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Author Topic:   Age of Grand Canyon and Cave Speleothems
RAZD
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(1)
Message 1 of 46 (681034)
11-21-2012 4:38 PM


I have a friend to thank for originally bringing this information to my attention.

From www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5868/1377.abstract

Science 7 March 2008:
Vol. 319 no. 5868 pp. 1377-1380
DOI: 10.1126/science.1151248

Age and Evolution of the Grand Canyon Revealed by U-Pb Dating of Water Table-Type Speleothems(a)

by Victor Polyak*, Carol Hill and Yemane Asmerom

quote:
Abstract

The age and evolution of the Grand Canyon have been subjects of great interest and debate since its discovery. We found that cave mammillaries (water table indicator speleothems) from nine sites in the Grand Canyon showed uranium-lead dating evidence for an old western Grand Canyon on the assumption that groundwater table decline rates are equivalent to incision rates. Samples in the western Grand Canyon yielded apparent water table decline rates of 55 to 123 meters per million years over the past 17 million years, in contrast to eastern Grand Canyon samples that yielded much faster rates (166 to 411 meters per million years). Chronology and inferred incision data indicate that the Grand Canyon evolved via headward erosion from west to east, together with late-stage (∼3.7 million years ago) accelerated incision in the eastern block.


(Note that they are not talking about biological evolution, but the gradual development of the canyon by geological processes.)

Also

http://www.wired.com/...y/dissection/2008/03/dissection_0307

quote:
It turns out that the time stamps were there all along. They were just hidden away inside the hundreds of caves inside the Grand Canyon's walls. Strange formations known as mammilary coatings -- named for their vague resemblance to breasts -- line some of the cave walls. Mammilary coatings form on the walls of caves that are submerged just below the water table. As the Colorado River sliced deeper down into the Colorado Plateau, the water table gradually dropped. Mammilary coatings marked the river's fall. And as mammilary coatings form, they also happen to trap a lot of uranium. By measuring their age, scientists can measure how long ago they were near the water table.

Three geologists from the University of New Mexico have explored caves along the Grand Canyon, ranging from the very bottom to the rim. In this week's issue of Science, they report that the highest caves have mammilary coatings dating back about 17 million years, and the lowest ones date to about 800,000 years. And all the caves between the top and bottom have the intermediate ages you’d expect. By measuring the distance from the rim to the caves, the geologists were then able to estimate how fast the Colorado River carved the canyon. The downstream end of the canyon formed first, and only later did the upstream end catch up. These new measurements show that even as the river sank down into the earth, the earth itself rose, lifted by hot rock welling up through the crust


Here is creationist Kent Hovind and his (bad) argument(b) for how the Grand Canyon was made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze5A2pua1E4

The dating information above says two things that invalidate the creationist concept that the canyon was formed by flood waters in a few days or weeks as the water drained away, slicing into and through the ridge:

  1. The canyon formed from west to east, while the creationist model would form from east to west (eroding the top of the barrier to the drainage flow first), and
  2. The canyon took at least 16 million years to form according to radiometric dating (17x10^6 - 8x10^5).

The evidence that the canyon formed from west to east is independent of the validity of Uranium-Lead dating, it just depends on the measured levels of Uranium and Lead without any age calculation:

  • soluble Uranium is captured in the formation of the speleotherm\mammilaries,
  • Lead is not soluble in water and so would not be deposited in the speleotherm\mammilaries
  • Uranium turns into lead, not vice-versa
  • The speleotherm\mammilaries form after the caves have been formed as they are deposits on the cave walls
  • Higher ratios of Lead/Uranium therefore are due to greater age of the speleotherm\mammilaries, and thus so are the locations where they are found.

We can also discuss the validity of Uranium-Lead dating with reference to:
Are Uranium Halos the best evidence of (a) an old earth AND (b) constant physics?

