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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Re-Education on Fossil Rocks. Truth about the Rock Layers and Surface Rock Formations.


 Rock layers of the Earth are flood-produced primarily.

 Tas Walker and Steve Austin give examples

How landscapes reveal Noah’s Flood

Visualizing the receding floodwaters

by Tas Walker

Photo by Tas Walker Wollomombi Gorge
Figure 1. The rocks forming the sides of Wollomombi Gorge are orientated almost vertically yet they are cut across almost horizontally by the plateau. The gorge is in the Great Dividing Range on the eastern coast of Australia, near Armidale in the state of New South Wales.
The Bible tells us that the waters of Noah’s Flood rose and covered the entire globe, destroying every air-breathing land-dwelling animal on earth (Genesis 7:17–24). After that they began to recede (Genesis 8:1–3).

The process of receding water is mentioned repeatedly: ‘the waters receded’ (Genesis 8:1); ‘the water receded steadily from the earth’ (8:3); ‘the waters continued to recede until the tenth month and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible’.

It took 2 ½ months from the time the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat until the other mountains became visible. Clearly a lot of water was flowing off the land.

The length of time taken for the waters to recede is further indicated by Genesis 8:8 which says Noah released a dove to ‘see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground’. However, the dove returned because it ‘could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth’ (v. 9). In other words, the water still covered the earth when the dove was released nearly seven weeks after the mountains became visible, which was 2 ½ months after the Ark came to rest.

Altogether the waters were receding for more than seven months before the earth was dry and Noah could open the door of the Ark.

As the waters receded from the continents they would have eroded the land leaving shapes that form the landscapes we see today. Thus, landscapes should provide powerful evidence for the effects of Noah’s Flood as well as a way of relating geological formations to the timing of the events of the Flood—provided you know what to look for.

Signature of the Recessive stage of the Flood


Photo by New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change Wollomombi Falls
Figure 2. Wollomombi Falls (left) and Chandler Falls (right), New South Wales, Australia, after heavy rain. Even though the flow of water is great and the falls spectacular, the flow is relatively small when compared with the size of the gorge itself.
As the sea floor started sinking relative to the continents, the floodwaters covering the continents began to flow into the oceans. On each continent the water flowed away from the higher areas in the middle toward the lower areas at the edges, in a direction generally perpendicular to the shore.

Since the Flood was global the receding waters would have produced the same sort of signature all over the world.

At first, the water flowed in sheets. This means that they eroded surfaces relatively flat, even in areas of high elevation on the continents. The water would tend to cut across geological strata like a knife cutting cheese. Such high plateaus are a common feature of today’s landscapes and have been given a name—peneplanes, which means ‘almost a plane’.

Eventually, the flow of floodwater reduced with time. Thus, the water sheets would divide into mega-rivers, many times wider than the widest rivers that flow over the contents today. These mega-rivers would dissect the plateaus into wide valleys. They would also cut across the underlying geological structure in their journey to the ocean, acting as if the structure did not exist. This is a common feature of present day landscapes and geologists have coined a term for it—discordant drainage. And the mega-rivers would carry even the largest rock debris clear out of their valleys.

After the Flood and up to the present time, rainfall draining from the land would flow in the same valleys that were cut by the Flood. However, because the water flowing from the continent is much less than the mega-rivers draining the Flood, today’s rivers and streams are much smaller than the valleys they occupy. These rivers have also even been given a name—underfit rivers.
Photo by Tas Walker Wollomombi Falls
Figure 3. The plunge pool for the Wolomombi Falls is surrounded by only a small amount of broken rocks, or talus, suggesting little rock has fallen into the gorge since it was first eroded.

In the 4,300 years since the Flood, ice, wind and water have continued to erode the landscape. In the first few centuries, ice sheets developed on some areas of the continents, especially in the northern hemisphere, and these produced tell-tale effects on the landscape.

However, in areas that were not glaciated, the channels cut by rivers since the Flood are relatively small, about the same size as the river itself. And those rivers would not have enough energy to carry the largest rock debris, called talus, away. In order to be transported, large rock debris would need first to be broken into smaller pieces.

We can use this simple model to see the effects of the receding waters of Noah’s Flood all over the world. Look for plateaus that have been cut relatively flat, even across the underlying geological structure, such as through mountain ranges rather than around them. Look for wide valleys that cut into the plateaus. Look for rivers that are much smaller than the valleys they occupy and that also cut across the underlying geologic structure. Check the amount of talus in the gorges and valleys.

Wollomombi Gorge, Australia

Photo by Tas Walker Wollomombi downstream gorge
Figure 4. Escarpments of the narrow downstream gorge support only a limited growth of vegetation. Little rock debris has fallen into the gorge since it was carved as indicated by the absence of talus in the bottom.

Armidale, New South Wales sits atop the high plateau that forms part of the Great Dividing Range, a range that runs from the north to the south of the continent adjacent to the east coast. Not far away, at the edge of the plateau, the Wollomombi Gorge cuts deep into surface (figure 1). After heavy rain two waterfalls flow into the gorge (figure 2). The Wollomombi Falls to the left has an impressive drop and the Chandler Falls to the right churns down the steep escarpment in a narrow channel.

The rocks in the gorge are tightly folded and faulted and have a near vertical orientation.1 They form part of the eastern block of Australia known as the New England Fold Belt, which was folded, deformed and uplifted.

