during the Flood. Today’s mountains were pushed up toward the end of the Flood. Today’s ocean basins only started to form halfway through the Flood.

Where did all the water come from
Where did all the water go
What about all that water
The origin of mountains

28 Responses

  1. Jeff Dixon

    The laughable Flood of Noah. A flood for which there is no evidence for, by the way. A flood that not only did not happen, it COULD not happen the way it is told. If the entire world is covered in water, that means it is covered in seawater. (Really, try it for yourself. mix a bowl of salt water and fresh water and see what you get. Here’s a hint – you get salt water.) If the entire earth is covered in salt water, it will poison the ground. That is why armies used to salt the earth of lands they invaded, so that it was ruined to try and grow more crops. There is no fresh water for anyone to drink because all the fresh water supplies have been destroyed by the ENTIRE EARTH BEING COVERED IN SALT WATER. So, we have no fresh water and cannot grow new crops. If you start eating the animals from the ark, you keep them from reproducing. Of course, that does not stop Noah from sacrificing some of them immediately. Not that it matters. Keep in mind that two animals are not enough to provide the genetic diversity needed to sustain an animal population.

    It is an absurd story from any perspective

  2. Tas Walker

    Hello Jeff,

    No, the account of the Flood in the Bible is of an event that really happened. Concerning your problem with fresh and salt water you could look at the Wikipedia entry for the Amazon River for some clues:

    The river pushes a vast plume of freshwater into the ocean. The plume is about 400 kilometres (250 mi) long and between 100 and 200 kilometres (62 and 120 mi) wide. The freshwater, being lighter, overrides the salty ocean, diluting the salinity and altering the color of the ocean surface over an area up to 1,000,000 square miles (2,600,000 km2) large. For centuries ships have reported freshwater near the Amazon’s mouth yet well out of sight of land in what otherwise seemed to be the open ocean.

    In other words, rainfall produces fresh water. You could also check: “How did fresh and saltwater fish survive the flood?

  3. Mechmorph

    So, fossils are made when layers of sediment are deposited … by water … on top of the body of an animal. The fossilization process is aided … by water … which helps leach the bones and leaves behind a mineral “cast” of the skeleton. Fossils are found at all altitudes, including fish on top of mountains. BUT, there’s no evidence of a worldwide flood; none whatsoever. …

  4. terry


    In your comment you noted “Keep in mind that two animals are not enough to provide the genetic diversity needed to sustain an animal population.”

    If you believe evolution, as it appears you do then you must also believe that the present population in any category can be traced not only to a “pair” but by virtue of of believing in mutation you must accept that it has arrived by way of a “single” pedecessor. And even more “unbelievable” by your definition, you must believe that all life can be traced back to a single shred of life that came into existence from non-life. You in effect then cannot accept that a line of animals in existence today came from 2 parents, but you can bleieve that it came into existence from NO parents.

  5. Dave Craddock

    It is idiotic to deny the historical and biblical account of the flood. It mentions fountains from below bursting forth (fresh water) and torrential rains (fresh water) falling from a canopy that enveloped the earth. Prior to the flood, man only knew what dew was and the fog often generated by dew, depending on ambient conditions. There was no rain until God decided there would be rain. The fact that supposedly higher life forms have been found in lower strata suggests a catastrophic upheaval. Only a fool would buy into evolutionary theory, as it’s based on assumptions and presumptions that cannot and will not ever be proven. Paul stated it best: “Professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools…”. Let’s all learn to apply science accurately and without preconceptions or dim perceptions.

  6. John Denson

    First off how do we know the oceans were salt. Salt is what is leached from the land, look at the Salton Sea in Imperial Valley, CA. How many of the deep crevices in the oceans were there in Noah’s time. There are places in the oceans where you could put several Mount Everest. It happened, that much I know; I may be dumb but I’m not stupid.

  7. Don

    There is far more evidence of a world wide flood than there is of Evolution. It sounds like you are not willing to except it. The flood changed the surface of the earth. The plates in the earth moved and made the Mountains and the deep oceans. It is believed by many Scientist that there was not rain before the flood, with a canopy of water above the earth and water below (as the Bible says) and with the earth reasonably flat it could easily happen the way the Bible tells us it did. With Fish Fossils found on top of the tallest mountains also indicates there was a world wide flood.

