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Author Topic:   Deposition and Erosion of Sediments
Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 19 of 127 (191986)
03-16-2005 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Faith
03-16-2005 12:25 PM

Deposition on dry land
You seem to have the largest problem with sedimentary depostion on dry land. Is this correct?

I will go ahead and proceed assuming that it is.

The first thign to note is that most deposition does happen under water. The majority of the layers of the grand canyon were formed under water so there is no problem with those. When a particle of silicate falls to the bottom of the ocean there is not much that will necessarily move it and it will likely get buried. Just so we are clear, do you have any issues with this basic fact? Do you recognize that as material enters calm water it will settle out and pile up over time? Do you recognize that it is very difficult for a natural process to remove material from the bottom of a body of water?

No on to the dry land sediment which you claim cannot build up because it is doomed to be eroded. First of all, the one dry land layers of the GC that I can think of off the top of my head has ample evidence of erosion. The Coconino sandstone is cross-bedded showing that wind moved around the sand particles in a way that creates that feature like how we think of sand dunes in a desert. The reason this layer was preserved is that the wind did not erode the sand into other locations faster than sand was being put into the environment by other types of weathering. We can see this happening today in deserts that are near mountain ranges. Let me explain.

A high profile area like a mountain is subject to much more weathering than a flat coastline or plain. Because of this a the rate of erosion on a mountain is much greater than the rate of erosion on a plain. So if the source of material for the desert that created the Coconino sandstone was a more high profile area then the desert that produce the Coconino sandstone then it is likely that more sand was ending up in the desert then was being removed by wind, rain, etc. This is how depostion works. If more sand HAD been removed the Coconino sandstone would not have existed and we would be looking at an erosional disconformity in the GC rather than a layer of sandstone.

Enough sand was deposited over the life of the desert that, when the sea level rose again, the majority of it was shoved under water where erosion rates are MUCH slower then on land.

Key note here. No is is saying that the all the sand that ever got dumped into the desert that produced the Coconino sandstone stayed there. All the layers tell us is that, overall, deposition was greater than erosion at and between the layers of sediment at the GC when it was being deposited.

A basic understand of this does not have to be difficult. All it takes are a few key concepts.

1. Weathered material settles in low places.

2. Over a very wide area the tendency of settling material is to spread flat with respect to the area. This is easily observable today in modern lakes, oceans, deltas, and deserts.

3. The rate of weathering in these low areas affects how much weathered material will stick around. Material in calm bodies of water like the ocean or lakes experiences the least amount of weathering so most of the material that makes it here will stick around.

4. When the type of material changes all it does is begin to cover up the material already there. When this happens for a long enough period of time a differnt type of layer is made on top of the old one.

5. As long as the rate of deposition is greater than the rate of erosion, material will pile up and bury older material. We can watch this happening today in modern depositional environments.

6. If the rate of erosion is higher then the rate of deposition then layers are removed rather than formed. This is also happening today in high profile areas. At the top of Sandia peak where I live are old layers of limestone. It is very hard for material that falls on top of the limestone to stick around because the rate of weathering is extremely high. Eventually, the evidence that that limestone exists will be destroyed.

Faith's argument boils down to this. Faith believes that no where on dry land does there exist a place where the rate of erosion is less than the rate of deposition for any significant period of time.

Unfortunatly for Faith this is not true. I happen to live in an environment where more deposition is happening than erosion. The Rio Grande Valley is sitting on top of many layers of ancient alluvial fans. Alluvial fans are large fans of sediment of very coarse material straight from a mountain. You can see many alluvial fans when flying over a mountain range as steep hills of material that don't look solid like the granite that comprises the rest of the mountain. Over the course of the weathering of the Sandia mountains, more of this material stuck around than was carted off by weathering because the mountain happens to be near the Rio Grande Valley which is a very low place compared to the surrounding mountains and mesas. If you drive in Albuquerque from the vally to the foothills often your ears will pop like when they do when you take off in an air plane due to the abrubt altitude adjustment.

Basically, the only material leaving the valley is via the river. Because the mountain weathers MUCH faster than the river can carry away the results, the net result is that alluvial fan after alluvial fan have been buried over the course of time.

As always, I am sure any geologists by trade rather than by mere mild academia will probably correct anything I have said here.

Hope this helps,

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Faith, posted 03-16-2005 12:25 PM Faith has replied

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Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 29 of 127 (192138)
03-17-2005 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Arkansas Banana Boy
03-17-2005 6:09 AM

Hopefully Helpful Info About Sedimentation
Side question for a topic that doesn't exist here, Ask The Geologist: How do you KNOW what is at the center of the earth pray tell? (For this question at least I'm sure there is a clear trustworthy answer).

There was a topic very recently about this. I believe it was this one:

A Critique of the "Evolution Essay" A GREAT DEBATE S1WC and anglagard ONLY

The topic is closed but much good information was presented about how we know that the center of the earth is like. In a nutshell, we know the earth is liquid at certain depths and solid at certain depths. We also know the density of substances at these depths. There are only a few elements that exist that have the right density and other properties to fit this data.

My problem is with the enormous time frame. The idea that ANYTHING could sit still for 50 million years is simply preposterous to my mind. How can ANYTHING "subtle" happen in a 50-million year period? Hurricanes alter seacoasts and beaches, tornados move tons of stuff from here to there, one good rain causes mudslides all over California that rearrange local landscapes drastically, not subtly, and destroy houses; all in one year; but the redwall limestone stays in place for 50 million years even in the phase where it's quietly sedimenting away and not yet lithifying?

That is part of the problem. Over 50 million years, things like a hurricane ARE subtle events. Over the span of your life have any of the hurricanes removed the Florida everglades or the beaches in the southeast coast? Did El Nino destroy the Mojave Desert? Sure it might mix stuff up but it is still there. These "events" do not stop deposition and over the course of time the average will be positive deposition.

No one is claiming that everything must sit still for 50 million years. All it has to do is sit sill long enough for more stuff to pile on top of it on average. Once it is buried then either it gets further buried or it gets eroded. The stuff that gets eroded is carted off to some other location where it may or may not get buried there. It has to go somewhere and it WILL and up someplace where it is less and less likely to be eroded even if it has to travel all the way to the bottom of the ocean.

How long did it take for the sediment to accumulate during that 50 million years before the next layer of completely different sediment started accumulating? You guys are all talking about geological processes that you see occurring in human time, such as sedimentation in rivers, and extrapolating to millions of years of time as if it made sense to do that.

It does make sense because we are not just looking at the stuff that gets dropped out of the Mississippi river while we are watching it. We know that the Mississippi river delta is composed of material that the river has weathered from upstream. We can look at the sedimentation rate today and we can drill and see all the layers that have been deposited over the lifetime of the delta. To say that these layers in particular are from a different source other than the delta is rediculous because they are the same as the ones we can watch being deposited today. Therefore we can look at the whole Mississippi delta and all the layers it has produced ever.

When we practice geology on these layers we are looking at something that is "current" with respect to geologic time. The Mississippi delta system is "live" so we know a lot about the characteristics of the sediment in the delta. Then when we find layers buried somewhere else where there is not a river but has the same characteristics as the layers of the Mississippi delta we can hypothesize that there was once a delta there. Then we search the area to try to find evidence of an ancient river and when we do it confirms our ability to take our current knowledge that we gathered from the current "live" formation and apply it to something different.

This applies to many other aspects of geology. We can watch deserts today and how they work. We can watch sand dunes and cut into them to see what they look like on the inside. We can see that they are one big heap of sand with internal cross-bedding. A desert is a "live" geologic system even if we never saw the sand that is at the bottom of dune be deposited. Then when we find the Coconino sandstone that just looks like a lithified version of a sand dune we have strong evidence that the Coconino sandstone came from a desert.

How deep is the sedimentation in a river? can it possibly compare to the thicknesses of the strata? And since you say below that those same sediments are re-eroded and re-deposited, how can THAT be extrapolated to the neat thick layers of the canyon walls?

Well, first off the canyon sediments were not deposited by a river so there can be no extrapolation to the same kinds of things we see in the GC. River deposits are very different from ocean deposits so your request for a correlation between the sediment in the GC and river sediments is unwarrented. In a river, the re-erosion and re-deposition happens as the river carries material down stream. Rivers tend to erode things but they also leave evidence of their erosion and when they flood. The process of re-erosion and re-deposition creates ripple marks in some rivers that get preserved if that sediment lithifies. This is similar to the cross-bedding in desert sandstone. It is an indicator that the sediment was being moved around by some process (wind or water) before it was lithified. It directly shows that sediment in question was exposed to weathering yet not enough to overcome the amount of sediment that entered the system which allowed it to be buried.

And yet you ignore other processes such as big changes in the landscape within a year or certainly a human lifetime, and apparently don't extrapolate THOSE things to the millions of years.

Big changes like what?

Mud slides? There are tons of preserved examples of ancient mud slides. Sometimes that is the best way to bury some dry land geologic features. Polystrate trees and such are often the result of some local catastrophic event such as a mud slide that quickly buries something. These things are preserved in the geologic record. IN the case of the GC, mud slides are rare at the bottom of the ocean.

Volcanoes? These are also preserved in the geologic record and even in the GC there is a disruption of sedimentation due to a volcano erupting and leaving behind its ash and igneous rock. But it buried the stuff that was already there. It did not remove it.

Tornadoes/Hurricanes? Sure these things cause weathering but are actually minor in comparison to the overall time that sediment is being deposited. Also, consider that the material removed by these events still ends up somewhere and often it is probably nearby. SO when you look at a formation that spans hundreds upon hundreds of square miles, the fact that this was in one spot but is now a hundred miles away as a part of the same feature is moot.

Such processes would certainly obliterate a layer of sediment over millions of years (if not underwater).

No actually either they would help preserve the layers or at worst are a minor disruption in the net sedimentation which probably only serve to move stuff around a bit.

Somebody says oh but it was covered up (underwater or not underwater?). But with what?

Sediment on the surface is subject to weathering. If the weathering tends to dump more stuff out then take stuff away then material will pile up and be buried. This is observable both in real time and as a part of "live" geologic system.

And how soon (how long did it take the limestone to accumulate, as obviously it had to be all there before the covering accumulated)? And where's the evidence of the covering? And how come when the covering got so conveniently removed the strata is so (relatively) nice and neat and horizontal over such a huge distance?

Limestone is a neat geologic feature. YECs usually dodge my questions about limestone because it is very hard to fit limestone formation in a young earth and espeically a flood. Limestone is created from the fossils of dead sea creatures. A little sea creature will die and its body will fall to the bottom of the ocean just like a particle of silicate does for "regular" sedimentation. In order for limestone to accumulate in any thickness it requires a relativly calm warm environment like the bottom of the ocean or a lake. Near the shore where the tides are always mixing things up, limestone does not form so it it hard to imagine how a trillion trillion of dead sea creatures decided to settle out together during a worldwide flood.

Since the environment that allows limestone to form must be calm it is easy to see why we would expect limestone formations in particular to be pretty neat and flat. The bottom of the ocean and the bottom of lakes are pretty flat so there is no mystery there. Limestone does not form on land at all so if you were thinking that then I hope this clears that up.

Some limestone is also due to reef systems, (also a problem for how a 1000ft reef of delicate sea creatures could form during a flood). These like reefs today are large habitats for little sea cretures and like most all limestone are packed full of marine fossils.

If the idea is that the Grand Canyon formed in water, that helps deal with the questions about erosion to a great extent anyway as presumably the sediment just falls to the bottom and stays there. But even in that case FIFTY MILLION YEARS? Again, these strata are different from each other, made up of different hardened sediments, a limestone here, a different limestone on top of it, a shale, etc etc. Are you guys REALLY thinking about FIFTY MILLION YEARS when you are trying to explain to me how Oh well a bunch of stuff WAS on top of it but it got eroded away?

We can tell very easily when something was eroded away. It leaves behind what is called and erosional disconformity. Basically when you look at the rocks in detail you can tell that there was an abrupt break in the deposition only to be resumed by some drastically different sediment. Sometimes the deposition will even be at a different angle which means that the feature was tilted before sedimentation resumed. Sometimes there is not an abrupt change between the layers because all that happend was that the environment changed. If sandstone is being deposited near the shore and sea level rises then it will probably start to deposit silt instead without there ever being a break. All that happens is that the sand stops being buried by more sand and starts being buried by silt.

How we know something "WAs on top of it" is by diagnostic means. It requires a very detailed look at the rocks that you just won't get from looking at a big picture of the GC.

Were these layers formed under water or not? You have to make up your mind.

Some were formed on land and some were not. That is part of how we know it took a long time to deposit the layers of the GC. Sea level rose and fell often during many many years. Sometimes it fell enough to expose that area to the air and either eroded some of the layers or deposited more stuff like the Coconino sandstone. This happened more than once during the geologic history of the GC. We would actually expect this and it would be kind of strange to see hundreds of millions of years of NO evidence that sea level has changed. That would be better evidence of a flood. Unfortunatly we do not see that evidence.

So to make up our mind the answer is yes. Sometimes the deposition of the layers of the GC happened on land and sometimes it happend on water. Sometimes the layers were eroded and we see an erosional disconformity. Either way we know that sometimes the area was under water and sometimes it was not.

If you're talking about erosion apparently you aren't talking about an underwater environment where you all seem to be saying that sediments settle to the bottom and stay put, and harden as the bottom drops or something along those lines. If it got eroded it must have NOT been under water. But then you all agree the canyon layers were formed under water. This does get hard to follow.

I can see how it is hard to follow if you have not been exposed to the concept before. Ocean levels rise and fall so sometimes land will be covered by water and other times it may not be. This is the case for the GC and why we see limestone which is very much a marine feature covered by the Coconino sandstone which is very much a desert feature.

The Geo Column idea assumes that each layer is a "landscape" taht endured for a very long period of time. I keep coming to the Mississippian period because it seems simplest: Only one kind of sediment, redwall limestone, and the period is said to have lasted some 50 million years. ONLY redwall limestone made up that
"environment," that "landscape" for fifty million years?

As was mentioned in another post. The one layer of limestone is actually very complex. It would be very strange maybe to see 50 million years worth of sediment without some kind of dynamics. Luckily, we do see these dynamics and the redwall limestone is a good example of this.

How long was it in the sedimentary form?

I am not sure what this question is asking. I assume you are asking how long was it unlithified sediment? Well lithification does not happen all at once. As something gets buried it is subject to pressure and heat. The more it gets buried the more it gets compacted until it finally becomes stone. There are even varying degress of this when talking about sedimentary rocks. You can find sandstone that is very loose and where you can still see the individual grains of sand very well. Then you can find different sandstone that is extremely hard and still harder to see the individual featuers of the sediment. For limestone, you can range from these very messy chunks of shells and material to very fine compressed rocks that do not even look like limestone until you pour some acid on it and watch it fizz. Basically, sediment stays sediment until it gets buried enough to compress it into rock. So a few layers down from the surface something might still be just loose sediment.

Was this underwater? Did it lithify during those 50 million years before the next layer / era began?

The bottom part of the layer probably started to lithify as soon as it was buried enough. The other important thing to think about is that the layers is MUCH thinner than it was when it was loose sediment. As things get buried they get compacted sometimes very drastically. A layer that is dozens of feet now may have been many hundreds of feet when it was still being deposited.

