Figuring that it took 40 days and 40 nights to cover all land masses on the globe, (960 hours) we are talking about… Well, let’s do the math, shall we? Figures show the point very well indeed.
First thing is to define how high the water got. If we use Ararat as our ruler, we are talking about 16,945 feet. For those of us who have trouble remembering our lame standards of measure, a mile (In the US and UK) is 5,280 feet. So to cover ararat, we are talking about 3.2 miles (Plus a shade, but we’ll leave the last hundred or so feet uncovered for purpose of easy math.)
This is, by far, nowhere near Everest’s 29,002 feet (Roughly 5.5 miles), but is contemporary to the place. We’ll do Everest in a second.
The earth has a mean diameter of 7,918 miles, and a surface area, including existant oceans, of 196,961,287 Sq.Mi. Raising the water level by one mile, essentially raising the diameter by 2 miles, would requre two hundred MILLION cubic miles of water, and that’s only got us one mile of the way there!
To raise it by 3.2 miles would basically amount to the difference in volumes between a sphere with a diameter of 7,918 miles and a sphere with a diameter of 7,924 miles. The volume of a sphere 7,918 miles across is 4/3(Pi)r^3, or 259,923,400,000 cubic miles. The volume of a sphere 7,920 miles across would be (Same formula) 260,514,570,000 cubic miles. The volume difference is 591,700,000 cubic miles. That means, for “God” to raise the levels of the oceans by 3.2 miles (Enough to cover ararat) he would require approximately six hundred million cubic MILES of water. Each gallon composes 231 cubic inches. Each cubic mile is therefore 1,101,117,100,000 gallons. That means we are talking about roughly 600,000,000,000,000,000,000 - six hundred quintillion gallons of water. That’ll fill a LOT of swimming pools.
Incidentally, this amount of water would compose a sphere about 10% the size of our moon if put into orbit. It is about 3 times the amount of water in all our oceans. And that doesn’t even mesh with the biblical description! According to the Bible, ALL land masses were covered, meaning (Drum roll please) even our friend Everest. That would mean that we would be talking about a sphere 7,929 miles across, volume 261,008,030,000 cu.mi. The amount of water would be 1,084,792,780 cubic miles, now about a fifth the size of our moon. And we are getting into the sextillions of gallons, and about 6 times the amount of telestial water.
Let’s stick with that second set of figures, and be true to Biblical notation, believing that this primitive book said correctly (Genesis 7:17-24) that all the mountains were covered (The bible gives a measure of 15 cubits for this. Given that a cubit is about 2 feet, I’d say there was something wrong with this description, big time, but let’s humor them) in 40 days and nights, 960 hours.
In 960 hours, 5.5 miles worth of rain fell. That means that 363 inches of rain fell in each hour. 6 inches in each minute. An inch of rain fell every 10 seconds. This is assuming that it was raining on every spot on the globe evenly and at the same time. The amount of erosion caused by a glacier in 10000 years cannot begin to comapare with a single HOUR of this onslaught! The mountains themselves would have been weathered away (Pardon the pun) before the first WEEK was out, in all probability. Note please that in the recent storms that have wracked the east coast, a HURRICANE only deposits about an inch every 4 hours or so. We are talking about rain coming down at a rate 24 times the strength of a medium sized hurricane!