  8. Rev. Greg Robertson

    In all truth, Noah’s Flood is probably one of the most provable events in history. Almost every science or travel program we watch talks about everything being “under water” at some time in the past. The highest mountains in the world have fossilized sea shells. The myth makers claim that the continents crashed together at 1/4 inch a year and that’s how the sea shells got there. Yea, right! It is difficult to understand why some people despise and ridicule real science while coming up with all kinds of bizarre stories to come up with millions or billions of years. I understand how it can happen here in America — we have an atheistic university system that is perpetuated by billions of dollars from the tax payers. Just follow the money trail and you will find the evolution myth at the end.

  9. Fred W. Davis

    As far as the Noah’s food source and the killing of some of the animals. Read Genesis 7:2 & 3, and it says Noah was to take seven pairs of clean animals on the ark and a single pair of unclean animals.

  10. John Matthews

    Even according to secular geologists, the highest mountain (Everest – 8848 m) was once under water.

    My AIG Research Jnl paper on Chalk (Mar 09) also gives some idea, from a secular perspective of how extensively reduced was the amount of land in Cretaceous times. Since you cannot define “Cretaceous” without discussion about radiometric dating problems or difficulties with the geological column (see my forthcoming J of Creation article) it is not difficult to imagine that the whole of the earth’s surface was once under water.

    Best wishes – John Matthews – retired chartered geologist

  11. Ted

    The water of Noah’s flood (actually, it wasn’t Noah’s, it was God’s) came from the water canopy that originally covered the earth, and the subterranean water that burst from below the surface at the same time the canopy collapsed. The ground, which was much less mountainous in Noah’s time, was heaved up by the thrust of the subterranean water and produced much higher mountains than before. When the water receded, the water that was trapped on the mountains and land masses lost its salinity over time and the higher land masses provided more confinement for the remaining water.

    The flood also explains the presence of fish fossils, and the evidence of remains of other aquatic life forms on the mountaintops.

    Never underestimate the power of God.

  12. Heidi Brummer

    The theory of evolution is nothing but the lies of the Deceiver. He has managed to deceive millions of people all over the world. School teachers and T.V. documents teach our kids about evolution. Millions and billions of years are mentioned over and over again. It hurts me every time I hear it. I believe in the Creator and creation. I believe the Genesis of the Bible. I believe there was a flood. I believe that man was created in the image of God. We do not come from monkeys, nor from Africa where it is said that man originated. “Oh Lord God Almighty may our children be saved from these lies of evolution. In Jesus’ name” Amen.

  13. Philip Rayment

    I’ve got to wonder if anyone who says that there is no evidence for the flood has ever actually considered what evidence should be expected. Because if they did and they were being honest, they would have to admit that there is at least some.

    The idea that there was an atmospheric canopy of water that collapsed to form the rain of the flood is now rejected by most flood geologists. The Bible refers to “waters above”, but isn’t more specific than that, and the physics doesn’t add up. Neither does it say that there was no rain before the flood.

  14. alan brown

    Thanks for the Flood discussion. I was wondering about the Global Warming modelling. Are they creationists or at least accept a young earth? It would seem that our data for the past 7000 years could be modelled, but if one is committed to Billions of years then it would be poor science indeed to claim much certainty. I am not sure if there is a theological issue about global warming as much as a reasonable science discussion.

  15. MikeJ

    The whole system of science has stood rigorous testing over centuries, developing and learning. Life in the fossil record commenced 3450 million years ago with stromatolites. In the Ediacaran of >540 million years ago we see the first multicellular fissils. Then through the phanerozoic we can see ever more complex forms of life. The we see terrastrial plant fossils. It is rather too systematic to ignore. And our understanding is based on intelligence that God has give to each of to use to best effect to understand His universe.

    OK, Adam and Eve, were the only humans. They had Cain and Abel. Murder. One left. How did procreation continue. Brother married sister and after coitis gave birth to ??? Then Cain left and built cities. Cities need lots of people. His brothers and sisters? Hmmm.

    Genesis 1, humans were last. Genesis 2, humans were early. Conflict in words.

    In reality, hard to take Old Testament and especially Genesis as factual. But then if we do then Leviticus allows us to have slaves. But from another “country”. Oh. Well, now can I have a slave from the USA? Or Russia?

    God has given us inteligence, sight, feelings; to look, to learn to infer, to deduce. He has blessed us with so much. We shpouidl not think that He has created things like fossils as his playthings as some creationists state. That is stating God is a deceiver. Sinful!

  16. Peter Newland

    MikeJ, are you familiar with what the Bible actually says?

    The Bible says Adam and Eve “had other sons and daughters”. And it says everything God made “was very good”. Adam and Eve must have been VERY healthy – Adam living for 930 years, Methuselah for 969 years, Noah for 950 years etc. Even some time after Noah’s flood Abraham lived for 175 years. Read it, and you will find that the Bible Characters die younger and younger as they are more remote descendants of Adam and Eve.

