Cavitation Explosively Erodes Evolution

Paul M. MacKinney

Cavitation happens when a turbulent fluid suddenly forms vacuum bubbles that then violently implode once the turbulent regime ends. The shock waves radiating from this sudden event are extremely destructive when they impact a non-fluid boundary. This process would have been rampant during, and for months after, the yearlong historical (Genesis) Flood. Studies in fluid dynamics make us aware of the magnitude and short time frame of cavitational reduction. Concrete dams provide ideal sites for observing the effects of cavitation-induced damage because dimensions and strengths of materials are known, the flow can be controlled or stopped, the sites are under constant observation, and the flow is relatively free of sediment.

A Recent Creation Cavitation Model is suggested, with emphasis on the role of cavitation in dramatically reducing the time frame for changing massive amounts of pre-flood earth crust into what has become our present sedimentary layers, containing the so-called geologic column and its alleged fossil record. The tides during much of the year long flood were not restrained by continental landforms, as at present, allowing for the possibility of a high velocity differential between the moving tidal fluids and the stationary earth crust, greatly enhancing the potential for, and the effects of, cavitation. Glacially contained or blocked water, when suddenly released, can result in cavitation. This process has formed major landform changes, especially canyons and many of our large river systems.

Key Words: catastrophism, cavitation, erosion, flood, gravity, moving fluids, sedimentation, subsidence

The theory of general evolution cannot survive if recent creation models can be shown to be superior to long age models. Uniformitarianism is an integral part of all long age models, while catastrophism is inherent in recent creation models. Cavitation would be relatively rare in any long-age model, but extensive in a recent-creation model. In order to explain how most of a layer of sediment that averages one mile in thickness can be deposited around the world in one or two years, it is first necessary to have a process that can change the pre-flood crust into sediment. If the upper one-mile of the pre-flood crust was already loose material it could readily have become water-borne sediment in a worldwide flood. But if it were solid rock, it would have required extremely powerful forces to reduce rock to sediments. No other natural force except cavitation could meet this requirement.

Cavitation is a process within turbulent fluids, which results in the formation of vacuum bubbles, which implode when out of the turbulent regime, causing shock waves of tremendous magnitude.

Pressures of 450,000 psi and temperatures of 4,800o F have been measured in water-related cavitation. The destructive capability of cavitation varies depending on the velocity, depth, and specific gravity of the moving fluid; the roughness and strength of the boundary material and the frequency of the shock waves radiating from the collapsing bubbles are also important [2], [6], [7], [10], [13], [15], [20], [24]. An almost instantaneous loss of structural integrity occurs when the frequency of the shock waves matches the resonant frequency of the crystalline structure of the boundary material [13].

Examples of resonant frequencies causing instant destruction abound [10]. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge is an outstanding example of this. And the practice of military units breaking step while crossing a bridge precludes its destruction. Many machines are limited to certain speeds to avoid destructive vibratory influences. Laser technology uses a resonator to amplify light and generate enormous amounts of concentrated energy. During the Flood, the variables mentioned above would have been constantly changing, so the conditions causing the resonant frequency ideal for instant destruction would have occurred frequently. These factors enhance the likelihood of the extremely rapid conversion of solid materials into sediments. Moving fluids could easily transport these sediments. Catastrophists should welcome the factor of cavitation as an enhancement to that model.

Another element suggested in this paper is that major portions of the pre-flood crust were supported by the fountains of the deep mentioned in Genesis 7:11, Proverbs 8:24-28, and Revelation 14:7. Note that the fountains of the deep are given equal mention with the heavens, earth, and sea in the Revelation passage. The terms used in Matthew 24 to universalize the Flood and the second coming of Christ are not limited to the earth but include the heavens.

Pre-flood Conditions in the "Recent Creation Cavitation Model"
1. This model includes an assumption that pre-flood place names survived the flood only as a memory because the pre-flood world perished, according to II Peter 3:6. Cavitation occurring during almost a complete year would have resulted in the earth being resurfaced. This means that nothing was recognizable from before the Flood.

