Various footage taken during these experiments can be viewed in my
Video Logs (VLOGs) on Youtube:
In mid-march, 2007, M.E. Clark (Professor Emeritus, U of Illinois @
Urbana), Andrew Rodenbeck and
myself performed a series of experiments over two weeks at Creation
Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas. The museum grounds have a
rotary flume which was constructed by M.E. and Dr. Henry Voss, and
was transported to Glen Rose some years ago. M.E. also
brought down "Archimedes," a specially designed and constructed
liquefaction tank which will be discussed later. While we were
there, we also constructed a linear flume, and had intentions to
experiment with silica lithification processes, but ran out of time.
Many lessons were learned which altered my personal views on a number
of things and have significance for the geology caused by the global
flood of Noah. Specifically, the rotary and linear flumes, and
just about everything we did with water (including a simple garden
hose) produced layers. Probably the most dramatic results were
the production of complex cross-bedding. The process was
remarkably easy and solidifies the arguments that crossbeds within the
geologic record were indeed formed by a global flood, and not by desert
dunes as some have argued. Newts were also placed into the linear
flume during runs and their behaviour also confirmed some hypotheses
regarding the formation of the coconino fossil trackways that are so
prolific throughout the Grand Canyon and area.
While it seemed everything we did led to sedimentary layers being
formed, much like what is seen in road cuts, liquefaction was the
ultimate destroyer of layers. For myself, this was a fairly
radical change in my thinking, as I had wanted for years to perform
experiments in liquefaction, and the results were pretty much the exact
opposite of what I expected.
Shown on the right is the rotary flume. The operation is quite
simple: The outer, plexiglass wall and the inner, green wall form
tank roughly 12 feet in outer diameter and 8 feet in inner
The paddles are in the upright position in the photo, but spring-lock
into a downward position during the runs (paddle at far left is in the
"locked" position). The tank is filled with water and sediments,
the paddles drag in the water. The paddles are spun in a
counter-clockwise direction, pushing the water in the tank around in
the circle, which picks up and carries the sediments in
When the rotation is stopped, the now forward-moving water pushes the
paddles out of the locked position, which then spring up out of the
water to avoid the turbulence and drag of a stopped paddle in the now
The sediments settle out of the water as the water slows down and
Click here to see a video of one
of the run-ups.
The principle of the rotary flume is to produce an infinite flow or
wave. When we first arrived, this was the first time using the
flume with the new, spring-loaded paddle mechanism. We did not
know what to expect entirely, but had some educated guesses. Sand
was hauled and cleaned, extremely fine dust was also obtained from a
wash along the Paluxy River, and extremely fine, white, silica sand was
bought from the local hardware store.
Upon filling the tank with water and pouring in sediments, we
immediately saw what was to become the rule: The sediments sorted
themselves out in very clear layers. This became so common that
by the end of two weeks, we jokingly referred to Andrew's law as "It's
layers," and Clark's law as "It's easy to make layers." Later on,
I proposed the "law" that liquefaction destroys layers, as much to my
surprise as that was.
We ran up the flume in a series of tests with essentially the same
sediments for the first couple of runs while varying the water
Multiple layers of varying numbers were made throughout the flume, and
numerous cuts made in specific locations (randomly selected at first,
then simply copied in later runs), followed by a complete
circumferential cut on all runs. Posts on the outside frame were
labeled by myself, and in hindsight I wish I had labeled them
differently: The first, double post for each section was labeled
a negative number; i.e., A-1. Going counterclockwise, looking
top, they then increased in sequence until the next double post marked
the next section. Thus, A-1 and A1 can easily be confused.
be aware of this denotation throughout the rest of this report.
Because of Guy Berthault's previous research with flumes years ago, we
half-expected to get three layers. Instead we got everything from
one uniform layer to seven layers. Before the first run, Andrew
correctly pointed out that the inner diameter of the flume would have
slower-moving water than the outer diameter, and thus the sediments
would settle on the inside first. Not only was this true, but
usually the sediments settled out without us seeing it at all, as the
sediments would never reach the outside, plexiglass wall.
The differential water speeds also led to complex vortices and helix
spirals in the water, which led to complex and confusing
layering. However, several principles were verified, namely the
fact that layers are formed by flowing water - and quite easily.
