Skip to comments.Cavitation (article about Glen Canyon Dam)
Posted on 08/27/2012 8:07:29 AM PDT by fishtank
Cavitation by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"One glance at Grand Canyon evokes wonder at the extensive erosion that occurredbut the canyon is only the final whisper of a grand-scale event. The massive erosion episode leveled off and gouged out the Colorado Plateau, covering much of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. The present-day Colorado River hardly seems capable. Something of a much larger scale accomplished this!...."
by John D. Morris, Ph.D. *
One glance at Grand Canyon evokes wonder at the extensive erosion that occurredbut the canyon is only the final whisper of a grand-scale event. The massive erosion episode leveled off and gouged out the Colorado Plateau, covering much of Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. The present-day Colorado River hardly seems capable. Something of a much larger scale accomplished this!
Creationists assign most sedimentary rocks to the great Flood of Noahs day, which then eroded as the Flood ended and the waters rushed off the rising continents. Seeming problems arise in attributing all this erosion to the short time period assumed for the Flood and the centuries following. What could have accomplished this?
Cavitation, a process well-studied by engineers and geologists today, is known to be quite capable of eroding huge volumes of rock and concrete quickly. As water moves at a high velocity over a rough surface, vacuum bubbles form and implode with such a great force that they fracture the adjacent rock, thereby accelerating erosion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reckons that cavitation was the culprit that eroded enormous thicknesses of reinforced concrete and the surrounding rock under a spillway draining Glen Canyon Dam in 1983, just upriver from Grand Canyon.
The dam had been constructed to protect the Colorado River and Grand Canyon below from intermittent water floods. But spring runoff was threatening to overtop the dam and send enormous volumes of water downstream, possibly inflicting much damage to the dam and inhabitants below. To minimize the damage, the overflow spillways were opened, draining the excess water in a controlled fashion. Soon, clear lake water gushed from the tunnels as if from a giant hose.
On June 15, 1983, after four days of release, the lake level continued to rise, and flow through the spillway increased. All appeared to be going well, but seismographs sensed that something more substantial was happening underground. Suddenly, the exiting water turned muddy redthe color of the underlying rockand huge chunks of rock and concrete were thrown out.
Before they could close the spillway, water flowing at a rapid velocity had eaten through the spillways thick reinforced concrete casing and opened a huge chasm in the rock beneath. Within minutes, a cavern 32 by 40 by 150 feet had been excavated. Cavitation had eaten through the three-foot-thick, steel-reinforced concrete lining of the tunnel and into the underlying rock. It is possible that cavitation was pulverizing concrete, steel, and sandstone at a rate in excess of 1,000 cubic feet per minute during the peak period of erosion. Sixty-three thousand cubic feet of concrete was required to fill this enormous hole.
Never again can we doubt that dynamic moving waters are capable of doing extensive geologic work in a hurry, even under normal conditions. We are still left to ponder the effects of the much more intense great Flood, which would have produced erosion on an even grander scale with waters flowing at much greater sustained volumes and velocities.1
Austin, S., ed. 1994. Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Image credit: Glen Canyon Dam Failure. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2012. Cavitation. Acts & Facts. 41 (8): 16.
Photos from the article.
I bet someone was peeing their pants at that time.
Well, I think the old advice about herds applies here....don’t drink down stream from the herd and don’t be downstream from a dam.
If you look at the “badlands” in the US NorthWest you will be amazed
It looks like a flooding of massive scale happened there
Why aren’t there Grand Canyons all over North America?
It is. Re: The Missoula flood, about 10,000 years ago.
So where did all the rock and dirt from the Grand Canyon end up?
‘Why arent there Grand Canyons all over North America?’
Terrain. Altitude. Type of rock. Pitch of the slope. Vegetation.
If I recall correctly, there were some other geological events that led to the Grand Canyon. Something called an "uplift" of the Colorado Plateau, which I believe translated, "enhanced" the depth of the canyon. I'm sure there were other factors--the relatively softer sandstone made it easier for the river to erode; the eroding sand created an abrasive mix which eroded even more.
Young-earthism, Ken Ham, the ICR, and “Dr.” Morris all damage the cause of Christ. Most of what they have written is demonstrably false. “The truth will set you free.” My God is big enough to wait out the Colorado river.
The Grand Canyon flood took place quite a bit AFTER Naoh’s flood.
