Monday, September 29, 2014

Changing Land of Promise—The Effect of Rising Mountains - Part V and the Disappearing Sea East

Continuing with the past four posts and our understanding of how the destruction and changes described in 3 Nephi affected the landscape of the Land of Promise and what it that means to us today.  
    As stated in the conclusion of the previous post: “At this time, with the Andes mountains we now see at their considerable height, still isolating the western coastal shelf of South America from the eastward lands, the Nephite Sea East ceased to exist.”
    In its place of the Sea East rose the eastern, or Occidental range of the Andes, forming the Urubamba River along the line that once was the eastern seacoast. Lake Titicaca, a 3,200-square-mile saltwater lake was trapped among the rapidly rising peaks as they rushed to their present height. The lake, now the deepest navigable alpine lake in the world, then slowly began draining to the south, its evaporation of water leaving salt all along the endorheic basic of the Altiplano—a plateau which was formed during the uplift of the Andes mountains.
South of Lake Titicaca, along its drainage course, lies a series of salt flats (top), including Salar de Empexa, Salar de Laguani, Salar de Ascotan, Salar de Coipasa, and the largest: Salar de Uyuni (Bottom)—the world’s largest salt flat at 4,086 square miles. These flats were formed from the drainage of the salt water formed when the Andes uplifted, creating lakes such as the saline Titicaca, and hypersaline Poopo, Usru Uru, and Atacama
    According to Stanford geologist Robert B. Dunbar (“Stanford Report,” Science Magazine 2001), recent sediment samples from the lakebed indicate that water levels have dramatically risen in the past of the lake that is now two miles above sealevel on the Altiplano, or High Plateau, of the northern Andes Mountains.
    There are five observable factors that suggest Lake Titicaca rose at the time of the Andes: 1) The port of Puma Punku, with its magnificent rock wharves are now sixteen miles from any water source where large scale navigation took place, 2) The huge, rock slabs, some weighing hundreds of tons, are strewn about like children’s blocks, showing a violent upheaval, 3) Water lines on adjacent mountains show that the sea was once located there, 4) Millions of sea shells are scattered all over the area, and 5) evidence of ancient large-scaled corn fields adjacent to the area show an ancient cultivation, though corn will not grow at this present altitude.
Stone wharfs at Puma Punku, now at 12,800 feet and sixteen miles from any water, were once at sea level and handled hundreds of ships. Top: These broken stones from the four-level building overlooking the wharves and docks were once a single stone, weighing over four hundred ton, now obviously broken by some extremely powerful uplift; Bottom: Parts of the city and wharfs of Puma Punku buried in the depths of Lake Titicaca
    At the time of this uplift, Lake Titicaca was a salt water lake and even today is still slightly saline, with skeletons of salt-water, ocean-dwelling fish having been found within it, and its shoreline littered with millions of fossilized seashells. The marine fishes and seahorses in the lake are all oceanic types found only in salt water. In addition, the banks of the fresh water Desaguadero River is flanked by a halophytic prairie (salt tolerant), which is composed of quaternary silts of saline soils, and the vegetation is adapted to high concentrations of salts, suggesting this fresh water river (the outflow of Lake Titicaca) was once a river with high salt content.
    In addition, the residence time of Titicaca, that is, the time it takes for the water to be flushed from the lake and replaced by new water, also called “Lake Retention Time,” (the measurement of the age of the water within the lake to be replaced), is 1343 years (Lake Tahoe in Nevada/California, is 650 years, the Caspian Sea is 250 years, Lake Superior is 191 years, Lake Michigan is 99 years, Lake Huron is 22 years, Bear Lake in Utah is 19.6 years, Lake Powell in Utah is 7.2 years, Lake Ontario is 6 years, Lake Erie is 2.6 years, and Devil’s Lake in Oregon is about 4.5 weeks—in fact, only three lakes have longer residence time: Lake  Qaban in Russia, of several thousand years; Lake Poyang in China of 5000 years; and Lake Vostok in Antartica of 13300 years ).
    All of this points out the tremendous exchange time for Titicaca to have lost its salt content. In 2000 years, there would be very little left, as is found today. Obviously, all this drainage of salt from Titicaca should be visible to its southward end where it drains, and as pointed out above, it certainly is, forming a series of salt flats, including the world’s largest salt flats.
    According to Hoorn, Guerrero and Lorente, (“Andean tectonics as a cause of changing drainage patterns in northern South America” 1995), “The uplift of the tropical Andes…had a profound impact on the history of the South American continent, and changed the course of the Amazon system from flowing northwestwards to the modern system that flows to the Atlantic side.” And according to Kathryn Gregory-Wodzicki, This “affected the climate of the region by forming the only barrier to atmospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere” (“Andean tectonics as a cause of changing drainage patterns in northern South America” 2000).
