Many creationist geologists have proposed that the Grand Canyon (GC) was formed by a catastrophic dam-breach event. This would have released large quantities of water from impounded lakes east of the canyon that had remained on the plateau after the Flood. This event would have carved the GC, starting from the east moving to the west. Yet there are many features of the GC that cannot be adequately explained by such a dam-breach event. A better explanation is that the GC was formed while the waters of Noah’s Flood receded from the American continent. As this receding water flowed from east to west, the GC was mainly carved out in the opposite direction, from west to east. This scenario explains many characteristic and unusual features of the GC, such as its location through the top of a ridge, its branching structure, its numerous major and minor side canyons, its meandering and the presence of multiple ‘outflow points’ in its terminal escarpment.

The breached-dam theory

Contrary to the uniformitarian view that the origin of the Grand Canyon (GC) was a slow process over 7 million years, creationists have claimed it was carved by a single catastrophic event by the breaching of an enormous natural dam. This breached-dam theory (BDT), as it is called, says that the water from two lakes lying east of the Kaibab Plateau, called Hopi Lake and Green River Lake (or Grand Lake), catastrophically carved through this higher-lying plateau and formed the GC.

Walt Brown presented an account of the BDT in his book In The Beginning, which was first published in 1980 and is now in its 8th edition.1 In the late 1980s, Edmond Holroyd defined the boundaries of the two lakes.2,3Steve Austin et al. summarized the BDT in his 1994 book about the GC.4

Figure 1 is a Digital Elevation Model of the region around the GC and indicates by joining lines of equal contour (calculated by software) the raised water level that defines the possible outline of the lakes.5

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