Enjoy

(a) - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/speleothem?s=ts

speleothem

any of the crystalline deposits that form in a solution cave after the creation of the cave itself. These deposits are generally composed of calcium carbonate dissolved from the surrounding limestone by groundwater. Carbon dioxide carried in the water is released as the water encounters the cave air; this reduces the water's capacity to hold calcite in solution and causes the calcite to be deposited. These deposits may accumulate to form stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, helictites, cave pearls, and many other formations. Deposits formed along ceiling cracks may produce drip curtains or draperies that may then reach the floor to become walls. Speleothems may grow in pools to form the nodular encrustations of cave coral or the natural dams that continually elevate themselves through accretion of calcite. The pure white of the calcium carbonate is often tinted with hues of red, yellow, and gray and may even be translucent. The growth rate of speleothems is highly variable due to seasonal variations in the rate of flow, carbon dioxide content, and other factors. Caves owe most of their beauty and much of their interest to these secondary growths.

(b) - Note that I have shown in previous threads why Hovind's explanation is bogus and doesn't work by his own argument that water does not flow uphill -- where the Grand Canyon crosses the ridge is not the lowest point of the ridge, but up on a slope between two lower points, so if he was correct then the canyon would be in a different location.

Edited by RAZD, : link

Edited by RAZD, : x10

Edited by RAZD, : title

Edited by RAZD, : added definition for speleothem

Edited by RAZD, : engls


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RAZD
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Posts: 18260
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Message 2 of 46 (681035)
11-21-2012 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
11-21-2012 4:38 PM


accuracy of radiometric dating -- Uranium-Lead method
We can also discuss the validity of Uranium-Lead dating with reference to:
Are Uranium Halos the best evidence of (a) an old earth AND (b) constant physics?

quote:
Where I am starting is from Dr Wiens:
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

quote:
13. "Radiation halos" in rocks prove that the Earth was young.

This refers to tiny halos of crystal damage surrounding spots where radioactive elements are concentrated in certain rocks. Halos thought to be from polonium, a short-lived element produced from the decay of uranium, have been found in some rocks. ...

At any rate, halos from uranium inclusions are far more common. Because of uranium's long half-lives, these halos take at least several hundred million years to form. Because of this, most people agree that halos provide compelling evidence for a very old Earth.


(bold added for empHASis, part deleted not about uranium halos)

Thus when you have isotopes decaying into other isotopes by alpha decay, the energy of the alpha particle is unique to that decay stage because of the unique before and after mass of the decaying isotope and the constant mass of the alpha particle.

Very simply put, if you change the decay rate, you change the decay energy, and the diameter of the halo changes.

The existence of (common) uranium halos then is evidence that shows the physical constants have not changed while they were formed, and their formation in turn is evidence that the earth is old, at least several hundred million years old.


And in relation to the OP we can also focus on the accuracy of Uranium-Lead dating techniques:

From http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

Radiometric Dating
A Christian Perspective

by Dr. Roger C. Wiens

quote:
Uranium-Lead and related techniques. The uranium-lead method is the longest-used dating method. It was first used in 1907, about a century ago. The uranium-lead system is more complicated than other parent-daughter systems; it is actually several dating methods put together. Natural uranium consists primarily of two isotopes, U-235 and U-238, and these isotopes decay with different half-lives to produce lead-207 and lead-206, respectively. In addition, lead-208 is produced by thorium-232. Only one isotope of lead, lead-204, is not radiogenic. The uranium-lead system has an interesting complication: none of the lead isotopes is produced directly from the uranium and thorium. Each decays through a series of relatively short-lived radioactive elements that each decay to a lighter element, finally ending up at lead. Since these half-lives are so short compared to U-238, U-235, and thorium-232, they generally do not affect the overall dating scheme. The result is that one can obtain three independent estimates of the age of a rock by measuring the lead isotopes and their parent isotopes. Long-term dating based on the U-238, U-235, and thorium-232 will be discussed briefly here; dating based on some of the shorter-lived intermediate isotopes is discussed later.

The uranium-lead system in its simpler forms, using U-238, U-235, and thorium-232, has proved to be less reliable than many of the other dating systems. This is because both uranium and lead are less easily retained in many of the minerals in which they are found. Yet the fact that there are three dating systems all in one allows scientists to easily determine whether the system has been disturbed or not. Using slightly more complicated mathematics, different combinations of the lead isotopes and parent isotopes can be plotted in such a way as to minimize the effects of lead loss. One of these techniques is called the lead-lead technique because it determines the ages from the lead isotopes alone. Some of these techniques allow scientists to chart at what points in time metamorphic heating events have occurred, which is also of significant interest to geologists.