2. The model I propose suggests that the surface of the crust of the pre-flood earth on the average was several miles higher or farther from the center of the earth than now. By the third day of creation the water and land would have been separated and the compaction of some parts of the crust more than others would have resulted in the dry land appearing. Somewhat the same process of further vibration and compaction during and after the Flood is reasonable. Vibrators are used throughout the concrete industry to consolidate concrete, or to help material flow to a lower level. Vibration also enhances the sorting of material suspended in fluids, according to specific gravity.

3. I suggest a pre-flood differential in elevation of about one mile between the highest mountain and the deepest ocean beds. The present difference of 12.3 miles was caused by:

a. the breakup of the fountains of the deep
b. the reduction or breaking up of crustal material from cavitation
c. the transport of vast sediments by tidal action
d. the sequential subsidence of vast sections of the crust sinking into the exhausted fountains of the deep

The parts of the crust that did not subside became the mountains. The parts that subsided the most became the ocean beds and all the rest ended up at various elevations in between. Compaction of the crust would have been ongoing during and after the flood.

4. I suggest that most of the pre-flood crust was supported by the largely sealed vast fountain of the deep. Because various underground cavities today contain air, steam, various gases, water, and molten rock, the same is likely to have been true of the pre-flood cavities and fountains of the deep. Subsidence events occur frequently and predictably from the removal of supporting fluids under present conditions. Sinkholes due to the depletion of underground water reservoirs are an example of this.

5. Jody Dillow presents a thorough discussion of the vapor canopy model in The Waters Above. He calculates that the collapse of the pre-flood canopy would have added 40 feet to the earth's surface water depth. Pre-flood weather and crustal activity were relatively tranquil compared to present conditions because of smoother topography and the report in Genesis 2:5 - 6 of a totally different hydrologic system including no rain—which implies no storms—and minor erosion, if any.

6. The angle of the earth's axis prior to the Flood is unknown, but was probably at enough of an angle to cause seasons (Genesis 1:14). The length of the year was probably 360 days, because the 380 degree circle needs an origin and a 12-month year would divide into 30 day months. Some of this data is presented at a University of Chicago Oriental Institute display. The evidence of many asteroid strikes allows for the possibility of axis and length-of-year changes [8], [23].

Conditions During The Flood
1. The earth's crust suddenly split open along a 40,000 mile seam, leaving what we now call the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. The triggering mechanism may have been an asteroid strike [8], [23], impacting an earth's crust already under tension from internal pressure. The resultant shock wave could have been transmitted around the world in about one hour, since sound travels almost 4 miles per second in rock. As the fluids rushed toward the openings, cavitational erosion would have been most efficient on the ceilings of the caverns that contained the fountains of the deep. This is because gravity would have concentrated the cavitation activity toward the upper levels of the moving fluids [7], and material is more readily removed from ceilings than walls or floors. This activity would have resulted in a thinning and consequent weakening of the crust. Later, as the fluids that formerly supported the crust were accumulating on top of the weakened crust, subsidence of the crust would have been sequential and inevitable.

With the pre-flood crust supported by the fountains of the deep, and the fountains furnishing most of the water for the flood, gravity would have caused worldwide subsidence of much of the crust into the exhausted fountains of the deep. The accumulation of fluids that were previously part of the fountains of the deep but are now on top of the crust would augment the tendency of the crust to subside. The literal meaning of "fountains of the deep" is great great fountains of the great great deep. The breaking up of the fountains of the deep implies a long period of earthquakes, and this continued for at least 150 days, after which their continuous vibratory activity was stopped. A documented increase in seismic activity from the filling of the reservoir at Nurek Dam in Tadjikistan to four times the pre-filling rate indicates the influence on the crust from water level changes [16]. This provides the possibility of a sustained influence toward seismic activity during the flood year and for years after as the fluid levels above the crust were changing.

