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How Long Ago Was the Flood?

Copyright 2004 G.R. Morton  This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

One of the issues which young-earth creationists don't seem to ever cover is the evidence for long periods of time since the end of the flood. There is geologic work which could only begin and take place after the flood ended and the land was exposed. The formation of Mesas in Arizona and Utah requires the erosion of vast volumes of sediment. But since this sediment is on the surface of the earth today, it must represent the removal of the sediment which was laid down at the end of the flood.
Here is an aerial photo of Monument Valley. The mesas are widespread, are 600-1000 feet tall.


One thing is obvious from this photo. There used to be vast amounts of sediment in between the Mesas and now it is gone. It had to be eroded. Let's look at what forms these mesas.
http://www.swcp.com/dtp/passages/Monument-Valley/Graphics/MV-Geology.jpg


At the bottom is the Permian-age Organ Rock Shale. This formation is made up of mudstones, siltstones and marine shales.
Above this is the Permian De Chelly sandstone. This sand is unlike most horizontally bedded marine sands. This sand is highly cross-bedded and represents the dunes of an ancient desert.
http://www.hanksville.org/voyage/images/CdC.jpg


One of the interesting things that flood geologists can't explain in the De Chelly is the existence of amphibian footprints, the growth of fern plants and insect remains. These features are not to be expected if the De Chelly was deep under the waters of a global flood.
Above the De Chelly is the Moenkopi. I will let another web site describe it:
"The Moenkopi Formation is broken up into three members. An upper member, the Holbrook followed by the middle member, the Moqui, and finally the lower member the Wapatki member. Each is stratigraphically unique in many ways, however even sometimes the experts have difficulty telling them apart. The Moqui member which is the middle member of the Moenkopi Formation also contains the Virgin Limestone which is a deep water marine deposit with a poorly preserved molluscan fauna. Also found up near the border in the Wapatki member is the Timpoweap Limestone whose yellowish color is distinct and too contains a molluscan fauna" http://www.psiaz.com/Schur/azpaleo/moenkopi.html
The Holbrook member contains Chirotherium footprints. This was a large mammal-like reptile. http://www.psiaz.com/Schur/azpaleo/triassic/moenkopi/p0000818.jpg


There are also giant horsetail tree trunks found in this horizon. http://www.psiaz.com/Schur/azpaleo/triassic/moenkopi/cal1.jpg



The Moqui member of the Moenkopi has desciccation cracks. http://www.psiaz.com/Schur/azpaleo/triassic/Moenkopi/moqui/P0000354.jpg


Clearly it was dry and desertlike during the global flood!
The upper Wapatki member of the Moenkopi has lizard track, and conifer plants.
At the top of the section is the very hard Triassic Shinarump formation. It is a formation made up of gravel which contains occasional bits of wood. The formation is very hard and resists erosion which is why it protects the softer formations below from erosion.
The sequence of events which must have occurred is as follows.
Organ Rock Shale deposited, De Chelly deposited with enough time for animals to wander around leaving footprints and enough time for plants to grow. Then the Moenkopi was deposited once again with enough time for animals to wander around and for different plants to grow. And enough time for the sediment to dry out and form desiccation cracks. Then the Shinarump gravel was deposited.
Compaction information tells us that much more sediment above the Shinarump was deposited because pressure was needed to compact and lithify the rocks we see today. Thus a few thousand feet of unseen, but now removed, sediments must have been on top.
Then the erosion began. It first had to remove all the sediment above the Shinarump. And since the Shinarump was so resistant, the erosion could only remove the sediments in between the mesas where the Shinarump was weak.
But one must realize that the amount of sediment removed from the western US is vast. Several hundred miles south of Monument valley, on the SE corner of the Grand canyon is Cedar Mountain, which is the farthest south remnant of Moenkopi and Shinarump formation. This means that the Triassic strata has been removed over approximately 20,000 square kilometers of area. And the amount of sediment removed is more than 3000 feet worth of sediment. This number just applies to the Triassic. If we add the erosion of the De Chelly and Organ Rock Shale, we add another thousand feet of erosion over a large part of this area.
This much erosion requires much time. Water can only carry so much sediment. And the erosion of hardened strata also requires time. One can't simply have rainfall erode this stuff in a day or two. The rocks are hard, chemical reactions must take place to dissolve the cementing agent in the rocks in order to free the grains so they can be carried away.
The amount of time required for the deposition of these layers, the amount of time required to bury and lithify the rocks, and , the amount of time required for the subsequent erosion, simply won't fit into a young-earth time frame.
As usual, my two questions. Do the YECs have any answers? Why don't the YEC leaders ever put this information in their magazines? They aren't telling the whole story to their followers. And more than that, the geologists among the YECs, never show up on boards like this to defend what they teach their followers. They let the followers take the heat and give them no support being absent from the battle.


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