Note that lead loss from the speleothems would result in younger age errors, so the corrected results would be older.

Enjoy.


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RAZD
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Message 3 of 46 (681036)
11-21-2012 6:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
11-21-2012 4:38 PM


why Hovinds argument is bogus.
The reason is simple: the ridge that is supposedly breached during run-off from the flood is LOWER to the south and the north of the canyon location.

Here is the objective empirical data that you can see with your own eyes:

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Grand+Canyon+Village,+AZ&hl...

(Linking to the map does not work, so you will need to click on the link above. Make sure it shows "Terrain" to indicate the topology.)

The dark areas are higher than the lighter areas. According to Hovind (and physics) water does not willingly flow uphill, so it would have flowed over one of the lower sections of the ridge (north or south) and the canyon would be in a different location.

Enjoy.


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RAZD
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Posts: 18260
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Message 4 of 46 (681037)
11-21-2012 6:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
11-21-2012 4:38 PM


speleothem formation and uranium inclusion
From http://www.desertusa.com/mag99/feb/papr/speleothems.html

quote:
Slightly acidic groundwater in limestone regions gradually dissolves passages and caverns in the underground rock. Geologists call this karst topography.

Speleothems are cave features created after the underground chamber has been formed. They are a result of slow-moving water, usually containing calcium carbonate, which has been dissolved from the limestone where the cave was formed. When this water enters the cave, a chemical change causes the calcium carbonate to precipitate (harden), creating all manner of cave formations and features -- speleothems.

Calcite is the stable form of the widely distributed mineral calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Calcite is the primary mineral component of speleothems as well as limestone, the sedimentary rock in which most caves are formed.

Mammilary or Cloud: Carbonate coatings that form underwater in cave pools, around projections and rocks lining the pool, whose water is super-saturated with calcium carbonate.


From http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/...oclimatology_Speleothems

quote:
Paleoclimatology: Written in the Earth
by Holli Riebeek · design by Robert Simmon · June 28, 2005

Speleothems: Cave rocks

A deep cavern dips into the New Mexico desert, shielding spiky icicle-like rocks that hang from the ceiling and the rounded columns that grow from the floor in a myriad of shapes. One of the world’s largest underground chambers, the Carlsbad Cavern is resplendent in the intricate finery of the rock formations that form there. Beyond their breath-taking beauty, the formations in Carlsbad and the more than 100 other caves in the area provide a record of rainfall in the southwestern United States.

Tucked away inside the Earth, the rocks are protected from the weathering and large-scale erosion that taints other land-based climate records. As water runs through the ground, it picks up minerals, the most common of which is calcium carbonate. When the mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves behind solid mineral deposits—the same solid material that forms white spots on water faucets or glass dishes. The mineral deposits accumulate in the well-known icicle-shaped rock on the ceiling, a stalactite, and in a mound on the floor where the drip lands, a stalagmite. Less well known, water deposits can also dry in a flat slab called a flowstone.

Geologists refer to the mineral formations in caves as “speleothems.” While the water flows, the speleothems grow in thin, shiny layers. The amount of growth is an indicator of how much ground water dripped into the cave. Little growth might indicate a drought, just as rapid growth could point to heavy precipitation. When the speleothems stop growing, the outside becomes dirty and eroded in places, giving it a dull appearance. A growing speleothem looks smooth and wet.

Scientists can date the layers in the speleothem by measuring how much uranium, a radioactive element, has decayed. Uranium from the surrounding bedrock seeps into the water and forms a carbonate that becomes part of each layer of the speleothem as it forms. Uranium decays into thorium, which sticks to the clay in the bedrock instead of seeping into ground water and from there into the speleothem. As a result, the newest layers of a growing speleothem typically contain no thorium.

Over time uranium predictably turns into thorium, so scientists can tell how old a layer is by measuring the ratio of uranium to thorium. ...


And, as we have seen in the OP, the thorium decays into lead, so Uranium-Lead dating can also be used.