Notice that the plateau cuts the vertical strata almost horizontally forming an undulating land surface nearly 1,000 m above sea level. It’s easy to imagine how this plateau could have been cut by the receding floodwaters that were running in sheets eastward off the continents.
Image by Tas Walker Wollomombi downstream gorge
Figure 5. Interpreted geological history of the Wollomombi Falls. Rocks of the area were deposited early in the Flood, compressed and uplifted. The flat plateau was eroded by sheet flow, during the Abative phase of the Flood. The narrow gorge was eroded very late in the Flood, during the Dispersive phase.

The Wollomombi Gorge is quite narrow at the bottom but nearly a kilometre wide in places at the top. It is much narrower than the wide valleys further east that are used for farming and which can be many tens of kilometers across. This narrowness indicates that the gorge was cut quite late geologically. Is it possible for the gorge to have been cut by the Wollomombi and Chandler rivers in the approximately 4,300 years since the Flood? That seems unlikely to me considering the volume of material removed from the gorge. It seems more likely that the gorge was cut very late in the Flood when the flow of water was much reduced but still flowing with significantly more energy than the present rivers can muster, even after heavy rainfall.

The trees and other vegetation, growing sparsely on the escarpment, indicate that the escarpment is relatively stable otherwise the vegetation would not be able to become established. There is very little talus in the bottom of the gorge. The plunge pool for the Wolomombi Falls is about the correct size for water flows that occur at the present time, suggesting that this small pool was excavated after the Flood. Although there are some blocks of rock around the plunge pool the volume of talus is small. This suggests that the talus has accumulated after the Flood and generally not been carried away. In other words, the gorge was mostly excavated when the water flows were much greater and had enough energy to carry the material out. These conclusions depend on whether the rock falling from the walls of the gorge tends to break away as large or small blocks, and how readily the rock material will break down.


The Wollomombi Gorge at the edge of the large plateau near Armidale, Australia, is a good example of the sort of geologic signatures that the receding waters of Noah’s Flood carved onto the earth. Sheet flow during the Abative phase of the Flood cut the horizontal plateau across the vertical structure of the underlying rocks, and channel flow in the Dispersive phase late in the Flood cut the gorge itself. Only minimal erosion has occurred in the 4,300 years since the Flood. Once you can understand this simple concept, you can see the evidence everywhere.


  1. The rocks consist of greywacke (a hard, poorly sorted sandstone), mudstone, and slate (a metamorphic rock).
First Published 22 August 2008

Geologic catastrophe and the young earth

Tas Walker talks to Steve Austin about his research career in Flood geology

Geologic catastrophe and the young earth
© iStockphoto/Chriscis
Geologist Dr. Steven A. Austin has rafted through Grand Canyon, helicoptered into the Mount St. Helens volcano, and flown onto glaciers in Alaska. He is currently Senior Research Scientist with the Institute for Creation Research where he has worked for over 37 years. His geological adventures have taken him high into the Sierra Nevada, deep underground into coal mines, over plateaus, through deserts, and beneath the ocean.
Steve Austin
For as long as he can remember, Steve has loved rocks.
“I saw my first geologic map when I was three. My dad often took me fishing, which meant going over mountain ridges where I saw lots of rocks. Before I could read I was classifying minerals and by five I had a large rock collection.”

Mt St Helens and geologic catastrophe

Steve is known for his remarkable research on the Mt St Helens volcano in Washington State, USA, which erupted catastrophically in May 1980.
“I had just defended my PhD thesis at Penn State University on the floating log-mat model for the origin of the Kentucky coal beds, which means the coal deposits formed much faster than traditionally believed. Mt St. Helens exploded ten months later and made Spirit Lake into a giant bath tub covered with floating logs. That’s why I had to go there.”
What he saw was overwhelming. “It happened at the right time and in the right place,” Steve said. “The volcano was so well monitored that it was indisputable what catastrophic processes do to a landscape in super-quick time.” Steve sees Mt St Helens as having application to geologic features everywhere: Yellowstone National Park, petrified forests, coal layers and Grand Canyon. It transformed geological thinking by showing dramatically how geologic features form quickly.1 It even illustrates how animals could have repopulated the earth after the Flood.2
When Steve did his training in the 1970s, the idea of uniformitarianism held sway—the belief that geological processes happened slowly and that the earth must be millions of years old. But Mt St Helens helped blast that idea away. Geologists began to see evidence for past catastrophe everywhere.
“That led to a change in thinking,” Steve said. “I could go back to my professors and say, ‘I told you so.’ The fact is that geologic features form rapidly and not over millions of years. The geologic evidence is entirely consistent with the biblical timescale.”

