Perhaps it was because of the flood that the ancient hominids began to look for workarounds to Western Europe, which delayed them for several million years, the researchers believe.
A monstrous flood 5 million years ago led to the formation of the Mediterranean Sea. Scientists from the High Council for Scientific Research of Spain (CSIC) claim that the Strait of Gibraltar was literally cut by a stream of water.
Daniel Garcia-Castellanos and colleagues laid the foundations for this study by working on tectonic lakes and creating a death model for mountain ponds when the river spills and absorbs them as a result of erosion. The same principle may explain the ancient flood mechanism that connected the Mediterranean with the rest of the oceans.
The Spaniards examined borehole and seismic data from the Strait of Gibraltar to assess the size and length of the channel cut through by the flood. They reconstructed the rock layers, calculating how events developed, and found that when the erosion reached a critical depth, the water flow accelerated sharply.
According to researchers, it took only a few months to two years to fill the empty Mediterranean basin. Having begun, perhaps, only with a trickle, the water gradually broke through the canal, and in the end there was a catastrophic flood.
The flow grew and at its peak was 1000 times higher than the modern Amazon (which, incidentally, once flowed in the opposite direction). The pace of rising water levels in the Mediterranean reached 10 meters per day.
Garcia-Castellanos and his colleagues hope to analyze other ancient floods, using their modeling method to identify some interesting nuances that previously remained in the shadows. Who knows, maybe they will be interested in the cataclysm that once split Britain from Europe.