The Uranium inclusion can thus be used to accurately date when any particular layer of the speleothem was formed.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
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Message 5 of 46 (681039)
11-22-2012 7:34 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Age of Grand Canyon and Cave Speleothems thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
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Message 6 of 46 (681044)
11-22-2012 8:19 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by RAZD
11-21-2012 6:08 PM


Another idea about the elevation from which the water cut the canyon
Hello RAZD,
There is no way I'm going to be participating much in this sort of thread because of its technical level beyond a comment or two. I just want to say that I think the creationists are missing something about the depth of the Flood or the height from which the water would have poured into the Canyon at the end of the Flood and what they're missing could answer the observation that the canyon is cut into a mounded area that is higher than the surrounding area.

I believe an analysis of the north-south elevations of that region from the GS to the GC suggests that the layers that climb from the level of the Kaibab, which forms the rim of the GC, to the top of the GS to the north, were also originally present over the GC, extending for hundreds of square miles over that whole region at that depth. All that depth of strata was no doubt accumulating or standing in water for some long period of the Flood and probably still doing so when the canyon was cut, or it could have been starting to recede by that point. In either case I think the additional depth of strata above the area explains how rushing flood water would have cut the canyon because at the time the water WAS higher than the current canyon which was the result.

As I've argued on the Creationist Road Trip thread I believe the cutting of the canyon began with the cracking of those upper layers, caused by the stress of the uplift which the diagrams suggest to me was caused by the volcanic eruption directly beneath the canyon. The eruption appears to have been mostly contained underground, resisted by the weight of the stack above, displacing the lowest strata which form the Grand Unconformity, also forming the Vishnu schist and the granite under the canyon itself.

The idea is that the stress of the uplift from that underground eruption cracked the uppermost layers of the strata directly above, which, again, at that time were a mile higher/deeper than the present rim, corresponding to the same strata that remains in the GS. As the cracks opened chunks of the upper strata caved into them and water poured into them, carving out the canyon to a great width and then depth. This pouring and caving-in had to have happened over some fairly long period as the canyon was being carved out.

These upper strata are much higher than the current rim so we're talking a huge amount of debris-filled rushing water from ABOVE the area because of all the strata breaking up, before it finally carved out the current canyon. I could draw a picture of it but I wouldn't know how to get it to you.

The canyon as it now exists is cut into an area higher than the surrounding areas to north and south because of the same uplift caused by the volcano beneath the canyon, but it's a mile lower than the original level of the strata laid down in that area. So if it was originally topped by that other mile of strata and all that water in which the whole thing was standing rushed into the cracks formed by the stress of the eruption, the difference between its CURRENT elevation and the surrounding lower areas doesn't tell you anything about what really happened.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
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Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 7 of 46 (681089)
11-22-2012 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
11-22-2012 8:19 AM


Re: Another (bad) idea about the elevation from which the water cut the canyon
Hi Faith,

There is no way I'm going to be participating much in this sort of thread because of its technical level beyond a comment or two. ...

An opportunity to learn. Will you take it?

... I just want to say that I think the creationists are missing something about the depth of the Flood or the height from which the water would have poured into the Canyon at the end of the Flood and what they're missing could answer the observation that the canyon is cut into a mounded area that is higher than the surrounding area.

So you agree that water does not flow uphill, that Kent Hovind is mistaken in his video.

I believe an analysis of the north-south elevations of that region from the GS to the GC suggests that the layers that climb from the level of the Kaibab, which forms the rim of the GC, to the top of the GS to the north, were also originally present over the GC, extending for hundreds of square miles over that whole region at that depth. All that depth of strata was no doubt accumulating or standing in water for some long period of the Flood and probably still doing so when the canyon was cut, or it could have been starting to recede by that point. In either case I think the additional depth of strata above the area explains how rushing flood water would have cut the canyon because at the time the water WAS higher than the current canyon which was the result.

Which is invalidated by two things:

First, the physical geology of the Grand Canyon -- it's shape and the objects in it (spires etc) -- are not observed to occur in ANY overflow erosion, from the scablands to the dikes in New Orleans (Katrina).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channeled_Scablands

Second, the timing of when the parts of the canyon formed was from the west end to the east end, when all overflow erosion observed is from the top of the dike down the face , cutting deeper and forming the exit end last.

You are free to experiment with sand piles and take pictures if you disagree.

As I've argued on the Creationist Road Trip thread ...