Oh, and over what extent of planet earth did this Mississippian era stretch, and is that "era" all characterized by limestone everywhere on earth?[

The Mississippian was a time and no limestone was not being deposited everywhere during the Mississippian. There is Mississippian sandstone, igneous rocks, etc depending on what was being deposited where. There are also places where the geologic history is missing any Mississippian rocks at all. These either represent areas where the erosion was geater than sedimentation during the Mississippian or where the Mississippian rocks have been eroded since that time.

I gather there were some different limestones in different areas, but it was all limestones?

A single layer of global limestone would mean that the whole world was under water. This would be great evidence for some kind of global flooding if anyone could find such a layers that was global. No one has so far.

Great swaths of the whole earth covered in sedimentary limestone for how long?

Nowhere has anyone found a global layer of anything except maybe the K-T Boundary which is a very thin layer of iridium probably from a stellar impact.

Please let me know if any of this helps,

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Arkansas Banana Boy, posted 03-17-2005 6:09 AM Arkansas Banana Boy has replied

Replies to this message:
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Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 30 of 127 (192140)
03-17-2005 1:14 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Faith
03-17-2005 4:08 AM

Previous Post
My post immediatly prior to this was a respose to you but I think I accidently click the reply button to ABB. Just want to give you a heads up and the last message I wrote was actually supposed to be a rely to you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Faith, posted 03-17-2005 4:08 AM Faith has not replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 36 of 127 (192153)
03-17-2005 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Faith
03-17-2005 2:14 PM

Re: Proposal
What about a Great Debate topic? That can be a one on one and can even be judged if you want it. I wouldn't mind participating as long as we don't talk politics. :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Faith, posted 03-17-2005 2:14 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
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Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 80 of 127 (193794)
03-23-2005 9:33 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Faith
03-20-2005 6:38 PM

Starting Out
First off, I would like to make sure that Faith is on board. I will go ahead and respond to this post and continue to bump it every time I see Faith on because I am not sure he/she has notification turned on. I would like to get at least a quick post from Faith either in this thread or (The Faith "Great Debate" sedimentation and erosion topic) letting me know if he/she plans on participating.

My original two messages to this thread still stand without response despite the fact that they answer questions that Faith had proposed. While I will respond to message 62 per Percy's request I feel that at the very least message 29 needs a response from Faith. I invested a lot of time with that one and I feel that it may clear some things up or at least get us off to a good start.

(Message 19)

(Message 29)

Now I will do my best to respond to message 62:

No, I'm working only from what you tell me, but I'll try not to be silly. The supposition was based on the fact that you had only mentioned missing dinosaur layers, no other missing layers, and mentioned no disturbances in the canyon strata that would be evidence of them, and to the naked eye it does seem to me there is a conspicuous absence of any disruption that one would expect from such prodigious erosion, erosion that would completely eliminate an extremely thick belt from the dinosaur period without leaving a visible mark of its supposed former existence in the column. The only evidence that anything is missing that you gave was the fact that such layers are found elsewhere.

Before we continue it might be best to go over some basic geology knowledge. There are three types of what are called unconformities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconformity)

In my own words:
1. A Disconformity is when there is a separation between parallel layers of sedimentary rocks either due to a lack of deposition or erosion between the deposition of the first and second layers. You can recognize a disconformity by a discrete change in the rock between two layers that are laid on top of each other in parallel but in a non uniform way. You can only usually diagnose a disconformity by looking the contact between two layers in extreme detail and over a wide area. Because they are still parallel, just looking at a cross section of layers like in the GC, it is difficult to tell the difference between the contact of two layers that is and is not a disconformity.

2. A Nonconformity is when you have sedimentary rock being deposited upon non-sedimentary rock. A nonconformity means literally that there is no conformity between the two layers of rock because they have completely different geologic meaning.

3. An Angular Unconformity is similar to a disconformity except that they layers are not parallel. An angular unconformity is obvious because the contact surface is very well defined. You basically have layer or a set of layers terminating at an angle at the beginning of the newer horizontal layer.

What is awesome about the Grand Canyon is that we have examples of all of these types of unconformities in one place.

See 1a (nonconformity), 3a (angular unconformity), 4a & 4c (disconformity) at:

Grand Canyon Geologic Column

At the bottom of the column there is sedimentary layers on top of basement granite which is a nonconformity. As you go up the column you notice that the layers are at a severe angle with respect to horizontal. Where these layers stop and the horizontal ones begin you have a great example of an angular unconformity. Then as you go up the relatively parallel layers of the rest of the column you have numerous disconformities.

Knowing this much tells us that whatever it is that created the GC was more complicated than just dumping a lot of dirt. In fact, if the creation of the GC was due to a single depositional event we should not expect to see any unconformities at all. The fact that these unconformities exist attests directly to multiple depositional events. Faith, if you are going to contest the mainstream interpretation of the formation of the GC, this is a good place to start laying some common ground from which to diverge. Do you agree that the fact of the existence of unconformities, without necessarily any admission of time, shows that with very little uncertainty that multiple depositional events are responsible for the formation of the GC?

And they were eroded away PERFECTLY...'

Eroded away "perfectly" is not a very accurate statement. The diagnosis of a disconformity comes from that fact that the contact between the two layers is explicitly not uniform over an area. There very existence of an "imperfect" contact is what tells us that erosion has happened. The fact that it is still parallel just means that the area was not tectonicly active over the period between the erosional event and the subsequent depositional event that caused the disconformity. There are plenty of places like this in the world right now, the eastern coast of the US is a great example. Since North America split from Europe (given whatever mechanism over whatever time you want), little has happened to change the tectonic landscape.

In other words, flat places are still flat. Given that, if there was an interruption in deposition for some reason such as sea level falling, then when deposition resumed there is no reason to expect that it would not continue to lay new "horizontal" layers over slightly eroded "horizontal" layers. This is in stark contrast to the west coast of the North America which is extremely active where layers are being bent, tilted, folded, etc due to tectonics. In this case we would expect there to form many angular unconformities.

Then when we find angular unconformities we know to look for other examples of tectonic activity in the geologic history of the area. In the case of the angular disconformity of the GC, this is exactly what we find. After the angular (originally horizontal) layers of the GC were laid down there was tectonic mountain building activity that caused those layers to be tilted. This evidence correlates the reason and timing for what we see with regards to angular layers in the GC.

With regards to this. Do you agree that the way we know an unconformity exists is due to the "imperfect" nature of the contact between the layers?

Negative evidence drawn entirely from the time table theory.

Science very sparingly uses negative evidence. In this case, there is positive evidence that is maybe not being explained correctly.

Layers are not uniform over wide areas. It is very easy to talk about basic geology in terms of stacks of rocks but once you learn what those stacks look like in real life it gets anything but simple. For the same layers, in one area it might be in the process of being eroded while in another the same layer might still be collecting sediment. This seems confusing at first but it makes sense when you think of an area like a shoreline. Take a beach at low tide. An area that is normally underwater piling up sand gets exposed to air and erosion for a little while. In that instant, the same layer of sand is both being eroded by the exposed beach due to low tide and deposited by the part that is still under water. Expand this example to cover the rise and fall of sea level globally and you have a decent analogy.

When we have a situation like this we can correctly infer some basic things. In one area we might see:

Layer C
Layer B
Layer A

Then nearby we might see:

Layer C
Layer A

We know layer C is continuous and Layer A is continuous because we can examine them over a wide area. So what happened to the continuity of layer B between to two samples? It either was never there or it was removed. Either way, we know B exists between A and C in one area, so the lack of B in another area easily testifies to it being "missing".

Do you agree that a missing sequence from otherwise continuous layers represents "missing" deposition?

[qs]OK, then show me where it all went please. Are there huge dinosaur beds downslope from the canyon area? (Away from the canyon of course, not in the canyon itself as that was created later, though beds there would be interesting to know about too).[qs]

If by dinosaur beds you mean fossils then the answer is probably not. Fossils are weathered just like rocks are so if the whole layers was turned to particles and moved by wind and water to different areas then we would not expect any fossils to survive either. Layers of sedimentary rock that are eroded eventually become new sedimentary rock somewhere else. It is impossible to tell where it all went because the only thing that identifies a sedimentary rock is its composition and its specific layer. Once a layer is destroyed only God knows where the material ended up. One thing is for certain though, it does end up somewhere and is part of a new different layer of sediment somewhere else entirely.

You are positing an ENORMOUS force of erosion to explain nothing but a SUPPOSEDLY missing layer for which there is NO DIRECT POSITIVE evidence that it was ever where you say it should have been. Not one dinosaur bone as I say, not one rock from that period. And the whole idea that such a layer was ever there is completely derived from THEORY.

Another point on this issue is important. We know something is missing because there is an unconformity. This is nearly impossible to deny. The way we identify that something which is missing is by examining the geologic history of the area "nearby" and by using absolute methods like radiometric dating to help identify the periods for which the erosion took place. It is kind of like taking a book from a dusty bookshelf. The imprint of where the book used to be will be in the dust and the books to either side of it will be leaning over. We KNOW a book was there so then we can continue to try to figure out what book is gone, how long it has been gone, why it is gone, etc. Maybe we can look at the books nearby to notice that they were sorted by author. Therefore we can say that the author of the missing book falls in a certain range of names. Then maybe we can look at the nearby books an notice they are all about cooking. So we can be pretty sure that the missing book is also about cooking.

While that's fair as a working mode of thinking, it is not fair when the positive evidence that is missing for your theory is in fact good evidence for the opposing theory but you stubbornly deny it. "Missing Layers" should go in the CON column for evolutionism and the PRO column for creationism.

Missing layers of geologic history has nothing to do with evolution. That genes mutate and selection acts upon those mutations is neither supported nor falsified by missing layers of sediment.

Layers are missing and we know they are missing by what they do and do not leave behind. This is a fact not an interpretation. Any theory that explains the geologic history of a given area MUST take this fact into consideration in its explanation.

Again, where is it? That much stuff ought to show up in an incoherent unlayered pile of sediments and bones somewhere nearby I would think.

The rules of physics that cause layers to form in the way they do originally also apply to re-eroded sediment. Any given sedimentary rock may have its source of sediment from igneous rocks (mountains, volcanoes), metamorphic rocks (cooked sedimentary rock), or other sedimentary rocks.

There would be no bones because what weathers the rock into sediment again will also weather the fossils too. Fossils are only preserved because they are buried. As soon as they are unburied they are destroyed just like the rock is.

Large enough nevertheless to raise reasonable questions about how it could disappear and leave no meaningful evidence that it was ever there.

The evidence that something was there is very meaningful. It is a fact.

No, but I'm referring to the fact that the strata remain intact to the naked eye. This appearance of the strata is infact evidence. You point to disturbances of a lesser magnitude than would disrupt this parallel appearance, so let me hasten to allow that I'm sure that is the case, that there are many such disturbances you could show me, but I am trying to suggest that an event of the magnitude of the complete erasure of such quantities of material as you describe would have made it impossible for the column to continue to build in as neat parallel layers as it in fact did TO THE NAKED eye at the very least.

Part of the problem with this statement is that it uses quite a bit of very subjective terminology such as "neat" and unquantifiable things that simply are not true such as "complete erasure", "lesser magnitude". What is "neat" to the "naked eye" in terms of an unconformity might actually be a drastic non uniform contact between to layers. The fact that they are relatively parallel just means that no tectonic activity tilted the rocks at any point. In the case of an angular unconformity it is CLEAR evidence that something is missing and it most certainly is NOT "neat".

It is very easy to take a superficial look at the GC and say that all these things are too "neat" to have formed over a long period of time. It takes quite a bit of mental gymnastics and sometimes outright fantasy to say that the actual content of the layers are anything close to "neat" to begin with. The problem is that they layers are not "neat". They are eroded in between, they are tilted in between, there was volcanic activity between layers, all indicating that geologic history of the area is anything but "neat" in the sense that you are using this term.

Apparently you are saying that all eroded areas were just filled in with new deposits and that maintained the overall structure, and I can see that for depressions, but erosion that would have erased whole deep layers had to make sloping troughs or gullies for the exiting of all that material it seems to me and that would have made further visibly level sedimentation on top of it extremely difficult and I'd say impossible. In summary, you can point to many areas of disruption but not to anything of the magnitude that the erosion you are describing would have caused IMHO.

In actual geology you have these things and they have been described to you before. In some places there are missing layers while nearby they are not missing. This is exactly the picture of a topological depression into the system over an area. These things that you are claiming do not exist actually do exist. They just don't exist in a postcard picture of the GC. A photograph of the GC with the granularity necessary to see the layers will never show you the kind of geologic data you need to see that the geologic history of the whole area for hundreds of square miles is actually very complicated.

A decent 2D picture of the GC column over area. See Figure 1.8

Look at the diagram you posted. Of course it's idealized. Of course lots of discontinuities could be shown to exist within it on a more realistic view, but for the parallel structure to be exhibitable AT ALL as presented there after entire layers were washed away just doesn't compute by the physical laws of this universe.

It just so happens that what you see in a cross section of the GC is a very tiny, insignificant portion of the geologic history of an extremely large area. If enough of the canyon wall eroded back enough you might get a radically different set of layers due to the history of erosion and sedimentation at that specific location. Moreover, that "new" set of layers will still look parallel to "the naked eye" because it is a cross section.

This is what I was trying to get at with my failed cake example. Things that are not necessarily parallel or neat will look very much neat and parallel in cross section. You cannot just take a cross section of something and expect to get a coherent picture of the geologic history of an entire area. All it gives you is a basis to start figuring out what happened at that very specific location and one piece of evidence for the detailed geologic history of the area.

Lets try this picture instead...

I tried to draw it similar to the 2D images from the last site I linked. Do you see how the layers are NOT parallel across the area but ARE parallel in cross section?

YES. Erosion has OBSERVABLE EFFECTS over VERY SHORT PERIODS OF TIME. I've based most of my complaints about the strata on this fact. I suppose they may be filled in and covered up by new deposits in some places under some conditions, but erosion does have the effect of obliterating structures even if new ones are later formed. This is OBSERVED all the time on planet earth in normal human time frames. The question is why it didn't do more damage to the layers in the strata during the enormous long periods of their formation, how they could have remained layers over millions of years during which long periods of exposure to the elements are also postulated.

There is a very easy answer to this. Erosion only affects what is currently at the surface. If it were not for the grand canyon cutting very deep into the layers of that area all you would have is the top few most layers being exposed to erosion and many hundreds of feet of sedimentary rock perfectly protected from erosion. This "massive" and "drastic" erosion that you are postulating, even if destructive over long periods of time, will still only affect the topmost layers of any particular geologic column. Over a long time it might even get rid of a few layers but it does not affect all the layers at once like you seem to say it does. This is exactly why we would expect to see some kind of unconformities in a place that has such a large amount of geologic history such as the GC because it is nearly impossible for one place to be immune from erosion for a billion years. In fact this is exactly what we see. The GC layers were often exposed to erosion and also often exposed to environments that were appropriate for deposition. Each time it changed from one to another we expect an unconformity and that is exactly what we find.

Some washes away, some fills in but how can that process have gone on for millions of years -- or even thousands -- and yet retained the overall parallel appearance. YES IT HAS AN OVERALL APPEARANCE OF HORIZONTAL PARALLEL LAYERS. To keep denying that with pictures of the Grand Canyon showing its dramatic parallel layering is RIDICULOUS.