2. High velocity mud flows from volcanos cause cavitation that is more powerful than water cavitation, and it happens at a slower velocity because it has a higher specific gravity. At Mount Saint Helens, 100 foot-thick solid rock was eroded from a short-lived mudflow [1]. Cavitation damage in air occurs at about 600 MPH, in water at 60 - 140 MPH, depending on roughness [6], and in lava tubes it is estimated that the force from cavitation-induced shock waves can reach 1,000 Kbars, or 14,500,000 psi [24]. Vast quantities of particulate matter would have been propelled high into the atmosphere from the many volcanos and would have influenced the weather in ways similar to the Krakatoa and Mt. Pinatubo volcanos. Any pre-flood vapor canopy would have been rapidly precipitated from this influence. Rainfall during the year of the flood seems to have been at different levels of intensity. The first 40 days and nights of rain were continuous. The rain would have been made up from precipitation of the pre-flood vapor canopy and the return of vast amounts of moisture that was propelled from the fountains of the deep, along with the particulate matter from the volcanos falling back as dirty rain. From day 41 to day 150 the rain was at a reduced rate and possibly intermittent.

3. In the suggested ongoing scenario, additional water and other fluids are still available to further cover the sequentially subsiding landforms, but they are flowing out from the fountains of the deep with less intensity. Continuous cavitation is converting pre-flood rocks into sediment of many sizes. Pre-flood forests have been converted into floating islands held together by interlocking root systems. Wave action will ultimately break them up and they will sink when waterlogged. Tides normally restrained by landmasses are now only restrained by contact with underwater crust and would thus begin to gain momentum and velocity relative to the stationary crust. This would allow enhanced cavitation activity, reduction from cavitation-induced shock waves of the size of the sediment elements. And the increasing velocity of the fluids would further enhance their ability to carry an increased load of sediment [24]. An increase in the ratio of sediment-to-water vastly increases the total volume of fluids to where the solids (sediment) may constitute more than half of the volume of the global fluids. This factor makes it easier to answer the persistent question, "Where did the water for the flood come from?"

This heavier accelerating fluid gradually becomes more efficient in its erosional and sediment carrying capabilities. Ongoing vibration from almost continuous earthquakes results in compaction of some of the earth's crust and the formation of ocean beds. The fountains of the deep may well have contained gases such as steam or air under pressure. When degassing occurred during compaction, additional volume to receive fluids became available. Landforms that resisted compaction because they are solid rock begin to appear above the level of the fluid and begin to restrain the tides. This results in the deposition of water-borne sediments twice each day [4]. These sedimentary deposits would have formed much of what has become our fossil record.

4. During the flood year the chaos would have been unimaginable, and the many things going on at the same time make it difficult to visualize. In present floods the same thing occurs, and many of the dramatic results are covered up as sediment from upstream fills any large holes during the declining phase of a flood. Present river beds have been known to become part of the river down to 120 feet below the normal river bed level [22].

5. In order to adequately visualize a series of events that includes so many elements that are constantly changing, it is necessary to communicate in the present tense and to be aware that only one event or process at a time can be described. Gravity is a constant. In addition, rotation of the earth, sun and moon have a gravitational influence. A gradual increase in the velocity difference between the moving fluids now flowing over the crust and the stationary crust is assumed to begin once the crust is under water. This factor results in an increase in both the erosional and sediment-carrying capability of the moving fluid and the consequent increase in its volume and a thinning and weakening of the remaining crust. The load on the crust is gradually increasing, resulting in sequential subsidence and/or compaction of the crust resulting in an increase in earthquakes.

In a phrase, the earth is being resurfaced and its remodeling is feeding on itself. Cavitation would be accomplishing what is summed up in I Corinthians 1:28b: "things which are not, bring to nought things that are:" Mountains were turned into mud by vacuum bubbles ("nothing"). Cavitation would have remained active as the fluids were returning from off the earth continually. The place the fluids were returning to would have been the recently compacted crust gradually sinking from the vibratory action of vast quantities of the earth's crust.

This action can be demonstrated by filling a closed-end plexiglas tube with sand and water and shaking the mixture thoroughly and letting it stand on end for an hour or more. A well defined level of sand will become apparent with relatively clean water above the sand level. Impacting the tube to simulate earthquake action will result in the sand level becoming lower, and miniature volcanos will usually occur, bought about by the sand compacting and the fluids rising.