Note that the experiment in the video, of pouring water on sand created a gully similar to the scablands, rather than the Grand Canyon and that the erosion started at the top and proceeded then to cut deeper with the last erosion at the bottom, with braiding at the end.

... I believe the cutting of the canyon began with the cracking of those upper layers, caused by the stress of the uplift which the diagrams suggest to me was caused by the volcanic eruption directly beneath the canyon. The eruption appears to have been mostly contained underground, resisted by the weight of the stack above, displacing the lowest strata which form the Grand Unconformity, also forming the Vishnu schist and the granite under the canyon itself.

First, this is not an "eruption" but an uplifting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Geology_of_the_Grand_Canyon_area

quote:
The geology of the Grand Canyon area exposes one of the most complete and studied sequences of rock on Earth. The nearly 40 major sedimentary rock layers exposed in the Grand Canyon and in the Grand Canyon National Park area range in age from about 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old. ...

Uplift of the region started about 75 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny; a mountain-building event that is largely responsible for creating the Rocky Mountains to the east. In total, the Colorado Plateau was uplifted an estimated 2 miles (3.2 km). ...


This is another instance of using proper terminology to describe what is meant. There were eruptions (at least 13 lava dams are known), but the process of lifting up the Colorado Plateau is not an eruption.

Remember too that you claim that volcanic activity only started after the flood.

Second, the physical shape of the Grand Canyon does not conform to this kind of process. When we see cracks in the surface crossing rivers we see the river being redirected by the crack to proceed along the crack and follow its shape. We do not see that in the Grand Canyon.

Curiously, there are fault lines in the Grand Canyon, but they run north-south rather than east-west and they do NOT show any spreading with rock material falling into the faults, as would have occurred with your proposed "cracking under stress" explanation.

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/...anyon_area#Creation_of_the_canyon

... It was caused by subduction off the western coast of North America. Major faults that trend north–south and cross the canyon area were reactivated by this uplift.[49] Many of these faults are Precambrian in age and are still active today.[57] ...


If what you claim were true then these north-south faults would have been spread and filled with rubble, so the fact that this did NOT occur invalidates your idea.

Again, you are free to experiment, placing wet sand over a balloon and then inflating the balloon to simulate your "volcanic" action ... and observe the crack pattern.

See if you can get this pattern:

The idea is that the stress of the uplift from that underground eruption cracked the uppermost layers of the strata directly above, which, again, at that time were a mile higher/deeper than the present rim, corresponding to the same strata that remains in the GS. As the cracks opened chunks of the upper strata caved into them and water poured into them, carving out the canyon to a great width and then depth. This pouring and caving-in had to have happened over some fairly long period as the canyon was being carved out.

This is also invalidated by the evidence for the timing of when the different parts of the canyon formed. Read the evidence of the speleothems for the relative time of formation (Message 1).

... in the GS. ...

Please don't use abbreviations that are not defined in the thread (or don't use them at all) as this can be confusing to new readers.

These upper strata are much higher than the current rim so we're talking a huge amount of debris-filled rushing water from ABOVE the area because of all the strata breaking up, before it finally carved out the current canyon. I could draw a picture of it but I wouldn't know how to get it to you.

Which means that there is no reason for the Grand Canyon to exist at all -- all the land would have eroded away. Again, I refer you to experimenting with sand and water to see if you can replicate what you imagine occurred.

In addition, you now have an imaginary process to remove all this covering sediment in a way that does not form any canyons or scabland type patterns at the lower elevations that they have mysteriously uncovered.

And you need to explain where all that material went. (Perhaps it dissolved into the air?)

The canyon as it now exists is cut into an area higher than the surrounding areas to north and south because of the same uplift caused by the volcano beneath the canyon, but it's a mile lower than the original level of the strata laid down in that area. So if it was originally topped by that other mile of strata and all that water in which the whole thing was standing rushed into the cracks formed by the stress of the eruption, the difference between its CURRENT elevation and the surrounding lower areas doesn't tell you anything about what really happened.

Imagination is a wonderful thing. Grounded in evidence, it is even better. What you have now proposed means that the water would not flow in this direction at all but would have found another lower outlet that is not part of the uplift (SE for example).

You have also avoided all the information from the speleothems for timing of the various parts of the canyon.

