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Sea Refill

Researchers have uncovered the secrets of a catastrophic flood which happened more than five million years ago and is thought to have refilled the Mediterranean Sea.

“Research has revealed details of the catastrophic Zanclean flood that refilled the Mediterranean Sea more than five million years ago. The flood occurred when Atlantic waters found their way into the cut-off and desiccated Mediterranean basin. The researchers say that a 200km channel across the Gibraltar strait was carved out by the floodwaters. Their findings, published in Nature, show that the resulting flood could have filled the basin within two years. The team was led by Daniel Garcia-Castellanos from the Research Council of Spain (CSIC). He explained that he and his colleagues laid the foundations for this study by working on tectonic lakes. They developed a model of how the mountain lakes quickly “cease to exist” when erosion produces ‘outlet rivers’ that drain them. This same principle, Dr Garcia-Castellanos said, could be used to explain the Zanclean flood that reconnected the Mediterranean with the rest of the World’s oceans.”


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