Grand Canyon is now a creationist icon

Whitemore Nautiloid Bed
Grand Canyon has figured prominently in Steve’s geological career. In 1994, he published a creationist classic, Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe.3
“That book came out of the guide books I produced for the tours we conducted,” Steve said. “Grand Canyon is supposedly an icon for evolution but now it’s an icon of Creation and the Flood.”
One spectacular evidence of catastrophe that Steve discovered in Grand Canyon was a thick bed containing multitudes of fossil nautiloids.4 Shaped like a skinny dunce’s cap, nautiloid shells came from an animal that was like an octopus, or cuttlefish.
The shells are exposed in the walls of Grand Canyon in a 2-metre layer of rock called the Whitmore Nautiloid Bed. It’s a huge bed that extends over 300 km (200 miles), as far west as Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I believe the bed was formed by an underwater mud flow,” Steve said. “The water was full of mud, what we call a slurry, and so was much denser than the surrounding water. The slurry rushed down the steep slopes of the underwater mountains, gathering speed like an avalanche. And it careered across the ocean floor as fast as a semi on the freeway.”
There’s something like 40 or 50 cubic kilometres of sediment in that bed and it was all deposited rapidly.
“As the avalanche swept past it trapped the nautiloids and carried them along. I believe that these mud flows were highly pressurized and the fluid kept the sand and mud in suspension. It works like a water cushion and has very low friction, so the mud flow careers across the flat surface of the ocean floor for hundreds of miles.”
“These flows can change suddenly. A high speed slurry can start out as a laminar flow, where the fluid travels in regular, streamlined paths. Then, it can suddenly turn turbulent where the fluid flow is curly and irregular. You can see the same effect in the smoke from a candle that has just been put out.”
“Turbulent flow can’t carry the mud so it dumps its load suddenly across the ocean floor.”
“And that is what happened to the nautiloid shells. They were deposited quickly, frozen in time. One in every seven is standing vertical in the bed. The others tend to point the same way indicating the direction of the slurry flow. It’s a very interesting arrangement of fossils.”
For a long time geologists have thought that limestone rock, like the rock containing the nautiloid fossils, takes many thousands of years to form. “But this bed formed rapidly,” Steve said, “like in minutes. There’s something like 40 or 50 cubic kilometres of sediment in that bed and it was all deposited rapidly. This bed alone illustrates the title of my book, Grand Canyon, Monument to Catastrophe.”

Radioactive dating research

One of the big obstacles to the idea of a young earth is radioactive dating. Steve has researched this for many years, and found that there are lots of problems with the methods. He said, “I don’t feel particularly fulfilled by having people say that I debunked radioisotope dating. There is real science in measuring amounts of radioisotopes, but age is an interpretation of these amounts. My research shows it is a faulty interpretation. I’ve been trying to figure out the real explanation for the radioisotope abundances. I don’t think things have been successfully dated by radioisotope methods.”
There is real science in measuring amounts of radioisotopes, but age is an interpretation of these amounts.
He spent 14 years analysing radioisotopes in samples from rocks known as the Cardenas Basalt deep within Grand Canyon.5 This igneous rock is considered to be over one billion years old. “I was able to ‘date’ samples from many different locations using different dating methods based on potassium-argon and rubidium-strontium analyses. The methods gave different ages. How can supposedly ‘infallible’ methods do that? Obviously the assumptions are wrong.”
Steve has also ‘dated’ some lava flows from the young volcanoes at the top of Grand Canyon. Once again, he used two different methods: rubidium-strontium and potassium-argon. And again, the dates from the different methods did not agree. Even one internationally known researcher on radioisotope dating admitted to Steve that half of the ‘dates’ from whole-rock samples from Grand Canyon are wrong.
Steve discovered a very concealed secret about potassium argon dating that further challenges the basic assumptions of the method. From his rock samples he carefully separated minerals such as pyroxene and olivine, which contain very little potassium, and dated these with conventional potassium argon techniques. In one example, Steve selected pyroxene crystals from samples of rock from the new lava dome on Mt St Helens. The rock was only 11 years old when he collected them yet the pyroxene gave dates of two million years and more.
He also collected rocks from one of the more recent lavas (geologically speaking) that had flowed into the canyon, and separated a very pure extract of olivine. The labs found it had virtually no potassium in it, but contained lots of argon. That means the argon did not come from the radioactive decay of potassium but was trapped within the mineral when the rock crystallized.
“That is a bombshell for potassium argon dating,” Steve said. “It shows the fundamental assumption of the method (that there is no argon initially) is flawed. It shocked the scientists doing the work in the labs.”

Large-scale Flood models

In 1994, Steve, along with five other PhDs from a variety of specialties, published a paper about catastrophic plate tectonics, at the International Conference on Creationism in Pitts burgh, Pennsylvania.6 CPT was a little controversial at that time, and still is. In that paper, the creationist scientists described the Flood as a global tectonic event powered by the gravitational pull of the sea floor as it plunged into the earth’s mantle. In their model the plates moved during the Flood catastrophe, not at rates of centimetres per year, but at metres per second. The CPT model explains many of the features of the earth including the uplift of the mountains at the end of the Flood. These were pushed up as a result of plate collision, again, rapidly.
“Before that paper,” Steve said, “there wasn’t really a tectonic model for the Genesis Flood. Whitcomb and Morris in their classic work The Genesis Flood did not have a tectonics emphasis. They didn’t need to because they published in 1961 before global tectonics became popular. But with the publication of our paper, plate tectonics is now a creationist option. This means that Flood geology is in a very healthy situation, especially since there are now other creationist theories out there as well.”

The race-track flume

Steve Austin
Steve still has big ambitions for geological research.
“I want to build a race-track flume,” he said. “It will hold enough water to fill two swimming pools. The channel containing the water will be like an oval race track and I’ll circulate the water with lots of moving paddles.”
“I want to make shale with it,” Steve said.2
The standard thinking is that shale forms slowly over long periods of time in quiet, still water, but Steve is convinced it forms in fast-flowing water.
“I want to create the boundary between the clean and muddy water. If we can understand the hydrodynamics of the boundary we will know how the flow deposits thinly laminated sediment. It needs to be big so it can run about three times faster than flumes in use at present.”
Steve believes that lots of shale layers were built like this including the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachians, the Pierre Shale in the Rockies and the Bright Angel Shale in Grand Canyon.
“If I can show that fine strata can be formed rapidly that would account for basically 70% of the stratigraphic record.3 I believe I can do it with this type of machine.”
“It will make a talking point to the world to show how fine grain rocks form rapidly. And I would like to do it by 2011, the 50thanniversary of the publication of The Genesis Flood. It would be wonderful to honour Henry Morris with a flume that illustrated his ideas on the Flood.”