6. In order to explain how a one mile difference between the highest pre-flood hills (the same Hebrew word is used to describe both mountain and hills in Genesis 7) and deepest ocean beds can become a 12+ mile difference is best handled by suggesting vertical crustal movement [9]. Gravity resists upward movement and causes downward movement. The extreme elevations/ depressions of the earth cover only a small area of the earth's surface. In the context of the entire globe, its surface is very smooth. Raised surface globes usually have a vertical exaggeration of about 50:1. A 4-mile reduction of the earth's radius would be 1 1/10 of 1 percent reduction. An experiment demonstrating this can be done very simply as follows:

a. Secure a large watertight pan and place several airtight plastic bags with some air in them (voids) in the bottom of the pan.
b. Place several watertight plastic bags with water in them (fountains of the deep) on top of the air filled plastic bags.
c. Place several rocks (crust) on top of the water filled plastic bags.
d. Fill the pan with water (oceans) up to a level that partially covers the rocks.
e. Note the water level by a mark on the pan, and note the elevation of the rocks by measuring the distance from the top of the pan down to the highest point on the highest rock.
f. Puncture or slash the plastic bags containing the water.
g. Measure the new elevation of the rock and the new water level.
h. Punture or slash the plastic bags containing air and then measure the new water level and rock elevation.

By adjusting the various ratios in successive tries, the rocks will be covered with water after step (f) and will reappear at a lower level after step (h).

7. A major factor operating in this model is gravity. Gravity causes tides because of the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon. Gravity causes the flow of fluids from higher to lower levels. Gravity causes sediment to settle to the next lower level of support. Gravity causes unsupported crust to seek the next lower level of support. Gravity causes water to be displaced by heavier elements. The vibration from gravity-induced earthquakes causes gravity-related compaction. Continental drift seems to defy gravity. A quotation from a geology textbook at the end of an explanation of isostacy seems appropriate at this point:

"The problems connected with the Earth's interior are fascinating but difficult. Their solution requires the cooperation of geology, physics, mathematics, and other branches of science. Perhaps some of them are quite insoluble; but a promising beginning has been made. It is well to keep in mind that some of the present views and conclusions are tentative, and may be changed by continued investigation. Speculations in this field are numerous, and these should be kept distinct from legitimate inference and proved facts" [14].

Gravity is a proven fact. A recent (1983) Time-Life book, "Continents in Collision" attempting to explain Wegner's continental drift theories does nothing to diminish the above quote [19].

8. Uneven subsidence of sedimentary strata which had been deposited practically horizontal is a reasonable explanation for much of the vast amount of tilted strata we observe.

9. Cavitational erosion continued every time the turbulence at the interface of the solid and the fluid caused a large segment of the crust to suddenly subside into a fountain of the deep. There is much evidence of subsidence of ocean floor on the order of miles of vertical distance [9].

10. Submarine canyons would have been formed by turbidity flows which would have included efficient cavitation erosion as the fluids were "returning from off the earth continually" (Genesis 8:3). The vast cones formed at the discharge area of major river systems would have received a large share of their volume during the flood year and the first several decades after that event.

11. Mountains and mountain ranges are those landforms that are of a relatively higher elevation than the surrounding landforms. The easiest explanation for differences in vertical elevation is to have subsidence of part of the crust alongside another part that did not subside. Visualizing this activity suggests a wide variety of potentially violent events such as earthquakes, vast lava flows from the long fractures of the crust and erosion from rainfall and other sources of fluids running down from the higher elevations. The vast amount of energy it would have taken to lift all the mountain ranges on earth from a previously lower level is difficult to comprehend, or account for, especially when compared to the fact that it takes no energy to fall to a lower level.

Post-Flood Conditions
1. As more and more land appears from the abating flood, the onset of an ice age would be expected. There is evidence that the oceans were once frozen from the poles to latitude 45o [21]. The extent of glaciers on much of the post-flood land provides another mechanism for a major influence on landform changes. It is now widely accepted that a glacial dam blocked off the Clark Fork River about the Idaho/Montana border. When the dam was breached, the resultant flood caused the formation of the Channeled Scabland in just a few days [3]. The flow from this event is estimated to have been 10 times the rate of flow of all the rivers in the world. Cavitation would have been a major factor in this rapid erosion event. It is likely that this same type of activity occurred in many places around the world and is hidden from view because of subsequent erosion and deposition. It was just recently (April, 1894) that the remains of a vast river system under the Sahara Desert were discovered by a new type of eye in the sky and observed and photographed by an orbiting NASA crew.