Science explains all the evidence. It may take a while for the evidence to sink in, but the evidence that the earth is old, billions of years old is as powerful, if not more so, as the evidence that the earth is roundish (an oblate spheroid) and orbits the sun along with the other planets.

Curiously, last night I viewed four moons of Jupiter through a telescope.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty

Edited by RAZD, : addendum

Edited by RAZD, : adddedd


we are limited in our ability to understand
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 Message 6 by Faith, posted 11-22-2012 8:19 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 11-23-2012 4:24 AM RAZD has responded
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Faith
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Message 8 of 46 (681126)
11-23-2012 4:24 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
11-22-2012 1:28 PM


Re: Another (bad) idea about the elevation from which the water cut the canyon
RAZD writes:

Faith writes:

... I just want to say that I think the creationists are missing something about the depth of the Flood or the height from which the water would have poured into the Canyon at the end of the Flood and what they're missing could answer the observation that the canyon is cut into a mounded area that is higher than the surrounding area.

So you agree that water does not flow uphill, that Kent Hovind is mistaken in his video.

Well he's not saying it flows uphill, he thinks it flowed into the canyon from the east from water from the standing lakes he points out, flowed along the bottom of the canyon. I think that's perfectly reasonable, but I also think there's a problem with the overall idea that the current uplift was there at the time or that the canyon was there at the time. The attempt to explain how the water went over the rise as going over the top of a dam is not impossible but also it's maybe not necessary to think of it that way.

I think when it occurred a great disturbance, the volcanic eruption beneath the area, created the uplift which also created cracks that the lakes would have flowed into, if it was the drainage of the lakes and not only the standing water. It could be either. That is you need an explanation for how the strata opened up in the first place in what had to be a stack of continuously flat layers. If the cracking had not occurred the water could just have simply flowed over flat land if some disturbance breached only the rim that held it back. But the disturbances had to be on a very large scale, all that volcanic activity in the area along with all the tectonic activity that raised the Rockies. It had to have cracked the neatly stacked strata all over that area as there seems to have been a lot of both tectonic and volcanic activity. The strata had to have been cracked to allow the formation of the various canyons and stairs and hoodoos and so on.

RAZD writes:

Faith writes:

I believe an analysis of the north-south elevations of that region from the Grand Staircase to the Grand Canyon suggests that the layers that climb from the level of the Kaibab, which forms the rim of the GC, to the top of the Grand Staircase to the north, were also originally present over the GC, extending for hundreds of square miles over that whole region at that depth. All that depth of strata was no doubt accumulating or standing in water for some long period of the Flood and probably still doing so when the canyon was cut, or it could have been starting to recede by that point. In either case I think the additional depth of strata above the area explains how rushing flood water would have cut the canyon because at the time the water WAS higher than the current canyon which was the result.

Which is invalidated by two things:

First, the physical geology of the Grand Canyon -- it's shape and the objects in it (spires etc) -- are not observed to occur in ANY overflow erosion, from the scablands to the dikes in New Orleans (Katrina).

It's certainly easy enough to imagine how all that could have been formed in the Grand Canyon if you have any interest in doing so. The original cracking over the ridge area, the uplift area, which appears as a rounded mound on N-S elevations, would have determined the original shape of the canyon with its side canyons. Nothing like that occurred in the scablands or Katrina.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channeled_Scablands
Second, the timing of when the parts of the canyon formed was from the west end to the east end, when all overflow erosion observed is from the top of the dike down the face , cutting deeper and forming the exit end last.

You are free to experiment with sand piles and take pictures if you disagree.

Yes I need to think about that but I'm not sure it matters for my particular thoughts here which end of the canyon "formed" first. The water would have entered from all sides at once as I see it, most obviously if the strata were still standing in Flood water, but even if the lakes above were the source of the water that widened it.

As I've argued on the Creationist Road Trip thread ...

Note that the experiment in the video, of pouring water on sand created a gully similar to the scablands, rather than the Grand Canyon and that the erosion started at the top and proceeded then to cut deeper with the last erosion at the bottom, with braiding at the end.

