Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Answering a Reader’s Eastern U.S. Land of Promise – Part XVII: Sea Currents

Continuing with David McKane’s comments on our blog and his maps and claimed area for the Land of Promise in the Great Lakes area.  
   McKane writes: “F G Williams had an opinion. But I find Joseph Smith revelation and scripture to be a better source. Zelph was found on a Hopewell Mound in Illinois he participated in the last battles. Joseph had a revelation or you believe he made it up your choice.”
Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Frederick G. Williams

 Response: A better source of what? Joseph Smith never had a revelation as to the location of the Land of Promise or anything relating to it as far as he or anyone else ever recorded. He did suggest an interest in the Mesoamerican area of the ruins there after seeing the book Incidents in Travel by Stephens when it was given to him. And since Williams’ note was something he wrote on a paper with a known revelation, as well as his other comments, are best understood in the light of his positions as the personal scribe to Joseph Smith, the secretary and Second counselor in the original First Presidency with Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, Williams’ note sounds pretty authentic.
    Joseph Smith also never said “last battle,” that was something someone wrote in their journal and has been taken out of the Church History record. Joseph’s opinion of where the Land of Promise was located was in the Western Hemisphere as quoted earlier. Within that area, he made statements that would validate just about anywhere. There is no scripture in the D&C that tells us where the Land of Promise was located. When you make statements like that you are being misleading at best and downright fallacious at worst.
    Frankly, if you want to do speculation, please do it somewhere else—we deal with the scriptural record here of the Book of Mormon, not your opinion or what suits you. Zelph was found in a burial mound—there is no indication it was Hopewell, but that is beside the point. We have already shown that the land of Promise was the entire Western Hemisphere and quoted numerous prophets and General Authorities to back it up. We have also shown how Zelph and others would have been in Mesoamerica and in North America. Joseph was never in Central or South America, and therefore could not have had any experiences in those areas to comment about.
    McKane writes: “I never said they were driven by waves on a river. On the river they were driven by "fierce winds."
Ocean waves are created by wind with the mechanics of wave creation based on wind speed and duration, and fetch (the distance over which the wind acts on the water). They are classified in two ways: Wind Waves (close together) and Swells (large rollers, which start out as wind waves and coalesce as they travel). At the same time, wind creates ocean currents along with gravitation and the Coriolis Effect

    Response: Another uninformed and outright unintelligent comment. Winds drive waves and currents, no matter where—on the ocean, on rivers, on lakes, etc. Without winds, there would be no waves. As we have stated before, “Surface currents are generated largely by wind. Their patterns are determined by wind direction, Coriolis forces from the Earth’s rotation, and the position of landforms that interact with the currents.  Surface wind-driven currents generate upwelling currents in conjunction with landforms, creating deepwater currents” (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, USDC, “Ocean Explorer,” from Multimedia Discovery Missions).
    “And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?” (Ether 2:25); and also “it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind” (Ether 6:5).
    Oceanographers today know that “Winds drive ocean currents, especially the surface currents that transport buoyant ‘wind-driven’ ships, vessels and boats. Winds also generate waves that mix the upper ocean and mediate atmosphere, and as wind speed increase, so does wave heights” (Washington State University/Vancouver, “Environmental Hydrodynamics—Winds, Waves and near-surface Currents,” Journal of Continental Shelf Research). And “Surface ocean currents are primarily affected by wind patterns.  Trade winds can push water along the top of the ocean and aid in the formation of surface currents“ (Ocean Circulations, Climate Institute, NC State University).
Obviously, then surface ocean currents are primarily affected by wind patterns. Trade winds can push water along the top of the ocean and aid in the formation of surface currents. One example of a wind-driven circulation affecting an ocean current is the Gulf Stream. Major causes of ocean currents include wind friction, gravity, and variation in water density in different parts of the ocean. Surface ocean currents are mainly caused by wind. The winds that most affect the oceans' currents are: The Westerlies (40-50 degree latitudes) blow west to east.
    McKane: St Lawrence River also has some of the strongest tidal forces anywhere in the world.”
    Response: First of all, these forces, at their strongest “spring tide” are not overly strong. Secondly, when speaking of tides on a river, what is meant is that the tides of the ocean, i.e., the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combination effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of the Earth, which results in water moving inward toward the shore and ebbing outward toward the sea twice daily. When these tides are strong in locations where river mouths exist, especially large rivers, the tide continues to flow upriver for a ways. In the case of the St. Lawrence, because of its size and the size of its mouth at the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the tide moves upward into the river as far as Quebec City. However, and this is quite important, this only happens twice a day, and half of each of these periods is “slack water” or “slack tide,” meaning the water is rushing back out to sea, in this case, from the St. Lawrence River. Also “neap tide” has almost no change, and is “without the power” to effect much force on the St. Lawrence tides.
    McKane writes: “On the Saint Lawrence River, tides affect shipping upstream past Quebec City, which is located several hundred miles inland from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. You are batting 0 for 3.”
St. Lawrence River at Quebec (on the left). The Île d'Orléans or Island of Orleans (central distance) is situated between the Laurentian Plateau or Canadian Shield to the north and the Appalachian Mountains to the south, with its north-eastern point marking the boundary between the St. Lawrence River and its estuary (the largest in the world), where fresh water begins to mix with salt water

    Response: The river flows 744 miles from Lake Ontario into the world’s largest estuary, the Gulf of St. Lawrence. As for Quebec City, it is only about 150 miles upriver from the Gulf, 450 miles from Lake Ontario. It is also 125 miles from Montreal, where the Lachine Rapids have stopped all ships, vessels and boats since it was formed and man entered the scene. The tidal portion of the St. Lawrence River, i.e., where estuary tides from the Gulf/Ocean run against the river’s currents, do not flow beyond Quebec City. In fact, the estuary begins at Île d'Orléans, which is at Quebec City (shown above) where fresh water impacts sea water, and begin to collide with the incoming tides at this point, which is 150 miles inland; however, do not be misled, the currents of the river’s flow to the ocean is still predominant (slowed, but predominant).
    Now that we have established beyond a shadow of a doubt, that winds drive waves and ocean currents, your tidal conditions on the St. Lawrence fit into this category. But what is more important is that the tides of the St. Lawrence all travel northeast toward the ocean, i.e., the St. Lawrence runs downhill 223-feet from the Great Lakes outflow (Lake Ontario) to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, which is at sea level—a vessel that is dependent upon winds and currents simply could never move uphill against the strong currents you that exist in this downhill run of the St. Lawrence.
    The St. Lawrence River has a discharge rate of 347, 849 cubic feet of water per second. In fact, the average discharge below the Seguenay River is 16,800 cubic metres per second (590,000 cu ft/s). At Quebec City, it is 12,101 m3/s (427,300 cu ft/s). The average discharge at the river's source, the outflow of Lake Ontario, is 7,410 m3/s (262,000 cu ft/s) according to Arthur C. Benke and Colbert E. Cushing, Rivers of North America, Academic Press. 205, pp989–990.
Before the locks were built, it would have been impossible for any ship to move from the St. Lawrence River up 223-feet vertically to Lake Ontario

This makes the force of the flow downhill to the northeast a considerable amount of flow a “drifting” vessel would have to overcome and would be next to impossible to accomplish.
(See the next post, ”Answering a Reader – Part XVII,” for the final response in this series of questions and comments from David McKane about his model around the Great Lakes of his Land of Promise)

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