Of especial interest was interbedding that was quite apparent, with
three layers fingering in to one solid layer, then fingering to five
Also of special interest was a small worm that accidentally got mixed
in with the sediments. Andrew happened to cut exactly the correct
spot on one of his sectionings. The worm was polystrate (yes, it
cut through layers), and the top portion of it was bent over flat
within a layer. The reason this is of interest is because this is
precisely how a fossilized worm was found in the overburden limestone
removed from the Paluxy riverbed in 2003. Also on display within
the Royal Tyrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta, is a depiction of
three polystrate worms found in the Burgess Shale of Canada. The
Paluxy is quite unique in that fossil worms (sometimes still with
pigment) are plentiful, and I was quite happy to see the same effect in
the Burgess shale.
The point here is that a sediment-laden water flow deposited a dead
worm in the upright position, precisely the same way one was found in
the Paluxy limestones, which also have plentiful indications of being
deposited by a strong current. (I apologize for the lousy photo -
my macro mode got turned off without my realizing, and I weren't none
happy 'bout it neither!)
In the end, we saw pretty much every
stratigraphical feature produced: Crossbedding, fingering, thinning and
thickening of layers, interbedding, and scours.
|Due namely to time constraints,
our linear flume was very simple. It
was a clear-walled (acrylic plexiglass), long box, measuring 6 inches
wide, 1 foot tall and 8 feet long. A steel trough, or funnel, was
one end to facilitate ease of loading sediments and water being poured
in. The other end was left open, emptying into a container which
merely to recycle the sediments while allowing the water to overflow
A conventional cement mixer was used to keep the sediments homogenized,
and a continuous stream of water was added to the mix during the runs.
The linear flume not only gave us plenty of radical lessons to ponder,
but also enlightened us as to some of the complexities of layering
within the rotary flume. Specifically, we took the lessons
from Berthault's experiments and not only found them to be true, but
that they applied to a much broader scope of sedimentology than I
thought - both in the field, and in the lab. For example, it
now that horizontal layers we see throughout the geological record (and
which we produced in the flumes) may really just be extremely long-wave
Berthault's main point from his experiments is that sediments sort out
by particle size, not density!
This certainly seemed true in all of our experiments. While
density played a role, it was a minimal one which was usually so
insignificant it could be safely ignored.
The reason is not so obvious at first. I very much like the way
Andrew explains the sediments being held in
suspension: He refers to the particles as "flying," which really
what they are doing. They are flying in a very dense fluid -
The density between two
sediments may be as large as 0.1 g/cm3
, for example - but
when you are talking about two particles 10 microns in diameter, their
difference in density is so small as to be extremely difficult to even
measure. However, the velocity of water needed to suspend and
carry a particle 20 microns in diameter is significantly greater than
that required to carry a 10 micron particle.
To bring this to layman's terms, envision a boulder made of quartz
that's 30 centimeters in diameter, and a boulder of limestone that's 60
centimeters in diameter. The quartz is considerably denser
than the limestone, yet the
larger rock is obviously much
heavier than the smaller rock, and thus will require water moving at
significantly higher velocity to pick it up and carry it. If they
were both the same size, the water speed required to pick up both rocks
would be different, but the difference would be nowhere near as great
as the difference between two boulders of differing sizes.
The unusual thing noted when observing settling sediments is the
tendency to sort out into three layers: fine on the bottom, coarse in
the middle, and fine on top. Berthault's explanation seems
to hold water: The flow of water at the bottom of the tank (or
river, or lake bed, or stream bed) is almost zero because the bottom of
the tank is not moving with the water. Friction causes a rolling
of water along the bottom, thus there is a very thin layer of almost
stationary water at the bottom of the tank. We refer to this as
the "boundary layer."
Because the larger grains require the fastest moving water to carry
them, they wind up settling out of the flow first, as the flow slows
down. However, within this boundary layer, you get water
velocities which may be slow enough for all
grains to drop out of the
flow. The largest grain winds up settling first, and the gaps
between it and the other largest grains are filled in with the finer
grains - up to the top of the largest grain. This makes the
first, bottom layer that appears at first glance to be all fines.
As the water slows down, the large grains then drop out, largest to
smallest, making a "pile" which grows horizontally. Finally, the
fines are the last to drop out because they require the least amount of
water velocity, and thus they make up the final layer of fines on top.
I will continuously refer to these three-layer sequences as they
continually cropped up, and are probably related in some way to
are well known in the rock record.
Experiment #1: rapid emptying of
entire sedimentary batch.
