Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

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Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Tali_Zorah » Thu 02 Oct 2014 6:59 am

Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism
by Steven A. Austin, Ph.D.

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State on May 18, 1980, is certain to be remembered as one of the most significant geologic events in the United States of the 20th century. The explosion, on May 18, was initiated by an earthquake and rockslide involving one-half cubic mile of rock. As the summit and north slope slid off the volcano that morning, pressure was released inside the volcano - where super hot liquid water immediately flashed to steam. The northward-directed steam explosion released energy equivalent to 20 million tons of TNT, which toppled 150 square miles of forest in six minutes. In Spirit lake, north of the volcano, an enormous water wave, initiated by one-eighth cubic mile of rockslide debris, stripped trees from slopes as high as 850 feet above the pre-eruption water level. The total energy output, on May 18, was equivalent to 400 million tons of TNT - approximately 20,000 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs.

On May 18 and also during later eruptions, critical energy thresholds were exceeded by potent geologic processes which were able to accomplish significant changes in short order. These processes challenge the traditional uniformitarian way of thinking about how the earth works, and serve as a miniature laboratory for catastrophism. Institute for Creation Research scientists have spent three summers investigating the geologic changes which have occurred at the volcano. Four of the most significant discoveries are summarized in this short report.

Up to 400 feet thickness of strata have formed since 1980 at Mount St. Helens. These deposits accumulated from primary air blast, landslide, waves on the lake, pyroclastic flows, mudflows, air fall, and stream water. Perhaps the most surprising accumulations are the pyroclastic flow deposits amassed from ground-hugging, fluidized, turbulent slurries of fine volcanic debris, which moved at high velocities off the flank of the volcano as the eruption plume of debris over the volcano collapsed. These deposits include fine pumice ash laminae and beds from one millimeter thick to greater than one meter thick, each representing just a few seconds to several minutes of accumulation. A deposit accumulated in less than one day, on June 12, 1980, is 25 feet thick and contains many thin laminae and beds. Conventionally, sedimentary laminae and beds are assumed to represent longer seasonal variations, or annual changes, as the layers accumulated very slowly. Mount St. Helens teaches us that the stratified layers commonly characterizing geological formations can form very rapidly by flow processes. Such features have been formed quickly underwater in laboratory sedimentation tanks, and it should not surprise us to see that they have formed in a natural catastrophe.


Erosion during volcanic eruptions at Mount St. Helens was accomplished by scour from steam blast, landslide, water waves, hot pumice ash flows (pyroclastic flows), and mudflows. Since the eruptions, the erosion process has been dominated by sheet flooding and channelized flow of water, with occasional mudflows. About 23 square miles of the North Fork of the Toutle River Valley was obstructed by two-thirds cubic mile of landslide and pyroclastic debris, which has been rapidly eroded since 1980. Jetting steam from buried water and ice under hot pumice reamed steam explosion pits with associated mass-wasting processes at the margins of pits, producing rills and gullies over 125 feet deep. Photographic documentation assembled by ICR scientists demonstrates that very pronounced rills and gullies had formed at the margins of seam explosion pits before May 23 - less than five days after the pumice was deposited. The rills and gullies resemble badlands topography, which geologists have usually assumed required many hundreds or even thousands of years to form.

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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Tue 07 Oct 2014 9:36 am

I have followed the work of many Creationist scientists over the past few years, not that I’m a creationist but rather their research is useful to my own catastrophist research.

Some have written voluminous amounts of material about the Earth and how mainstream geology simply sidesteps any problems. For example see:

Many creationist publications also contain useful research that is of value, to someone like myself, trying to develop a catastrophist view of Earth’s recent geological history. An example of this would be ‘Ancient Ice Ages or Gigantic Submarine Landslides’ by Michael Oard. This publication challenges the notion of pre-Pleistocene Ice-Ages and although the alternative presented is Biblical in nature, to a catastrophist the geological evidence could equally imply an Earth shaking event.

Many Creationist scientists now recognise the need for flowing water during the Genesis Flood to account for the Earth’s sedimentary covering, excessive rain will simply not do. So, with this in mind, John Baumgardner has developed a working hypothesis with involves the close approach to Earth of a moon-like body.

The Abstract to ‘Explaining The Continental Fossil-Bearing Sediment Record In Terms Of The Genesis Flood’ reads:
‘This paper summarizes a beginning attempt to develop a numerical simulation tool for the primary erosion, transport, and sedimentation processes that operated during the Genesis Flood. It is based upon a code developed in the 1990’s that solves the shallow water equations on the surface of a rotating sphere. The shallow water approximation, appropriate for this application, treats the water on the face of the earth in terms of a single vertical layer but with variable bottom height. The model assumes that the dominant means for sediment transport during the Flood was by turbulent, rapidly flowing water. Theory for open-channel turbulent flow is applied to treat the suspension, transport, and deposition of sediment. Cavitation is assumed to be the dominant process responsible for degradation of bedrock as well as for erosion of already deposited sediment. As an initial working hypothesis, horizontal accelerations required to achieve water velocities of 100-250 m/s arise from a sequence of large tides produced by repeated near approaches of a moon-sized body with the earth. An illustrative calculation shows that with plausible parameter choices a single tide 2500 m in height produces a blanket of sediment some 150 m thick on average over the continental surface in the span of only a few days. Based on this result, it is proposed that six near encounters with a moon-sized body temporarily captured by the earth can plausibly account for the six mega-sequences that are so prominent in the Phanerozoic sediment record. In particular, such large impulsive tides conceivably might explain the global erosional unconformities that define the mega-sequence boundaries.’

My own view is similar; Earth may have interacted with Mars or Venus or captured the Moon.

The missing ingredient for Creationist researchers is, of course, electricity. Electrical discharges between the interacting bodies probably led to the formation of asteroids, comets, meteorites and numerous landforms on the bodies involved.
Robertus Maximus
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Fri 14 Nov 2014 10:12 am

Did Limestone form catastrophically?

The origin of Earth’s limestone and dolomite are, after over one hundred years of theorising , still a problem for geology; even more so since these rocks have been found to be a part of the constituents of comets!

Looking at the limestone of the Grand Canyon Steven A. Austin writes; ‘Shallow-water lime muds in today's tropical oceans accumulate at a rate of one foot thickness per one thousand years. These muds are formed by mechanical breakdown of carbonate containing sea creatures. Modern muds are believed by evolutionists to provide an excellent example of how ancient lime mudstones ("micritic limestones") were accumulated in Grand Canyon. Even some creationists believe that the evidence from lime muds is so convincing that one must certainly believe in long ages of slow deposition for Grand Canyon limestones.’

This is essentially the standard geological theory for the formation of carbonate rocks but is it correct?