2. As the post-flood hydrologic cycle was gradually established, there would have been areas where the drainage was still being interrupted by landslides, advancing glaciers, and shifts in the earth crust. As the water accumulates upstream from these barriers, pressure is exerted on the barrier or the barrier is overtopped and catastrophic floods would occur. Ironically, this occurs periodically in Southern Argentina at the Moreno Glacier, which blocks out flows of lake water. When the glaciers melt back, the river floods the Santa Cruz River and flows through the canyon at Condor Cliffs. This is where Charles Darwin, in 1834, concluded that "No possible action of any flood could thus have modeled the land." Prior to this he had stated that "I did not then doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible" [5]. This experience eroded his faith in the Bible and a recent creation and could be said to be the place that Darwinian evolution was either conceived or born. Had Darwin known about the physical process of cavitation, things may have not turned out the way they did.

Visualize the 50-mile Straight Cliffs in south central Utah butting into Navaho Mountain just across the Colorado River. Imagine creating a lake about one mile higher than the present level of the Colorado just below Glen Canyon Dam (the starting point of the Grand Canyon), and the effect of that imaginary dam being breached. A large model of Lake Powell has been constructed at the Glen Canyon Visitor Center near Page, Arizona which shows this possibility.

The film "Challenge at Glen Canyon Dam" can be seen there as well; it gives the best evidence for the sudden massive reduction of strong materials in a short time. The key thing to watch for in this presentation is that when the water coming out of the left spillway tunnel turns red (the color of the canyon wall material) they immediately reduced the flow. The size of the hole caused by this sudden event of only 20-40 seconds duration is the site of a basketball court 12 feet deep [20].

3. In addition to the Moreno Glacier (visited three times by the author) there are over 50 similar sites in Western North America, Iceland and Antarctica [17]. If glacial dams and their catastrophic destruction are widespread at present, it is certain that there was more of this activity when there was more of an ice sheet and/or more glaciers. The Upsala Glacier in Southern Argentina was 4 times as large just 100 years ago, according to local tour guides. The Moreno Glacier, which also ends in Lake Argentino, grows every few years until it blocks off the drainage system of several lakes, which then rise as high as 100 feet after which the pressure catastrophically destroys the glacial dam in a dramatic display of unleashed power. These two glaciers are among the 100 glaciers that drain into the Santa Cruz River.

4. When we look back from the present with our eyewitness knowledge of Mt. Saint Helens, GlenCanyon Dam, Hoover Dam, and a wide variety of cavitation-induced, rapid reduction of large magnitude amounts of strong materials, there is a factual basis for reverse time extrapolation. Krakatoa in 1883 was 18 times as big an eruption as Mount Saint Helens and Tambora in 1815 was 80 times larger [11]. The Flood killed all air-breathing flesh in the whole world, except those on the Ark. It was an event that our experience won't allow us to adequately imagine because we have no real basis for comparison. I am aware of the limitations of any model such as the one presented here. A vast amount of data can be presented in support of cavitation activity in many branches of study, and we need a lot of people to start thinking about relating this phenomenon to the Genesis Flood and its aftermath. My major objective is to encourage widespread consideration and action about this process of cavitation because it can result in changing the way people think about the age of the earth and the credibility of God as, an accurate communicator in the early chapters of Genesis.

The fact that 214 widely separated cultures have universal flood traditions, myths, legends, histories or records all referring to similar events is evidence for a universal flood within historical times [18]. This evidence is supported by the presence of marine fossils on high mountain ranges. When Jesus was asked in Matthew 24 about conditions at his second coming he said that the Flood of Noah's time was the only other universally experienced abnormal event comparable; thus, Jesus directly teaches a universal flood.

The following hydraulic phenomena were associated with the Genesis Flood.

