“A Megaflood-Powered Mile-High Waterfall Refilled the Mediterranean”

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The Story

“A Megaflood-Powered Mile-High Waterfall Refilled the Mediterranean”
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-megaflood-powered-mile-high-waterfall-refilled-the-mediterranean-video/
by Katherine Kornei
Scientific American, March 26, 2018

The Pitch

Researchers think they’ve found evidence for one of the largest floods to have ever coursed over the Earth’s surface.

Roughly 6 million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar–the narrow waterway that now connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea–closed because of plate tectonics. Without a replenishing source of water, the Mediterranean partially dried up due to evaporation, its water level dropping by over a kilometer. Now, researchers have analyzed sediments below the Mediterranean seafloor to infer that the waters come rushing back in in a megaflood that spilled over a sill near Sicily. The team hypothesized that the Mediterranean Sea was refilled in about 2 years, an enormous influx of water that rendered this basin what it is today.

This result was published January 18th in Scientific Reports. I have attached a PDF of the manuscript.

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