  1. A flume is an artificial channel for water.
  2. Shale is clay rock that splits readily into thin layers along the bedding planes.
  3. Report on similar experiments on mud deposition: Walker, T., Mud experiments overturn long-held geological beliefsJournal of Creation 22(2):14–15, 2008.

Related Articles

References and notes

  1. Austin, S. and Morris, J., Footprints in the Ash: The Explosive Story of Mount St Helens, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2003. Furthermore, the logs were stripped of branches and roots, like most fossil logs. Even more surprisingly the root end absorbed water, so the logs slowly sank into an upright position. This explains the “fossil forests”—they did not grow in place but were transported by water. Return to text.
  2. Swenson, D. and Catchpoole D., After the devastation the recoveryCreation 22(2):33–37, 2000. Return to text.
  3. Austin, S., Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, Institute for Creation Research, Santee, California, 1994. Return to text.
  4. Austin, S., Nautiloid mass kill and burial event, Redwall Limestone (Lower Mississippian), Grand Canyon region, Arizona and Nevada; in: Ivey, R. Jnr., The Fifth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pp. 55–99, 2003. Return to text.
  5. Austin, S. and Snelling, A., Discordant potassium-argon model and isochron “ages” for Cardenas Basalt (Middle Proterozoic) and associated diabase of Eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona; in: Walsh, R., The Fourth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pp. 35–51, 1998. Return to text.
  6. Austin, S. and 5 others, Catastrophic plate tectonics: A global model of earth history; in: Walsh, R., The Third International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pp. 609–621, 1994. Return to text.

While Walker and Austin make great cases for flood geology and point out that the Grand Canyon actually supports Creationism, the Darwinist community hides their eyes and ears.   When Mt. St. Helens produced a mini-Grand Canyon and myriad "varves" in a few hours, Darwinists changed the subject and hoped the whole idea would go away.   Nope.

John Woodmorappe has pointed out that the Standard Geological Column is mythical.   In fact, the rock layers do not fit the Darwinist model at all, they are a testament to catastrophism where ever you look.  If teachers taught NOTHING about geology in school at all, it is likely that teens and adults could learn more truth about the sedimentary rocks by searching the, that is dominated by Darwinist doofs as well.   Oh well, just another reason for me to carry on.

The Geologic Column: Does It Exist? 
by John Woodmorappe 

Abstract = It has been claimed that the geological column as a faunel succession is not just a hypothetical concept, but a reality, because all Phanerozoic systems exist superposed at a number of locations on the earth.  Close examination reveals, however, that even at locations where all ten systems are superposed, the column, as represented by sedimentary-thickness, is mostly missing.  In fact, the thickest local accumulation of rock is only a tiny fraction of the inferred 600-million year’s worth of depositions.  The global ‘stack’ of index fossils exists nowhere on earth, and most index fossils do not usually overlie each other at the same locality.  So, even in those places where all Phanerozoic systems have been assigned, the column is still hypothetical. Locally, many of the systems have not been assigned by the index fossils contained in the strata but by indirect methods that take the column for granted — clearly circular reasoning.  Thus the geologic column does not exist and so does not need to be explained by Flood geology. Only each local succession requires an explanation and Flood geology is wholly adequate for this task.

Figure 1. The presence or absence of all ten Phanerozoic systems in a 'stack' is not the only issue concerning the reality or otherwise of the geologic column.  The column to the left represents the maximum thickness of sedimentary rock attributed to each geologic period (100 miles).  The column to the right represents to the same scale the thickness of sedimentary rock in North Dakota.  Clearly the geologic column is far from complete in North Dakota.
Figure 3. (After Steven A. Austin, Ed., Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, ICR, Santee, CA, p. 43, 1994).  Four types of field evidences for periods of erosion and nondeposition:
  1. The nonconformity where stratified rock rests on nonstratified rock
  2. The angular unconformity where stratified rock rests on tilted and eroded strata
  3. The disconformity where parallel strata are present below and above but where discordance of bedding is evident
  4. The paraconformity where no discordance of bedding is noticeable. Paraconformities are proposed between strata for the sole reason that appropriate index fossils are absent from the intervening geologic system. Paraconformities usually show no evidence of subaerial exposure or the supposed millions of years between strata. 


If you read Woodmrappe, you will see that the geological column is simply a myth.   Now let's see what non-creation geologists have been up to...Oh, finally trying the flumes?   Only years behind Ian Juby, but that is okay,  better late than never.

Geology Sinks in the Mud   12/14/2007     

Question: what is the most abundant sedimentary rock in the world?  Follow-up question: what would happen to the science of geology if the consensus theory of how this most abundant sedimentary rock was deposited turns out to be wrong?  Prepare for a paradigm shift: experiments have shown mistakes in long-held assumptions about mudstone formation.

    Here’s what Macquaker and Bohacs said in Science1 about a paper in the same issue by Schieber, Southand and Thaisen:2 On page 1760 of this issue, Schieber et al.document a mechanism for depositing mud that is "at odds with perceived wisdom.  Later, “These results come at a time when mudstone science is poised for a paradigm shift.”  What they found is that “Mudstones can be deposited under more energetic conditions than widely assumed, requiring a reappraisal of many geologic records.”

