by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
One glance at Grand Canyon evokes wonder at the extensive erosion that occurred—but 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 Noah’s 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….
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