1. Cavitation turbulence
2. Powerful shock waves from cavitation
3. Settlement of loose solids
4. Flow of liquids
5. Tide-influenced water flows
6. Sediment load transport
7. Sediment deposition

Fossil-bearing sedimentary layers (the so-called "geologic column") are one of the major proofs offered by evolutionary scientists for a very old earth. I suggest that the record is better explained by the historical Flood, its catastrophism, and its aftermath lasting several hundred years. Cavitation during that entire period would have been a major influence in converting pre-flood and some post-flood landforms into sediment. Vibrations associated with tectonic and meteoric activity would have transformed vast areas of the earth's crust into the consistency of pudding. Recent creation models can be more readily supported and enhanced by including elements of this cavitation and tectonic model. Evolution is mortally wounded by a recent creation. As I Corinthians 1:28b says, " ...things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:". Evolution can be brought to nought by things that are not.

1. Austin, S. A., Mount Saint Helens Video, Explosive Evidence for Catastrophe. 1989, Institute For Creation Research, Santee CA.Return to Text

2. Barnes, H. L., "Cavitation as a Geological Agent," American Journal of Science, Vol. 254, August 1958, p. 494.Return to Text (first occurance)

3. Bretz, J. H., His work is well summed up in The Channeled Scabland. Edited by Baker, V. R. and Nummedal, Dag, sponsored by NASA 1978. Return to Text

4. Clark, M. E. & Voss, H. D., "Resonance and Sedimentary Layering in the Context of a Global Flood," Vol II, Proceedings of The Second International Conference on Creationism, 1990, Pittsburgh, PA. Return to Text (first occurance)

5. Denton, M., Evolution: a Theory in Crisis. Adler and Adler, Bethesda, MD., 1988 pp. 25-26. Return to Text

6. Felvey, H., Cavitation in Chutes and Spillways. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO, 1990.Return to Text (first occurance)

7. Holroyd, E. W., "Cavitation Processes During Catastrophic Floods," Vol. II Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, 1990, Pittsburgh, PA, p. 101.Return to Text (first occurance)

8. Kelly, A., Impact Geology, 1985, Allan Kelly, Carlsbad, CA. Return to Text (first occurance)

9. Landes, K. K., Geotimes, Vol III, No. 6 March 1959, p. 19. Return to Text (first occurance)

10. MacKinney, P. M., "Nothing Can Reduce Everything," Vol. 1, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, 1990, Pittsburgh, PA, p. 138.Return to Text (first occurance)

11. National Geographic, "The Mountain that Roared." Vol. 159, No. 1, January 1981, pp. 54-55. Return to Text

12. Oard, M. J., An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood, Institute For Creation Research, El Cajon, CA, 1990.

13. Paiva, C. A., "Cavitation: An Integral Agent of Energetic Geomorphological Processes," Vol. II, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, 1990, Pittsburgh, PA, p. 201. Return to Text (first occurance)

14. Pirsson, L. V., and Schuchert Charles, A Textbook of Geology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1929, p. 379. Return to Text

15. Prosperetti, A., "The Fascinating Physics of Fizz," by William F. Allman, Featuring Prosperetti's work, U.S. News and World Report, November 20, 1989, p. 77.Return to Text

16. Simpson, D. W. and Negmatullaev, S. K., "Induced Seismicity at Nurek Reservoir," Tadjikistan, USSR, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Vol. 71, No. 5, p. 1561 Return to Text

17. Shultz, G., Ice Age Lost, p. 84, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Madison, WI. Return to Text

18. Stricking, J. A., "A Statistical Analysis of Flood Legends." Creation Research Society Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3, December, 1972, p. 152.Return to Text

19. Time Life Books, Planet Earth Series, Continents in Collision. 1983.Return to Text

20. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Film/Video, Challenge at Glen Canyon Dam. Denver, CO, 1984. Return to Text (first occurance)

21. Vardiman, L., Ice Cores and the Age of the Earth. Institute For Creation Research, Santee, CA, 1993. Return to Text

22. Whitcomb, J. C. and Morris, H. M., The Genesis Flood. The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Philadelphia, PA 1961, p. 259. Return to Text

23. Wieland, C. and Setterfield, B., "An Asteroid Tilts the Earth." ExNihilo, Vol. 5. 3, January 1983 and Vol 5. 4, April, 1983. Return to Text (first occurance)

24. Young, F. R., Cavitation, McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 1990. Return to Text (first occurance)

25. Gentry, R. V., Creation's Tiny Mystery, Earth Science Associates, Knoxville,TN, 1986.


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