The Azimuth Project
Lake Agassiz

Idea

Lake Agassiz was a huge lake in North America formed by melting glaciers at the end of the last glacial period. At its largest, it held more water than all lakes in the world now put together:

It is widely believed that around 10,800 BC this lake broke its icy banks and flooded out into the Saint Lawrence River. In a massive torrent lasting for years, the water from this lake rushed out to the Labrador Sea. By floating atop the denser salt water, this fresh water blocked a major current that flows in the Altantic: the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC. This current brings warm water north and helps keep northern Europe warm. So, northern Europe was plunged into a deep freeze, in an event called the Younger Dryas.

That’s the theory, anyway.

References

The map above comes from this website:

For a long time scientists have been looking for route Lake Agassiz might have taken to the ocean. This paper claims to have solved that puzzle:

category: climate