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The Railroad Anomily
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading this Science Fiction book by Stephen Baxter called Flood. In the book which is the unofficial prequel to the movie Waterworld. The world's oceans start to quickly rise hundreds of meters with in 50 years and the water soon reaches inland flooding out tens of thousands of town and cities and it sends billions of people on the move land as the waters rise. The flooding is triggered by vast reserves of water escaping the confines of the Earth's Mantle and adds to the global sea level rise. This thing has a sinister yet funny ending.

But what it does raise of the question is our society prepared in case the global sea levels rise five ten or even 500 meters such as what would happen? Such as right now we live in a very car based society where they have filled in canals in coastal areas that would be better suited for boats than cars but they pave them over to make way for cars anyway. Also think of the kind of damage that would happen if say sea level rise happened a few meters and suddenly tens of million of people where forced out of the vast mega coastal cites into the rural mountainous areas that don't have a lot of people in them to begun with and wouldn't be able to hand it.

Or think of what might happen if we nine billion people on only 80% or 60% of the land that we have today?"
 

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PRESIDENT OF SPACE
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Is there even enough water on the planet for that to happen, at least in a less than geologic time-scale?
 

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The Railroad Anomily
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is enough existing water on the planet to do and there are several ways it could happen. The first way it could happen is the world's ocean's have a common world depth that averages out to 3000 to 6000 meters while the bulk of the world's land sits below 500 meters below sea level. Tens of millions of years ago during the era of the Dinosaurs shallow inland seas pushed there ways on to many sections of the land such as the sea pushed it's way into the Midwest dividing up the US up into several smaller land masses. But over time the seas retreated as as the Earth's mantle shifted and pressures in the earth's technocratic plates allowed larger sections of land to lift up out of the world's oceans. The events that made this happen where changes in temperature in the Earth's core and mantle. Now a nightmare could happen if some Anomaly makes the temperature in the Earth's core shift and change temperatures in the core which could in result in the Earth's crust shifting and triggering the world's oceans to spill out of their basins like a overflowing bathtub like they did 100 million to 50 million years ago.

Another nightmare could come from the Earth's mantle in that there are ideas that the Earth's mantle has underground reserves of water locked up in some of the rocks and minerals of it at high temperatures that are chemically bonded to the rocks. A example of one of these underground reserves of water is the Beijing Anomaly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_Anomalywhich Scientists believe might be one of these underground seas in the Earth's mantle. It and other underground seas might contain three to ten times more water in the Earth that in the world's oceans. If something happened down in the mantle that broke down the chemical bonds in the water bearing minerals the water would quickly rush up to the surface and meet up with the water in the world's oceans raising sea levels.

Oddly though we don't have to worry about the mantle reeves of water causing any trouble for now in that they are chemically bonded to the rocks down there and the Earth does a good job of keeping a balanced check book in the amount of water that is in the oceans and is in the mantle so it most likely won't do anything soon unless something unknown happens that makes it come out.

The third source could be a space connection where the Earth itself could pass though a giant frozen cloud of water molecules in other space or get hit by tens of millions of small ice comets that are able to drift though the Earth's protective layers or are large enough to fall though and add to the global amount of water. This has happened in earth's past when ice comets over time added to the Earth's water supplies by raining down over the eons to fill up the first oceans on earth.

Personally I think the overflowing bath tub theory could bring about nightmarish global floods of the world's land sinking or the world's oceans getting lifted up and spilling out of their basins.
 

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PRESIDENT OF SPACE
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But what you describe would take eons, right?
 

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Home Energy Reactor
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Not sure if there are really that much water, but is it possible for our land to sink. Is it at all possible some geological change, plate movement cause the whole continent to rapidly sink or tilted.
 

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The Railroad Anomily
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some of these events may not need eons to happen if you think about how big the Earth is such as if the ocean depths are 5000 meters only ten miles off of the coast of North Carolina and the bulk of the Earth's land is under 200 meters to 1000 meters. There really isn't anything saying that ocean floor can't get lifted up by stealing mass away from the land and overflowing like a bathtub.
 

