Where did all the water go after Noah's Flood?
And how long did the flood waters cover the earth?
ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, the whole earth was once covered by floodwaters. But the world looked greatly different before the worldwide Flood of Noah's time than after it.
After the Flood, what happened to all the water?
Psalm 104 tells us that the waters covered the mountains (verse 6), then God rebuked them and they fled (verse 7). The mountains rose and the valleys sank down (verse 8), and God set a boundary for the seas so they would never again cover the whole earth (verse 9).
The prophet Isaiah confirms God's promise that He would never again send flood waters to completely cover the earth. Isaiah quotes God as saying, “I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth”.
It seems that at one time, earth's land surfaces were all together — not separated by the oceans and seas we find today. The Flood would have drastically altered the shape of the pre-Flood land surface.
Before the Flood there were possibly no huge mountain ranges, because the Book of Genesis refers only to “high hills” being covered (Genesis 7:19).
During the Flood, colliding tectonic plates would have pushed mountains up, which explains Psalm 104:8 (“the mountains rose”). It also explains how we can find fossils of sea creatures near the top of high mountains.
How long did the waters cover the earth?
- Rain initially fell for 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12).
- The water reached its highest level some time between the 40th day and the 150th day (Genesis 7:24).
- From the 150th day the waters started receding (Genesis 8:3).
- After another 74 days, the tops of the mountains became visible (Genesis 8:5).
- At the end of 370 days (just over a year) the earth was dry enough for Noah, his family, and the animals to leave the Ark. (Genesis 8:14-19).
Where all the water went
Close to 71 per cent of the earth's surface is now covered with water, so the waters from the Flood have mostly gone into the seas and deeper ocean valleys that exist today. Some may still be held as ice around Antarctica and the North Pole.
The point to emphasize is that the high mountains and deep ocean trenches we find today were much more level before the Flood. The deeper ocean valleys today are holding most of the extra water.