Austin continues: ‘There are strong dissimilarities, however. Modern "shallow water" lime muds are dominated by "silt sized" crystals (approximately 20 microns in diameter) of the mineral aragonite (most contain 60 to 95% aragonite, and 0 to 10% calcite) derived from disaggregation or abrasion of skeletons of marine organisms. Ancient lime mudstones ("micritic limestones") are abundant in Grand Canyon, and are dominated by "clay sized" crystals (less than 4 microns in diameter) of the mineral calcite (nearly 100% calcite and/or dolomite) with "sand sized" and larger skeletal (shell) fragments floating in the fine crystal matrix… Micritic limestones, composed essentially of calcite, have textures quite different from those of the aragonite dominated modern lime muds that long have been regarded as their precursors…Modern carbonate sediments contrast sharply in their chemistry and mineralogy with ancient carbonate rocks… At the present time, it would be inappropriate to suppose that the scientific evidence requires that ancient fine-grained limestones were derived from lime muds resembling the muds being deposited slowly in modern tropical seas. Evolutionists may make the assumption, but the facts do not justify it. In the words of F.J. Pettijohn, "The origin of micrite is far from clear.”’

Austin then counters a common objection; ‘Critics… say that many abundantly fossiliferous limestones are organically constructed "reefs," which were accumulated slowly along the edge of an ancient sea… because it took thousands of years to construct a huge wave resistant framework, as innumerable generations of organisms chemically cemented themselves, one on top of the other… The most extensive study of Grand Canyon limestone was by McKee and Gutschick. They admit, "Coral reefs are not known from the Redwall Limestone." Concerning laminated algal structures (stromatolites) which might form slowly in tidal flat environments, they say, "the general scarcity or near absence of bottom building stromatolites suggests that places generally above low tide are not well represented."’

So, if the Redwall Limestone deposits of the Grand Canyon did not form over millennia in calm tropical seas, how did they form? A clue can be found at Nautiloid Canyon.

Austin explains; ‘Evidence of rapid deposition and burial of fossils is found in the Redwall Limestone. Along the Colorado River at Nautiloid Canyon, just north of Grand Canyon, the Redwall Limestone contains large fossils of nautiloids—"squid like" marine animals that possessed a straight shell, sometimes over two feet long. The long, slender shells of numerous nautiloids, in Nautiloid Canyon, have a dominant orientation, indicating that current was operating, as "fine grained" lime mud accumulated.

Not all limestones of Grand Canyon are fine grained. Some contain coarse, broken fossil debris, which appears to have been sorted by strong currents. The Redwall Limestone contains coarse, circular disks (columnals) from the stems of crinoids—marine animals which lived in a cup, or head, attached to the stem. Evidently, water currents winnowed the finer sediment away, leaving a "hash" of crinoid debris. Occasionally, the heads of crinoids are found embedded in the coarse, circular disks. Sometimes these occur in deposits of inclined bedding (cross beds), which imply strong currents. Because modern crinoid heads in today's ocean are susceptible to rapid breakdown when these organisms die, we conclude that rapid burial is needed to produce fossil crinoid heads.

Evidence of current transport of lime sediment is provided by quartz sand grains, which are found embedded in the fine-grained matrix of many limestones. These quartz sand grains are common in the Kaibab Limestone of Grand Canyon. They are even known in the Redwall Limestone. Because the quartz sand grains cannot be precipitated from seawater, they must have been transported from some other location. Any water current fast enough to move sand grains would be able to move lime mud, as well. These quartz sand grains argue that the Kaibab Limestone was accumulated from sediment which had been transported by moving water, not simply deposited from a slow, steady rain of carbonate mud in a calm and placid sea.’

The fossils of Nautiloid Canyon tell a story of catastrophic burial. One in which these creatures became trapped in a thickening flow of carbonate material eventually cementing them in the rock record. How could this not be the case? Otherwise we have to assume that individual nautiloids neatly aligned their conical shells during death, over thousands and millions of years, waiting to be fossilised!
We can picture a scenario; an external agent disrupts the Earth’s rotation and the planet quakes, huge tidal waves scour and redeposit surface material, flora and fauna are caught in the cataclysm and deposited in huge ‘graveyards’ the planet over. As tidal waves push far inland they remodel existing coastlines, depositing their load in an organised manner as they do. A diagram of such a marine transgression can be seen on page 3 of the document ‘Sedimentological Interpretation of the Tonto Group Stratigraphy’ by Berthault available for download at: ... -Group.pdf

But, what and where was the source material that formed the limestone deposits mentioned in the paper by Austin?

Carbonatites are an unusual type of rock consisting of greater than 50% carbonate minerals and have a global distribution. The only active carbonatite volcano is Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania; the lavas of Ol Doinyo Lengai are rich in the rare sodium and potassium carbonate minerals and are known as Natrocarbonatites. Other forms include Ferrocarbonatite, Calciocarbonatite and Magnesiocarbonatite.
Carbonate rocks are not usually thought of as being igneous in origin but the idea is not a new one.

From an article in Nature (142: 704-705, 1938) ‘Limestones as Eruptive Rocks’, we read ‘…so early as 1892, some limestones occurring in the form of dykes and cutting the volcanic rocks of the Kaiserstuhl in Baden, were described by A. Knop, and three years later A. G. Hogbom described limestone dykes in a region of alkali-rich intrusive on the island of Alno in Sweden. Hogbom also recorded calcite as a primary mineral in some rocks at Alno, and there were other descriptions of primary calcite in alkali-eruptive rocks from Canada and India.’ And ‘The most convincing new evidence comes again from Alno, where the rocks are now far better exposed than they were at the time of Hogbom’s visits forty-three years ago. They have been studied thoroughly by Dr. Harry von Eckermann, of Stockholm, who opened the discussion at Cambridge. A large area of alkali-intrusives (nepheline- syenites and ijolites) cuts the Precambrian gneisses and is probably late Jotnian in age. Around the contact with the gneiss (which is altered) crystalline limestones appear, and outside the neck of the intrusive rocks there are calcitic and dolomitic dykes which are shown to be cone-sheets dipping towards two deep central foci. From the inclination of the cone-sheets the focus of the calcite dykes can be shown to be at 1-2 km below the present surface, and that for the dolomitic sheets at 6-7 km. The geology of the country near Alno is well known, and von Eckermann regards it as certain that for hundreds of miles around and to great depths there is no trace of sedimentary limestone in the Archaean rocks of earlier age than the alkali-intrusives. All the evidence points to a magmatic origin for these limestones at Alno.’