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Some of these events may not need eons to happen if you think about how big the Earth is such as if the ocean depths are 5000 meters only ten miles off of the coast of North Carolina and the bulk of the Earth's land is under 200 meters to 1000 meters. There really isn't anything saying that ocean floor can't get lifted up by stealing mass away from the land and overflowing like a bathtub.
I don't think that's ever happened though, has it? In any case, if it did happen, I would think it would cause earthquakes bigger than humans have ever seen across the world, so our cities would be levelled and much of its residents dead anyways.
 

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Home Energy Reactor
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Is there even enough water on the planet for that to happen, at least in a less than geologic time-scale?
To cover all land, maybe not,
to cover majority of coastal city, I think there is enough water.
 

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The Railroad Anomily
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is enough water to do but it's locked away in the Earth's Mantle. The reason why it doesn't come gushing out and destroy everything is that it's chemically bonded to other minerals that have formed down in the mantle holding it in place kind of like a bank account of water reserves. If something where to happen that where to cause some type of chemical reaction that would break the bonds of the water to water holding minerals than the water would be forced up to the surface and started raising sea levels.



One of the things that might happen is if the world's oceans where able to raise by 50 feet across the board the extra water would spill in from the Black Sea and flood out the Caspian Sea which is 70 feet below sea level. If this where to happen a lot of land locked counties that have no open ocean access would get to open up sea ports. Also it would greatly effect Russia in that Russia uses it's political control over the canal system that carries smaller ships from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea though a system of canals. But the rising global sea levels might be able to flood out and break though the system of canals and locks and flood out the Caspian Sea allowing it to grow three times in size.
 
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Isostatic uplift/subsidence is a well documented phenomenon. But it takes very long time to make a noticeable difference. At least hundreds of thousands to millions of years. In fact, I suspect it is more of a reason for some Pacific territories 'sinking' than the popular explanation of an absolute rise in average sea level. But if one plate sinks, another one rises and a scenario where suddenly the whole of seabed somehow gains elevation and spills water around simply isn't possible in terms of understood litospheric processes.

If there was an event powerful enough to release the water chemically bonded to the litosphere, I think the subsequent increase in sea levels would be our least worry. That is, if the seabed didn't collapse due to loss of its material at the same time, effectively changing nothing.

The only viable thing I could think of is some cataclysmic basaltic lava flow on the ocean bed, that would pave a new, massive landmass like the Deccan Plateau. But even that wouldn't rise the global sea levels by hundreds of meters and beside, I doubt Earth has enough 'steam' to produce a flow this big at its current age.
 

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The Railroad Anomily
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158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At the least if a chemical reaction happened freeing up the water it could case large sections of land above it to sink in unexpected places causing large sections of dry land to shift or the Earth could natural things going on inside of it that we know about. Such as even if it took the Earth 1000 years to raise global sea levels 900 feet in terms of a human life time compared to this it would be very nightmarish for us humans even if the world's oceans shifted by 20 feet in a century.

Such as think of the mayhem if global sea levels went up by 20 feet in a century think of what would happen to crowed low lying crowded places such as the Netherlands if they where flooded out and forced to move inland into Northern Germany. Or if say if 20 feet of sea level rise happened and flooded out half of Florida which is very low lying with most of it less than 30 feet above sea level. Think of he urban planning pressures the states and counties around it would face. Or think of what would happen to Germany and France and the other counties around it if millions of people where forced out of their homes and forced to resettle in other areas in how it would affect zoning.




The nature of the Earth is we don't know what types of things could happen to it say if the Earth where to get hit by a comet made of some type of rare element that could act like throwing coal into the steam engine that powers the Earth's Core. Such as no one has really spent time talking about how much of some types of elements are used to keep the Earth's core burning such as no one has really talked about is it some type of element that there are large amounts of or could it be small amounts of some elements that pack a really good punch.
 
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