For the first experiment, I was operating the mixer. It was
filled with our variety of sediments and topped off with water.
After a brief mixing run to homogenize the sediments, I simply poured
out the entire contents rather rapidly. Total contents was
probably around 12 gallons worth of water and sediments, poured out in
roughly five seconds. I had built a hill in the middle of the
flume, which was promptly wiped out by the flow and had little to know
effect on the very evident layering:
Experiment #2: Slow, continuous pour
The layering was very long and the
The second run was a continuous pour of the same contents, with
continuous water flow. The whole pour probably lasted roughly 8
minutes or so and also produced very distinct layering.
Experiment #3: Pulsed flow
M.E. and Dr. Voss produced a paper1
subject of tidal action
during the flood of Noah for the 1991 ICC. The scriptures are
quite clear that it
took 150 days for the floodwaters to rise above the highest mountains,
and thus during this time you will have tidal action influencing the
continually advancing floodwaters. Every twelve hours would see a
mini-tsunami encroach upon the land, each higher than the last one.
To simulate this, we pulsed the flow of sediment-laden waters.
This produced the most dramatic horizontal layering, with the number of
three-layered sets corresponding the number of pulses, or waves, we
sent through the flume. This is probably related to the
cyclothems we see within the rock record. Note the repeating
sequence of layers, from bottom to top: coarse, white, red;
white, red, etc....
Experiment #4: Uphill flow
This experiment led, serendipitously, to the most dramatic find of the
two weeks. We merely tilted the flume so that the water and
sediments had to go uphill a mere 2 degrees. This produced some
rather dramatic crossbedding.
Allow me to introduce what a crossbed
is. This photograph is from the Navajo formation, taken within
Zion National Park. You'll notice thick layers on top of each
other, and within those layers are angled layers. These angled
layers are called crossbeds, and the crossbeds are composed of three
parts: The topset (the top, swooping downward curve), the foreset
(the face of the slope), and the bottomset (the curve leading from the
slope, leveling out against the top of the last layer).
I had a personal goal to produce crossbedding while we were down there,
so I was thrilled to say the least. However, none of us were
expecting the ease at which it was produced. This one experiment
led to an understanding of their genesis, and led to a series of
experiments in the linear and rotary flumes.
The secret was standing water. While Andrew and I were well aware
that Berthault had produced crossbeds in the lab, we considered his
method unrealistic in nature. In Berthault's experiments, they
had a horizontal, linear flume in which they had water and sediments
flowing through. He then dropped a door at the end of the flume,
causing a backwash up the flume. Neither Andrew nor I considered
this realistic to nature, nor applicable to the global flood of Noah:
What was this magical dam that suddenly
appeared on land, blocking the floodwaters of a worldwide flood?
However, sediment-laden waters encroaching on land and encountering an
uphill will pool standing water
of the sedimentary deposit it's
producing. It isn't the uphill that's the key, but merely
standing water - which could be an inland lake, water coming from the
other side of the continent during the flood, or pooled water from the
last tidal wave flowing back out to sea.
The fast-flowing water is carrying sediments in suspension. Once
it hits the standing water, it suddenly drops speed dramatically - well
below the velocity required to hold the sediments in suspension.
The sediments "drop like a
intended), and make a steep slope much like a conveyor belt will as it
drops sand in a pile. In this case though, the conveyor belt
moves along with the pile!
The sediments fill in the standing water area, moving the front edge of
the standing water ever farther back and making an ever-longer platform
for the fast water to ride on. Thus, the crossbeds continually
build into the standing water - sometimes at remarkable speeds. Here is a video of them being produced.
This also has some interesting ramifications: If the flow truly
is going uphill, then the standing water and the incoming water have no
place to go - thus, the crossbeds will thicken inland as the standing
the rotary flume:
At this point, Dr. Clark suggested tilting the rotary flume to acheive
an uphill on one side. The rotary flume is mounted on several
jackscrews, so we applied roughly a 2 degree tilt. We added extra
water and ran it. If
there were crossbeds, they were formed from the center out, on an
extending, radial arm. However, this experiment demonstrated that
it was not the uphill nature of the deposition that produced crossbeds,
rather it was flowing water hitting standing water. Because all
of the water in the rotary
flume travels together, there was essentially no standing water and
only brief pulses of backflow.