Now for some speculation. The western Pacific Ocean is littered with seamounts and guyots. Deep sea drilling of Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands unveiled a 4,133 to 4,608 feet (1,260 to 1,405 m) thick carbonate cap. To quote Michael Oard, ‘Legs 143 and 144 of the Deep Sea Drilling Project drilled into the tops of a number of guyots in a large area west of the Hawaiian Islands centred at about 18°N and 180°E,and in the Marshall Islands centred at about 10°N and 165°E. The former area includes the submarine Mid-Pacific Mountains. Resolution Guyot with suggested perimeter reefal mounds, supposedly mimicking an atoll, was drilled in the Mid-Pacific Mountains. The scientists discovered that numerous guyots in the Mid-Pacific Mountains were capped by thick carbonate, just like on Eniwetok Atoll. The carbonate caps range between 3,000 to 5,250 feet (900 to 1,600 m) thick and lie over basalt lava. The thick carbonate was a surprise.’

Could it be that the guyots and seamounts of the western Pacific Ocean are all that remains of a former continent-sized carbonatite/carbonate platform; a platform that was easily eroded by wave action during a cataclysm, the erosional products of which were transported far to the east to be deposited on a pre-existing landmass? Were Calciocarbonatites and Magnesiocarbonatites eroded re-worked and deposited as limestone and dolomite? If so, then perhaps limestone and dolomite should be re-classified as ‘catastrophites’!

1. ... GUqfMlqxeY
2. Austin, S. A. 1990. Were Grand Canyon Limestones Deposited by Calm and Placid Seas? Acts & Facts. 19 (12).
5. Milton, R. 1992. The Facts of Life
Robertus Maximus
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Mon 02 Mar 2015 7:10 pm

Can the Western Interior Seaway Have a Catastrophic Interpretation?

Geologists have traditionally interpreted the geological evidence from North America as having indicated, during the Cretaceous Period, the presence of a shallow mid-continental sea, the Western Interior Seaway (see
Now compare the map shown in the link above with the maps shown in the following two links: and

All three maps highlight approximately the same area of North America but have radically different interpretations.
This area is rich in fossils of extinct life- dinosaurs, pterosaurs, marine reptiles even various mammal groups including whales; in fact we find the remains of an entire lost ecosystem! Most are found in huge jumbled deposits known as ‘graveyards’. These assemblages better fit a catastrophic deposition scenario rather than the slow thousands/millions-of-years story.

Creationist researcher Michael Oard in his book ‘Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries’ (see: introduces to the reader a hypothesis he calls BEDS (Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments) which explains under the creationist model the strata and fossil distribution found in this band running the length of North America. (The hypothesis can be extended to explain the global distribution of dinosaur trackways and the prevalence of ‘swimming’ trackways see: , and

From another article (see: Oard writes, ‘There is another interpretation that also fits the facts and that is the BEDS (Briefly Exposed Diluvial Sediments) hypothesis…The BEDS model is based on the fact that the level of the Floodwater would fluctuate up and down as it rose in the first half of the Flood. The fluctuation would be caused by tides, uplift and sinking of the earth’s crust, and other mechanisms including effects of the earth’s rotation.’ (my emphasis)

As I mentioned in a previous post, creationist scientists have realised that the stratified layers of sedimentary rock covering the Earth’s surface would not have formed just by rising water levels alone, so, they have to invoke additional influences, tidal waves, hypercanes, close planetary encounters etc. to produce sizeable currents of water required for sediment transportation and deposition.

One such researcher, John Baumgardner, ran computer models of a repeated near Earth encounter by a planet/moon sized body. Regarding the simulation he writes: ‘Although the water initially is at rest, accelerations from the giant tidal perturbation quickly lead to water velocities of 270 m/s and more, with high levels of turbulence, intense cavitation erosion, and sediment suspended and transported for thousands of kilometres, as surges of water rush into the continent interior. The flow pattern becomes more complex as sedimentation and erosion alter the originally smooth topography and surges interact with one another. These processes continue, with accumulation of an increasing volume of eroded sediment with time blanketing the continent in a complex pattern, until bottom friction dissipates most of the tidal energy. In this particular run, an average of about 150 m of sediment covers the continent after only 5 days. The average is over the entire continent, including the eroded portions. The case shows that the numerical treatments work as intended and that plausible parameter choices leave a significant blanket of sediment over much of the continental surface, most of which remains above the mean sea level. When that initial case of a single tidal pulse is extended to include five identical additional pulses spaced seven days apart, then the total sediment volume approaches what is actually observed in the Phanerozoic record.’ (my emphasis)

The Phanerozoic rock record covering or partly covering North America is comprised of six megasequences (megasequences are discrete groups of sedimentary rock layers bounded top and bottom by erosional surfaces, often with coarse sandstone layers at the bottom, followed by shale, and then limestone at the top), conventionally this spans over some 500 million years but what if each megasequence represents a catastrophic marine transgression/regression cycle caused by the close approach of a planet/moon sized body?

It is interesting to note that the Tejas Megasequence extending into the Gulf of Mexico contains a huge deposit of nearly pure sand, possibly formed during a regression cycle, see:

Experiments in stratification by Guy Berthault found; ‘The flume experiments further demonstrated the mechanical nature of stratification, whereby: (1) Particles segregated according to their size when transported by a current of variable velocity; (2) Desiccation, or drying out, of deposits caused bedding partings; (3) Stratification of the deposit, under both dry and wet conditions, formed parallel to the slope of the deposit, which could exceed 30°.5
Highlighted facts
It was discovered that where there is a current:
1. Strata can form laterally and vertically at the same time;
2. Strata can form in the same way as sequences of facies;
3. Strata are not always a measure of chronology.
These highlighted experimental facts show clearly:
a. Superposed strata do not always result, according to Steno’s beliefs, from successive layers of sediment; consequently the principle of superposition does not always apply to strata formed in a current;
b. Stratification formed parallel to a slope exceeding an angle of 30°, can invalidate the principle of original horizontally. Inclined strata are not necessarily, therefore, the result of subsidence or uplift.’ (my emphasis)

Does the Phanerozoic rock record represent some 500 million years of slow gentle deposition or does it represent rapid marine transgressions/regressions on a continental scale? If the latter, then it must be the signature of a global cataclysm one measured in years, perhaps but not hundreds of millions of years in duration and not millions of years ago.

Viewed in this light the sedimentary layers of the so-called 'Western Interior Seaway' would appear to have a catastrophic explanation. It would, indeed, be a narrow strip of land and not a shallow sea; a fleeting refuge for some, a final resting place for most ‘as surges of water rush into the continent interior’.


