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New evidence that megafloods eroded steep gorge

vinces99 (2792707) writes | about a year ago

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vinces99 (2792707) writes "The Yarlung-Tsangpo River in southern Asia drops rapidly through the Himalaya Mountains on its way to the Bay of Bengal, losing about 7,000 feet of elevation through the precipitously steep Tsangpo Gorge. For the first time, scientists have direct geochemical evidence that the 150-mile long gorge, possibly the worldâ(TM)s deepest, was the conduit by which megafloods from glacial lakes, perhaps half the volume of Lake Erie, drained suddenly and catastrophically through the Himalayas when their ice dams failed at times during the last 2 million years.

âoeYou would expect that if a three-day long flood occurred, there would be some pretty significant impacts downstream,â said Karl Lang, a University of Washington doctoral candidate in Earth and space sciences. In this case, the water moved rapidly through bedrock gorge, carving away the base of slopes so steep they already were near the failure threshold. Because the riverbed through the Tsangpo Gorge is essentially bedrock and the slope is so steep and narrow, the deep flood waters could build enormous speed and erosive power."

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