    Mudstone is made up of very fine particles, typically just microns in diameter.  Think tiny clay particles in muddy water in the ocean or a lake, slowly settling down in calm water to the bottom.  Over long periods of time, the mud gradually builds up, micron by micron, millimeter by millimeter, leaving very fine strata (laminae).  It compacts and compresses and sometimes dries out.  That’s where mudstone and shale came from.  That’s what they thought.  Schieber and team decided to test these ideas with flume experiments in the laboratory.  Earlier experiments used centrifugal pumps, but these have a tendency to break up the clumps of clay particles, called floccules.  It’s these floccules, however, that turn out to be essential to understanding mud transport and deposition.

    This time, the team used a “racetrack flume” at Indiana University specially devised to eliminate the breakup of floccules.  They discovered that rapidly-moving currents can stratify mud deposits in ways that mimic slow, calm-water settling.  Here is the abstract:
Mudstones make up the majority of the geological record.  However, it is difficult to reconstruct the complex processes of mud deposition in the laboratory, such as the clumping of particles into floccules.  Using flume experiments, we have investigated the bedload transport and deposition of clay floccules and find that this occurs at flow velocities that transport and deposit sand.  Deposition-prone floccules form over a wide range of experimental conditions, which suggests an underlying universal process.  Floccule ripples develop into low-angle foresets and mud beds that appear laminated after postdepositional compaction, but the layers retain signs of floccule ripple bedding that would be detectable in the rock record.  Because mudstones were long thought to record low-energy conditions of offshore and deeper water environments, our results call for reevaluation of published interpretations of ancient mudstone successions and derived paleoceanographic conditions.
One reason the theory has been muddy is that there are 32 variables to take into account.  It’s a fundamentally complex system.  Floccule formation, for instance, relies on variables such as “settling velocity, floccule size, grain-size distribution, ion exchange behavior, and organic content” as well as particle concentration and the intensity of turbulence.  Other variables affecting the outcome include electromagnetic properties, biological material present, chemical composition, and more.  The scientists did the best they could controlling variables.  They tried distilled water, lake water, and salt water, with various types of mud particles.  They watched what happened on all sides of the flume, including looking up from the bottom, and examined the floccules with electron microscopes.

    Previously, geologists thought that mudstone had to be deposited in calm water because currents would disrupt the previously-deposited mud on the seabed or lakebed.  Not so.  These experiments showed that laminated mud can be deposited under currents strong enough to transport sand particles – orders of magnitude larger than mud particles.  Floccules can actually grow up to the size of sand particles.

    A glimpse at the implications of this paradigm shift can be gleaned from these quotes:
  • A century ago, Henry Clifton Sorby, one of the pioneers of geology, pointed to the study of muds as one of the most challenging topics in sedimentary geology.  Today, with our knowledge clearly expanded, muddy sediments are still considered highly complex systems that may require as many as 32 variables and parameters for a satisfactory physicochemical characterization.  More research may clarify interdependencies between a number of these parameters and may allow us to consider a smaller number of variables, but the fundamental complexity of muddy sediments is likely to remain.
  • Mudstones constitute up to two-thirds of the sedimentary record and are arguably the most poorly understood type of sedimentary rocks.  Mudstone successions contain a wealth of sedimentary features that provide information about depositional conditions and sedimentary history, but presently we lack the information that would allow us to link features observed in the rock record to measurable sets of physical variables in modern environments.
  • It appears that irrespective of what drives flocculation in a given experiment, flocculation provides deposition-prone particles without fail over a wide range of experimental conditions.
  • Our observations do not support the notion that muds can only be deposited in quiet environments with only intermittent weak currents.  Instead, bedload transport of flocculated mud and deposition occurs at current velocities that would also transport and deposit sand.  Clay beds can accrete from migrating floccule ripples under swiftly moving currents in the 10 cm/s to 26 cm/s velocity range, a range likely to expand as flows with larger sediment concentrations are explored.
  • Whereas the clay beds formed in our experiments consist of downcurrent-inclined laminae, they appear to be parallel-laminated once fully compacted (Fig. 4A).  Because floccule ripples are spaced 30 to 40 cm apart, ancient sediments of this origin are likely to appear parallel-laminated (Fig. 4C) as well.
  • Detection of ripple-accreted muds in the rock record will require carefully defined, and yet to be developed, criteria.
  • In the course of two decades of detailed studies of shales and mudstones, one of us has seen comparable low-amplitude bedforms (Fig. 4D) in shale units that weredeposited in a wide variety of environments.... This suggests that mud accretion from migrating floccule ripples probably occurred throughout geologic history.
  • Many ancient shale units, once examined carefully, may thus reveal that they accumulated in the manner illustrated here, rather than having largely settled from slow-moving or still suspensions.  This, in turn, will most likely necessitate the reevaluation of the sedimentary history of large portions of the geologic record.
As if these issues are not daunting enough, Macquaker and Bohacs added this thought:
The results call for critical reappraisal of all mudstones previously interpreted as having been continuously deposited under still waters.  Such rocks are widely used to infer past climates, ocean conditions, and orbital variations.
In short, a huge tower of interpretation, touching on fields as diverse as climate change, earth history and even solar system dynamics, has been built on a flawed assumption: that mudstones always settled out slowly in calm water.  Now that the assumption is shown to be unfounded, it is not just the geologists who will have to consider a paradigm shift.

    Speaking of mud, Live Science reported the discovery of undersea mud waves in the Arctic, an “unexpected surprise.”  In a quizzical inversion of the above story, scientists thought strong currents were required for such things; “researchers had thought the Arctic was too calm to produce the mud waves,” the article stated.  “Scientists aren’t sure what formed them.”  With apologies to Thomas Kuhn, maybe it was another paradigm shift.