It was the result of the breaching of an Ice Age lake ...
.... best I can tell you is for you to dig more deeply on ICR’s site.
I hear ya! I live just over the hills from Bullhead City AZ-which is just below the Davis Dam, which is below the Hoover Dam etc. If the Glen Canyon would let go, Bullhead would get fushed down the way like flushing a toilet. There is no way the Hoover could handle that much water coming at one time from the Glen Dam. And the Davis, is a earthen dam.
I really don’t think so.
The sedimentary layers that are many meters thick and that persist for hundreds of miles in four compass directions (with no erosion damage between layers) are a powerful testament to the validity of a literal worldwide flood.
Just FYI, I am 100% in agreement with the idea of a recent worldwide deluge, and about 95-99% in agreement with a young earth theory.
I don't expect to change your closed mind, but to help convince other Christians that Morris does not have the final word on Biblical text, and certainly not on geology.
Worldwide floods have happened many times. There's geological evidence for them. There's plenty of evidence for the area in question being under water for millenia; the layers alone (as you cite) are testament to that.
But there is NO EVIDENCE linking either to Noah's flood.
Noah's flood was NOT global; it was only "worldwide" in the sense that the whole known world of mankind was affected.
How do I know? There is no way Noah's ark (for which we have the dimensions) held all present-day species of animals, in all parts of the globe. And unless you're willing to go to the kook fringe of the young-earth movement and posit super-efficient macro-evolution to generate all the present-day species, which is otherwise anathema to young-earthers, the limited scope of the flood must be admitted.
Morris (along with his collaborator, Whitcombe) was looking for a way to support the kooky dreams of Seventh-Day Adventist prophetess, Ellen G. White. There is nothing Christian about it.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”
Since you question the “Dr.” in front of Henry Morris’s name..... (This is the elder Morris.)
Dr. Henry Morris bio from Wiki:
Morris grew up in Texas in the 1920s and 1930s. He graduated from Rice University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1939.
He married Mary Louise on January 24, 1940, and they later had six children. After his graduation in 1939, and through 1942, he was a hydraulic engineer working with the International Boundary and Water Commission.
He returned to Rice, teaching civil engineering from 1942 until 1946. In 1946 he wrote a short book entitled That You Might Believe (1946). From 1946 through 1951, he studied at the University of Minnesota, where he was awarded a master’s degree in hydraulics (1948) and a Ph.D. in hydraulic engineering (1950).
In 1951 he became a professor and chair of civil engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
He then served as a professor of applied science at Southern Illinois University, 19561957, and subsequently as professor of hydraulic engineering and in civil engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), again serving as the department chair.
In 1963 Morris and nine others founded the Creation Research Society. After a dispute with the administration of the university, Morris resigned from his position at Virginia Tech in 1969.
In 1970, he co-founded the Christian Heritage College in Santee, California which spawned Institute for Creation Research (ICR) in 1972.
Ice dam collapse at the end of the ice age, releasing an enormous fresh water inland sea (perhaps multiple times over several ice ages).
Water would go downhill, not all of the continent, just the most direct downill path to the ocean.
Do NOT ask this question!
Then folks will wonder why there is a GULF of California!!
I hear that strange things are happening in the Imperial valley area...
ONly a heretic would believe this!!!
The geology of Lake Pend Oreile, In North Idaho indicates that the 1100 foot deep lake was formed by the outflow of massive amounts of water that had been captured behind ice dams during successive ice ages. The water flow gouged out solid bedrock down to 1100+ feet. The alluvial fan spreads for hundreds of miles and formed the Rathdrum plain a hundred miles South. Then there’s the Columbia Gorge, Lake Missoula emptied right through the Cascade mountain range creating a canyon thousands of feet deep on its way to the ocean. They’re there if you know where to look.
That makes perfect sense to me. I don’t know how the subject of the bad lands came up. The article is about the Grand Canyon.
Thank you for making my point.
The Greek in that passage is much closer to the English "their whole world," as in the environment that a certain people knew, than it is "the globe".
My point stands. Noah's was not a global flood.
And by the way, I know plenty about “Dr.” Morris’ storied past. I use the quotes because he WAS NOT a Doctor in the field of geology. He was not trained in the physical sciences at all beyond what an engineer is. So if you want to use his title as an appeal to authority (genetic fallacy), no sale here.