You will not be able to get a meaningful representation of the geologic history of any area from one cross section of the geologic column. You appearance of "perfect parallel layers" is very much just a tiny sample of a much large geologic system and as I have said before, cross sections of stacked things make them look very straight to us humans who cant see them in 3d.

The Flood was a reality whether or not physical evidence for it is ever affirmed.

I am going to try to keep this discussion simply about sedimentation, sedimentary rocks, and associated geologic features. If you choose to argue from a position that the flood is a cause for any of these things then I will leave it up to you to include it as part of this conversation.

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-23-2005 07:34 PM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Faith, posted 03-20-2005 6:38 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Faith, posted 03-25-2005 10:19 PM Jazzns has not replied
 Message 95 by Faith, posted 04-03-2005 1:05 AM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 81 of 127 (194438)
03-25-2005 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Faith
03-20-2005 6:38 PM

Bump for Faith
Have some interesting new things to ponder about sediment depositional environments and, inspired by your recent dive into fossil sorting, some questions about sediment sorting that are relevant. All of this, of course, if you still want to participate.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Faith, posted 03-20-2005 6:38 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Arkansas Banana Boy, posted 03-26-2005 5:16 AM Jazzns has not replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 86 of 127 (194824)
03-27-2005 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Faith
03-27-2005 12:20 AM

Re: Deposition on dry land
Happy Easter!

Here we have a bunch of really great questions. Some of these questions I believe are answered in some way or another by one of my other posts.

(Message 29)
(Message 80)

I'll post briefly on those and answer the ones that seem new. If you still have the question after reading all 3 posts please let me know and I can clarify further.

Not with that basic fact, no, just a problem with the idea of a million years of buildup of one particular kind of particle followed by a million years or so of buildup of a completely different kind of particle on top of the earlier buildup, followed by a million or so of yet another and so on

This was discussed before and I think I mentioned it in passing for a particular limestone in the GC. Basically you can have "limestone" in general but in detail you are going to have a lot of differences just in one layer. Limestone can be very pure, or "shaley" or "sandy" and all of this can change back and forth between the start and end of one layer. So even in one layer it isn't as simple as "buildup of one particular kind of particle". Since most of it is limestone we know that the environment was mostly friendly to limestone deposition. A major change happens when something major changes like an overall rise or fall in sea level. If sea level falls too far then limestone can't form any more and we are going to get more sand instead. It is not like we didn't get any sand before but now we are getting much more sand then we are little sea critters so the layer starts to look very different. It takes a long time for sea level to change that drastically so any one depositional environment has a significant amount of time to be collecting sediment before a change may occur.

When do you see a CHANGE from one kind of sediment to another in any depositional environment?

In terms of a "live" system the best that I can think of is the Black Sea. There is a great book that you should read called Noah's Flood by William Ryan & Walter Pitman. Basically what they discovered was that both the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea both had instances in their history where they suddenly changed from dry land or fresh water to salt water due to natural dams breaking due to the rise in sea level after the end of the last ice age. When they drilled into the Seas they found layers of non-marine deposits and fossils immediately followed by marine deposits and fossils all laid down in a span since human existence. All part of a "live" system.

As an aside, they postulated that human witness of these events, especially the Black Sea, might be the source of the many flood mythologies around the world. Great read.

Other than that it is going to be hard to see too much of a change in a deposition environment in our lifetime or even in "live" systems since they take so long to happen normally. The example of the Black Sea is good because it was a sudden change and it was pretty recent. It sort of makes me wonder what is underneath the Mississippi river delta.

What time frame is involved in such a change if it occurs?

Answering this question helps because since the time frame is pretty well established to be very long, we don't expect to see major depositional environment changes within any meaningful span of human life. You can start to see the beginnings of some future changes though.

Sea level is currently rising and eventually, many places in the SE corner of the US will be under ocean where it was not before.

Sandy beaches will be replaced by deep ocean:
* Sea creatures and silt will start to bury sands.
* Limestone/Shale will be above Sandstone.

So basically, you can answer this question for yourself with the following:

How old is any given beach, river, desert, delta? What would it take in terms of the environment of the these places to change so that it is NOT a beach, river, desert, delta? How much time would it take for this to happen?

Since we don't see rivers drying up or changing course over night or even over 1000s of years; since we don't see beaches become ocean bottom over night or even over 1000s of years; since we don't see big lakes drying up or being created overnight or even over 1000s of years; since we don't see oceans lifting up over night or even over 1000s of years; we know these things take longer than even that.

Do you see actual layers building up anywhere to the depth of those in the geo column?

Sure. Somewhere someone talked about the depth of the Mississippi river delta. I believe it was Percy and it might have been the previous thread before it closed down after 300 posts.

Where? How many layers? What depth?

The east coast of North America is a great place because it is very quiet in terms of tectonics. The Mississippi river and its delta, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Coast are all good examples. Also like I mentioned before, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, etc. Drill into these and you will get soft loose layers followed by more compacted of the same layer followed by an even more compacted of maybe a different layer, etc. The depth I would have to look up but I recall someone providing the depth of the Mississippi delta to be nothing trivial.

What explains the change from one kind of sediment to another?

Simple. Change in depositional environment. We know this happens because we can find evidence of it "live" systems that correlate to the layering we see in rocks.

How long to get how deep a deposit? (Taking into account compression factors or whatever else).

The thickness of a deposit may or may not have any correlation to the time it took to deposit it. Some places drop more sediment than others and over many years will build up sediment much higher than a place with even a little bit lower rate of deposition. Was there evidence of an abundance of source material nearby? Was there a mountain nearby? These are all good questions to ask when talking about any one particular area. If you are talking about the middle of a deep ocean then we know that it takes a long time for silt to settle and it even takes longer for creatures to live, grow, and die in order to make 1000s of feet of limestone.

The existence of limestone is very difficult for a young earth when you start to look into the nitty gritty details. For starters there is WAAAAY too much of it.

It is hard to posit a different mechanism for limestone deposition when there is so much of it going on in "live" systems today. Why would the exact same deposits we are seeing form today form differently in the past?

From www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html

How were limestone deposits formed? Much limestone is made of the skeletons of zillions of microscopic sea animals. Some deposits are thousands of meters thick. Were all those animals alive when the Flood started? If not, how do you explain the well-ordered sequence of fossils in the deposits? Roughly 1.5 x 10^15 grams of calcium carbonate are deposited on the ocean floor each year. [Poldervaart, 1955] A deposition rate ten times as high for 5000 years before the Flood would still only account for less than 0.02% of limestone deposits.

And also a good Corollary from Coragyps at Message 66 which basically shows that the creation of so much limestone in a short time even if there was enough critters alive to do it would have had other devastating impacts on the world. There are many arguments that follow the same principles of trying to fit millions of years of something into just a few thousand but this is the only one I could think of off the top of my head that has to do with sedimentation and deposition.

Basically, we know that limestone takes a long time to form. If it did not then there are some pretty serious consequences which include the eradication of an atmosphere hospitable to life.

How common is such an event as the layering I'm talking about if it occurs at all anywhere?

The GC is extremely unique in that it was once an ocean. Most of the time ocean sediments get destroyed by tectonics so the sediment we have today in the oceans only go back a couple hundred million years as far as I know. The ocean where the GC was laid down though was actually just part of a large continental depression and a very high sea level. In this case instead of destroying it, tectonics uplifted it when the Rockies were formed. This is why the GC is so very interesting to geologists. We have an ancient coastline extremely far inland and a well preserved set of uplifted ocean sedimentary rock.

Most of the time the layering is not as well preserved as it is in the GC as far as I know. Usually the geologic history of an area includes a lot of faulting, volcanoes, bending of the strata, etc. The GC is a large example of very well preserved strata. But even within itself you see evidence of how tectonics can muck up the horizontal layers in the mere existence of a very distinct angular unconformity near the "bottom" of the canyon.

If a total change in "landscape" is postulated, how does the horizontality remain?

Part of the problem is that you need to start thinking about layers that are horizontal with respect to the layers above and below. Take a look at that 3d drawing in my previous post. See how in some instances the layers are not horizontal but if you took a cross section at a different location they would still be horizontal with respect to the other layers. Horizontal is just how things get laid down and always with respect to the other layers in the system.

But how do SAND DUNES become compressed to a horizontal layer in the geo column?

Compression happens upon burial. The sand dunes that make up the Coconino sandstone were buried by other sediment before they hardened into sandstone. If you are worried about the topography of a sand dune then that is a little bit different. Remember perfect horizontal layers don't really exist but rather horizontal layers with respect to the layers near it and also over an area. Modern deserts are essentially "flat" when you look at the big picture.

Also in the case of something like the Coconino what would have caused it to harden into sandstone since it wasn't formed under water, and at what point in the millions of years?

The lithification occurs when a sediment is buried. The more a sediment gets buried the more it keeps getting compacted until it is hard like a rock. Sedimentary rocks don't usually form at the surface and I would be willing to say never do except that I am not a real geologist and I cannot imagine all scenarios where lithification might occur at the surface.

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-27-2005 10:03 AM

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-27-2005 10:04 AM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Faith, posted 03-27-2005 12:20 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Faith, posted 03-28-2005 8:14 PM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 88 of 127 (195253)
03-29-2005 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by Faith
03-28-2005 8:14 PM

Re: Deposition on dry land
Actually there is at least one rather striking example of a major river's changing course in just a hundred years.

You need to think in terms of environment. I was not clear so I apologize. The Missouri's course changed yes but the fluvial environment did not. We can see sea levels rising and falling all the time but it takes quite a lot to put Florida at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. We are talking about total environment change not just a river changing course.

I have to ask, how would anyone KNOW whether or not these things have happened in thousands of years

Because over the course of recorded human history which spans many thousands of years we have never seen something to the equivalent of Florida becoming an ocean bottom. Big lakes, deserts, rivers, etc have all been witnesses by human for longer than a thousand years.

Just looking at the current situation of the Missouri an evo might postulate that it may have changed course at some time or other in the past but the time frame would probably have been a million or at least thousands of years, not many times in a hundred years.

As an aside, please don't use the word evo as I will try to refrain from the phrase creo or creationist. I am in fact a creationist just a different type than you. What we are talking about has nothing to do with evolution but rather geology and the age of the earth which was established before the rise of evolutionary theory. An appropriate short would be OE for old earther.

With regards to the comment about the Missouri, no geologist in their right mind would ever postulate that one river would ever run the same course over a million years. The evidence from stratigraphy often shows that rivers to change course over the length of geologic time. The point was, and maybe I wasn't clear enough, that the river environment did not change for that long. In fact, this is one of those things that becomes more difficult for a YEC to explain once you get into the nitty gritty details. Why would evidence of a rivers course changes exist in a layer in the middle of the geologic column?

You have a principle called Uniformitarianism which ASSUMES that things always happened pretty much as they are happening now, but there is no proof of the validity of this principle.

Incorrect. Uniformitarianism is supported by the ancient things we see that are extremely similar to the things we see happening today. Uniformitarianism is not an assumption it is a conclusion.

You have radiometric dating which is claimed to tell the age of something calculated by the rate of decay of radioactive content,

Also not quite correct but maybe not your fault. Radiometric dating tells the time of closure for a particular radioactive element which may or may not be the age of the formation of the rock. At best it is a minimum age of the rock. Often times it may tell us the last time that rock experienced some kind of geologic conditioning such as metamorphism.

but while it's a reasonable theory there's no way to prove that it actually works as it is unknown whether the rate of decay may vary under certain circumstances

Actually it is very well known that decay rates do not vary under even extreme conditions and have not varied for an extremely long time. If you are curious about this I recommend starting up a short subjects or GD topic with JonF or Loudmouth about this. Since this thread is about sedimentary rocks I will not go into this here.

and again there is no independent testimony from the time being measured to confirm or disconfirm a date.

Also not correct. Radiometric dating has been tested using rocks of known age collected appropriately by geologists without an agenda to prove radiometric wrong. Dates from historical eruptions such as Mount Vesuvius match extremely well with radiometric dating. Once again, if you wish to go into this further I suggest making a note and bringing it up again later were it is on topic for a given thread.

And you have the fossil record which APPEARS to be sorted according to age of the fossils, but again there is no way to confirm or disconfirm this. It's plausible on the face of it but that's all it is or ever can be.

The fossils being sorted by age is a conclusion from geology. The hard thing to explain is the fact that the fossils are sorted by morphology and phylogeny. This is where geology ties into evolution a little bit so I won't go into it much I just wanted to make sure you knew that geology does not use this to date the earth. Fossils give you good guesses when you are doing field work but radiometric dating and relative positioning are the bread and butter of giving something an age.

Over and over the reasoning that is required in these fields is not scientific reasoning according to the official definitions. Science certainly produces working plausibilities, but science can also ultimately confirm or disconfirm them with well constructed experiments. When dealing with what happened in the past there is no experiment that can be done. History does not lend itself to scientific method. The most reliable history has written documents to support it, but geological and biological history must do without that kind of evidence for all periods when there is no written report to be had.

We are going to have to go into this a little bit because even though it is not on topic its lack of resolution will prohibit a constructive discussion.

Geology is a legitimate method of inquiry in the same way that forensics is. The repeatability in this science is repeatability of observation. When someone commits a crime you cannot repeat the crime in order to solve it. What you have to do is take clues (i.e. observations) about the crime and apply logic (i.e. science) to them. When the dna from the victim matches the blood on the suspects shoes this is an observation. No one "saw" the blood get there and no one can repeat the blood getting there but both the prosecution and defense can take the same samples to different labs with different technicians and get the same result that the dna matches.

Notice, all this says is that the dna matches, it does not mean that the victim was really killed by the suspect. All it is is evidence that supports the case against the suspect. Once you have enough of these independently verifiable observations you can conclude one way or another if the person is probably guilty. That is all geology does. It does not claim to have the absolute truth about the earth and everything in it. All it is saying is that the observations we have made thus far support beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth is old.

If you do not accept that this logical method of inquiry is valid then the discussion and pretty much any discussion you have at this forum will have no groundwork from which to advance. You can continue to argue that the conclusions are wrong, that something evidence is being missed, etc but we must continue with the presumption that inquiry such as forensics and geology are valid ways to discover knowledge. Notice, if you don't agree with this it also destroys any YEC conclusions based on the same method of inquiry.

We will never be able to produce the earth in a lab and watch what happens over eons. We CAN use geologic forensics to determine things that give us strong insight to what did happen in the geologic history of the earth.

You want to show me that an understanding of what ACTUALLY happened in the formation of the strata would change my mind about the reality of a worldwide Flood. But what you are forced to rely on in your presentation of evidence of What Actually Happened is the assumptions of the very theories I am questioning. This is in fact Begging the Question, or what creationists are always being accused of, Circular Reasoning. But creationists in the case of the Flood at least do have the independent witness of the Bible, a witness from the time in question, while evolutionists have nothing but their current speculations to go on.

I don't pretend to think that I am ever going to change your mind. I have been here long enough to know that it is unlikely. I am here because this is an interesting discussion and I myself would like to know why you think the way to do to either validate my own conclusions or invalidate them. If you change your mind during the process of the discussion then I might call it more fruitful then I originally expected. Also there is a notion of the audience in this debate. If I can present my case more convincingly than you then there are people out there who might be Christians who are confused about this whole issue. It might comfort them to see two Christians having a civil discussion and to know that the issue of their faith in Christ can be separate from their stance on this one issue. I didn't have that luxury so I want to make sure it is at least available so others can.

