The concept of subglacial sheetfloods has gained momentum in recent years and some authors have explained certain features of the Niagara Escarpment as caused by such events. However, this author found enough evidence in the field that the entire Niagara Escarpment was created by such floods. The geographic distribution and the individual characteristics of potholes as well as similarities between subglacial flow conditions and karst drainages strongly argue for a set of events linked in a close sequence that are responsible for the catastrophic genesis of the Niagara Escarpment. Meltwater accumulation under the Laurentide Ice Sheet coupled with englacial pseudokarst has resulted in at least two episodes of subglacial sheetfloods and the rapid disintegration of the ice sheet. As large chunks of the ice sheet were ripped away from the main body and resettled as separate “islands,” flow and erosional patterns consistent with present-day glacial sediments formed. For the young earth creationist geoscientist such a scenario does not only provide valid arguments for rapidly forming geomorphology in the Late Quaternary but also provides valuable insights to the mechanics of flood erosion.


Niagara escarpment, Subglacial sheetfloods, Subglacial erosion, Catastrophic, Englacial karst, Canada


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