The high point was at C-1, with the low point obviously being between
E2 and E3. Layers were produced, but I would say less that we had
before - it
seemed to make a mess more than orderly layers, but still produced them
in line with Andrew's and Clark's laws. Essentially no
recognizable crossbeds were formed. The following radial cut
was made at E1:
experiments in the linear flume:
We then proceeded with a couple of experiments relating to
We first performed a run with a very aggressive introduction of
and water into a 1 degree uphill slope. Andrew and M.E. were
operating the equipment, and both Dr. Carl Baugh and myself witnessed
very steep-sloped crossbedding being formed, but within a fairly thin
reasons for this will be discussed later). This is mentioned in
passing because while both Baugh and myself witnessed the crossbeds
being formed (see video here
when we were finished, the sediments were so uniform as
to appear to be one thick layer with no crossbedding! Thus, it
appears that perhaps some layers within the geological record may very
well have been formed by a cross-bedding process, but leaving no
distinct crossbedding. For myself personally, I will be looking
at layers and rocks differently in my investigations in the future,
though hindsight of all that I've seen has not brought to remembrance
any layer anywhere that looked like a solid layer that broke apart into
angled layers like crossbedding.
|Addendum, April 25: Only
weeks after we completed these experiments, I was out on a field trip
with Mike Oard and Andrew Snelling in the Rattlesnake Mountains water
gap in Montana. I stumbled upon this layer which usually appears
as a simple layer of sedimentary rock. However, differential
erosion had revealed that it was indeed crossbedded, but the crossbeds
are not visible except by differential erosion.
Again remembering our model of tidal formation of layers, we would have
a main tidal wave every twelve hours. Riding on top of this wave
be countless smaller waves; perhaps as big as ocean waves today - which
easily achieve 5 to 10 feet high. In this particular experiment,
were superimposed on the flow of sediment and water being
introduced. The waves were not deliberate, but
rather simply the result of the equipment being used.
wave would charge into the standing water, it would displace the
standing water with a standing wave. This wave would then
into the "vacuum" left behind at the face of the crossbed, slamming the
sediments into the crossbed and producing incredibly steep
a video of it.
In an attempt to make two sets of crossbeds on top of each other
(much like is seen at Zion National Park), we performed two runs.
We produced crossbeds in the first run with the flume merely tilted
uphill at 1 degree. We then blocked the drain end of the flume,
creating a 4" high dam, and filled the flume with standing water.
While Andrew and I objected to Berthault's dam at first, we realized
that the dam was not the point: The standing water was the
point. There is a variety of ways that standing water can be
produced inland during a global flood: The rains being trapped,
lakes, small seas, etc... I had proposed that because the east
coast had essentially no
crossbeds, yet the west (Arizona through Utah) had extensive crossbeds,
that perhaps this is the where the two water flows of Noah's flood met
(the Rocky mountains having not yet formed)- one flow from the east
coast, and one from the west coast. Andrew shot this idea down in
flames by pointing out the dinosaur tracks among and above the
crossbeds. However, later on I also proposed that one big wave
will build up a heap of sediments along a shoreline. When we are
dealing with a global flood, I have no qualms envisioning a very large
sedimentary build-up forming a dam on the shores of the coasts; thus
the dam is not in front of the flow, but rather behind it. This
dam would trap water inland from the last tidal wave.
At any rate, standing water was the key, so we produced some by merely
blocking the end of the tank and filling it up, on top of our
previously formed crossbedded layer. We then ran an agressive
run, same as before.
Global flood skeptics have argued that wet sand will not produce
crossbeds as steep as dry sand. Such a suggestion is
ridiculous: If one merely takes a moment to ask
oneself, "Which can produce a steeper bank? Dry sand? Or
wet, sticky sand?", the answer becomes quite obvious. We also had
Dr. Floyd with us on the last day
of the runs, and he surprised me by saying that the geology textbooks
specifically say that water will not
produce crossbeds steeper than 30 degrees.
This amazes me
because we produced 37 degree crossbeds with little effort, using
fairly crude techniques! I am fairly confident that if we worked
at it, we could achieve crossbeds meeting or exceeding 40
degrees. This photo is from the run we performed for the TV crew:
The grain size had no effect on the
angle. However, in our experiments, because of the equipment we
grain size tended to coarsen throughout the run.
crossbeds, and the reactions of newts:
We also ran one experiment which produced
crossbeds with newts in the water. This was done to examine their
behaviour in flood conditions which produce crossbeds, in hopes that
our observations would shed light on the prolific fossil tracks found
in the coconino sandstone crossbeds - which I think it did.