Most of the assumptions you are claiming are actually conclusions. Like I said before, those conclusions may be wrong in the light of new evidence but they are conclusions none the less. I think the reason you think they are assumptions is simply that you lack exposure to what they are really trying to say. My hope was to help with some of that so at least your arguments can be grounded in why geology concludes what it does rather than simply claiming that everything is an assumption. Proceeding in the way you and others have done over many threads only serves to propagate this misunderstanding. I want to clarify it.

My plausibilities are necessarily pretty limited for lack of knowledge. But knowing more will accomplish nothing either as Creationist scientists know more than most of the evo posters here but nothing they have to say is considered worthy of attention here. It is all ridiculed.

I promise not to ridicule you. I want this thread to be about discussion and teaching each other. Where my knowledge is lacking I hope you would correct me and I will do the same. I know we are starting a little uneven because I do have formal geology training but I think we can get you up to speed about what geologists actually conclude with patience and civility.

It sure seems odd to me that this kind of fact wouldn't be considered to support rather than challenge the Flood idea. The time frame evos would postulate for the delta's accumulation would of course be astronomically greater than what creos would postulate but as usual neither could be confirmed or disconfirmed scientifically, merely extrapolated from assumptions

The age of the Mississippi delta is not as important as the "fact of" the Mississippi delta. If you feel that the delta got a kick start because of the flood then that is fine. What that does nothing to show is why we would expect to see the same kinds of delta deposits buried in the middle of the geologic column.

What the Mississippi delta does show is that sediments DO accumulate flat with respect to each other at the mouth of rivers. What it does show is that fossils ARE formed via slow accumulation of sediment. What it does show us is that sediment does get buried and hardens due to slow burial and accumulation. These are all facts we can derive from "the fact of" the Mississippi delta gained by observing it in action and also drilling into the sediments to see what is there. Uniformitarianism is then therefore a conclusion based on these evidences.

(including assumptions about the validity of radiometric dating under all conditions)

The validity of radiometric dating is not assumed it is evidenced by scientific trial and correlation. If these trials and correlations were incorrect then science would not use radiometric methods to date anything. Remember, that radiometric dating works is a conclusion based on different science (physics) before it was widely used as a diagnostic in geology.

But the fact that it is only in very specific local environments that you see evidence of layering similar to that in the Geo Column should in itself suggest that the Geo Column which is considered to be a worldwide phenomenon by all geologists, not just by creationists, can only be explained by something on a tremendously greater scale than a few deltas around the world.

You are going to have to help me here. I am beginning to think that you are confusing the geologic column with the geologic time scale. What do you think the geologic column is? What do you think the geologic time scale is? Answer these questions before you read further as I am going to start the beginnings of what the two are and where they do and do not work together.

Please forgive me if this is actually something you know. I am going to explain it as I would if I was talking to someone who knows nothing about the basics of geology. I don't want to offend by seemingly speaking down to you.

The geologic time scale is to geology what a ruler is to geometry. It is just a scale that that measures things when you line it up. It does not care what you are measuring. It could be used to measure the age that certain layers were laid down like we have been discussing. It could be used to place an event like a volcanic eruption. It could be used to indicate when certain creatures were alive based on when we find the fossils. It could be used to chart ice ages, sea level, properties and changes of the earth's magnetic field, the shape of the earth's orbit, changes in the atmosphere, and probably a ton of other things I cannot think of. It is just a measure and nothing more.

The geologic column is the rocks and other geologic features of a column cross section at a specific location. The geologic column were I live is different from the geologic column of the GC, etc. It does not just include sedimentary rocks like we have been discussing but also faults, magma intrusions, bending of the strata, etc. My particular location is similar to that of the GC in that many of the layers in the column were also deposited under the ocean. In fact, the conclusion from geology is that New Mexico was under the same ocean as Arizona so we should expect a similar geologic column. The key here is, even though it was the same ocean the columns are slightly different. While Arizona was under deep water New Mexico might have been a bit more shallow so more large grained deposits were settling out more than fine grained ones.

So you take the layer here in New Mexico that is in the same "geologic position" (Note: This has nothing to do with current depth) as another layer in the GC and we know that these were laid down at the same time (Notice no admission of age). This is an observation and therefore one of the facts we use to reach a conclusion about the geologic history of the area as a whole.

So while there is a limestone layer in Arizona there is a sandstone layer here in New Mexico. These both fit into a time scale, in the case of classical geology it would be the geologic time scale, as being deposited at the same time yet are part of different geologic columns.

Here we can begin to see how the two concepts are used together. Using other evidence to determine their age, we fit both of these layers into the same place in the geologic time scale as the time they were deposited. What the geologic time scale does not do is determine what layers constitute the geologic column of a given area.

I hope that makes sense and I hope that it was not too naive for your current knowledge of geology. This is just my attempt to teach without knowing where you are at in terms of your current knowledge.

Jazzns previously writes:

It is hard to posit a different mechanism for limestone deposition when there is so much of it going on in "live" systems today. Why would the exact same deposits we are seeing form today form differently in the past?

Well, there are many reasons according to creationist thinking. And there is no objective basis for assuming they formed the same way.

Limestone isn't only organic but can also be inorganically formed under certain conditions.

The organic origin of limestone is a fact recognized by one of the two YEC references you give below. Please continue reading for more clarification.

Some Creationists say this is how it is formed in limestone caves. They also say that most of the limestone in the strata is inorganic.

One link does, the other does not. The ones that claims that limestone is originally inorganic does not pose a mechanism for formation. If I misread then you may have to show me where I missed it.

Also maybe it was already produced before the Flood rather than during. Nobody knows for sure and there is no way to test it for sure.

Most limestone we know is organic for sure because it is entirely made up of marine fossils. The ones that are not entirely made of fossils are extremely dense with marine fossils. More explanation is below based on snippets I took from the articles you linked to.

The first link you provide refutes a non-marine origin of limestone:

The first step for the formation of a cave is obviously to deposit the limestone. Most major limestone strata appear to have accumulated during the Flood.

If limestone caves get their calcite from limestone deposits then you are just pushing the problem back. The calcite still comes from sedimentary structures created by oceanic biomass. Even if you still claim that limestone can be formed in an alternate way like your second link does yet does not tell us how, you have to consider why limestone is either entirely composed of or completely littered with marine fossils.

The second link partially confirms this but fails to account for the quantity:

Some limestone must also have come from shallow, preflood sea bottoms, because today limestone deposits often contain abundant fossils of corals, crinoids, bryozoans, and foraminifers. These shallow-water animals must have lived before the flood in the presence of limestone. During the flood, that limestone was eroded, transported, and deposited with those animals entombed.

Remember, even if the preflood rate of growth and deposition were many orders of magnitude greater than today you would still have only a fraction of the amount of limestone we find. To presume that all limestone was created pre-flood in just a few thousand years is, first of all contradicting your first link, second simply impossible given the time constraints of a young earth. Almost unimaginable amounts of sea critters would have had to lived and died in under 2000 years to create all that limestone pre-flood. Uncompacted and all alive you would have a hard time seeing the oceans for all the life in them. Consider also that many YECs think that the oceans were much smaller to account for the "where did all the water come from" question and you have multiple lines of very conflicting YEC speculation; two just in the links you provided.

I repeat that limestone is composed of marine fossils; often that is what constitutes the entire structure of the rock. Claiming that limestone is not of marine origin is just simply incorrect. You can try to pose a different time frame but the fact is that limestone is the product of marine biomass. This is not something that is an interpretation of classical geology it is an observation.

Again I'd just point out that the theory is only as good as its best guess, and there is no way to test that best guess. It can't be replicated, it can't be falsified, because it's in the past. The best you can do is compare processes going on now with the contents you see in particular strata and guess that the same processes produced it. Certainly some guesses make more sense than others, but you can't KNOW your best guess is right, and again there is no way to test it, replicate it or falsify it. All either side of the dispute can do is offer possibilities, plausibilities, possible scenarios to explain a given formation. The science involved is the same on both sides. The same scientific principles are used, the same chemical and biological processes are used to make the case.

As I said before, this is more appropriate for this "Is It Science?" forum but without getting thorough this here we cannot have a very productive discussion. You need to recognize that the repeatability talked about here is repeatability of observation and examination. The repeatability is NOT that one needs to repeat the event that left the evidence behind. If that were true then very little scientific inquiry could ever proceed.

A creationist COULD say, "Of COURSE the GC was an ocean, the whole world was once an ocean for about a year, good of you to see the evidence at least in one place" but you'd ridicule that answer on the basis of all the other suppositions about the formation of all the other strata as if all that were established fact too

I should have been much more clear and I will try to be in the future. The GC was built by an ocean environment which includes a coast and the recession and transgression of sea level and many other things that contribute to the formation of sedimentary rocks. That "the GC was an ocean" was too simplistic and I apologize for my error. If it were true that it was as simple as just "an ocean" then we would have as hard a time as YECs trying to explain the non-marine sediments found in the GC and why there should be any disconformities at all.

when it's all only unprovable, untestable, unreplicable, unfalsifiable educated guesses like all the rest.

Just to try to strike it home. We will never be able to remake the GC. That does not preclude us from ever knowing anything to extreme confidences about it though.

Yes, again, evos may correct a particular guess by a more plausible guess. I'm sure that happens all the time. But that's not testability, replicability, falsifiability. And it's exactly the same kind of thinking creationists do too, both sides competing with plausible scenarios, yet evos ridicule creationists for using the same methods they use. That's the only REAL edge evos have -- they are the Establishment so they get to call the shots. They get to make the Judgment Call, which is what ALL the conclusions are based on.

The difference is not that of different guesses. The difference is that the conclusions of classical geology are falsifiable while the conclusions of YECism are not. YECs are historically not willing to provide a statement that if shown to be true would falsify their conclusion that a flood is responsible for the creation of all or most of the sedimentary rocks around the world and the fossils therein.

This is exactly why YECism is not treated as a real science and is often subject to ridicule. Your conclusion must be able to be wrong if certain properties are later found to be true. Because the conclusion cannot be assigned conditions that would make it false, YECism cannot claim to be a science.

In classical geology there is no such problem. The theory that proposes how layers are formed can be directly falsified by showing that layers do form in a manner completely different to what is known. A scientist at the end of publishing a paper on geology can directly cite the observations and evidences that if found would negate his/her contribution. This is how science is done.

As usual with evo theory, what we get above is the theory itself given as if it were fact.

Here are the facts:

1. Marine fossils are found in most layers of the GC.
2. Alternating layers of fine to large grained deposits are found similar to that of a repeated advancing and retreating coast.
3. The Rocky mountains are currently being pushed up due to tectonic activity at the Pacific coast.
4. The surface inland of the Pacific is rising higher and higher as time goes by.

What led geologists to the idea that the GC was once an ocean is not given, I'm just expected to accept the evo scenario as fact.

No one is saying that the GC was once an ocean is a fact. It is the best theory we have given the evidence that is extremely well verified and treated as certain because there is very little doubt.

The idea that the GC was once an ocean is a theory derived from some of the above facts. We know that since the surface is being pushed up that it was once lower at some point in time. We know that since the rocks of the GC contain marine fossils that it probably was under water. Combine that with the alternating layers and you have the start of a theory that the GC was an ocean that retreated and advanced over time. Dig much deeper into geology for which there is too much to write in this one post and your theory becomes more and more the best explanation of how the GC was formed.

It is assumed and presented as fact that tectonic destruction of sediments today is fairly extrapolated to the formation of the strata, but that assumption can be questioned as tectonic activity is figured by creationists to have STARTED with the Flood and what we are seeing now is a later development.

That tectonics manipulate and destroy sediments is a fact no matter what time frame or mechanism you propose. This is something that we observe today and have evidence that it has happened in the past due to the fact that we find destroyed sediment. If you want to learn more try Structure of an Accretionary Wedge or look up "subduction zones" or "convergent boundary" in google.

Yes of course. They explain that unconformity as having occurred before the layers above it were laid down, but actually the diagram of the whole area would suggest that it probably occurred after not the layers of that lower section of course, just the tilting of the whole block of layers -- although
in that case how it managed not to disturb the layers above is a puzzle.

Actually, if you are proposing that the layers at the bottom were tilted after the upper layers were laid down then you have a larger problem then I think you realize. Remember, these layers are tilted without disturbing the layers on top and then have an erosional contact between where they end and the first horizontal layer begins. I highly doubt that even the most ambitious YEC geologists would even support something like this. You are better off with just saying that it somehow hardened, got tilted, then eroded in the middle of the flood before the next layers were laid down. At least this is no harder to support as some of the other things that are as unlikely to happen in the middle of raging waters such as fine particle sedimentation and reverse hydraulic sorting of fossils.

The diagram I posted shows a great swelling that uplifted and distorted the layers north of the canyon just a bit without breaking them, which isexplained as magma pushing upward that didn't erupt through, that had to have occurred after the layers were formed

Yes, a very good fact due to the law of superposition.

(and were no doubt still damp in order to bend and not break)

Rock has been shown to bend without breaking in the lab. The YEC claim that sediments must be soft to bend has been refuted by live testing and also by the deformation of the fine structure of the rock that would have no reason to deform if the sediment was soft.

and that great unconformity at the bottom of the canyon appears to have been pushed by that magma into its current condition. Not being a geologist how would I know of course, but I'd guess the layers were still a bit damp when these tectonic forces occurred so that the upper layers exerted enough counterforce to keep from being disrupted, and enough to redirect the underlying strata diagonally along with the force of the magma.

I am not quite sure I understand this scenario completely but I don't see anywhere the explanation of the fact of the erosional contact between the tilted layers and the subsequent horizontal layers. Please explain.

Jazz, I have not misrepresented the horizontality at any point. My visualization and spatial relationship faculties are excellent and I haven't said anything that requires such a basic correction.

My apologies. If we are just talking past each other then I am willing to invest the patience needed to clarify these sometimes complex concepts over a difficult medium.

I can SEE that the canyon was laid down in horizontal layers all with respect to each other as well as with respect to the horizon of the earth in the case of the canyon, and I'm also aware of Steno's Law which SAYS that all such layers were ORIGINALLY horizontal. Even after being distorted by tectonic movements they remain PARALLEL in the greater canyon area and their original horizontality is easily inferred from this. Your diagram may certainly be the case in local areas, though as presented it is merely an abstract hypothetical, but for the canyon itself and the greater canyon area, if YOU will look at the diagrams given of the entire extended area to the north of the canyon you will see that the PARALLEL configuration of the strata is maintained over a magma swelling and on up into Utah beneath higher layers WITHOUT BREAK.

Then I guess I don't see why this is such a problem for classical geology. The layers were laid relatively horizontal as we would expect. In most places where tectonics and rising magma have not touched them they are still that way. In places where it has they have been modified like in your example. If all you are contesting is the time frame then I think I need more detail about what you would expect to happen different over the time that is normally attributed to the GC, say 1 billion years.

Is the sand at the bottom of existing sand dunes hardened to stone? Or are you talking about burial by other layers accumulating above? Because if so remember that the layers are supposed to have taken millions of years to form. So IF the Coconino remained dunes all that time and IF dunes don't become sandstone in their lower regions under their own weight, then that process would only have begun when the next sediment started depositing on top and compression couldn't have been early in that process as there wouldn't be enough weight.