    It seems that something went wrong. The Bible says Adam disobeying God (sinned) and that is when death started and when things started going wrong. People started to inherit genetic problems and to die younger. So by the time of Moses, (about 3,500 years ago) people rarely lasted longer than 100 years and God banned close relatives from marrying. But before Noah, it was A-OK for brother and sister to marry.

    Genesis-1 humans were last? CORRECT. Genesis-2 humans were earlier (than animals)? INCORRECT! Genesis-1 gives a clear chronological sequence, an overview of what happened when. Both the context and the grammar of Genesis-2 give the detail of how God related to man. Some translations are poor here and don’t make it clear, but the original Hebrew has a clear sequence in Genesis-1 that on Day-x this happened and then that happened and then that happened and then day-x finished. Similarly for days 1 to 6. Genesis-2 does not have that same sequential structure – and unfortunately some translations ignore the context and imply a sequence which is not in the grammar.

    If you want to read a book that explains what the Bible says in plain English, in the Bibles own words, – and let’s you make up your own mind whether to believe it or not, I recommend “By this Name” by John R Cross.

    Mike, I hope that helps clear up some misunderstanding where you have clearly heard some false reports about what the Bible actually says – and sadly a lot of Christians believe similar lies and can’t give a sensible answer to questions like yours. Peter.

  17. Warwick

    Philip Rayment makes an excellent point.

    So often people boldly state that there is no evidence for ‘Noah’s’ Flood. In saying there is no evidence they are saying they would recognize such evidence, if it existed. In the light of this I have asked many flood sceptics what they would accept as evidence for this flood? I have never received an answer. How can anyone know flood evidence does not exist if they don’t know what they would accept as evidence. They can’t.

  18. John Birkhimer

    Here’s a pretty simple one. Find one fish fossil, or part of a fish fossil, scale, otolith,all pretty easily fossifiable, in the great Ordovician marine fossil beds of Ohio or Northern Kentucky. (Home of the AIG museum). ONE. That ought to be pretty easy. ONE.

  19. Tas Walker

    Hi John,

    Your comment of 17 February 2011 at 11:19pm.

    “Find one fossils fish …” John, you won’t find any fossil fish in the Carboniferous sediments around Brisbane either. There is strong evidence now that that fish existed from the Cambrian (e.g. Oldest fossil fish caught and A slow fish in China), which is earlier than the Ordovician fossil beds of Ohio. The absence of fish fossils has nothing to do with whether fish existed or not, but the processes by which they and the other animals were overwhelmed by the global Flood.

  20. John Birkhimer

    Paleo folks come from all over the world to this area to examine, study, and collect beautiful Ordovician fossils. Brachiopods, Pelecypods, Trilobites, Bryozoa, Horn coral, Echinoderms. Gorgeous, delicate reef biota all beautifully fossilized. Don’t you find it a bit curious that not a single marine vertebrate has been found amongst them? Is that what you would predict?? It sounds as if you have a hypothesis as to why none are present. Do you know of any actual experimentation that supports the idea of how different things would be “overwhelmed by the global flood”. Is it explainable, or do you have a link. If it has to do with hydrodynamic sorting do you have any references to actual research done? Sorry for so many questions.

  21. Tas Walker

    Hi John,

    Indeed the fossils sound fantastic and remarkably well preserved, especially the “delicate reef biota”. Speaks to me of unusual conditions that preserved these fossils so well.

    Do I “find it curious that not a single marine vertebrate has been found among them?” Yes. Was it because vertebrates had not yet evolved. No! The links in my earlier comment show that vertebrates had evolved in the Cambrian. Conway Morris said: “Until now, the early history of the fish has been extremely sporadic and sometimes difficult to interpret. This discovery shows that fish evolved much earlier than was thought.”

    Notice the word “sporadic”. Notice also the phrase “evolved much earlier than was thought”. In other words, the absence of fish fossils in the Ordovician in Kentucky was once interpreted as becasue they had not evolved. The latest disciveries show that idea to be wrong.

    So there must be some other reason why they are not fossilized in the Ordovician in Kentucky. Perhaps there were no fish on the reefs in that area—unlikley. Perhaps it was because the fish were more mobile than the shellfish and corals and able to escape the initial sedimentary deposition—quite feasible.

    This article has some discussion on fossil distribution.

  22. Ezra Pribicevich

    In response to Jeff Dixon (first comment), who said “Keep in mind that two animals are not enough to provide the genetic diversity needed to sustain an animal population”, the entire population of Chatham Island Black Robins can be traced back to a single breeding pair.

