The North Atlantic Tsunami

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Between 2007 and 2012 scholars became aware of several archives and geological records, which described a catastrophic tsunami in the North Atlantic in 1014 AD. The date is especially relevant to the study of the Track Rock terraces. Currently, the oldest radiocarbon date for an agricultural terrace at Track Rock is c. 1018 AD – which actually could be 30 years in either direction.

Forensic geologist Dallas Abbott of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University has found evidence of a large meteor or comet strike in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which hurled extraterrestrial debris over 3800 km (2361 miles) to a bog in the Black Rock Forest in New York. The material was dated to around 1014 AD. Abbot also found debris from a meteor or comet strike in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Basin that also dated to 1014 AD.

It is likely that the damage wrought by this tsunami (or multiple tsunamis) was similar to the one in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The scale of this disaster would have had a major cultural impact on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. There are stone inscriptions of a great flood along the coast of Mexico and Central America in the early 11th century AD. It is possible that the Aztec legend of the death of the Fourth Sun originated in the cataclysmic events of 1014 AD. It is also possible the evolution of Quetzalcoatl’s imagery of being a feathered serpent is linked to great comets as are the European myths about fire-breathing dragons.

The tsunami caused catastrophic damage to the southwest coasts of England and Ireland. It was one of many natural and political disasters that made England more vulnerable to attack by Norway and Normandy in 1066 AD. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles state:

Anno Domini 1014 – On þissum geare on Sancte Michaeles mæsseæften com þæt mycle sæflod gynd wide þysne eard arn swa feor up swa næfre ær ne dyde adrencte feala tuna mancy tonnes un arimedlic ov getel.

1014 AD – This year, on the eve of St. Michael’s day (September 28), came the great sea-flood, which spread wide over this land, and ran so far up as it never did before, overwhelming many towns, and an innumerable multitude of people.

Other Medieval records confirm the geological evidence. William of Malmesbury in The History of the English Kings (vol. 1) states “A tidal wave, of the sort which the Greeks call euripus, grew to an astonishing size such as the memory of man cannot parallel, so as to submerge villages many miles inland and overwhelm and drown their inhabitants.” A sea flood is also mentioned in the Chronicle of Quedlinburg Abbey (Saxony), where it states many people died as a result of the flood in the Low Countries (Juteland, Holstein, Friesland, the Netherlands and Belgium) in 1014.

In 2007 North Carolina geologists published evidence that the coastline of their state had once been protected by a chain of barrier islands and tidal marshes such as those that shield the mainland of Georgia. Either a Class 5 hurricane or a tsunami had destroyed these islands in the 11th century.

The Outer Banks are the remnants of these islands, which were splashed back by the ripples of a tidal surge or tsunami. These geologists are further concerned that multiple fractures in the Continental Shelf could cause the Outer Banks to slide into the ocean, creating a mega-tsunami. Evidence of such a mega-tsunami during the early 11th century in the Atlantic Ocean is undoubtedly also lurking along the coastlines of Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

If such damage was done to the coast of North Carolina, it undoubtedly affected the coasts of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Yucatan, Central America and Colombia. The date of the tsunami coincides with the tail end of hurricane season in the North Atlantic. Volcanic eruptions and powerful hurricanes also struck the region during that era, it would have been enough to propel survivors of these natural disasters to flee northward to a land that was cold in the winter, but was immune to hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, severe droughts and tsunamis.



MLA Source Citation:

Thornton, Richard. The Trail to Yupaha. Web. 2012. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 24 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/the-north-atlantic-tsunami.htm - Last updated on Dec 10th, 2012


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