    With the Amazon now flowing eastwards to the Atlantic, from its source in the Peruvian Andes a short distance (less than 100 miles) from the Pacific Ocean, the Amazon Drainage Basin formed—called Amazonia, it is the largest such basin in the world and covers about 40% of South America, an area around 2,720,000 square miles, and containing more water than any other river in the world. This area, once the Pebesian Sea, which drained to near the surface as the South American tectonic plate slid upward over the Nazca plate, still remains pretty much of a swampy flatland of forested areas called várzea (flooded forests) that become increasingly flooded every rainy season as the river rises annually to more than thirty feet with additional runoff. Only the areas along the northern and southern margines and montaine forests in the Andes to the west, is there found “terra firma” (solid ground).
    For those who consider that South America could not have risen up out of the sea, the Amazon Basin, which is about the size of the contiguous United States, is still more or less at  sea level.
The Amazon Basin is mostly a fresh-water swamp forest where trees are inundated in water at least six months of the year or more, with patches of ground enclosed with freshwater in some places permanently and in others seasonally called Várzea (flooded forests in wetlands) or Igapó (blackwater-flooded Amazonian forests). It is not what you would think of as a large plain like the Great Plains of the U.S. or typical rainforests like those in Africa, Central America or New Zealand
    In addition, for those unfamiliar with the list of submerged lands, consider 1) Sundaland, the now submerged Sunda Shelf; 2) Zealandia a continent now 93% submerged under the Pacific Ocean, 3) Kerguelen Plateau, a submerged micro-continent now about 3 to 6 feet below sea level; 4) Doggerland, the bed of the North Sea; 5) the bed of the Persian Gulf; 6) A large island in the Mediterranean Sea of which the Maltese Islands are the only parts not now submerged; 7) Maui Nui, once a large island of the Hawaii archipelago; 8) Strand, an island off the German coast; 9) Jordsand once an island off the Danish coast; 10) Gerdinandea, submerged island that has appeared at least four times in the past; 11) Sarah Ann Island, now submerged guano island, off the coast of the equator; and 12) Ravenser Odd, a large 13th century town on the old sandbank promontory in East Yorkshire that became an island and then vanished in 1392.
NASA photo of a new island, now more than 1 ½ years in existence south of Japan
    There is also an existing emerging island (Nishino Shima) 620 miles south of Japan’s coast, having grown eight times larger than when first observed in early 2013 within the Bonin Islands or Ogasaware chain. Fifteen hundred years ago earthquakes sunk Alexandria off the coast of Egypt, only recently rediscovered; a city called Dwarka off the coast of Cambay, India, was recently discovered, along with its intact architecture and human remains; ancient pyramids were discovered twenty years ago off the coast of Yonaguni-Jima, Japan, that were evidently carved right out of bedrock; megalithic ruins were found in the Channel near Cuba stretching for miles along the ocean floor; also near Yucatan in underwater caves, at the end of a 300-foot road stands stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves; a recently discovered stone-head was found in the waters of Lake Trafuo in Patagonia, Argentina; a collapsed wall or sunken road and numerous multiple tiers of carved stone off the North Bimini island in the Bahamas; a sunken city has been identified off the southern Laconia coast of Greece, which was occupied 5,000 years ago; an underwater Stone Age settlement has been located off the coast of Southampton, England; and sunken buildings have been found near the south shore of Okinawa, and its neighboring islands Kerama and Aguni over some 311 miles.
The Yonaguni monument is over 164 feet long, 98 feet wide, and from 16 feet beneath the surface to a depth of 82 feet. Note the tiny size of the diver in the upper right
    Of course we know that the City of Enoch was taken from the Earth (Moses 7:69); and in the days of Peleg, about 101 years after the Flood, “the earth was divided” (Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19).
    The point is, land has risen or sunk throughout recorded history. Unfortunately, modern man has a firm belief that the world was always as it is now, without realizing the changes that have taken place over the centuries. However, we have been given sufficient knowledge to know and understand that changes have taken place, and in some cases, what those changes would have been.
(See the next post, “Changing Land of Promise—The Effect of Rising Mountains - Part VI and the Disappearing Sea East,” for more information on the changes wrought by the events described in 3 Nephi, and their effect on the Land of Promise before and after 34 A.D. and how the Lord intervened to change this landscape in three hours)

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