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A Sudden Glacial Outflow Formed the English Channel

  1. Apr 11, 2017 #1

    BillTre

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    Similar to the bursting of a dam holding back glacial lake Missula which created a deluge that scoured eastern Washington State and created the Columbia River Gourge, a Glacial lake in the area of the North Sea may have spilled out (twice) over a land bridge connecting England to France and washed it away.

    Here is a New York Times article on the Nature article (which for some reason I can access).
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2017 #2
    Thanks for that Nature link. Not often us amateurs can get access to such detail...
     
  4. Apr 12, 2017 #3

    Evo

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    Thanks for that Bill!

    We've had some interesting discussions on this. I had also seen a documentary on this and had posted about this, then there was some very fierce opposition to it happening posted here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  5. Apr 12, 2017 #4

    BillTre

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    Sounds kinda like an expression of uniformitarianism, which was the philosophy of geology after it threw off the ideas of the Old Testament Origin Story (flood and deluges, AKA catastrophism). In reaction to that, uniformitarianism was only accepting of gradual continuous changes as explanations of geology.
    Some might say Darwin took this attitude to evolution (gradualism vs. the more dramatic punctuated evolution views.

    I think when the Missoula based floods were first proposed by Bretz, he was strenuously opposed by the uniformantarians running major geology departments for many years. After about 40 years, the data supporting the flood events won out and I believe that Bretz was still around to enjoy it.

    This seems to me to be a strong example of a battle of scientific paradigms.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2017 #5

    Bandersnatch

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    That's because it's been published in the Nature Communications journal - an open access journal running under Nature Publishing Group umbrella. I.e., it's not actually Nature proper.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_Communications
     
  7. Apr 13, 2017 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    @BillTre -Catastrophic Geology, Catastrophism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catastrophism

    This is very mainstream Geology now and is supported by data like the KT boundary, the Missoula scablands, and the Arizona meteor crater.
    When I was an undergraduate, plate tectonics was not taught in the undergrad courses I had from the geology department -- ~1962. Tectonics is now understood from a plant geography perspective as well.
     
  8. Apr 13, 2017 #7

    BillTre

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    When I was in High School (early 70's) I read a little book on plate tectonics, which I found very convincing. That was the first I had heard about it.

    I took a physical geography course in college (later 70's) and wrote a report on plate tectonics. I got the impression from the professor it was still considered kind of new then.
     
  9. Apr 13, 2017 #8
    It does seem like a reasonable proposition given that in a situation of melting glaciers in northern Europe,
    there would be tonnes of water flowing into the North Sea from several European mainland sources,
    Eventually it has to find a way to get into the Atlantic, and Nature usually finds the easiest route.
    The only other way to play would be by sending the water N around the top of Scotland.
     
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