Where Did the Water Go?

From Issue: Discovery 1/1/2019

If the Flood covered the whole Earth, where did all the water go? The total amount of water in the ice caps, crust of the Earth, and the clouds in the sky do not hold enough water to cover the mountains today. In order to understand where the water went, we have to think about what happened in the Flood.

As we discussed earlier in this issue, Creation scientists believe the movement of the Earth’s plates began when “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11). During the Flood, these plates were moving very fast—probably as fast as you can run. Today, the plates are moving slowly—about as fast as your fingernails grow. Recall that when plates move apart, magma comes to the surface of the Earth to fill the gap. Since many of the plates were moving apart from each other quickly during the Flood, more and more magma was coming onto the ocean floor. Eventually, the entire sea floor was replaced with new magma.

Shell Fossils

One of the rules that governs heat tells us that when a material is hotter, it will expand and when it is cold it contracts or “shrinks up” (except for water). The new magma on the ocean floor was hotter than the previous ocean floor, so it would have been in an expanded state. Scientists have calculated that the new magma on the ocean floor would have raised the ocean floor by thousands of feet over several weeks, pushing water, mud, and sea creatures over the continents in the Flood (Genesis 8:3). That is why we find fossils on dry land, and even on mountains.

Eventually, the plates would have slowed down. The magma cooled and the ocean floor would have contracted, since colder materials shrink. The ocean floor, therefore, would have sunk back to the level where it started, allowing the water on the continents to go back to the oceans (Psalm 104:8).

Where is the water from the Flood? Answer: where it was before the Flood—mainly in the oceans. The next time you stand on a seashore looking at the vast, unending ocean, remember that over 4,000 years ago, that same water once covered the Earth as God’s judgment upon man’s wickedness (2 Peter 3:3-12). That same water carried Noah and his family to safety, thanks to the grace of God (1 Peter 3:20-21).


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