    Comment by Tas Walker: Note too that there were seven pairs of every bird and of every clean animal.

  23. chris p

    After the Flood; A Graveyard Planet

    We Stand on the Shoulders of Those Who Came Before Us –but Also on Their Heads, Backs, Stomachs and Feet! (and etc.) : Prologue Of all that lived prior to the flood; (flora and fauna) w e have burned their bodies or their remains for thousands of years for fuel. We utilize them in our cars and our machines. Their Detritus in their current forms are used to build houses and walls and streets and as binding agents. The mountains that we climb are made up of the remains of microscopic dead animals. The chemicals that made up the bones of the pre-flood living are used to fertilize our crops and gardens. Their remains may even be worn around our necks or on our fingers as jewelry. This planet is a vast graveyard and the life that existed before the flood is buried or entombed all around us-and are mute witnesses to Genesis.


  24. chris p

    In response to Jeff Dixon (first comment), who said “Keep in mind that two animals are not enough to provide the genetic diversity needed to sustain an animal population”

    Isn’t it ironic that those who make this kind of assertion are apparently unaware that rather than the genetic diversity found in a pair, evolution is believed to arise from a beneficial mutation in a Single Individual? That individual must survive and for evolution to progress all of a population except his/her descendants must die.

    There’s your genetic diversity tightrope.

  25. Frank Sherwin

    Evolutionists admit that this planet could be covered with water (almost): “We are talking about a time when, if you were looking at the Earth from space, you would hardly see any land mass at all,” said Mike Tice of TX A & M “It would have almost been an ocean world.” November 11, 2009 By L. BERGERON PhysOrg.com

  26. DigitalArtist

    In answer to the OP: You assertion that the mountains didn’t exist till the end of the flood is not supported by the bible. It clearly states that the flood covered all the highest mountains and you can’t cover what doesn’t exist. There is also another passage in the bible (can’t remember exactly where that talks about the ancient mountains. A clear indicator they existed before the supposed flood.

    Tas Walker replies:
    Yes, the Bible says that there were mountains before the Flood. The article says that today’s mountains did not exist. The Bible does not describe the details, but based on the geological evidence we believe that the mountains that existed before the Flood were destroyed by the Flood, and that today’s mountains were pushed up toward the end of the Flood. The vast deposits of sedimentary rocks all over the world show that huge erosion took place on the earth during the Flood.

  27. DigitalArtist

    Tas Walker replies:
    “Yes, the Bible says that there were mountains before the Flood. The article says that today’s mountains did not exist. The Bible does not describe the details, but based on the geological evidence we believe that the mountains that existed before the Flood were destroyed by the Flood, and that today’s mountains were pushed up toward the end of the Flood. The vast deposits of sedimentary rocks all over the world show that huge erosion took place on the earth during the Flood.”

    My reply is if the mountains were destroyed by the flood so too would the mountain the ark landed on have been destroyed. Since it was not and there is no evidence that any were it is unsubstantiated belief and nothing more.

    Tas Walker replies:
    These hypotheses can be checked against the geological and geographic evidence. The Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat and it was a few months before any other mountains appeared above the water. That suggests the Ark’s landing place was high compared with the surrounding area. It also suggests that the waters would drain away from the high point as they receded, thus Ararat would not have been eroded.

  28. DigitalArtist

    If a huge erosion took place then it would be evident on the mountains of Ararat and is not. If the mountains of Ararat were created by the flood there would be some geological and geographic evidence and there is not. There is also the fact that there are places in the world with monuments or other stone constructions that predate the supposed time of the flood but show no signs of the flood at all.

    Tas Walker responds: There is abundant evidence that most of the mountains formed during the Flood. Check a few articles on creation.com about “quartzite boulders”, “water gaps” and “mountain building”.

    One last point. The ark landing on the peak of Mt. Ararat would have spelled certain death for all aboard. Once the water receded, they emerged from the ark and would have been at a height where oxygen tanks/supplies would have been necessary for survival. Combine that with the sub zero cold and the treacherous descent and you have almost all occupants of the ark dead.

    Tas: You have a good question here, but I can think of several possible solutions, and I am sure there would be more. People become acclimatised to altitude and those on the Ark were there for weeks as the water receded, before they disembarked. Also, it may have taken months or years for the sea level to reach the level it sits at today. And finally, it is widely acknowledged that the oceans were warmer than they are today and this would have prevented the climate becoming as cold as you suggest. Anyway, people can survive in cold climates—witness the Eskimos.