Baumgardner, J (2013). Explaining The Continental Fossil-Bearing Sediment Record In Terms Of The Genesis Flood: Insights From Numerical Modeling Of Erosion, Sediment Transport, And Deposition Processes On A Global Scale. Proceedings of the Seventh ICC.
Robertus Maximus
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Phillip » Mon 16 Mar 2015 9:44 am

The problem with using Creationist material is they all lead back to a single event - a great flood. The piece on the Whopper Sand started off very well but when he suggested sea level could not change dramatically in the non-Creationist model he had ceased to be objective. At there are some interesting articles on the origin of big deposits of sand that are definitely not mainstream - and definitely do not require a great flood event. Creationists only look at the orthodox view - and not those of other catastrophists. They find something that doesn't fit into consensus and then claim the Flood can explain it away. The other side do the same thing when they criticise Creationist research - and therefore we get this them or us mentality. Whilst I am not suggesting endorsing Malaga Bay over Tim Clarey of the Institute for Creation Research, as he can equally be a bit of a whacko, he does present an origin for sand that is totally different than anyone else - and did not have to introduce Holy Writ in order to sanction his views.
When I was trying to find some information on the demise of the mammoths a while back I ploughed through several books and searched the Internet in desperation. Mainstream seems to deliberately shy away from discussing the demise of these elephants in cold climates so to them it must appear to be a problem. It was only Creationist web sites that broached the subject - head-on. Hence, I am not averse to having a look at what they say but the problem is the fixation on a massive one Flood event in order to account for everything geological. It is like walking the streets, full of passers by, but wearing headphones and with large woolly blinkers on either side of the face in order to direct the eyes in a single direction. I can only do it in small doses.
The same goes for the other link I looked at - the watery catastrophe that drowned the dinosaurs. I'm not averse to a huge tidal wave sweeping across central north America rather than embracing the mainstream idea of a vast inland continental sea, but the author points a finger - straight at the Flood. We are then supposed to assume humans lived during the age of the dinosaurs otherwise why would there be tales of dragons and monsters and why would the Flood be preserved in the Bible - written down by human hands. The answer is that the world was created just 6000 years ago - and so on. If you can ignore the trail that leads you in the Flood direction they are useful resources as they can set out the stall very nicely. I can see why you find them useful - but you need to read between the lines (which is also a requisite when reading mainstream material). It is what is left out that is sometimes the interesting bit.
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Wed 18 Mar 2015 8:01 pm

I concur. Of course when explaining the origin of sedimentary strata a creationist views everything through Flood coloured glasses whilst with an uniformitarian lens an orthodox geologist will see gradual rising and falling sea levels. The same geological strata, two opposing world views. However, both approaches fail when looking at sediment dunes on Venus, Mars and Titan- maybe Malaga Bay has a point?

For the interested reader and with less emphasis on the Biblical Flood, William R Corliss covers similar geological ground in his books ‘Neglected Geological Anomalies’ and ‘Inner Earth: A Search for Anomalies’.

I believe the actual explanation lies in a cataclysmic event(s). As I mentioned creationist Flood scenarios are becoming increasingly catastrophic in nature. The work by Baumgardner is a case in point; the Flood now has to be supplemented by repeated approaches by another planetary body to produce the required forces to raise ocean tides that initiate massive erosional and depositional events.
If we filter out references to the Biblical Flood, then Baumgardner’s modelling tells us that Earth’s sedimentary strata could have formed during a cataclysm and relatively quickly.

(Looking at the thin veneer of water covering most of the Earth’s surface in a different way, see: for an image description see link (; it becomes easier to visualise this volume of water sloshing around if the Earth’s rotation was disrupted.)

One phenomenon that creationists (or mainstream geology for that matter) do not appear to embrace is electricity. As I see it a change in Earth’s electrical environment would have been the main driver of the cataclysm; whether that was due to a break-up of the proto-Saturnian system, close approach by Venus, capture of the Moon, rapid change in the solar system voltage gradient or something else, take your pick. So, although creationists are limited to (mainly) water as an erosional agent I would include electric discharge erosion to account for many landforms on Earth and other solar system bodies.

For anyone with an interest in dinosaurs and prehistoric life, then creationists do present a different insight into these vanished creatures, one you may not find in your average BBC Horizon documentary or typical textbook. For example, in his book ‘Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries’ Michael Oard (I know, a creationist) covers what is known as the ‘Dinosaur Death Pose/Posture’. For over a century articulated dinosaur fossils have been found with their necks and tails unnaturally bent back and present a challenge to palaeontologists, as Oard writes: ‘…many ideas have been put forward, including diving into mud and getting stuck.’ Recent mainstream research concluded that the pose was a result of asphyxiation and the posture occurred as the animal died. Of course, Oard concludes this is evidence that the animals drowned in the Biblical Flood but the posture is also found in fossils of pterosaurs, certain marine reptiles and even the famous Archaeopteryx fossils.

Now, if we filter out the Biblical Flood it is conceivable that these animals, both terrestrial and marine, died in unusual catastrophic conditions during a global cataclysm. If electrical events were present during this time is it possible that this posture arose as the animals died (and were possibly fossilised) during an electrical discharge through soft sediment? It is a possibility that neither creationist nor mainstream geologists consider but one that, I believe, is open to catastrophists.

Currently, and if you can filter out references to the Biblical Flood then creationists appear to be the only group offering an alternative interpretation to the current mainstream geological paradigm that comes close to a catastrophic one.
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Mon 06 Apr 2015 7:59 pm

Is the K-T Boundary Layer a Coal Seam?

This may seem unusual but what I am proposing is a non-catastrophic explanation for a supposed catastrophic geological feature- the K-T Boundary Layer.

The idea that a titanic meteorite impact occurred some 65 million years ago removing the dinosaurs and thus paving the way for the subsequent evolution of mammals and eventually humans has, over the last 35 years gained popularity amongst lay and scientific people alike.
So exciting is the idea that the media and Hollywood have soaked it up and seemingly every dinosaur documentary or movie must have a dramatic computer generated, special effects impact scene.

The meteorite impact theory is but one in a long line of theories some catastrophic, some not, that brings an end to the reign of the dinosaurs and other life forms at the end of the Cretaceous Period some 65 million years ago. The idea, in its latest form, was developed by Professors Luis and Walter Alvarez and dates back to 1979. In an effort to measure how long it had taken for a thin layer of clay at the K-T boundary (this is the geological layer dividing the Cretaceous Period from the Tertiary Era) to be deposited, the Alvarez team opted to use concentrations of the element iridium, which is relatively rare at the Earth’s surface, as a benchmark. It was subsequently found that the clay contained unusually high concentrations of the metal. To account for this anomaly the team initially suggested that a nearby supernova was the cause but later this was changed to a meteorite impact when other suspected supernova products were not found. Subsequent samples, taken later, from 50 to 80 sites around the globe also displayed the iridium concentration.

An early challenge to the theory was proposed. The iridium, critics said, could have come from volcanic eruptions, which are known to bring iridium up from deep within the Earth.

However, in the mid 1980’s chemists Jeffrey Bada and Nancy Lee at the Scripps Research Institute in California found traces of the amino acid, alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, in the K-T layer. This amino acid is virtually non-existent on Earth and led to suggestions that the meteorite was of a type known as a carbonaceous chondrite; amino acids and other organic (carbon based) compounds are found in abundant quantities in such objects. More recently a rare isotope of helium- He3- has been found, in steady quantities, in rocks spanning the K-T layer. Again, according to Sujoy Mukhopadhyay of the California Institute of Technology, this finding rules out volcanism and confirms that a meteorite was responsible.