To finish off the experiment and produce crossbeds
to be left
for the next day when a TV crew that was there, we cleaned up the flume
and loaded the
mixer with a double load of sediments. We left the 4-inch high
"dam" at the end of the flume and put in some standing water, though it
was not filled completely. The newts being as newts are, were
quite content in the water and very docile. It probably would
have been better to have creatures (such as lizards which are not
amphibian) which are not
inclined to "hang out" underwater, but the newts still provided quite
The crossbeds were produced, same as before. While one newt swam
around, the second was quite content to stay at the bottom of the
crossbeds being formed. The answer became obvious: he was
sitting the eddy currents; the place where the water was the
slowest. Thus, the newt really didn't have to move or fight any
current. He was quite content to just sit there.
The encroaching crossbeds would eventually begin to cover him up, so
the newt would simple "step up" onto the new crossbed.
Several lessons were learned:
Conclusions of crossbed research:
- This can explain why fossil tracks are so prolific on the foreset
and bottomset of crossbeds. The tracks in the coconino have not
been positively identified but could be either lizards or
salamanders. They are quite consistent in only traveling
uphill. If the tracks are from salamanders, the same salamander
could potentially be producing multiple trackways on the foresets of
hundreds of feet,
or perhaps even miles, of crossbeds. The salamander would "hang
out" in the eddy at the bottom of the crossbed, and would simply walk
up the crossbed when he was getting buried, float away and catch the
eddy once more, returning to the bottom of the next crossbed.
- Animals (such as
lizards) which are swept away by the flowing waters would be sucked
into the hydraulics and trapped by the
eddy currents. Every year people die by being trapped in the
hydraulics at the bottom of decorative dams and small waterfalls - the
water is very powerful, even in small volume. In this case, the
forming crossbeds make the escarpment that the hydraulics form at, thus
trapping animals in them. The only way out was to go up the
hill. Thus we
see why the trackways in the coconino are almost always going uphill,
and often show the creature being bouyed up to produce a trackway that
goes from heavy foot impressions, to lighter, to claws only, to
completely disappearing - often within only a few feet.
- The preservation of tracks within the crossbeds is now easily
explained: The water along the face of the foreset is virtually
still. Simultaneously, there is a continuous dumping of sediments
on top of any freshly
made tracks, thus protecting them until lithification of the sediments.
- the depth, or thickness of the crossbedded layer is determined by
the depth of the standing water. With an agressive flow, the
layer will be slightly thicker than the depth of the standing water,
otherwise it will pretty much be the same thickness as the depth of the
- the crossbed dip increases during the formation. The
maximum angle of the crossbeds are determined primarily by the speed of
the water carrying the sediments and forming the crossbeds. More
research needs to be performed to determine the relationship. The
factor in this is the distance from the starting point of
deposition. As can be seen in the videos and pictures, a "base"
needs to first be deposited, built up to the depth of the standing
water. The crossbeds begin to form immediately, increasing to
their maximum angle shortly after the deposition depth has matched the
standing water depth. Once the maximum angle is acheived, it
varies with the flow speed of the incoming water.
- the crossbeds which are sometimes thin and sandwhiched between
perfectly horizontal layers are now easily explained: The layer
in the middle was simply formed with trapped, inland, standing water
present while the layers above and below were not. A simple beach
dune, produced by the last inland flow of water, would trap water
inland which then became the standing water during the next
I'll interject my own, personal opinion here which is not necessarily
shared by M.E. or Andrew: I am now quite convinced that
the crossbeds of the coconino and navajo formations (as well as gravel
crossbeds in various locations) are produced by water;
convinced to the point
that I will be dogmatic about it. The evidence overwhelmingly
points to a watery origin.
as a paleocurrent indicator:
Water-formed crossbeds are, in my opinion, easy to recognize compared
to wind-blown sand dunes. Wind-blown sand dunes have remnants of
the windward and lee sides preserved somewhat in the crossbeds.
For example, this is a photo of a sand dune in eastern New Mexico that
been cut by a bulldozer:
While the dune did have bedding planes
(layers), and if one were to look strictly at one side, one might
interpret that one side's layers as "crossbeds." However, looking
at the breadth of the dune, one can see the layers curve right over to
the lee side (on the left), within only a few feet. The
crossbeds we see throughout the west go on for many, many miles with no windward side evident.