Pressure increases linearly with depth so I would expect there to be a gradient of less compact to more compact as you go down. I don't know if we can tell how much sooner the bottom of the Coconino Sandstone hardened the top but it certainly did. If it was more sand that did it or the new deposition that did it does not matter. It got buried because we see it today. I think you agree based on what you said but I can't tell. Please clarify.

But wouldn't the new sediments from above conform to the dune shape beneath and preserve it? Wouldn't they settle in the depressions of the dunes? Wouldn't they in fact have been blown as the dune sand was? Or were they washed in by water, flattening the dunes and soaking them through?

There is marine deposits immediately on top of the Coconino sandstone. So first off no they should not show evidence of cross-bedding because that does not happen under water at least at that scale. Water is a good leveler so that would be my best guess not knowing for sure why there is no drastic dune topography. I would also expect compression to minimize any topography that is left over from having waves iron out the majority of it. In reality I do not know for sure but those are my best guesses. If the fine details show that there is actually evidence of dune topography still present I would not be surprised. I just don't know and couldn't find any reference for that. When we get out of this GD we should ask one of our resident real geologists about this detail. Over the larger area it would still be parallel with respect to the other layers in any given sample column and that is what really matters.

I can accept that because of the configuration of the sand grains in the layer, the cross-bedding as it is called, that they were once shaped by the same forces that shape dunes. That is a reasonable supposition. But you still have to explain how that whole thick layer became a flat horizontal layer on the notion that it took millions of years to build it up and then more millions to build up the layers above it, without preserving its dune wave shape in the process of filling in its depressions etc., if it started out as dunes and stayed dunes for millions of years.

I am not convinced that there is no evidence of dune topography left but even if there is I would not be surprised that a relatively minor topographical feature such as a dune would not be leveled due to compression and/or water.

Also in the case of something like the Coconino what would have caused it to harden into sandstone since it wasn't formed under water, and at what point in the millions of years?

Just because something is not deposited underwater does not mean that it does not retain water. All you really need is a little bit of water and a lot of compression to get something to lithify. I am not sure at what point in the millions of years the Sandstone completed its lithification but I am sure that it was once it was buried deep enough by the layers above it some of which no longer exist.

Again I would just repeat that this burying process supposedly took millions of years, so the lithification would have been correspondingly slow as the weight would not have been sufficient in the early stages. Also was the layer above formed in water or not?

Not. Because of the cross-bedding, the absence of marine fossils, and presence of terrestrial trace fossils. We are confident it was wind blown until another mechanism for producing cross-bedding has been shown to exist and actually do it.

If formed in water then don't we have to imagine the entire column being submerged at once and the dunes being soaked as well as the new-forming sediment layer?

Until other evidence to the contrary is found the theory states that the Coconino Sandstone is a terrestrial deposit. It does not need to be submerged to have enough water to lithify. Dig deep enough into a sand dune, it should be damp.

How does a new "landscape" form slowly on top of an old one without disturbing it? But the Coconino is clearly undisturbed sandstone neatly compressed into flatness above and below.

Maybe it didn't leave it undisturbed. Maybe it destroyed the dune topography. You can chop off the tops of the dunes and still have a nice cross-bedded body of sand left behind if it is thick enough and the Coconino, even compressed, is pretty thick. I'll try to look harder for some information about this but if I can't find it we will have to defer to one the practicing geologists here at EvC.

You have listed a few things that need explaining to understand the classical theory for the formation of sediments in the GC. I have listed a number of things that an alternate theory must also explain to be just as good.
Let’s summarize.

Outstanding Things Needing Explanation by Classical Geology:
1. What happened to the dune topography of the Coconino Sandstone?

Outstanding Things Needing Explanation by Flood Theory X
1. Unconformities of all types in the GC.
2. The time required and source of organic limestone.
3. Mechanism for fine particle deposition in torrential water.
4. Alternating layers of fine and large grained sedimentary rock in direct contradiction to hydraulic sorting.
5. Cross-bedding features in Coconino sandstone.
6. Terrestrial trace fossils in Coconino sandstone.
7. What is the statement of falsifiability of Flood Theory X?

I'll go ahead and add one more new one.

8. Formation of evaporite deposits in certain geologic columns.

The argument is on topic because it is a type of sedimentation. In particular instead of defending the classical model this thrust will be a direct assault on a flood model. The basic argument is this. Evaporite deposits are things like gypsum and salt that only form today in arid terrestrial environments with a playa lake. The best example of this is Salt Lake in Salt Lake City. When water evaporates it leaves behind the minerals that were contained in it. In a desert, lakes often fluctuate drastically between drying up and filling up during the rainy season. This leaves behind evaporite deposits where are sometimes very thick in a particular geographic column. No only does it take a long time for these to form in any large thickness, it cannot happen under water by definition.

YECs speculate that evaporite deposits are due to a chemical reaction underwater due to hydrothermal vents but no YEC that I know of has postulated how so much evaporites could form and also why there are characteristics of playa lake life and structure in nearly all evaporite deposits. These cannot be post flood creations because they are not always at the top of the geologic column of an area.

No one that I have confronted with this on this board has ever produced a response to the evaporite problem. Maybe you could give it a go since you seem to have so many original ideas about things.

You can add stuff to my list and I'll add stuff to yours. Until next time.


{changed [quote] to [qs] and fixed a link.}

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-29-2005 02:50 PM

{minor spelling and formatting}

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-29-2005 02:53 PM

{more formatting}

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-29-2005 03:02 PM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Faith, posted 03-28-2005 8:14 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Faith, posted 03-29-2005 10:03 PM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 90 of 127 (195725)
03-31-2005 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Faith
03-29-2005 10:03 PM

OT: Is it Science, Past Events? What are the facts?
Didn't I cover this pretty thoroughly? Most of my points hinged on it. You can't just repeat it as if I'd never said it myself.

Yes but you were using it to try to say that just because no one saw it happen that you cannot know that it did. This is the equivalent of the "we were not there so we will never know" argument which really doesn*t bear much fruit.

The point is you NEED WITNESSES in order to truly prove ANYTHING in the past. If you HAVE them, fine, then you have proof, and you may indeed have them for some geological events back a few thousand years, but the farther back you go the scantier they are going to get.

We can know stuff about the past even if there are no witnesses. If this were not true you would never be able to convict someone of a crime based on non-witness evidence. This is going to be a BIG sticking point as long as you are here at EVC and I would politely advice to really think about trying to use this as your major defense.

I am not accusing you of anything but I just want to warn you that using this as a broad way to invalidate all historical science may look like you are simply avoiding the details that help prove this method valid. You may still be planning on addressing the substance of my post so I just want you to know that to an outside viewer it looks like a dodge. If you end up responding to the real details presented to you in my posts that would be an easy way to show that you are sincere.

But before there is any human witness to these things you have ZIP evidence, ALL you have is inference backwards, inference based on the mere ASSUMPTION that nothing was different before that, NOT PROOF, and PROOF is impossible to get.

First of all, it is not the goal of science to prove anything. Please realize this as it has been said before. Take some time to think about it really because it feels like we are just talking past each other. Science determines things with the same confidence we use in our court systems; beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition to that, science is by definition tentative, always with finite degree of uncertainty. This is exactly why scientific conclusions must be falsifiable. If they were not then we would not have tentatively and the entire basis for the construction of scientific knowledge would be destroyed.

Jazzns previously writes:

Incorrect. Uniformitarianism is supported by the ancient things we see that are extremely similar to the things we see happening today. Uniformitarianism is not an assumption it is a conclusion.

You do not SEE "ancient things." They CANNOT be seen by definition. They are PAST. They are GONE.

I should have been clearer with this. My point was that Uniformitarianism is a conclusion born from other conclusions of classical geology. You were saying that it was the other way around; that Uniformitarianism was an assumption from which the other conclusions of classical geology are born. It is not like Uniformitarianism just showed up one day and then all geologic evidence was interpreted in light of it. The evidence OF geology LED to the conclusion of Uniformitarianism.

YOu cannot insist that radiometric dating has been shown to be trustworthy because there's no way to test whether this is true back before human history.

This is incorrect and this is part of the problem. We can test that the same state needed to validate radiometric dating now existed in the past. We have tested this and the tests have passed. I did not get into this before and I will not get into it now because I don't want to stray too far off of what is already a pretty far off topic post. If you are curious then by all means take it up in a dating thread.

THESE WERE THE POINTS I WAS MAKING. YOu cannot prove me wrong by appealing to your own theory which is what I believe to be wrong.

I am appealing to no geologic theory. There is no theory in geology that radiometric dating is correct. That ratio of radioisotopes and their daughter product is an observation (i.e. fact) that has been shown to correctly determine the date of closure for particular radiometric elements by extensive testing and correlation. That this can also be used to determine a minimum age of a particular crystalline structure is a corollary to this observation.

The theory behind radiometric dating that allows it to work comes from physics not geology. That radioisotopes decay and that we can use the half life of this decay as a metric is in the realm of physics. If it can be shown that matter operates in a different way then what has been concluded by physics, if you can show that atoms are not really the basic building blocks of matter, that they do not have different isotopic representations or that none of those representations are unstable then you can disprove radiometric dating.

I don't have time to answer further, and I still have two long posts before this last one to answer.

Please take your time but also realize that I am not trying to berate you. I really honestly feel that there is just some simple communication and lack of grounding in the basic facts of the situation that may be preventing a fruitful discussion.

No one is trying to take away your ability to conjecture about the facts (i.e. construct a hypothesis which might lead to a theory) but we must know those facts before we can talk about them. That is really why I wanted to get into this discussion with you because you are very smart and think of things that other on this board have not before. What I had hoped is that you could get to the point where these neat things you were coming up with are actually explaining what the evidence really is rather than what you think the evidence is. No one is blaming you for not being an expert in geology and you don't need to be to be able to discuss the actual facts. My formal geology training is scant compared to a geologist by trade but yet I know enough to be able to point to what is fact and what is theory. You can argue against the theory all day but the facts are the facts.

Also, if you feel that I have said something that is outrageous, ask for clarification instead of just proclaiming me wrong or claiming that my thinking is circular. Maybe there is just a misunderstanding. Let*s try to be logical, civil, and Christian about this.

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-31-2005 09:24 AM

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 03-31-2005 11:54 AM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Faith, posted 03-29-2005 10:03 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by AdminNosy, posted 03-31-2005 1:50 PM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 92 of 127 (195748)
03-31-2005 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by AdminNosy
03-31-2005 1:50 PM

Re: SubTitle (changed)
Good call Nosy. I'll watch that in the future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by AdminNosy, posted 03-31-2005 1:50 PM AdminNosy has not replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 98 of 127 (196947)
04-05-2005 1:07 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Faith
04-03-2005 1:05 AM

Re: Erosion between layers & unconformities
I combined your two responses into one. Here we go!

There are two major components from the initial part of your rebuttal from the following:

Most of these normal events have been known to alter the topography of the land. It is within historical time that such events may appear insignificant, not over millions of years, and insignificant to us because they don't happen everywhere at once, we are used to them and have learned to deal with them more or less, at least in some parts of the world. But they would not be dwarfed at all by millions of years, as you claim, but on the contrary, multiplied to enormous effects. Every year the world experiences a round of them and we manage to recover one way or another, even with great loss of life in some cases, but recover nevertheless, and sometimes we note that the terrain has changed, but we pick up and go on. Just multiply these yearly effects by millions.
Yes, but again these processes cannot be expected to build up regular horizontal layers of the sort we see in the strata. They shift things around, they do not allow neat layers to form.

The first component of your statement is the mixing up of surface layers of sediment by events such as a hurricane. When explained that the only thing needed is deposition to be greater than erosion you continued with the argument that you don't expect the layers to be horizontal.

The whole point of this surface weathering argument from my perspective boils down to this incredulity about horizontal layers forming at the surface.

Let’s use a concrete example like the Coconino Sandstone. From http://www.geocities.com/earthhistory/grandb.htm :

Unlike obviously marine formations, which tend to thicken towards the west (seaward), the CS thins toward the west, and is thickest (about 1000ft) in the central Grand Canyon area. Further, the orientation of dunes and wind-ripple marks within the CS suggest that the Coconino erg was transported by wind from the north, not by water from the west.

Really thick in one place and thin in another? Well, doesn't that mean that it has to slope? Doesn't that break the law of original horizontality?

The answers are yes, yes, and no respectively. The whole point about original horizontality is that in a given spot a deposit will be horizontal with respect to the layers above and below it. If it is not horizontal with respect to itself 200 miles away then that is okay. When we look at the GC, which is a cross section of the formation in one spot compared to the breadth of it across the area, it looks very nice in between the layers near it. In a different location it might not even be between the same layers, at the same depth, of the same thickness, etc.

Now let’s try to figure out what would happen to a desert full of sand dunes as it experiences the occasional El Nino. Sand at the very top will get wet and be blown around. Some new sand will be deposited by the extra weathering going on. Some sand that is already there will get blown away. When normal deposition resumes, the normal rates of deposition will determine if the sand that is now at the surface will continue to be buried or continue to be eroded depending on what is happening as a net average to that environment.

Part of the problem is that I think you are forgetting that, most of the time, land based deposits are continually eroded. So yes, we do expect things like a hurricane or something to destroy something faster than it was already being destroyed if that was its erosional fate anyway. Most stuff on land gets eroded and ends up in the ocean or a lake. We do expect though that the minority of places like river valleys, basins, etc to be able to accumulate sediment and things like a hurricane are going to be more likely to help put stuff there rather than take stuff away. So some places on land will be able to accumulate and preserve their deposits, especially if they then become inundated with water which is REALLY good at preserving deposits.

The GC is part of a rare formation where this was the case. A land deposit was part of a net depositional environment where more stuff was being added than taken away. Then the sea came back and it was preserved by the continued deposition of marine sediments. Other land based sand deposits might build up to the point that they are now the high ground and then switch to an environment where it is the source rather than the end of a depositional system. Some get preserved, some do not. The Coconino just happened to be one of the ones that did.

I'm not getting this picture. You aren't describing these layers, their contents, their thicknesses, comparing them to the Geo Column. You have to show that the rate of deposition and the distinctions between layers could explain the buildup of the Geo Column over millions of years. And who said anything about these layers being "from a different source other than the delta" anyway?
Sure, but many layers building up in a delta in historical time doesn't exactly commute to layers built up over millions of years as seen in the Geo Column. The best you can extrapolate is that water deposition is likely the cause.

I only assumed you would not agree that the whole delta was created by the river itself. If it had been then we are looking at an old earth scenario because, not only is it 7 miles thick in some places, it has migrated from Illinois over time as indicated by the sediments and their migration over the landscape. I can only assume that there is some other YEC explanation of why there are deltaic sediments in the middle of the geologic column in Illinois which are then covered up by different sediments, all supposedly from the flood.

Source: www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD211.html

We can also tell a lot more about the sediments then just that they were deposited under water. Delta sediments have very specific characteristics.


1. Deltas are fan-shaped deposits formed where a river flows into a standing body of water, such as a lake or sea. Coarser sediment (sand) tends to be deposited near the mouth of the river; finer sediment is carried seaward and deposited in deeper water. Some well known deltas include the Mississippi River delta and the Nile River delta.