I thought that "experiment" was perfectly idiotic as an attempt to explain what would have occurred on the scale of the canyon. But actually my theory here would answer it anyway. If the force of the uplft created cracking down that whole area that became the canyon then the water had openings to run into. It wasn't just flat land that the water ran over and supposedly cut a gully in. The opening of cracks in the upper strata would have given it paths to follow and would also have broken up the strata in such a way that huge chunks of it would have fallen inward along with the rushing water and done the abrasive work of widening and deepening the cracks, scooping out huge chunks of the lower strata as well as the whole mass tumbled inward and downward until the Kaibab was utterly denuded.

... I believe the cutting of the canyon began with the cracking of those upper layers, caused by the stress of the uplift which the diagrams suggest to me was caused by the volcanic eruption directly beneath the canyon. The eruption appears to have been mostly contained underground, resisted by the weight of the stack above, displacing the lowest strata which form the Grand Unconformity, also forming the Vishnu schist and the granite under the canyon itself.

First, this is not an "eruption" but an uplifting:

Definitely it was an uplifting but I think the explanation for that is the volcanic eruption beneath the canyon, which also nicely explains the basement rocks there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/.../Geology_of_the_Grand_Canyon_area

quote:

The geology of the Grand Canyon area exposes one of the most complete and studied sequences of rock on Earth. The nearly 40 major sedimentary rock layers exposed in the Grand Canyon and in the Grand Canyon National Park area range in age from about 200 million to nearly 2 billion years old. ...
Uplift of the region started about 75 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny; a mountain-building event that is largely responsible for creating the Rocky Mountains to the east. In total, the Colorado Plateau was uplifted an estimated 2 miles (3.2 km). ...

This is another instance of using proper terminology to describe what is meant. There were eruptions (at least 13 lava dams are known), but the process of lifting up the Colorado Plateau is not an eruption.

Actually it's less a terminological problem than the usual paradigm clash.

Remember too that you claim that volcanic activity only started after the flood.

Yes, indeed, it occurred beneath the canyon area at or after the end of the Flood.

Second, the physical shape of the Grand Canyon does not conform to this kind of process. When we see cracks in the surface crossing rivers we see the river being redirected by the crack to proceed along the crack and follow its shape. We do not see that in the Grand Canyon.

What the river now follows is the end result of the grand scale carving I'm talking about. It wasn't a river that rushed into the cracks I'm talking about, it was at least a huge lake or the remaining standing water of the Flood, rushing in from all sides of the cracks and carrying chunks of the strata with it.

Curiously, there are fault lines in the Grand Canyon, but they run north-south rather than east-west and they do NOT show any spreading with rock material falling into the faults, as would have occurred with your proposed "cracking under stress" explanation.

I can't picture this so I have no idea really what you are claiming here. I'm aware of a fault line at the north end of the Grand Staircase which divides the strata to the south, which were apparently uplifted at the time, from a tilted unconformity made up of the same strata to the north, and parallels a magma dike that exits at the top as lava in the Clarion formation. I think that whole picture has interesting implications for explaining how the strata were laid down first, the volcanic action followed there as well as in the GC area, probably in conjunction with tectonic forces, even caused by tectonic force.

quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/...anyon_area#Creation_of_the_canyon... It was caused by subduction off the western coast of North America. Major faults that trend north–south and cross the canyon area were reactivated by this uplift.[49] Many of these faults are Precambrian in age and are still active today.[57] ...

If what you claim were true then these north-south faults would have been spread and filled with rubble, so the fact that this did NOT occur invalidates your idea.

The more I study the claims such as these the more my "theory" gets confirmed, but again I can't picture what you are claiming here and have to leave it for later.

Again, you are free to experiment, placing wet sand over a balloon and then inflating the balloon to simulate your "volcanic" action ... and observe the crack pattern.

Oh I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to set up an experiment. Wet sand wouldn't have the necessary consistency but perhaps various clays and clay mixtures could possibly be used for the purpose. It would have to be laid down perfectly flat and horizontal first and then force would have to be applied from beneath in a west-east line to form the ridge in question. It would take some doing, but wet sand on a balloon, nope.

See if you can get this pattern:

Well, the Horseshoe Bend wouldn't have occurred until the whole canyon was carved out and the rushing water full of debris had done all its work and exited, and the water itself settled down to river size -- even a huge rushing river at first before getting reduced to the river it now is, which continues to drain the same area that the lakes once occupied. (On a side point I thought his illustration of how a huge lake would be formed if the current river was dammed was very interesting.)