This is exactly what we would expect with a continentally-deposited
crossbed layer, and completely contrary to what we see with modern sand
dunes. While a lot of the crossbed layers we see in the
stratigraphic record are considerably thinner than the height of the
sand dune above, we can see layers on both sides of the sand dune
(roughly 12 feet high)- but never see
the windward side of the crossbeds.
There is one wildcard here: Andrew would suggest that there are
many, giant sand dunes in deserts today which were laid there during
the flood; and I would tend to agree.
25: David Lines pointed out that there are clear
crossbeds within the White Sands of New Mexico which match our
crossbeds identically. This of course has been used to argue that
wind-blown sand dunes produce crossbeds. However, I would contend
this evidence precisely demonstrates that the white sands were originally laid down by water and
are now being reworked by the wind! The above photograph is of a sand
dune which has clearly been formed only
The dune has moved enough that if it had been originally laid down by
water, any remnants of the layering left behind by the working of that
water has been destroyed by the reworking of the wind. Thus, what
see are only the effects of
wind and not large quantities of water. Crossbeds are only formed
Thus, water-produced crossbeds which are positively identified within
the stratigraphic record (be they sands, gravels or boulders), can be
used as a paleocurrent (ancient water flow direction) indicator.
I have personally examined
crossbedded layers by the hundreds throughout North America, and I
think of a single one that even has the potential to be a wind-blown
sand dune. They are all missing the tell-tale windward side of
the dune. Thus, we can incorporate crossbeds into the mapping
of megatrends in paleocurrents: A valuable study reflecting what
went on during the global flood of Noah.
Liquefaction is a state in which sediments are temporarily
suspended in water, usually from water percolating up through
them. This effect can
be seen by working wet concrete, vibrating mud, or even during
was built by our late friend, Don Yeager, from
Oklahoma. Sadly, Don passed away literally the day we returned
home after performing our research. Archimedes consists of a
sealed acrylic box designed to withstand some pressure. Spaced
off of the bottom is a membrane which allows water to pass through but
not sediments. Beneath this is the inlet from the water pump, and
water from this pump goes through a series of baffles to spread out the
flow so that it is as uniform as possible throughout the base of the
Sediments are loaded into Archimedes on top of the membrane, and the
pump intake sticks down from the top of the unit.
In the center of the top is a large, rolling-gasket piston which
cycles up and down to induce pressure upon the water and sediments
inside the unit. This is to simulate the pressure of waves during
the global flood, and the pump's water flow is to induce liquefaction
of the sediments. The two mechanisms can be used separately, or
in conjunction with each other.
I came to the table with a long-standing desire to perform research in
this area of liquefaction, as it relates to the global flood of
Noah. I had high expectations that not only would the process
produce layers, I had more than one model I had developed in which I
used liqeufaction to explain anomolies in the geological and fossil
record. I suspected this research would verify some suspicions I
Much to my surprise, it became evident very quickly that liquefaction
does not produce layers, it destroys
I do need to qualify this statement however: liquefaction did
indeed sort (more or less) the sediments by density.
resulting "layers" were hardly layers at all; they blended together and
if the system was to become lithified (cemented, or hardened into
rock), it would be one, thick block.
If I saw these layers in the geologic record, they would be interesting
and noteworthy, but I wouldn't call them layers; I would call it a
layer fining upward.
Futhermore, in an attempt to homogonize
(uniformly mix-up) the sediments that were loaded into Archimedes, I
stuck a high pressure garden hose into the pump return hole and blasted
the sediments with high-speed water. To my surprise, this made layers!
In fact, try as
hard as I could, the only thing that best homogenized the sediments was
Some have suggested (and I personally believed, until now) that
cycles of liquefaction during the flood were what produced
layers. To affirm/refute this, long period cycles were run in
Archimedes. All effects were finished with about 30 seconds,
whether liquefying or settling the sediments. We ran 20 cycles of
1 minute duration, pump-induced liquefaction, followed by 1 minute of
settling (no moving
water). The results were virtually identical on each and every
cycle - to the point that it was boring, it was so predictable.