So what happens then when we find a fan shaped pile of sediments with a gradient of particle sizes starting at coarse near the center to fine near the edges in the middle of the geo column for a particular area? What is the better explanation, that it was once a delta or that the flood just made it look like a delta.....somehow?

And since you are clear that the deposition is of sediments brought down from eroded upstream rocks and terrain, how does the idea of "landscapes" ever come up with regard to any of the strata as explained by water deposition anyway?

Just to be precise, let’s use the terminology of "depositional environment" instead of "landscapes". The site that I listed above talking about deltas has a nice list of depositional environments and their descriptions. An ocean and a desert are both depositional environments.

In any case, as I recall, it look quite a while before anyone even said that the Grand Canyon was formed in the ocean, and some appeared to be unsure about how much of it was formed that way. If any strata lower in the column appear to be eroded, that also remains to be explained in terms of ocean deposition.

Why don't we do a summary of the deposition of the GC as it is postulated by classical geology. This should explain when and why things were eroded.

Distilled from


  1. 1.25 GA to 825 MA years ago the bottom most layers were laid down. These are coastal layers indicating shallow marine or beach environments.

  2. Between 825 MA 550 MA more layers were deposited but these were also eroded in that time indicating that the ocean regressed. The area was tilted during that time.

  3. Between 550 MA and 540 MA the ocean began to transgress and the area was a coastline with shallow ocean sediments. The only reason I wanted to point this out specifically is that within the structure of this layer there is evidence of islands! So much for neat and horizontal over a large area.

  4. Between 550 MA and 300 MA an ocean transgressed and then regressed leaving deep ocean layers behind.

  5. Between 300 MA and 280 MA the area was a coastline and shallow marine sediments indicating the end of the regression.

  6. Between 280 MA and 270 MA the ocean had regressed to the point that the environment was total sub-aerial. This is when the Coconino sandstone was laid.

  7. Between 270 MA and 250 MA the ocean started to transgress onto land again leaving shallow marine sediments.

  8. If any more layers had been deposited on top of that they have been eroded since the uplift of the Colorado plateau

Notice, if erosion keeps on going like it is now, eventually the Coconino sandstone will be gone and you will have a situation of missing layers like there is in the middle of the column of the GC. If the ocean stays gone long enough then all that geologic history gets erased.

It appears to me that ALL the horizontal -- or previously horizontal and still parallel -- strata wherever they are found MUST have been formed in water, but so far nobody has confirmed that.

The Coconino sandstone is most definitely not a marine formation. The cross-bedding plus the characteristics of the sand particles plus the terrestrial fossils all account to that. Also, the very first link in this post gives a good treatment of why the Coconino is most certainly a land deposit. Other deposits in the GC indicate a shoreline with partial marine and partial sub-aerial sediment. The rest are totally marine.

Such processes would certainly obliterate a layer of sediment over millions of years (if not underwater).

Well, I don't know how mudslides would obliterate the layers they cover. It seems to me that they would help preserver the layers that get covered by them.

Other events certain would weather things quicker but where does all the weathered material go? It goes to low places like basins, valleys, lakes, oceans. Tornadoes and hurricanes help not hurt the process of weathering and sedimentation. If you respond to this with more disbelief about the layers not being horizontal then I really think you need to give yourself the time to understand what is really meant by the law of original horizontality. What you claim is real and what is actually real are two different things with regards to this. I mean no offense by this. I am just trying to warn you that you are treading on territory where it simply looks like you are uneducated about the topic. If you continue with the same reasoning after it has been explained to you it will only seem that you are willfully uneducated about the topic. If you sill just don't understand what I mean by "horizontal with respect to" then ask me to clarify.

All I'm going to say to the entire quotation exchange above is that you are not addressing the effect I'm saying all these processes would have on the strata DURING THEIR MILLIONS OF YEARS OF FORMATION, when the sediments were still presumably quite moveable. You keep imagining things happening AFTERWARD, piling on top of the formation and so on, but remember, the formation itself was presumably, based on the timetable idea, in the process of forming for millions of years and presumably, therefore, subject to all these normal processes over those millions of years. You say there are records of mudslides. Fine. But surely a mudslide would have destroyed any layer in the process of forming before it slid -- not something piling on TOP of it, but the layer itself sliding. And if a mudslide occurred on top of a layer not yet formed then it would have interrupted it anyway. And how many of these do you suppose would have happened in millions of years here and there? Combined with all the other kinds of disturbances I can't see any strata forming at all.

Mudslides usually happen to things that are being eroded so I wouldn't expect the content of the mudslide to be that of something that was currently undergoing deposition. Now if it slides on top of something else like a bunch of trees then the forest floor and those trees might be preserved as long as erosion doesn’t strip away that too. This is how things like the Joggins polystrate trees were formed and the paleosols they are planted in. Bill Birkland has a great post on this forum somewhere that shows a polystrate telephone pole and some polystrate houses. Good example about how some things can be preserved by localized catastrophe.

Mudslides are not how most things get preserved but the whole point of the example was to show that localized catastrophe mostly serves to bury things more rather than unbury them. I have said it before but I will repeat for effect. Tornadoes and hurricanes and such all send sediment into low places just like we would expect. Even if they hit the low place directly all they are really doing is mixing up the topmost part of a very thick sediment. These things help deposition not hurt.

Yes, as you say, "SEDIMENT ON THE SURFACE IS SUBJECT TO WEATHERING." Thank you. Now extrapolate that TO MILLIONS OF YEARS OF extremely slow buildup on that surface which weathering would affect to a depth greater than the deposition depth implied by those millions of years and try to figure out how a layer stayed a layer for even a tenth of that time.

All surfaces are subject to weathering, not all are subject to being weathered away. I repeat that most land surfaces are eroded but some are not. Those some may end up becoming part of the geologic column if they are further preserved. The Coconino sandstone was one of the some.

UNLESS IT WAS UNDER WATER. AND IF IT WAS UNDER WATER, and you all agree it was under water, then other considerations apply, not erosion.

Not everything that is deposited under water gets preserved and everything that gets preserved is not necessarily under water. Most stuff that is deposited under water is preserved and most stuff that is not deposited under water is not preserved. It is not an all or nothing thing with regards to sediment preservation. You need specific conditions to preserve a layer of sediment. Those conditions are well met for most marine environments and are well met in a few land environments.

These other considerations have to do with how on earth one kind of sediment accumulated so slowly for so long under water, just that one kind of sediment just as presented in the walls of the Grand Canyon, and then after MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF YEARS, a different sediment started accumulating.

We don't expect things to change much very quickly so why should different sediment be deposited? Why wouldn't an ocean still be an ocean over a couple dozen million years? If it is still an ocean then why would we not expect the layers of sediment that it is dropping to be deep marine sediment with slight fluctuating variations as sea level changed slightly like in the case of the redwall limestone.

Why not in hundreds of years? Decades? Why should there be any thick layers of identifiable sediments at all? Why not a conglomeration? Why not an inch of one followed by an inch of another for the whole column? Why ten feet of one and then fifteen feet of another? Each accumulated over millions of years -- if underwater, without erosion too, so that what you see is what you get. You really are NOT thinking about the actual situation I'm trying to get hold of here. Just about nothing but sandstone for millions of years? Just about nothing but limestone for millions of years? Come ON!

What is funny is that a lot of the things that you just listed as if they should be seen are actually seen. While trying to destroy the foundation of classical geology you are actually defining parts of it.

Sometimes a deposit does represent only a few hundred thousand years, or a few thousand years, or a few hundred years, or a year, or even a few days.

Sometimes deposits are a conglomeration! There is actually a rock type called that! A conglomerate rock is one that is composed of a bunch of different sized grains ranging from a stone to a fine grain of sand. These are usually found in river, glacier, and alluvial fan deposits. For things that are not conglomerates we have known mechanisms for why they get sorted; namely that we are watching them being sorted naturally today.

The way classical geology explains these changes are by changes in the environment that collects the sediment. I offer to you as a counter the same question, why would a flood create layers of identifiable sediment? What process sorted the sediment and why did it reverse that sorting numerous times during the life of the flood?

Deposits can range from miles to thousands to hundreds of feet thick all the way to as small as inches and even millimeters! Yes in some places we actually do see an inch followed by another inch etc!

With regards to the paragraph you quoted.

...There seem to be no processes taking place in the present that are competent to explain the corresponding formations of the past. For example, the evaporative processes which are producing salt deposits today are leaving salt beds which are both qualitatively different and quantitatively trivial in comparison to the great thicknesses of pure salt and gypsum found in the geological strata.

This is blatantly false. Older evaporite deposits contain pollen, other plant life, other playa lake features, and even other sediments. The notion of evaporite deposit purity give by YECs is directly false. They are either lying or just don't know what they are talking about. Here is proof:

From www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-38096.html

This claim can be traced back to Sozansky (1973), who claimed that the (alleged) absence of pollen and/or planktonic tests in evaporite deposits argues against an evaporation model. However, it is now known, and has been known for decades, that many evaporite deposits do in fact contain "impurities" such as pollen, plankton, algae, fungi spores, volcanic ash layers, and so forth, which we would expect on the restricted-marine, basin-evaporation theory, but not what we would expect if these salts were somehow rapidly extruded underwater in a global flood.

For instance, the 2km+ thick Sedom Formation evaporites in the Dead Sea Basin are about 80% pure halite, with 20% gypsum, marl, chalk, dolomite and shale (Niemi et al., The Dead Sea: The Lake and its Setting, Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics No. 36, p. 46). Significant amounts of pollen are also present in these evaporites as well. See also: Ulrich Jux, The Palynologic Age of Diapiric and Bedded Salt, Department of Conservation, Louisiana Geological
Survey, Geological Bulletin 38, October, 1961; Wilhelm Klaus, Utilization of Spores in Evaporite Studies, in Jon L. Rau and Louis F. Dellwig, editors, Third Symposium on Salt, Cleveland: The Northern Ohio Geological Society, Inc., 1970.

The Paradox Basin evaporites, mentioned earlier, in fact have many thin interbedded shale layers containing brachiopods, condonts, and plant remains (Duff et al., Cyclic Sedimentation, Developments in Sedimentology, no. 10: Elsevier Publishing, 1967, p. 204).

My favorite part is that there is actually dolomite and shale in the middle of an evaporite deposit. Evaporite purity is a pure misnomer. RandyB refused to engage me when I presented this to him. Evaporites are extremely hard to make comply with a young earth. So hard that no YEC yet has posed an even slightly plausible explanation for why these things would form in the middle of a flood.

The same is true of coral and limestone formations. Great continent-wide formations of sandstone and shale are quite incommensurate with any beds of sand and silt being deposited by modern rivers.

No one says that continent wide formations are formed by rivers and most certainly coral and limestone is not formed by rivers. These are formed along with sandstones and shales in oceans where there is plenty of room to make continent wide formations given that there is more ocean bottom then continent.

Modern volcanoes are in no way competent to produce the great thicknesses and region-wide areas of volcanic rocks found in the earth’s crust.

Not all igneous rock is volcanic.


If they truly mean just volcanic rock then they might not be considering that much more volcanic activity is known to have occurred in the past. How again does a flood create volcanoes? Why would it create more in a year than geologic time proposes? What happens to all that heat? If it all formed under water, why isn't all of the volcanic rock pillowed?


Modern rivers could never produce the deep canyons or the thick beds of alluvium through which they flow.

Why would they not especially if the beds of alluvium are the exact same that get deposited every time that river floods? Why would a flood happen to drop thick beds of alluvium right where a river would be making it look like the river did it?

Modern glaciers could never produce the continental glacial deposits of the past.

Modern glaciers are nothing like the glaciers of the past. Of course modern glaciers are insufficient to account for all the glacial deposits ever found. During an ice age though and the multiple ice ages that occurred in the past, those mammoth glaciers certainly could account for it all.

Glaciers will often carve out deep and long gouges out of the underlying rock as it drags huge boulders in its flow. We see this today. What happens then when we see one of these big gouges in the middle of the geologic column? How did the flood make that gouge look exactly like a glacier did it? How did it do it to soft sediment? Why do we see these things in the middle of that Sahara Desert? How did glaciers get there or how did the flood mimic the fingerprint of glaciers there?

With regards to your further response:

The flood covered the land to some depth. Why wouldn't it have carried trillions of trillions of sea creatures over the land areas? They would all have died in the thick sediments stirred up by the rains and the flooding. How many, who knows, but very possibly many more than live in the sea at one time now. But also limestone isn't always organically formed. Some creationists claim the majority observed isn't organic.

Even if they could have been all alive at once, why did it sort them? The certain organic origin of limestone is covered in my previous post and in brief when you bring it up again below.

What happened to the sea creatures while the sandstone and shale were depositing? What explains only sand for millions of years? Only clay? Only sea creatures?

The ocean was either too shallow or too deep for life to live in great abundance. There is a zone a certain distance off shore that is ideal for limestone depositing creatures to live. Go farther and they can’t, go shallower and they can't. You are also being much to general when you talk about "only" sandstone or "only" limestone. You should be saying "mostly" limestone because even within limestone you can have sand and silt.

No, it needs moisture of some kind, but inorganic limestone forms in damp caves in the form of stalagmites and stalactites, and it forms pretty fast too

But those caves get the calcite FROM already existing limestone. See my previous post where you gave me those links. No YEC has a method of original formation of inorganic limestone that I have ever seen and some even just say it was all formed by creatures pre-flood which is totally implausible. In any case you have every different YEC organization with a slightly different and often conflicting version of where limestone comes from.

During the upheavals of the Flood, extensive coral deposits in the warm antediluvian oceans were torn up, transported, and redeposited later around great rock mounds, giving a superficial appearance of having grown there in place, rather than having been washed into place. ICR on sedimentation processes etc.

What is the more simple explanation?

  1. That a giant flood sorted out all these marine creatures and only these marine creatures and piled them up in growth positions to look exactly like the same coral reefs that we can go into the ocean and look at today.

  2. That it actually was a coral reef?

Yes, but you have to postulate a VERY rapid change, rise in sea level or whatever, as the strata clearly show sharp demarcations and not long periods of confusion of sediments. The abrupt breaks are what make the whole geo timescale questionable. They retain their flatness so where's the erosion you say the abruptness suggests? Quite the opposite is suggested -- NO erosion because that would destroy the flatness. I know there are pockets of different kinds of sediments in some layers but this is not what would be expected as the result of erosion of the layer over huge spans of years, but obliteration of the horizontal flatness/shape of the layer.

Why? Why would it have to be a rapid change especially when the deposits show a gradient of sediment as it changes from one to the other? Your sharp demarcation is only true from you macroscopic photograph of the layers of the GC. Take a look at them in detail and what you really see is a graded continuous deposition where the only thing that changed is the type of particle being deposited. If all we had was a look at the cross section of the GC from a distance then I might even be a YEC. It is a good thing that we can actually cut into the rock and see what is really going on over wide areas.

Not sure the tilting would have to have occurred before the sedimentation resumed. It could have happened in one tectonic catastrophe.

As I have said before this is an extremely hard thing to defend. The fact of the erosional contact between the tilted layers and the horizontal layers is the biggest thing I think along with why the top layers were not disturbed. No tectonics ever postulated by geology or any ambitious YEC could tilt the bottom layers w/o disturbing the top layers. Even if you had that you need to explain the erosion.

The idea that you have to look at the rocks microscopically to ascertain events that took millions of years makes no sense.