Carbon is also associated with the K-T layer, impact enthusiasts refer to this carbon as the ‘fireball’ layer formed when vegetation caught fire following the impact, roasting some of the dinosaurs alive while others perished in the ‘nuclear winter’ that followed as the Earth was blanketed in a thick smog.

The same chain of reasoning has been applied to other mass extinction events including the late Permian period extinction some 251 million years ago. In recent years, carbon molecules, helium and argon were found in rocks from this period. Researchers at the University of Washington State in Seattle suggested that they were evidence of an impact event but this time due to a lack of iridium in the rocks, a comet was suggested as the cause.

Already we can see a pattern emerging. Carbon, amino acids or bio- molecules, helium isotopes, iridium or other rare Earth elements, occurring globally, concentrated in some areas and strata but not others, can a terrestrial process account for these observations?

A theory does exist and it describes in detail a process that can account for the features seen globally in the K-T boundary layer and other strata. That theory is the Deep Earth Gas theory, proposed by the late Professor Thomas Gold of Cornell University, in 1977.

(Note: The Anhydride Theory by C. Warren Hunt also claims an abiogenic origin for natural gas, petroleum and coal but places a bigger role on bacteria living deep in the Earth’s crust during the formation of hydrocarbon deposits. In the years shortly before Gold’s death, Hunt and a number of scientists claimed Gold had plagiarised their theories and claimed them as his own; although Gold had acknowledged the work of pioneering scientists in this field in his 1993 USGS paper ‘The Origin of Methane (and Oil) in the Crust of the Earth’ and most of the elements of Gold’s theory were in place long before the alleged plagiarising took place).

The theory offers an alternative explanation as to the origin of ‘fossil fuels’. That idea in itself is not new, as long ago as the 1870’s the Russian chemist Dmitry Mendeleev, who formulated the periodic table of the elements, was among the first to suggest a non- biological origin of the Earth’s hydrocarbons. In the 1960’s the chemist Sir Robert Robinson commented “It cannot be too strongly emphasised that petroleum does not present the composition picture expected from modified biogenic products, and all the arguments from the constituents of ancient oils fit equally well, or better, with the conception of a primordial hydrocarbon mixture to which bio-products have been added.”

According to the theory the hydrocarbons which result in the formation of natural gas (methane), crude oil and coal deposits originate deep (100-300km) within the Earth’s mantle. Vast quantities of such volatiles exist at such depths, they are among the primordial constituents from which the Earth formed and for the last 4,000 million years of Earth’s history (conventional dating) have been slowly migrating, or upwelling, toward the surface. Evidence that primordial volatiles still exist at great depth within the mantle has been confirmed with the discovery of elevated levels of the light isotope of xenon (an inert gas) in deep wells in the U.S. and Australia.

The theory can explain some puzzling features associated with the accepted view, it accounts for petroleum’s association with helium. Helium-He3- is welling up from even deeper levels in the mantle as it does so it encounters hydrocarbons from shallower levels and continues to the surface with them- forming concentrations where the hydrocarbons settle. It can account for the phenomenon of oil-field recharging, hydrocarbons continue to upwell in vast quantities today. It also accounts for the fact that high levels of iridium are found in oil wells. Migrating hydrocarbon fluids leach metals, present in trace quantities, from the surrounding rocks transporting them to surface strata.

As hydrocarbons approach the surface they experience a sequential loss of hydrogen. As Gold writes: ‘Vast methane deposits at the greatest depth, lighter oils higher up and the heaviest oils on top (though each pocket may be capped with some amount of methane). In some fields, the most carbon-rich and top most hydrocarbon is not crude oil; crude oil is not always the end of the sequence. Rather, above the oil layers may be black coal. The blacker the coal, the greater the loss of hydrogen and the greater the resulting carbon-to-hydrogen ratio.’

But what of the bio molecules found in ‘fossil fuels’? Here, in 1992 Professor Gold introduced a new idea one hinted at in Robert Robinson’s words. Called the Deep Hot Biosphere it states that the porous rocks of the Earth’s crust are populated by primitive hyperthermophilic archaebacteria, down to a depth of perhaps 10km, it is traces of these bacterial communities that provide the biological content of primordial hydrocarbons. It is interesting to note that although coal and crude oil are supposedly reworked ferns and algae, bacteria exclusively use the high carbon number molecules found in both hydrocarbons.

A typical K-T section is capped by a layer of carbon, impact enthusiasts call this layer ‘soot’ which supposedly formed from burning vegetation around the globe but in some areas - for example New Mexico- the layer of ‘soot’ is sufficiently thick enough to be recognised as a coal seam (recall that coal is often the end result for ascending hydrocarbons).

But what of the occurrences of amino acids in the K-T layering?

As we have seen within the Earth’s crust there exists an immense population of primitive hyperthermophilic archaebacteria thriving on an abundant supply of primeval hydrocarbons. Is it any coincidence then that the amino acid isolated by Bada and Lee is also found in two rare types of bacteria?

Studies of K-T boundary clay mineralogy from samples at four different localities found ‘the boundary clay is neither mineralogically exotic nor distinct from locally derived clays above and below the boundary. The significant ejecta component in the clay that is predicted by the asteroid-impact scenario was not detected.’

The validity of the impact theory relies on the presence of carbon and iridium as there is no mineralogical boundary. However, all the ingredients are present to explain the features seen at the K-T boundary; primordial Helium from deep within the mantle; carbon- the final stage for upwelling hydrocarbons; amino acids- traces of a bacterial ecosystem deep within the Earth and iridium- leached and transported to the surface by the very same upwelling hydrocarbons. The layering at the K-T boundary is due to upwelling hydrocarbons, it has all the hallmarks of a mini coal seam. No extra-terrestrial influences are required to account for its origin.

The deposition of hydrocarbons in Earth’s surface rocks is an on-going process and in view of this the features found at the K-T boundary are probably fairly recent- geologically speaking (some sources suggest an age of 1,240 years old for some oil deposits, I suspect some deposits are MUCH younger). But what of the billions of animal and plant remains found in the Phanerozoic rock record? These remains are testament to a global cataclysm far larger than scientists (or a Hollywood special effects department) currently dare to imagine.

1. Gold. T. 1999. The Deep Hot Biosphere. Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
2. Rampino. M.R and Reynolds. R.C. 1983. Science vol. 219, p495
3. Bada. J and Lee. N. 1986. Science Digest. May 1986 p30- 31
4. Hecht. J. 1991. New Scientist. April 6 1991, p19
5. Caffee. M. 1999. Science vol. 285, p2115
6. Becker. L. 2001. Science vol. 291, p1530
7. Mukhopadhyay. S. 2001. Science vol. 291, p1952
Robertus Maximus
Posts: 27
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Wed 01 Jul 2015 11:55 am

The Fossil Record: Evolution or Ecosystem?