It did not produce anything I would call layers, but did definitely
(and very, very rapidly) destroy the very definite layers I had
I did run a few long-period cycles with the piston being operated
simultaneously, both during liquefaction and settling cycles. The
pumping action had no visible effect, except to flex the 1/2" acrylic
walls in and out. To be honest, I did not expect the pressure
differential to accomplish much. The flexing was enough that it
more of an
effect than the pressure difference; so the piston action was abandoned.
In the end, the results were the same, no matter what. If we ran
the pump any longer than 30 seconds, no change was noted, and no layers
There has been some question of flow rates, and this is part of future
research. Flow rates will be controlled very accurately, but I
strongly suspect this will make no difference on the final outcome
except the time required to produce the same results.
Introducing a heresy:
Andrew and I both share a simliar skepticism for the metamorphic
interpretation of gneises and schists, and after examining the Llano
granite uplift, we both came to the same conclusion: It's a
sedimentary rock dome. I know for myself, I believe granite
a supernatural origin - there is no natural
way to produce it. Contrary to common belief, it is impossible to
form it from a melt. This has been borne out both in the lab in
and in nature. While Andrew and I both agree that the granite
batholith was a sedimentary rock, it's formation still requires
granites! It is granite that has simply been crushed up,
transported, and relithified elsewhere. This is a continuing
research which I will not discuss here.
One thing I personally noted with the liquefaction sediments was a
stark resemblance to schist, gneiss and granitic outcrops I've
examined in so many different places: They have stratification,
but it's a disordered mess, in the midst of giant plumes. This is
precisely what we saw, on a
small scale, in the liquefaction tank.
The liquefaction went through several distinguishable phases:
Plumes, which brought lower layers through to the top, which caused a
tilting of the upper layers downward. This led to "boiling" where
all of the layers would eventually go to vertical or near vertical,
followed by collapse of all of the structures, including the
plumes. I have seen all of these stages within the rock record,
namely in the "basement" rocks.
While I cannot be dogmatic on this, it appears as though the granite
plume now known as the Llano uplift, was precisely that: A
plume. However, it was not formed by a melt (as is conventionally
believed), as that is impossible - so it must have been formed "cold"
or at lower temperature. I am suggesting that water,
supersaturated with silica, produced a liquefaction plume of granitic
gravels. The silica precipitated out of the water, cementing the
granite gravels into sedimentary granites. The cementing silica
appears to simply be a part of the granite, as quartz is one of the
three main constituents of granite.
Andrew and I were supposed to perform considerable research into silica
supersaturation and sedimentary cementation while at Glen Rose, however
ran out of time. Andrew has pointed out some processes which are
now known which greatly simplify silica super-solubility, even in room
termperature water. This may play a major role in explaining the
massive beds of silica-cemented sediments around the world.
Conclusions to liquefaction:
Liquefaction doesn't produce layers, it destroys them. However,
it may very well be the father of plumes (such as those seen at
Kodachrome basin) and the presumed metamorphic rocks
referred to as the gneiss and schists so common throughout the Canadian
Shield and in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Some granites and
granite "dykes" within these rocks may also very well be simply the
from a liquefaction event - layers that were tipped up during the
liquefaction process and solidifed before liquefaction destroyed all of
|Addendum, February 2011:
Dr. Walter T. Brown has
expressed disagreement with my conclusions on this page, specifically
regarding liquefaction. He claims that what we acheived with
"Archimedes" was not liquefaction, but rather disruption. Dr. Brown has
a rather large chapter of his book devoted to liquefaction here: http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/Liquefaction.html
One of our researchers, Professor M.E. Clark, had built a reproduction of Dr. Brown's liquefaction apparatus (shown here,
figure 94), but was unable to replicate Brown's results. It was
actually this failure to reproduce results that led to the design and
construction of Archimedes, but Dr. Brown has contended that there was
an error in Clark's methodology and/or construction of the apparatus.
I do have to agree with at least some of Brown's criticisms, though
during our research there were considerably more applicable observations which I
did not report here. These other observations, as well as Dr. Brown's
critique have raised questions which I'm convinced will lead to more
exciting discoveries, but to date, we have not been able to get back to
the liquefaction research.
Sadly, after a year of battling cancer,
Professor Clark passed away in December of 2010.
E. Clark and H. D. Voss, Resonance and Sedimentary Layering in
the Context of a Global Flood
Proceedings of the Second
International Conference on Creationism
E. Walsh and C. L. Brooks, Editors, 1991, Creation Science Fellowship,
Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, Vol. 2, pp. 53-63.