Geophysicists say they have discovered an immense water reservoir deep below the Earth’s surface—a find which Christian scientists say could be an affirmation of a verse in the biblical Great Flood account.
On Thursday, researchers with Northwestern University and the University of New Mexico announced the discovery of a vast underground ocean several miles beneath the Earth’s surface. Though the scientists cannot immediately verify their claims, they remain confident about their conclusions.
“Northwestern geophysicist Steve Jacobsen and University of New Mexico seismologist Brandon Schmandt have found deep pockets of magma located about 400 miles beneath North America, a likely signature of the presence of water at these depths,” explains a press release from Northwestern University.
“Geological processes on the Earth’s surface, such as earthquakes or erupting volcanoes, are an expression of what is going on inside the Earth, out of our sight,” Jacobsen said in the release. “I think we are finally seeing evidence for a whole-Earth water cycle, which may help explain the vast amount of liquid water on the surface of our habitable planet. Scientists have been looking for this missing deep water for decades.”
If the scientists’ calculations are accurate, the amount of water beneath the Earth’s surface could dwarf the amount of water in our planet’s surface oceans.
“If just one percent of the weight of mantle rock located in the transition zone is H2O, that would be equivalent to nearly three times the amount of water in our oceans,” the press release states.
These underwater ocean findings were published this month in the journal Science. In the journal article, the researchers say the underground reservoir is located between 255 and 410 miles below the Earth’s surface.
According to Genesis 7:11, “the fountains of the great deep” were broken during the Great Flood, leading some Christians to believe that the underground ocean discovery sheds light on the biblical account. Brian Thomas, science writer for the Institute for Creation Research, told Christian News Network that the findings could potentially be related to the scriptural reference.
“It is of course possible that water found below Earth’s crust could be what remains from the waters ‘of the great deep’ that burst as fountains to Earth’s surface to initiate Noah’s year-long Flood according to Genesis 7:11,” Thomas said. “I would not refer to this news as a ‘significant verification’ of the Genesis Flood since some may suggest other explanations for the water, but it is consistent with Scripture’s general reference to waters deep beneath the earth.”
However, Thomas added, the very existence of water on Earth presents a problem for secular scientists.
“Secularists faced a tough enough challenge in trying to explain how Earth’s ocean waters came from rock,” he noted. “They imagine hydrated minerals from space rocks collided to form Earth. But the heat from those collisions would have pushed out the water. Now they have to explain this newly discovered deep water, too.”
The biblical account, Thomas continued, is much more consistent with the scientific evidence, since the Bible says God initially created the world as a watery sphere.
“Unlike secular thinkers,” he stated, “biblical scientists do not arbitrarily discount miracles, being open to the possibility that God built Earth with water like He said.”