Why do you think that everything must be obvious at a macroscopic level? I wasn't even talking about putting rocks under a microscope, all I am saying is that you have to go down there, cut into the rock and look at the contact between the layers up close. You can't diagnose an unconformity from an aerial shot.

Whatever took millions of years is GOING TO BE OBVIOUS on the face of it.

No it is not. Rocks get compressed, that is what they do. Sometimes you need to actually go look at the specific parts of it in detail.

Yes of course you have to postulate many risings and fallings of the sea to account for what appears in the strata on the timeframe idea. But the idea that erosion during the exposed periods accounts for the sharp demarcations simply makes no sense.

Erosion does not account for the demarcation between all the layers. Certainly where you have a disconformity that is a sharp demarcation but the difference between the other layers is a change in the type of material being deposited. There is no break in the deposition in this case. No one ever said that erosion had to happen in between each and every layer.

Erosion would have messed up the horizontality. I know I keep saying this but it's true, it's obvious, it would have.

No it is not obvious. This is a bare assertion with no evidence. I would expect all sediment to be deposited horizontal with respect to the other layers since that is both what we see happening today and what we see evidenced in the geologic column both "recent" and "ancient" whatever you want that to mean.

Where you find this erosion is in the abrupt change from one stratum to another, but that's no evidence of erosion at all.

Incorrect, evidence of erosion is given by the discovery of a disconformity which has specific properties that make it a disconformity, not all changes in layers are due to a disconformity.

If it was out of water for part of those millions of years, how long -- half a million? 10 million out of the 20 a given layer is supposed to have taken to form? -- it would simply not exist as a layer at all. I know I keep saying this but it's OBVIOUS. Erosion would NOT leave a neat horizontal surface upon which a new sediment would gradually start depositing horizontally after the sea level rose again.

Depends on where you are talking about. Also, these things that you are saying are obvious are simply not obvious. I know this is frustrating to you but you have to understand that it is not obvious to me and it seems like it was not obvious to those who you were having this conversation with before. If I am being stupid then you have to dumb it down and explain it to me in simpler terms. Just saying that it is obvious is not going to lead us anywhere. There are a ton of things that I could say are obvious to me but most certainly would not be to you. I am specifically asking for detailed clarification for this.

What is obvious to me is that we see horizontal deposition going on today despite things like hurricanes, etc so why could it not have also happened this way in the past?

And how long did it take while the sea level was rising anyway? If it crept up by the slow increments everything has to happen by in this jerryrigged timeframe scenario of millions of years, then why wouldn't the sea itself obliterate the layer with its waves and tides washing over it during the creeping up period?

It might obliterate some of it and it might obliterate all of it. With the Coconino sandstone it didn't obliterate all of it. Why would it have to remove it all?

Let me be sure I'm understanding although I answered this above: You are saying that the evidence of erosion is the sharp demarcations between the strata?

No, I am saying it is due to a non-uniform and drastic contact between the layers. Just being a different layer does not automatically make you a disconformity. I have explained this also above so I won't get into it much more. If you are still confused about this then please ask and I will gladly clarify.

The point is that the overall content is an enormously thick layer of at least 99% redwall limestone throughout the Grand Canyon area, as shown by both diagrams of the cross section that I've seen, into Utah to the north and no doubt east for some distance too, and what "dynamics" are going to change that fact?

I am not sure how this question relates to the impurity of the limestone. I never questioned the breadth of the limestone. I was responding to you when you said that you couldn't believe that only limestone was being deposited. My point was that it was not just limestone just mostly limestone. Since you didn't respond to that point I don't really know what to say. The breadth was not in dispute. That whole area was an ocean so certainly the same type of deposits would accumulate. Certainly wherever the shoreline was during the time of the deposition of the redwall limestone, we should not expect to find the same type of deposits. Since I don't know what is "next to" the redwall limestone at its edges I cannot comment with specifics. I would expect it to be some kind of shallow marine sediments like sandstone or sandy limestone.

How many years would it take for it to accumulate to a sufficient depth for the lower layers to begin to lithify?

I am pretty sure that answer is a big unfulfilling, "it depends". It depends on the type of rock, the rate of sedimentation, if there are chemicals in water that are more helpful by "gluing" things together when they precipitate out of the water, if the deposition is on land or in water, what is being deposited on top of it and why, etc.

Or were our dunes blown in all at once somehow?

That would be silly. Sand probably started being deposited long before the environment became sub-aerial. Now with piles of sand the wind would get to blow it around while more sand was coming in from whatever sourced the original sand. No one is saying that sea level would drop in an instant and that wind would blow in these huge dunes. THAT would be something which is catastrophic.

Yes, these are all processes that do not take great periods of time to occur. The question about the time a given layer remains unlithified sediment during the millions of years posited for its formation has to do with how much time it had to be disturbed by external processes such as weathering.

Once it is buried it is not exposed to weathering anymore. Only the top most layers are weathered. And these will only be "weathered away" if the accumulation over time is less than the erosion over time. It can stay unlithified for as long as it needs to as long as it’s continuing to get buried. Also, if it was deposited in an environment that was likely to bury it in the first place, it is also likely to continue to bury it until lithification is certain.

Good point. Thanks for reminding me of that. So our sand has to pile up to many hundreds of feet over the millions of years before it settles down into 50 feet of rock. All sand, nothing but sand, millions of years.

No. Just mostly sand. A beach should stay a beach for a decently long time. And don't forget, terrestrial trace fossils. Those seem to continue to be ignored.

That's all clarifying, thanks. As I understood it, the way the time periods are established is by the fossil contents of the layers. So the same fossils are found in different sediments in different parts of the world?

The time periods are not established by the fossils. All fossils do is give a clue as to a ballpark of the time of the rock which may span multiple time frames. Other methods including relative positioning and radiometric dating must be used to pin it down to a specific spot in the geologic time scale.

But I don't have any problem at all expecting to see them! Tectonic activity caused by the Flood would explain the angular unconformities for instance as it displaced layers laid down in the Flood. Irregularities in the deposition of a particular layer wouldn't be at all unexpected with sediments that were laid down by water, including drainage between layers moving some sediments and causing some apparent erosion on a small scale.

Actually, knowing what I do about basic hydraulic sorting I would not expect anything that you just said. If all this stuff was laid down in a flood I would expect all the big grained stuff to be on the bottom and all the small grained stuff to be on the top. What flood geologists have to do is explain why this is true sometimes and then reversed and reversed again, etc. This explanation has not been given thus far by any of the "big" YEC organizations.

I would also not expect any erosional surfaces because there would be no time or mechanism for displacing sediment in a drastic net depositional event like the postulated flood. What flood geologists need to do is explain the mechanism for causing erosional unconformities under water and to show that this mechanism actually works within their flood model. Where is that unified flood model anyway? Maybe you could point us at it? It should be peer reviewed by all the leading YEC organizations, it should be widely agreed upon by them, explain all the facts, etc.

Not sure why you emphasize the unconformities, as the layers themselves are clearly separate depositional events from each other.

No they are not. Where there is no unconformity there is only a change in the type of deposition. Deposition is never stopped so it is not another depositional event. This is a very important point. In some places we have deposition being ceased, in some cases parts of the deposits are removed, and then deposition resumed. Only when this happens is a disconformity created. If a flood did this then it must be shown why, how, and how that explanation is better than the mainstream one.

Everything you say suggests minuscule imperfections

What gave you that idea?

but given the millions of years no way would the imperfections be minuscule if we're talking about erosion over at least much of that time, even to the removal of entire layers you expect should be present.

Who said the changes are minuscule? All I meant to say is that you are not going to see the disconformity just by looking an aerial shot of the GC. You actually have to drill or cut into the rock and look at it to see a sharp contact rather than a simple graded change in deposit. Geology isn't just staring at pictures and thinking up neat ideas. You won't get the evidence of the disconformities from a macro scale picture.

But angular unconformities aren't really relevant here. Obviously tectonic activity has acted as you say on already formed layers, but I'm talking about the formation period of each layer and how erosion and other weather effects would have obliterated its horizontality over even as "little" as a million years.

Angular unconformities are extremely important here. They are part of the history of sedimentation of the column of the GC and therefore they need to be explained. These things were laid down, tilted, eroded, and further buried by some process. Any flood model must explain this.

2) This "imperfect" nature of the contact is still in question. I see the illustration on the model of the Grand Canyon you linked, of disconformities at the surface of two layers, obviously something that occurred BETWEEN the layers, implying it happened AFTER the layer was formed, only on the SURFACE of it. But according to the Geologic Timescale it took millions of years to form those layers, so why is the erosion only on the surface, AFTER they were formed, but there is no erosion shown DURING that long period?

First of all, cross-bedding in the Coconino sandstone IS evidence of erosional forces acting on the sediment during its deposition. Ripple marks in river deposits are another example of the same kind of thing. No one here has said that no erosion happens to the sediment as it is being deposited even in the ocean. All that is required for sediment to accumulate is deposition greater then erosion. In an ocean or a lake erosion is extremely low so that is why sediment piles up there. On land sediment may pile up because erosion is low or because deposition is high. The Rio Grande Valley example that I gave before is a good example of this. The Sandia Mountains provide a ton of input and because a lot of it gets dropped into the valley it is hard to move it away. The end result is a net deposition of coarse alluvial fan deposits. River deltas are like this for a water environment. Lots of sediment is being moved but so much of it is also being brought in that you have a net deposition.

In particular, a disconformity is where the sediment has been re-exposed to erosion after being buried. This might not have been clear. Stuff piled up and then afterward was exposed to greater erosion which weathered it back down to some level.

I'd guess that these disconformities occurred between the layers after they were formed -- maybe after the one layer was laid down but the upper layer was not yet in place, or after the upper layer was in place, and in fact many layers above, as water would have continued to be pressed out between the newly formed layers for some time afterward and displaced some sediments in the process.

Once again, I doubt that even the most ambitious of YEC geologists would give something like this even a passing thought. At a disconformity often you can see that the rock is physically scarred from being stripped, is uneven, and is in drastic contrast to the rock that is further deposited upon it later. How is that supposed to happen after it is laid down?

This is already very long so I won’t burden you with more.

Thanks for the great discussion.

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Faith, posted 04-03-2005 1:05 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 4:10 AM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 102 of 127 (197473)
04-07-2005 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Faith
04-07-2005 4:10 AM

What will erosion do to low places? What about those land deposits?
Basically your rebuttal to my statement that normal weather/erosion would disrupt the formation of any of the layers in formation is that it wouldn't, or at least it didn't. Not much of a rebuttal. Obviously it didn’t. That proves the whole thing was formed under water and the layers were NOT subjected to normal erosive processes for any great length of time.

In particular the GC this is mostly true. The only layer that is totally sub-aerial is the Coconino sandstone. The rest were oceanic marine deposits. The Coconino in particular was exposed to erosive forces by direct evidence of the cross-bedding in its matrix. The Coconino is wind blown sand, has an absence of marine life and presence of terrestrial life.

More thickness in one place than another simply fits a Flood scenario in which more was deposited in one place than another and then smoothed down to relative flatness by the water action and the sediments that were laid down on top of it.

What Flood scenario? You have yet to point at a flood scenario. I would also not expect a torrential flood covering the entire globe to smooth out anything let alone sort it in a reverse hydraulic fashion the first place. How would raging waters sort then smooth the Coconino sandstone? While your at it how about an explanation for how the flood would wind blow the sand, let animals walk around in it and make burrows, round the individual grains of sand like we see wind doing today but not water, and then lay down limestone on top of that?

Erosion over the millions of years assumed by the Geo timetable, on the other hand, would cut into it, not make a smooth gradual slope.

Like it does all the time you mean? Like the island topography in the middle of the canyon deposits? Like fresh water river channels in the middle of the geologic column?


In recent years, three-dimensional seismic data has become very common in the oil industry. Much like a CAT scan of the earth, fine details of the earth's structure can now be viewed in three-dimensional form. Features like deltas and river channels are now clearly seen meandering across a seismic volume. Figure 10 is a drawing of a river channel found on a seismic survey buried 1,670 feet deep in Baylor County, Texas.


When showing this to one friend, he asked if the river could be a buried pre-flood river? It can't. Most young-earth creationists believe that all the fossils were formed during the flood. There are several thousand feet of fossiliferous sedimentary rocks beneath this river channel and 1,600 feet of fossiliferous sediment above the channel. If all the fossils were a result of the flood then the river channel must also have been deposited during that year. But there is no time. The reason that the river channel is so visible is that the channel is incised into a limestone bed. In other words, over 5,000 feet of sedimentary rock was deposited before the Breckenridge limestone bed was deposited. After its deposition the river eroded the channel into the limestone. Nor could the erosion have taken place under the ocean. To erode the limestone in the fashion that it is eroded would require fresh water. The ocean is close to being saturated with calcium carbonate (lime), and so seawater would not easily erode a channel into limestone. This channel must have been deposited above sea level.

I’m going to send Percy another drawing to illustrate what I mean, a few layers laid down in water and not eroded, and then one exposed to weather after starting to be laid down in water. And in my opinion the actuality would be more drastic than the drawing. I try to show a couple of canyons being cut by water forming streams or rivers. The Grand Canyon itself was water cutting through over a mile of layered sediments, so why wouldn’t water runoff have cut through multiple layers at any point of exposure to surface weather over the postulated millions of years for each layer?

Simple, most of the time it was not exposed to weathering. How is water runoff going to cut limestone layers in the middle of an ocean.

As for the Coconino, it was weathered during its deposition as I have described before. Why it did not get cut up? I don't know but I also wouldn't be surprised if it was cut up in some places. I have yet to see any data about how the Coconino looks over the area of its deposition.

I also wouldn't be surprised if it was pretty continuous because we know a few things about it that point at an environment that would mean it had little exposure to drastic erosive forces. We know it was close to shore. We know where it was laid down was previously an ocean bottom. We know ocean bottoms are pretty flat and not too many canyons form off a gentle coast.

Also, if it had been exposed to erosional forces that would have cut it up those same erosional forces probably would not have allowed it to have formed in the first place. The fate of the GC is to be completely eroded because it is now high ground. I would not expect the GC to ever get buried again by new deposition. Most of the time this will be the case for a canyon. I would expect to see very few preserved canyons in any geologic column for the same reason. High erosion cuts canyons and that same high erosion usually prevents preservation.

How do you explain that canyons were NOT cut by running water through multiple layers of the canyon at any point in their formation – after three or four layers, after seven or eight, or each one at a time as it was exposed to weather? -- just as the Grand Canyon itself was later cut by water?

Once something is exposed to enough weathering to create a canyon I expect it to be weathered away. Since the GC was laid down in a coastal/ocean environment I don't expect many canyons to be slicing though a beach or reef.

ALL the canyons that were cut through those layers, not just the Grand Canyon but canyons to the north that are seen on the cross section diagrams, were cut AFTER ALL THE LAYERS WERE LAID DOWN, AFTER THE ENTIRE STACK WAS BUILT. Why? Why not IN BETWEEN????

Because it was not in an environment where a canyon would be cut. It was low ground on a gentle slope. The only time a canyon could have been theoretically cut would have been during a period of erosion which candidates are any of the disconformities in the GC. For all we know there WAS a canyon cut through it where that angular unconformity is in the canyon but when you get that much weathering usually most of it gets weathered away. Guess what, it did!