1.  Macquaker and Bohacs, “Geology: On the Accumulation of Mud,” Science, 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp. 1734-1735, DOI: 10.1126/science.1151980.
2.  Schieber, Southard and Thaisen, “Accretion of Mudstone Beds from Migrating Floccule Ripples,” Science, 14 December 2007: Vol. 318. no. 5857, pp. 1760-1763, DOI: 10.1126/science.1147001.
A quick conversion shows 25 cm/sec to be a little shy of a foot per second, or about half a mile per hour – a slow current.  But like they said, the speed could be revised upward when fluids with higher concentrations are tested.  Also, currents could be stronger on the surface than the ocean bottom.  Of more consequence is the fact that nearly a century of assumption has undergirded a geological foundation that is more like quivering mud than rock-solid support. 
    A quick look at Grand Canyon layers shows that the following (bottom to top) contain shales and mudstones: the Unkar group, the Bass formation, Hakatai Shale, Dox (the thickest formation of all), the Chuar Group, Bright Angel Shale, Supai Group, and Hermit Formation.  These represent thousands of feet of sediments.  Previously thought to have formed in calm, placid seas, it is now possible to look at these anew as having been deposited under currents of water.  Will Flood geologists now be able to say “I told you so” to their uniformitarian rivals? 
    The implications of this announcement should send seismic waves throughout geology and earth science.  Geologists have looked to mudstones for clues about depositional history.  Chemists have looked to mudstones for clues about the chemical history of the earth and its oceans.  Oceanographers have looked to mudstones for clues about plankton cycles and patterns.  Atmospheric scientists have looked to mudstones for clues about climate history.  Biologists have looked to fossils in mudstones for clues to evolutionary history.  Physicists have looked to mudstones for clues about geomagnetic history.  Even planetary scientists have looked to mudstones for clues about the orbital history of the Earth.  All of these have assumed that mudstone left a reliable record of slow, quiet deposition under calm water conditions.  Now what?  If their chosen methodology shepherds them not beside the still waters, it cannot restore their soul. 
    It may turn out that geologists can save face with further experimentation, or that they could argue that there are narrow limits under which mudstones can form that are not too far removed from the calm-water paradigm.  Remember, however, that mudstones are very complex, with at least 32 parameters to consider.  That’s the known parameters; what about the unknown ones?  To what extent can geologists infer past conditions by “reading” rocks when they don’t know the language?  And how sure can we be now that future experiments won’t upset the current paradigm again, even more radically? 
    There are important lessons here about the philosophy of science: particularly, the fundamental difference between the observational sciences and the historical sciences.  Even experiments as carefully controlled as these cannot prove that the Dox Formation or the Bright Angel Shale were laid down under comparable conditions.  Lab experiments are only simulations.  Many parameters cannot be controlled; others are not even known.  Science can say with some confidence that such-and-such a rock is composed of quartz or montmorillite or limestone in the present.  Describing where it came from and how it got there is a completely different kind of investigation.  Why should geology limit itself to observation of present resources and processes? 
    In 1825, Granville Penn, a Bible-believing British geologist, wrote that trying to understand the rock record from field observations alone is like trying to understand the history of Rome by studying scattered ruins of the empire without access to Roman historians like Tacitus.  Geology is a compound work, he argued: “it is both physical and historical, for it seeks the historical truth of a physical fact.”  He explained,
It is evident to reason, that certainty concerning a past fact – such as is, the mode by which all material existences were really first formed, or were really afterwards altered – must be historical certainty: the subject, therefore, is no longer a subject for philosophical or scientific induction, but for historical evidence, it demands a voucher competent to establish its truth.  Now, the voucher that could establish the fact respecting the true mode of first formations, must have been a witness of that mode; but, the only witness of the mode of first formations or creations, was the Creator himself.
(cited in Terry Mortenson, The Great Turning Point [Master Books, 2004], p. 64.)  His point is, that rather than restricting themselves to insufficient evidential resources, geologists should be willing to use the same methods of historical evaluation from the available sources that a historian would use in reconstructing the history of a past civilization.  It would be folly for a historian of Rome to ignore Tacitus, Julius Caesar, Livy or Cicero, even if the sources were dubbed biased or incomplete.  The eyewitness accounts of Rome cannot provide exhaustive information, but they provide anchor points for a basic framework of investigation.  Is it not a superior methodology for a historian to avail himself of both the extant written documents and the monuments? 
    Similarly, Penn argued, the works of Moses, though not a geological textbook, provide enough intersection points of geological events with human history with which to begin building a geological system.  Geologists in the 1830s abandoned that methodology – not because the data forced them to, but because they made it their choice to study only the monuments.  Well, you see where it has led.  This is just one example (try some others: 11/30/200711/26/200710/03/2007,09/19/200703/27/200702/19/200701/12/2007 – and that’s just from this year.  The story about volcanoes in 11/13/2006 was instructive, and remember the puzzle of the ultra-pure sandstones of world-wide distribution from 06/27/2003?).  Reading Geology papers is like reading Darwinian evolution papers: a little bit of data, a lot of storytelling, and frequent announcements that everything you know is wrong. 
    Try a change of perspective.  In a parallel world outside the mainstream geological institutions, which followed Lyell, Darwin and Huxley wholesale into materialism in the 19th century, there remains today an active body of creation geologists who still work within the framework of the written historical record.  You would be hard-pressed to notice any difference in scientific rigor in their papers.  Often there is active debate about how certain formations are to be interpreted.  Frequently they find the interpretations of the secular geologists to be untenable in light of the observational evidence.  Many of the creation geologists have PhDs, and some are more experienced in field work than their secular counterparts.  They go out to interesting sites all over America, Australia and the world, investigate them carefully, and interpret the same data – only through the lenses of a different worldview (example: 03/05/2006 commentary).  Sound interesting?  Tired of the often-contradictory secular approach?  Here are two journals where you can test the alternative: the Creation Research Society Quarterly and the Journal of Creation.  Both of these general-science technical journals frequently contain interesting and informative articles on geology and earth history. 