Conventionally, the fossil record is interpreted as the progress of life from the simple to the complex chronicled in sedimentary rocks. Broadly speaking, the record covers what geologists refer to as the Phanerozoic Aeon which is taken to span some 540 million years. Earlier evidence, from the Precambrian Aeon is assumed to document life’s development from single to mulitcellular forms.

But, is this what we find?

Firstly, the geological column itself as pictured in text books is just that, a picture in a text book.

Dr. Steven A. Austin writes: ‘The notion that the earth's crust has an 'onion skin' structure with successive layers containing all strata systems distributed on a global scale is not according to the facts... approximately 77% of the earth's surface area on land and under the sea has seven or more (70% or more) of the strata systems missing beneath; 94% of the earth's surface has three or more systems missing beneath; and an estimated 99.6% has at least one missing system…Only a few locations on earth (about 0.4% of its area) have been described with the succession of the ten systems beneath (west Nepal, west Bolivia, and central Poland). Even where the ten systems may be present, geologists recognize individual systems to be incomplete. The entire geologic column, composed of complete strata systems, exists only in the diagrams drawn by geologists!’

From Dr. John Woodmorappe we find: ‘Eighty to eighty-five percent of Earth’s land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in ‘correct’ consecutive order. It becomes an overall exercise of gargantuan special pleading and imagination for the evolutionary-uniformitarian paradigm to maintain that there ever were geologic periods.’

If the textbook picture of the geological column does not exist in reality, what can we say about the progression in the fossil record, is that merely a picture in a textbook also?

So, what does the fossil record actually look like?

John D. Morris writes: ‘As it turns out, 95% of all fossils are shallow marine invertebrates, mostly shellfish. For instance, clams are found in the bottom layer, the top layer, and every layer in between. There are many different varieties of clams, but clams are in every layer and are still alive today. There is no evolution, just clams! The same could be said for corals, jellyfish, and many others. The fossil record documents primarily marine organisms buried in marine sediments, which (as discussed elsewhere) were catastrophically deposited.

Of the 5% remaining fossils, 95% of them are algae and plant fossils (4.75% of the total). In that left over 5% of the 5%, insects and all other invertebrates make up 95% (0.2375 % of the total).

All of the vertebrate fossils considered together, (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), comprise only 0.0125% of the entire fossil record, and only 1% of these, or .000125% of the total, consist of more than a single bone! Almost all of them come from the Ice Age.’

This is not exactly what we find in our textbook picture. What picture does the evidence actually present?

Again from Dr. Steven A. Austin we read: ‘All the animal phyla, including chordate fish, are now known as fossils in the Cambrian System. No ancestral forms can be found for the protozoans, arthropods, brachiopods, mollusks, bryozoans, coelenterates, sponges, annelids, echinoderms or chordates. These phyla appear in the fossil record fully formed and distinct…’

This is a pattern we find repeated throughout the entire fossil record not just in the Cambrian. Life-forms appear suddenly, highly specialised, complex with no ancestral forms.

It would appear that the textbook picture of life progressing from simple to complex is just that, a picture.

Also, fossils tend to be found in ‘graveyards’ for example the Burgess Shale (Canada) and Dinosaur National Monument (United States). Palaeontologists often explain these occurrences by claiming the animals became stranded in violent but local events. Today, on Earth we witness violent and local events but we find no fossil ‘graveyards’ forming.

Quite often the ‘graveyards’ contain a wide cross section of animal and plant life both terrestrial and marine. This is usually under reported, a palaeontologist interested in finding an exciting new dinosaur will overlook boring mammal fossils in the same rock formation. This creates an impression of an ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’ when the facts paint a completely different picture.

Writing in his book ‘Living Fossils’, Dr. Carl Werner quotes Dr. Donald Burge of the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum: ‘We find mammals in almost all of our (dinosaur dig) sites. These were not noticed years ago. They were very small…We have about 20,000 pounds of bentonite clay that has mammal fossils that we are trying to give away to some researcher. It’s not that they are not important, it’s just that you only live once and I specialized in something other than mammals. I specialized in reptiles and dinosaurs.’

From the same chapter we find, from an interview with Dr. Zhe-Xi Luo of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh: ‘In a sense, ‘The Age of Dinosaurs’ or ‘Age of Reptiles’ for the Mesozoic is a misnomer…Mammals are just one such important group that lived with the dinosaurs, coexisted with the dinosaurs, and survived the dinosaurs.’

Summarising his research Dr. Werner states: ‘This book is not exhaustive but is just a dim reflection of what is out there. With more time, money, access and assistance, I am confident I could add thousands of other examples of modern-appearing fossils since we photographed only 20,000 fossils, not the 200 million fossils that museums have collected…Even though I have studied less than 0.01 percent of the worldwide fossil collections, it is significantly noteworthy that I have been able to identify modern-appearing dinosaur-era fossils from all seven major modern animal phyla living today, as well as fossils from all seven major modern plant divisions living today- fossils which appear similar to modern species.’

What is clear is that all animal and plant phyla were well established and flourished during the so-called ‘Age of the Dinosaurs’, incredibly modern-looking animals and plants lived alongside now extinct ones.

The 19th century vision of life evolving from ‘simple’ slime to ‘complex’ Victorian gentlemen is outdated. We now know that all life is incredibly complex; this is what is reflected in the fossil record- complexity at all levels.

It is not just complexity that we find throughout the whole fossil record, increasingly it appears that the record is becoming softer! Soft biological material is being reported from the whole Phanerozoic Aeon. The Creation Research Society have recently released the latest results from their iDINO project which is an investigation into soft tissue remains found primarily in dinosaur fossils, this material was sent to independent laboratories for analysis (before the announcement in Nature Communications by Bertazzo et al.).

One report states: ‘Measurable amounts of radiocarbon have been consistently detected within carbonaceous materials across Phanerozoic strata. Under uniformitarian assumptions, these should no longer contain measurable amounts of radiocarbon. Secularists have asserted that these challenging finds originate from systematic contamination, but the hypothesis of endogenous radiocarbon should be considered. Assuming these strata were largely deposited … within the time range of radiocarbon’s detectability with modern equipment under uniformitarian assumptions, we hypothesized that fossils from all three erathems, including dinosaur fossils, should also contain measurable amounts of radiocarbon. Consistent with this hypothesis, we report detectable amounts of radiocarbon in all 16 of our samples. Attempts to falsify our hypothesis failed, including a comparison of our data with previously published carbon-dated fossils. We conclude that fossils and other carbonaceous materials found throughout Phanerozoic strata contain measurable amounts of radiocarbon that is most probably endogenous.’

