Noah’s Flood—Probing an Ancient Narrative Using Geoscience

  • Helmut BrücknerEmail author
  • Max Engel
Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)


This article sheds new light on the narrative of Noah’s Flood (Genesis Flood, Great Deluge) from a geoscientific point of view. It outlines the four most popular hypotheses: (i) the postglacial–early Holocene flooding of the Persian/Arabian Gulf which fell dry during the last glacial lowstand of the sea; (ii) a cosmic impact by a meteorite ca. 10,000 years ago, which triggered tsunami waves worldwide; (iii) the rapid re-filling of the Black Sea basin when the early Holocene rise of the Mediterranean Sea surpassed the Bosphorus sill about 8400 years ago; and (iv) the occurrence of one or several mega-floods in Central and Lower Mesopotamia, which left imprints in and around ancient settlement mounds (tells) such as Ur and Uruk. The pros and cons of these scenarios are discussed. Based on geological and sedimentological evidence the authors argue for the latter theory and describe future research venues.


Noah’s flood Great deluge Epic of Gilgamesh Persian/Arabian Gulf Cosmic impact Black sea Mesopotamia Ur Uruk 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeographyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.Geological Survey of BelgiumRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural ScienceBrusselsBelgium

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