Guy Berthault's work on actually studying the underlying assumptions of old-age geology and formation of sedimentary rocks using flumes and other aspects can be found here.

The Grand Canyon is actually a great example of evidence for the Flood.   We know the Colorado River did not run UPHILL to form the canyon and furthermore the cut through to form the canyon was not the lowest point in the area but was rather formed by an enormous and powerful flow of waters which was directed by the power of the flow.   The blockade of recently formed sedimentary rock was no barrier to the power of the water.  The layers of the canyon are used by Creation Geology tours to show students examples of flood-produced rock layers.   The side canyons of the Grand Canyon seem to have been produced exactly as the mini-canyon that was formed by Mt. St. Helens.  We believe that the Grand Canyon was produced primarily by the off-flow of flood waters at the end of the Noahic Flood, but have some portions that were probably formed by two subsequent dike breaks at end of the Ice Age.

Nothing about the Grand Canyon supports old age formation by the Colorado River.  There is not enough talus to represent millions of years.   The river would have had to flow uphill to form the Canyon.   Even at flood stage the river is incapable of making any semblance of a valley like the canyon.  

Much like the lack of incredulity demonstrated by Darwinists when it comes to the design of organisms, the formation of planation surfaces and mesas and canyons and similar Flood-produced surface features of the Earth completely falsify old-age geology.   But they simply ignore the evidence and conform to the myth.   

Until Scientism is cast aside by secular science, said science will be largely useless and completely inaccurate.   Intentional stupidity is the hallmark of Darwinism.  But it may be that the realization that mudstone (and then the natural study and inclusion of slate) is formed in swift currents will be the Rosetta Stone of geology that causes the geological community to recognize and support the overwhelming evidence for the Flood model.  One can hope.

DNA and research into the cell has revealed a world that Darwinists cannot explain coherently.  Studies of the Solar System have shown that the planets and moons are young and have design features that are inexplicable by Darwinist science.   

Study of a so-called Big Bang has revealed a process that is missing most of its energy and mass, that has no causal evidence, does not fit the makeup of the current Universe and also has supplementary problems.   Stars cannot be formed save by using materials from dead stars.   The Nebular Hypothesis has proven to be a failure.   It cannot form planets nor can it explain the Solar System.

The state of the Sun and Moon preclude long ages for the Solar System.   The magnetic field of the Earth precludes long ages for life on Earth.  The common man does not realize how out-of-whack the Darwinist story really is - it cannot explain life or information or the formation of the rock layers of Earth or the formation of planets and stars or the beginning of the Universe.   Darwinism explains nothing but rather is a now-ridiculous mythical religion using pseudo-science, propaganda and censorship to prop itself up.   I do believe if every person was able to see the evidence on both sides of the origins question, Darwinism would be doubted, investigated and eventually laughed out of the room we call Science.   Down the hall to Baseless Mythology with you, Darwinism!!!  Future generations can study you with marvel, astonished at how many decades you were able to fool the public.  Maybe the Easter Bunny will give you a chocolate egg?


Jon W said...

It's an interesting question: if YECs are so sure you have the truth on your side, why do you feel compelled to tell lies at every turn?

Austin's radiometric dating fraud has been extensively documented. He took dirty samples and claimed they were clean, datable rock; he lied to the lab he was using about where the samples came from; he intentionally picked a lab with equipment that he knew wasn't good for dating young rock, and gave them young rock to date; he mislabeled photos in his book; he ignores the effects of major river floods in the Colorado River; he ignores the effects that the lava dams would have had; he ignores the effects of ancient landslides in the Canyon...

Austin's attempted explanation for the Grand Canyon of the Colorado fails on so many levels it's impossible to list them all in a single comment. Here is a partial list:

1) The Grand Canyon does not run according to the Colorado Plateau's local downhill. It cuts laterally across the southern flank of the Plateau. This is impossible for water flowing naturally from a lake to the east.

2) the tributary canyons of the Grand Canyon cut the rock as deeply as the main Canyon, yet most run from the Rim to the River. No sign that any of them were cut by water coming from up-Canyon.

3) the buttes and "temples" are almost all on the north side of the River.

4) the buttes and "temples" show every sign of having been formed in place by local mass-wasting events, not by floodwaters rushing from the east.

5) many places within the Canyon show evidence of a complex geological history, including mass wasting events such as landslides that end at a level well above the current river channel. ( Clearly when these landslides happened, the Canyon wasn't as deep as it is now.

6) Those with eyes can see that Austin's claim that "the Colorado River could not have carved the Grand Canyon" is garbage, because mass wasting events, which significantly reshape the course of both the main river and the tributary creeks, occur in the Canyon even today. Every time there's heavy rain on either Rim, the National Park Service issues warnings to hikers and boaters: watch out for landslides and falling rocks.

radar said...

Jon W = "I cannot refute the evidence so I will use ad hominem against an actual scientist by making false claims and then I will continue to miss the point anyway..."