The authors go on to state: ‘Unexpectedly, all 16 samples submitted for measurement contained C-14. We found measurable amounts of 14C in all 14 of our dinosaur and other fossils. Moreover, we found surprising consistency in these data, which range from approximately 17,850 to 49,470 radiocarbon years…’

It was found that regardless of whether the samples were labelled Cainozoic, Mesozoic or Palaeozoic the results all fell within the same range of radiocarbon years resulting from the testing.

If fossils are not the record of 540 million years of evolution what are they a record of?

On Earth today we see evidence of sedimentary deposits formed and eroded by large volumes of flowing water on every continent, is it possible then that the fossil record reflects devastated ecosystems transported and buried by massive marine transgressions and regressions? I believe it does.

Research by Guy Berthault et al. has demonstrated how sedimentary deposits form and how rapidly they can form (see the four links listed in References). Interestingly, Berthault has demonstrated that an organism can be trapped and buried in an upper sedimentary layer before an organism can be trapped and buried in a lower sedimentary layer!

Admittedly, an extreme example would be: Tyrannosaurus Rex (‘complex’, vertebrate, typically dated to 68 million years ago) could have been buried before Hallucigenia (‘simple’, invertebrate, typically dated to 500 million years ago) this would explain why the above CRS results all fell within a specific range of radiocarbon years, the organisms were both buried during a recent cataclysmic period.

The fossil record provides a glimpse of Earth’s varied almost alien pre-cataclysm ecosystems.

The question remains what event led to such massive marine transgressions and regressions?


Austin, Dr. Steven A., ‘Ten Misconceptions About the Geologic Column’ see:
Woodmorappe, Dr. John, ‘The Essential Non-Existence of the Evolutionary Uniformitarian Geologic Column,’ CRSQ, Vol. 18, No. 1, June 1981, p. 46-71
Woodmorappe, Dr. John, ‘The Geologic Column: Does it Exist?’ see:
Morris, John D., ‘Does the geologic Column Prove Evolution?’ see:
O’Brien, Jonathan, ‘Dinosaur disarray’ see:
‘Face of bizarre sea creature Hallucigenia revealed’ see:
Werner, Dr. Carl. 2008. Living Fossils, Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol.2. New Leaf Press.
CRSQ Abstracts, 2015, Volume 51, Number 4 (Spring) see:
Bertazzo, Sergio et al., 'Fibres and cellular structures preserved in 75 million year old dinosaur specimens'. see
Berthault, Guy, ‘Experiments in Stratification’ see:
Robertus Maximus
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Joined: Sun 05 Oct 2014 5:08 pm

Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Thu 23 Jul 2015 8:09 pm

A Thought on Evolution

In the previous post I suggested that the Phanerozoic fossil record is not a millions of years record of life’s progress on Earth; rather it is a record of formerly existing ecosystems devastated during a period of instability affecting the Earth- possibly within the last 50,000 years.

If this is the actual case then one is tempted to ask where this leaves Darwin’s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

The answer, I propose, is exactly where it is now- incomplete.

On Earth today we see evidence of selection, for example, various traits selected by dog breeders, in nature we see colour changes of the peppered moth, in humans- how the immune system functions. Moreover a theory that I favour as an explanation for how consciousness arises in the brain the one proposed by Gerald M. Edelman- the theory know as Neuronal Group Selection is based on selection. Here, selection occurs within populations of groups of neurons within the brain over fractions of a second throughout the course of a humans’ lifetime. With this selection process the brain is able to impose order on an otherwise chaotic environment, order is imposed in the brain by the brain, to quote Edelman ‘…there is no absolute truth or God’s-eye view. Our view of what exists (metaphysics) is not independent of how we know it (epistemology).’

Now, where evolutionists perform a semantic sleight-of-hand is when they use ‘evolution’ to mean speciation, the creation of new species of which we have no examples occurring today- or do we?

James E. Strickling has suggested that two modes of speciation are possible. Firstly, is what he calls Restricted Speciation, this is essentially polyploidy observed in certain plants, fishes and amphibians and is a form of speciation occurring today, quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica he gives an example:
‘Genetic isolation is produced when an organism multiplies the number of its chromosomes (polyploidy). This is potentially important in producing hybrids that cannot breed with either parental stock because of the incompatibility of their sets of chromosomes with each parental species. A hybrid primrose formed by crossing Primula floribunda with P. verticiliata underwent a doubling of the number of chromosomes possessed by the parental species, which meant that each chromosome then had a compatible partner for the mechanism of cell division. This polyploidy hybrid was then able to set fertile seed and develop into a plant with its own constant characters, whose offspring bred true. The new plant was intersterile with both its parents and (has been given the name) Primula kewensis…’

Second, is what Strickling calls Mass Speciation, wholesale speciation which is meant to occur during periods of great upheaval, he then quotes Immanuel Velikovsky:
‘Numerous catastrophes or bursts of effective radiation must have taken place in the geological past in order to change so radically the living forms on earth, as the record of fossils embedded in lava and sediment bears witness.
The objection to the theory of natural selection, that the developed plan in a new species must appear suddenly or the race would expire…is answerable within the framework of catastrophic evolution…’

If, as I suggest, that the fossil record was formed during a recent but short period (geologically speaking) then the preserved life-forms already existed, this would mean that what Strickling labelled Mass Speciation was in reality a natural process, not dependent on the type of cataclysm hinted at in this thread but one which must have occurred yet does not occur today. How may have this happened?

Controversial scientist Peter H. Duesberg has suggested our understanding of the disease cancer is fundamentally flawed hence our inability to find a cure. Duesberg suggests cancer is another form of speciation- if he is right could cancer be a relic of the mechanism of how new species arose on the pre-cataclysm Earth but for the survivors of the cataclysm the process has gone terribly wrong?

The inability of experimenters to mutate fruit flies into new species may be telling us Earth’s environment today- post cataclysm- is a recent and radically different one. Is it possible that under different environmental conditions aneuploidy, not polyploidy could give rise not only to new species but a new genus, family or order?

If so, then our assumptions and theories (both evolutionists and creationists) of how life began and new species arose have been misguided from the start, as they are largely formed on retrodictions based on the environment we see on Earth today, not the environment that existed pre-cataclysm.