The reduction of the cataracts to a river should certainly have occurred in the later stages -- after the great debris-laden cataracts had done the basic carving out of the canyon to more or less its current shape. At that point, when you have an actual river instead of a huge flood, there's nothing strange about how a river makes meanders. The great cataract that scooped out the canyon wouldn't make meanders, but the river that was left over after the whole catastrophe had settled down certainly could have.

You write progidiously long posts, RAZD. I'll try to get back to the rest later.

Edited by Faith, : To change GS to Grand Staircase and GC to Grand Canyon

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : correct quote codes

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

This message is a reply to:
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Faith
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Message 9 of 46 (681128)
11-23-2012 4:52 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
11-22-2012 1:28 PM


Re: Another (bad) idea about the elevation from which the water cut the canyon
And you need to explain where all that material went. (Perhaps it dissolved into the air?)

Piled up in the area to the west and south, which means southern California mostly though parts of Arizona as well perhaps, but mostly the southwest of the canyon on the path to the river's exit in the Gulf of California, where a lot of it also no doubt went, perhaps even forming the Baja peninsula, but probably elsewhere in the area as well. I haven't done a very thorough study of all that. Couldn't find out much about the geology of that area on the few occasions I did make an attempt to answer that question.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

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Tangle
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Message 10 of 46 (681129)
11-23-2012 4:54 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Faith
11-23-2012 4:52 AM


Re: Another (bad) idea about the elevation from which the water cut the canyon
You also need to do a bit of work on where all the water drained to.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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Dr Adequate
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Message 11 of 46 (681130)
11-23-2012 4:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
11-21-2012 4:38 PM


Lead is not soluble in water and so would not be deposited in the speleotherm\mammilaries

Native lead isn't soluble, but what about lead carbonate, which is? Couldn't you get some of that in such an environment? (I don't know, my chemistry is not that good.)


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Tangle
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Message 12 of 46 (681131)
11-23-2012 5:03 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr Adequate
11-23-2012 4:55 AM


My memory of inorganic chemistry ain't what it used to be but I didn't think lead carbonate was soluble - google reveals:

All carbonates, sulfites and phosphates are insoluble EXCEPT those of ammonium and Alkali metal (Group IA) cations.

and the alkali metals are:

Lithium
Sodium
Potassium
Rubidium
Cesium
Francium


Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

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Dr Adequate
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Message 13 of 46 (681133)
11-23-2012 5:35 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Tangle
11-23-2012 5:03 AM


Whereas what I found was word for word the same apart from the words "(except Lead carbonate)":

All carbonates (except Lead carbonate), sulfites and phosphates are
insoluble EXCEPT those of ammonium and Alkali metal (Group IA) cations.

On the other hand, the website I found this on doesn't look particularly trustworthy.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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RAZD
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Message 14 of 46 (681142)
11-23-2012 8:22 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr Adequate
11-23-2012 4:55 AM


Hi Dr Adequate,

Native lead isn't soluble, but what about lead carbonate, which is? Couldn't you get some of that in such an environment? (I don't know, my chemistry is not that good.)

That would not be isotope specific, so they could rule it out by checking the lead isotopes.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html#page%209

quote:
... Natural uranium consists primarily of two isotopes, U-235 and U-238, and these isotopes decay with different half-lives to produce lead-207 and lead-206, respectively. In addition, lead-208 is produced by thorium-232. Only one isotope of lead, lead-204, is not radiogenic. ... The result is that one can obtain three independent estimates of the age of a rock by measuring the lead isotopes and their parent isotopes. ...

If all three agree then we can have high confidence that it was little lead carbonate contamination.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : splng


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Message 15 of 46 (681143)
11-23-2012 8:28 AM


Topic Reminder
I can see that there's a great deal of interest in continuing the discussion from the recently concluded Creationism Road Trip thread, so someone should propose a thread for that over at Proposed New Topics. This thread is about speleothems.

AbE: Reading more carefully I see that only one lengthy message wasn't about speleotherms, but there's an equally lengthy reply to it on the next page.

Edited by Admin, : AbE.


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