Geologists found traces of the ice age «the great flood» in Europe

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Planinata the artist imagined as melted polar ice cap in Europe, 15 thousand years agoGeologists found traces of the ice age «the great flood» in Europe© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

Geologists found the speed with which melting ice in Europe after the ice age, and came to the conclusion that the ultrafast reduction caused a kind of «great flood», stopuri the Central part of the subcontinent and gave rise to the giant river, says the article, published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.

«Our models show that approximately 15-13 thousand years ago, the Eurasian ice sheet was losing every year about 750 cubic kilometers of ice. In some periods the rate of loss increased to three thousand cubic kilometers of ice. At this time, the so-called era of «catastrophic growth No. 1″, the melting of glaciers in Eurasia almost instantaneously raised the sea level by 2.5 meters,» says Henry Patton (Henry Patton) from the Arctic University of Norway in tromsø.

Approximately three million years ago the Earth entered the era of the so-called Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, during which glaciers on the North and South poles have periodically risen and fallen in the temperate latitudes. Episodes of their occurrence are called «glacial periods», and retreat – milenkova. The most recent warming began, as scientists believe today, approximately 15-12 thousand years ago and continues to this day.

Prior to this warming period the Earth looked quite different than it is today – the sea level was lower than present by a few tens of meters, and most of Europe and Northern Asia was covered by glaciers. Britain at that time was not an island, but a Peninsula, half covered polar ice cap.

It tells Patton, geologists quite a long time interested in how rapidly retreating glaciers and the consequences that lead this retreat. For example, recently British scientists have discovered that the rapid melting of ice and the flow of water caused the first, this time geological «Brakit», forming the English channel and forcing the future of Albion, separated from continental Europe about 10 thousand years ago.

Patton and his colleagues analyzed all the available information about the melting of the ice of Eurasia at that time in different places, starting with UK and ending with the Chukotka, and tried to form a coherent picture of this process.

As shown by their calculations, the ice of the Northern continent was melting at that time with a record-high pace, losing every one hundred years approximately the same amount of water as is contained in five Baikal, «slimming» 750 billion tonnes every year.

This amount of water, according to scientists, should be enough to completely flood the Central and Northern Europe and form giant lakes and fresh-water «seas», on the site of which run North, Baltic and White sea.

In addition, in France, then appeared dozens of so-called «mega-rivers» – a giant of the waterways, transporting the water from the flooded Central Europe towards the Atlantic. According to scientists, these rivers have transported about two times more water than the modern Amazon, their pool was occupied much less space.

These rivers, as noted by the geologists threw out quite a lot of cold melt water in order to disrupt the Gulf stream and other Atlantic currents that could cause periods of sharp cold snaps and temporary advance of glaciers in Scandinavia, Spitsbergen, Franz Josef land and Novaya Zemlya, which scientists today call «the late Dryas».

A few thousand years, when the mega-river slowed its pace, the warming has continued, and, according to Patton, the reduction in the polar caps since 15 thousand years ago, continues to this day. The description of this process and the associated computer models, as scientists hope, will help scientists to understand how stable is the bottom of the Arctic ocean deposits of methane in frozen soil, whose release dramatically increase global warming.

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