Edelman. Gerald M. 1994. Bright Air, Brilliant Fire. Penguin Books, London
Edelman. Gerald M. 2005. Wider than the Sky. Penguin Books, London
Strickling. James E. 2008. Man and His Planet. Eloquent Books, London
Velikovsky. Immanuel. 1955. Earth in Upheaval. Doubleday, New York
Duesberg on Cancer, see:
Robertus Maximus
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Re: Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism

Postby Robertus Maximus » Thu 17 Nov 2016 5:11 pm

Catastrophic Origin of Sand and Redbeds


Geologist Louis Hissink has proposed a mechanism to explain the origin of the vast quantities of quartz sand covering the surface of the Earth (See: Taking into account Australian Aboriginal stories of the Rainbow Serpent Louis Hissink explains: ‘…the Rainbow Serpent is interpreted by me as an historical, planetary sized, electric-plasma discharge between the Earth and some cosmic interloper, the morning star, via the ionosphere, that literally ‘laser’ machined the Earth’s surface. Carving out the Earth’s landscape by enormous electrical discharges will of necessity produce abundant eroded material whose nature will vary depending on the nature of the underlying earth. The interesting fact is the very old nature of the West Australian cratons, often covered by thick blankets of regolith or chemically weathered basement and laterites indicative of a previous wet tropical climate. In many areas this regolith has been stripped off by erosion leaving isolated mesas upstream. But if this regolith stripping was caused by the Rainbow Serpent mechanism (RSM), then logically the old land surface would have covered a deeply weathered regolith of clay and minor quartz which when subsequently subject to the impact of a large electric-plasma cutting mechanism would, under the extreme temperatures and Z-Pinch pressures cause partial melting of the clays and formation of droplets of glass or quartz.’

Elsewhere I have suggested a similar process was involved in the formation of loess and the Worzel Deep Sea Ash. I see both processes occurring during a global cataclysm and both would have generated vast quantities of sediment available for transport. From Louis Hissink’s proposal I see the ‘Rainbow Serpent Mechanism’ functioning throughout the cataclysm- this would provide abundant amounts of sediment in the initial stages from, as I see it, a largely ‘flat’ Earth. Later episodes of the RSM carved dendritic patterns in newly raised areas of the Earth’s surface.


Redbeds is a website by geologist Jan. P. Snoep (See: The author questions many of the conventional geological explanations of the origin of redbed strata suggesting that they fall far short, the: ‘… general accepted mechanism of their accumulation was described as flash floods, braided rivers and fluvio-deltaic alluvial sedimentation. ‘No similar deposits accumulate on the continents today.’ Whatever process deposited redbed strata is not occurring today- the present is not the key to the past.

The author suggests that such formations were deposited by huge tidal waves, according to the author ‘in the past, moon orbits must have been strongly eccentric as a result of gravitational resonance between the moon and Jupiter and Venus.’

Another possibility is that the moon’s orbit was disturbed periodically by a passing ‘…errant celestial body…’

On this point I do not disagree with the author, in my view I see the Moon as a former independent planet that was captured by the Earth, such an event would surely have had catastrophic consequences for both bodies concerned.

One minor area of criticism concerns the author’s comments about dinosaurs even going so far as to suggest that some dinosaurs had some degree of adaptation to large tides. Firstly, there are no preserved ecosystems, fossilised remains, dinosaur or otherwise, are found either isolated or in ‘graveyards’. Quite often terrestrial and marine creatures are found at the same location an observation that is rarely mentioned. Mass burial sites cannot tell us what environmental or evolutionary factors led to the development of- for example- the long necks of sauropod dinosaurs, as these and other creatures have been buried in unnatural conditions.

Secondly, dinosaur track-ways are not records the natural movement of these animals, rather they record the unnatural movement of creatures fleeing an approaching danger- one that probably led to the demise of the animals.


It has been suggested that Redbeds were deposited by the action of huge tides/ tidal waves but what is the significance of their red colour? Jan Snoep tells us that: ‘The work by Glennie et al. (1978) on Rotliegendes samples from 2000 metres depth below the North Sea has shown that haematite coating was not present at the points where sand grains touch. This is proof that there is an undeniable hypogene authigenic origin of the haematite in this case, and that red colouring is not a surface phenomenon, as was already concluded by Walker (1967), but took place long after sedimentation. Other neo-formation minerals include illite, chlorite, albite, analcime, dolomite, anhydrite, quartz and calcite, all indicative of an alkaline (sodic) environment.’

Redbeds attained their red colour after they were deposited but how?

Redbeds are associated with major lava outflows and ‘evaporite’ deposits is this a clue?

‘The common association of red beds and evaporites of all ages is striking on all continents. Present-day continental deposits do not contain great salt concentrations similar to the ancient ones. The old accumulations are incomparably larger in size than the recent ones and are all of marine origin. Busson (1972) draws the conclusion that the great salt accumulations of North Africa cannot be compared to supra-tidal or continental deposits, but can only be of marine origin, the more so as these deposits are commonly associated with high-energy conglomerates. He calls it a "marine desert” environment and insists also on the strong variations between the proportions of different evaporitic minerals within a single basin. Effectively, it is common to find hundreds of thousands of cubic kilometres of gypsum and limestone of evaporitic origin widely separated from the normally associated halite. This indicates clearly that conditions are different from the evaporation of a given quantity of seawater in a confined concentric setting, such as in a salt lake. The present sebkahs in coastal areas of desert country are several orders of magnitude smaller in size than the ancient salt accumulations. Present sedimentation conditions of evaporites are very different from the ones that existed during various periods in the past. The oldest salt deposits have been described in the Proterozoic of the Fenno-Scandian shield (Melezhik 2005).

‘We may conclude, that the major salt deposits associated with red beds are indicative of marine sedimentation conditions.’

The author has concluded that the redbed- ‘evaporites’ connection is further evidence of the tidal nature of their formation. While I do not disagree with the tidal/ tidal wave redbed formation mechanism I do question the ‘evaporite’ evidence.

What is at question here is the origin of salt, unlike the author I favour the magmatic theory for the origin of salt (See: Now, when we put the two theories together I propose that the red haematitic stain of redbeds arose via the action of brines associated with large salt magmas leeching out haematite from the associated basaltic lava outflows. Salt deposits are associated with occurrences of carbonatite lava outflows, carbonatite is found amongst the basaltic lava outflow of the Deccan Traps. These deposits and outflows show some degree of overlap, I suggested previously that Limestone is reworked carbonatite a ‘catastrophite’ if you will. To my mind the occurrence of Red Limestone in redbeds strengthens this proposal.


Both Louis Hissink and Jan Snoep have described geologic formations that require a catastrophic period in Earth history.
An electrical discharge machining event(s) would have produced abundant quantities of sediment that would have been transported and redeposited in megasequences by winds and tides petrifying unsuspecting life forms in the process. The blood-red staining of certain deposits probably began as the cataclysm unfolded (limestones) and continued until the flowing salt lavas and brines, having leeched haematite from basalt outpourings, subsided (sandstones).

Sediment machined in the latter stages of the cataclysm was less likely to be redeposited as sedimentary rock, the global tidal waves having subsided, instead it formed deposits of regolith upon the reworked surface of the Earth.
Robertus Maximus
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