In between any other layers where there is no disconformity there would be no way to see any major erosional features because deposition never stopped. Periods of erosion are marked by disconformities so at most there could have been only a few chances for something to happen to the layers of the GC to alter its topography. Since it was pretty much a flat coastline the whole time it was being laid down (after the angular unconformity) we shouldn't expect to see a canyon or something like it cut into it. Of course unless you know of any canyons cutting through flat beaches?

My first drawing illustrates the effect I would expect in the finished column. I expect that such canyons WOULD have been cut, and then filled in by later sedimentation according to the long ages theory and that’s what I tried to illustrate (Edit: That's really not too likely to happen in reality, that it would be filled in by the next sediment, but for the sake of the discussion and a simple illustration I'm proposing it. It would have disrupted the horizontal appearance of the canyon walls either way). The drawing I’m going to send now is my idea of how a single layer would have been eroded during its millions of years of formation.

I certainly would not expect that. I would not expect a canyon or other major erosional features to form in a coastal environment. IN other environments we do see things like you propose. The islands and the river channel I showed you above are great examples of this. So once again we have the things that you say should be there which are actually there. They just aren't there for the GC in any drastic way because the GC is so unique. We do see erosional topography in the angular unconformity which you seem to think is not that big of a deal for a flood. In fact, the presence of that angular unconformity alone is evidence of exactly what you are asking just not in the way you would like to see it.

Another thing you should note is that we expect erosional surfaces to make things flat. Over "MILLIONS" of years of exposure to erosion a particular surface is in constant transition to becoming flat. Erosion makes things flat, deposition happens flat relatively to original topography (i.e. with respect to the other layers). Given these two facts, we would expect to see most sedimentary rocks to be flat which is exactly what we do see.

AGAIN, remember that we’re talking about MILLIONS OF YEARS for the formation of EACH LAYER, plenty of time for MANY canyons to form.

And eroded flat. The GC is pretty young in terms of geologic time. Give it a few dozen million years and it will be gone too.

I would expect a variety of layers, that is, obvious discomformities, unconformities etc; it would fit a Flood scenario.

You have yet to explain why you think it is obvious that unconformities would occur in the middle of a flood. To me they are a major problem for a flood because sediment needs to be laid down, harden, be eroded often by forces that are not water based (i.e. the glacier example in my last post), and the have deposition resume. How all of this is going to happen under water you need to explain.

It's the Geo timetable that has a problem with it, not I, but that's another subject. The subject of the moment is whether there is evidence of erosion within the individual layers, which I believe would have been so drastically disrupted by normal weather over millions of years the parallel layering would simply have been obliterated altogether.

Enough weathering to produce erosional features in the column usually is enough to also make sure the layers don't preserve. In some cases we DO SEE preserved instances of drastic erosional topography. Classical geology has no problem with why we occasionally find ancient freshwater river channels. A flood model certainly has big problems explaining why we would see any major erosional features happening in the middle of the flood at the same time that the sediments which are eroded are being laid down.

The layers are depicted as remarkably parallel over a HUGE breadth of land to the north and east, and the formations of the Grand Staircase and canyons of Utah continue the extremely neat and consistent layers of the Grand Canyon to an enormous distance. I really don't know what you are trying to prove. The parallel formations are clearly the sort of thing that would have had to be laid down in water and NOT affected by erosion at ANY point in their formation if they were to retain that basic formation as they do.

Your whole point seems to boil down to this disbelief that something can be exposed to erosion yet still form a sedimentary layer. I might just not be as clear as I need to be in my explanations but I will try again.

When erosion happens that causes sediment to go away, that environment will not produce a sedimentary layer. This is what I meant when I said that in order to make a sedimentary rock you need the net effect to be deposition rather than erosion.

When erosion happens that does not cause sediment to go away, that environment will produce a sedimentary layer. Environments where this will happen are low places like a basin. A canyon is not going to form at the bottom of a basin because rivers and other runoff do not go uphill.

When you are at a place that tends to collect sediment, any type of erosion going on is only going to further the deposition in that place. It is very difficult to remove sediment from the bottom of a low topographical area like a basin.

Take a bowl and anchor it to the ground somewhere outside and leave it there for a year. Let rain and wind act on it and after a year go and look at it. I am willing to bet that there is a layer of dirt inside that bowl. If it rains a lot where you live then you might even get a mini playa lake. Now turn the bowl upside-down and cover it with dirt. Wait a year and go look at it. I am willing to bet that most the dirt that you had piled on top of the bowl will be gone.

This may seem naive but I feel that this is the level where the communication is being disrupted. The properties that allow sedimentary layers to form in the first place also dictate that they will not be eroded away. You can almost say that this is the case by definition of a depositional environment. I think the reason this might not have been clear earlier is that no one who is trying to be honest will say that these places are not exposed to erosion. They simple are not exposed to the kind of erosion is that is going to take away sediment. The scenarios that you are describing simply cannot happen normally.

All this seems pretty basic to me so that might be why there is some confusion. If it is not basic to you then please tell me and we can keep digging deeper into the details.

1. Low places, erosion does not remove sediment, you get a layer.
2. High places, erosion does remove sediment, you cannot form a layer or layers are destroyed.

At any given time in any place on Earth it must be the case that one of those two things is happening.

That's very funny since that's what I've been emphasizing. You’ve done this before, claimed I’ve overlooked the very thing I’ve in fact been emphasizing and basing my argument on. I don’t know how to account for this. Do you?

With this, I just think that we are still talking past each other. There is a point in what I said which was not communicated correctly. You said that you expect all this erosion to be happening. My point was that you are right, it is happening. My point is also that on land the fate of most environments is to have their topography eroded away. But in some, topography is built up and these are the minority when talking about land. Of the places that are being eroded we will never see evidence of in the geologic column. The geologic column consists of only the things that have not been eroded away, by definition. This is exactly why sharp erosional features like a GC are not preserved in the column except in rare and unusual circumstances.

I was simply listing many NORMAL weather patterns that normally occur over a year’s time in various parts of the world.

Any kind of weathering, be it normal or drastic like a hurricane, will not remove sediment from a low place in any kind of substantial amount if even at all to create a drastic erosional feature. THAT IS the point.

Focusing on hurricanes or any particular pattern misses the point that overall they all make a mess of the topography even in a relatively short period, and then if you multiply that by millions of years you just don't have a flat layer any more, you have a very lumpy dippy surface with streams making channels in it and so on. I don't think you are addressing the point I'm trying to make at all.

I am addressing your point but just maybe not in the way that you would like which is one in which you are shown to be correct. Given that this is a relatively poor medium and we are necessarily at odds makes appropriate communication a constant struggle.

You point is that you expect to see a "lumpy dippy" surface with "streams making channels" even in a net depositional environment and that point is simply not correct. In a basin, if there are any streams they will empty into the basin not chop it up. These things will add to the deposition not take it away.

You betcha. Water is the ONLY thing that will give us the horizontal layers.

No, low places where sediment accumulates gives us horizontal layers. We see this today. We also see this in the geologic column in sediments that cannot have been deposited by water. This is the reason I brought up the issue of sediments that are very much land deposits which has yet to be addressed.

We know that the Coconino is a terrestrial deposit. From the location I listed before:

The Coconino Sandstone (CS) consists of cross-bedded, well-rounded quartz grains. Most of the laminae are composed of climbing translatent strata and sand-fall strata. These are exactly the features we see in modern desert sand seas, such as the Sahara. Strahler explains:

"[D]esert dunes have distinguishing physical properties that set them apart from all other known forms of well graded sand deposits. The dune surfaces are devoid of plant cover and are formed into great wavelike ridges with sharp crests and steep lee slopes. The sand, usually almost entirely of quartz composition, is extremely well-graded in terms of size. The grains are spherical to a degree of perfection not found in water-transported sands. The grains surfaces are frosted by the force of intergrain impacts in free air, not subject to the cushioning effect that is found in water. Under prevailing strong winds, with dry conditions, the sand is carried up the windward slopes by low leaps and rebounds. Upon reaching the dune crest, the grains are projected into the air to fall in the comparitvie calm of the protected lee slope, where they build up the sand slope to a steeper angle of inclination. This slope is the slip face. At an unstable surface layer under gravity slides down the slip face until stability is resumed. This process, repeated innumerable times, gives the dune an internal structure or long, steep sand laminae. This structure is called dune bedding, or planar lamination" (p. 217).


The CS also preserves a variety of trace fossils which, like the sediment structure itself, are indicative of subarial deposition processes. For example, some laminae preserve perfectly formed raindrop prints (see figure 6 in Middleton et al, p.194). Also present are a variety of vertebrate (small reptiles, some possibly early mammal-like reptiles) and invertebrate (millipedes, spiders) trackways. Pictures of some of these traces and tracks can be seen here.
Hunt and Santucci note:

". . . Coconino tracks fall within three species of Chelichnus [also called Laoporus -- Lockley. ed.] [McKeever and Haubold, 1996]. Chelichnus is characterized by rounded manual and pedal impressions that are of nearly equal size and which exhibit five short, rounded toe impressions (though less than five may be preserved). Trackways have a pace angulation of about 90o and the manual and pedal impressions are close together [McKeever and Haubold, 1996]. The three valid species of Chelichnus are distinguished on the basis of size alone and are presumed to be the tracks of caseid-like animal [e. g. Haubold, 1971]. Chelichnus bucklandi has pedal impression lengths of 10-25 mm, C. duncani of 25-75 mm and C. gigas of 75-125 mm [McKeever and Haubold, 1996]" (Taxonomy and Ichnofacies of Permian Tetrapod Tracks from Grand Canyon National Park, 1998).

Similar trackway assemblages (ichnofaunas) are found in correlative Permian eolian deposits around the world, including the De Chelly Sandstone in Arizona, the Lyons Sandstone in Colorado, the Hopeman, Corncockle and Locharbriggs Sandstone Formations of Scotland, the Cornberger Sandstein of Germany, and the Los Reyunos Formation of Argentina (Hunt and Lucas, 1988a,b). Attempts by McKee, Brady and others to duplicate the tracks of the CS indicate that dry sand would have been necessary to retain the smallest of these trackways, such as those of spiders, to the level of detail they found to possess in the CS. Brady (1939, 1947) showed that modern analogues of the Coconino invertebrate fauna failed to leave any impression in sand which was even slightly moist, but that the same animals left clear impressions in dry sand (p. 185). McKee also performed a detailed study of the Coconino tracks, using a large trough and artificial sand dunes. Experiments with various vertebrates and invertebrates, using different levels of water saturation, confirm Brady's conclusion that many of the Coconino tracks were impressed into dry, loose sand. Others appear to have been impressed upon damp substrates.

Of course this poses the question which I have asked many times before of why tracks of any animal should be found in a layer produced in the middle of the flood in the first place? This is in particular in contrast to many YEC speculations that have the Coconino being deposited toward the end of the flood for other technical reasons. If the Coconino was deposited at the end then why were there animals walking around on the sand under water?

The question of evaporite deposits continues to get either an innocent dismiss or a purposeful dodge. Since I cannot tell by the absence of a response I'll leave the judgment to the readers. The only attempt by YECs to account for evaporites is to bank on this notion of evaporite purity which I have already shown to be absolutely false. That evaporites are not pure is a fact and not open to interpretation by anyone. Any flood model must explain why we see evaporite deposits in the middle of the geologic column in their impure state. These things are formed on land today by the countless filling and evaporation of playa lakes leaving behind an extremely thin layer of the saline content of the water behind. To get these deposits to build up in the thickness we see in the column you would have to have literally hundreds of thousands to millions of rain/evaporation cycles to produce them. Meanwhile life is going on dropping pollen and other indicators in the middle of these deposits. Nearby stratrigraphy gives other indications that they environment was eolean such as strata bearing mud cracks and other trace fossils.

Add on to this the biggest reason to negate any catastrophic formation of evaporites. We see them forming today with the product being exactly what we see deep in the column. We can go to playa lakes like Salt Lake and the Dead Sea and drill and find a gradient of deposition of halite and gypsum mixed in with all kinds of other sediments and traces of life. Then when we find the exact same thing somewhere in the middle of the column, why would we postulate that they were formed in any other method then the one that produces the exact same formations that we can watch growing!?!? If they were made in any different way, why would they look exactly the same? What is the simpler explanation?

If you want to postulate that the major portion of the geologic column was formed in the flood then you must take into account the evidence of deposits that point plainly to their being formed on land. If your whole argument rests on your belief that sediments accumulating on low ground ever loose their contents in any meaningful fashion then your argument simply collapses on itself. That is just plainly not what occurs based on direct observation. Places that get eroded like you suggest simply do not form sedimentary layers.

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 04-07-2005 10:50 AM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 4:10 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 2:59 PM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 104 of 127 (197514)
04-07-2005 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Faith
04-07-2005 2:59 PM

Re: What about those land deposits?
The majority of the post you just responded to talk about exactly why we would expect erosion to occur just as we see it in the GC. If what I said is not clear then please ask specific questions because I cannot think of a better way to describe it other than what I just did.

To summerize.

Erosion tends to erode things flat.
Deposition tends to piles things up flat.

We see these things occurring today.

In places, including the GC, we DO find instances of drastic erosional features like the ones you are expecting to be there. I gave two examples of this. It just so happens that the particular layers of the GC that we have been talking about that this was not the case for them. This is part of what makes the GC such an interesting place for geologists. It is extremely well preserved.

I simply cannot think of what more you could want other than confirming evidence that exactly what you expect does occur plus an explanation for why the normal scenario is in contrast. Please ask specific questions.


{ABE I responded to the few specific questions in your post in a following post}

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 04-07-2005 01:44 PM

This message has been edited by Jazzns, 04-07-2005 01:50 PM

FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 2:59 PM Faith has not replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 105 of 127 (197516)
04-07-2005 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Faith
04-07-2005 2:59 PM

With regards to specifics.
Was it a million or ten million and which layers were so exposed to the air?

The only layer exposed to the air would be the one where the disconformity is present. The time span that is missing by the presense of the disconformity can vary from many thousands to many millions of years.

What about the disconformities where it is believed that entire layers were eroded away?

We diagnose missing layers by their presense in neighboring strata that happened not to be exposed to erosion in the same way. It is never assumed just from a disconformity alone what those layers were. A disconformity alone only tells us that after a period of deposition, a period of erosion erased whatever was on top of the rock up until depostion started again.

That the erosional unconformities of the GC are relativly flat is not suprising given that it is posed to have formed in a coastal environment. If you have a problem with this answer then please be specific why you have a problem.


FOX has a pretty good system they have cooked up. 10 mil people watch the show on the network, FOX. Then 5 mil, different people, tune into FOX News to get outraged by it. I just hope that those good, God fearing people at FOX continue to battle those morally bankrupt people at FOX.
-- Lewis Black, The Daily Show

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 2:59 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 7:00 PM Jazzns has replied

Member (Idle past 3229 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

Message 108 of 127 (197559)
04-07-2005 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Faith
04-07-2005 7:00 PM

Re: With regards to specifics.
Let me just ask you this before you quit.

Was this type of debate less stressful for you?

Did the effect of not being "piled on" help?

What is your reason for wanting to quit now? Not interested anymore? Lack of specific knowledge? Is it something I said?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 7:00 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by Faith, posted 04-07-2005 10:12 PM Jazzns has replied

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