You, sir, would say that the light was dark and the dark, light, if it was a primary pillar of Darwinism. Austin did NOT take dirty samples, but rather Darwinists use that lie against him because they do not like the lab results.

If high water brings down rock inside the canyon, why is there still so little talus there?

The side canyons, most of them, were caused by flood overflow just like those of the mini-grand canyon formed by Mt. St. Helens. In fact the main canyon had to be formed by the off-flow of the flood and then some features by later dike breaks.

You have empty propaganda and little comprehension of the canyon itself.

radar said...

I would advise readers to check out Tas Walker's website and Steve Austin's website and also Woodmorappe's paper as linked on this blog. You will find good explanations for the rock formations and sedimentary rock layers that make it pretty obvious that Darwinists have been selling a bill of goods since Lyell first lied about geology.

Standard geological boilerplate is utterly absurd. Most of them have agreed that the rock layers were made catastrophically but fail to accept the Global Flood on religious grounds. As it happens, there are rock layers that span the USA and also are found in Europe and even Australia that are probably all the same layer of sediment. Note that one very pure layer of chalk is found over much of the world and that is very likely just one layer, given differing names in different places.

Furthermore, some sedimentary rocks are found in one area and not in another, not unusual for a flood. Floods can lay down a layer and then pick it back up and redistribute it. They can lay down sediments in one area and then hit a counter-flow which causes the layering to change.

All the sedimentary layers and cross-beds and similar formations have been produced by flumes. We can see how immense quantities of water will pick up rock and soil and sand and how they will be distributed. We also understand why so many organisms were trapped and preserved because they were buried rapidly, overwhelmingly and preserved anoxically.

The order of fossils depends on primarily where they would be found before the flood. Ocean-dwellers on the bottom layers, less robust or powerful organisms higher up and the strongest organisms and/or the smartest wound up surviving for weeks or even months before finally being overcome by the waters.

Amphibians that were not buried outright would have been at an advantage in such conditions until such time as the entire Earth was covered. That is why so many apparently amphibian tracks are found in the Coconino formation. They could float along with rising tides and flee to high ground with less trouble than dinosaurs or humans.

By the way, Darwinists claimed for years that the Coconino Sandstone layer was a preserved desert!!! Now we know it was also a flood-formed formation and it extends farther than Darwinists care to admit. They actually used to propose that organisms in that area backed up or slid whenever they went downhill because the tracks were almost all going uphill. Now we know they were just avoiding the Flood as long as possible.

Jon W said...

"Austin did NOT take dirty samples"

Yes, he did. Everyone who has even glanced at the St. Helens lava dome knows it's dirty rock that couldn't be accurately dated by any radiometric method.

"If high water brings down rock inside the canyon, why is there still so little talus there?"

You've clearly never been to, or even looked at pictures of, the Grand Canyon. There are huge amounts of talus on every slope that is shallow enough to hold it.

We've been all through the issue of the fossil record many times over. Your YEC lies simply don't change reality. The fossil record does not show what you say it shows. It's not organized the way you claim it's organized. Open any college-level geology or palaeontology book. Go out and do some real fieldwork. You'll see.

"Ocean-dwellers on the bottom layers, less robust or powerful organisms higher up and the strongest organisms and/or the smartest wound up surviving for weeks or even months before finally being overcome by the waters."

How did the trees outrun the dinosaurs to those last bits of high ground, Radar?

How could a Flood of ocean water have killed large, active marine creatures like mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs at all?

Once dead, how did they settle to the bottom so gently as to be buried and fossilized in fine sediment while the fountains of the great deep were puking up their super-tsunamis and the continents were racing around in their game of planetary demolition derby?

How did the Flood perfectly sort those organisms so that we never under any circumstances find trilobites with flounder, or ichthyosaurs with dolphins, or elephants with sauropods, or dromaeosaurs with lions? Not once has anyone found organisms from different geologic eras in the same fossil beds. Not even once, in more than two hundred years of geology as a formal science.

"Now we know they were just avoiding the Flood as long as possible."

So this Flood that covered the entire planet in a matter of days, and was so violent that it was carrying rocks as big as small boulders, depositing meters of sediment per hour, nevertheless rose slowly and gently enough that amphibians which can't move faster than a couple of miles per hour could still outrun it.

Even allowing for the fire of religious fanaticism, I still wonder how you can say such things without realizing just how incredibly stupid they sound.

radar said...

Jon, your lack of understanding is so vast that I probably have to include this comment as part of a blogpost just to answer the most egregious of your errors. It is obvious that you do not read the entire posts I put online or you would either not ask the questions you ask or go after different subjects. Too much of the comment is so remarkably wrong it requires public scrutiny.

Jon W said...

You, answer one of my comments coherently, let alone effectively? I think it might have happened once. Certainly not twice. Most of the time you don't even understand my points -- as with intertrappean fossils. You scramble around until you find an article that has some of the same big words in it, copy-and-paste it into a blog post, then claim it disproves my point and run away.

You probably don't even understand why "baraminology", the subject of your latest screed, can't possibly be called a scientific theory.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious when reading the comments above, especially the one by Jon W. three posts above this one, that Radar is simply out of his depth and doesn't have a leg to stand on, especially given his response:

"Jon, your lack of understanding is so vast that I probably have to include this comment as part of a blogpost just to answer the most egregious of your errors. It is obvious that you do not read the entire posts I put online or you would either not ask the questions you ask or go after different subjects. Too much of the comment is so remarkably wrong it requires public scrutiny."

Not a single hint of a substantive response to Jon's objections there. Sad.