There are several striking features of the composition and the formation of the sandstone. The layers in the rock are over eighty degrees. If they were less than 30 degrees, most likely old earthers would claim it to be petrified sand dunes, and it would be end of subject. Because of this great angle another formation story is required.
Actually the angle of the sandstone â€œlayersâ€ found here would probably never be confused by geologists as being due to coming from sand dune formation even if under 30 degrees. Eolian sandstones are largely identified by diagnostic cross-bedding, usually between 20-30 degrees, which is set at an angle to the bedding you describe here as â€œlayers.â€ Also the nature of the grains in the sand dunes is very unlike windblown deposits in terms of being poorly sorted. There are also conglomerates, and I doubt â€œold earthersâ€ would try and say that these were windblown. Winds that can carry pebbles do not allow for the creation of sand dunes. The grains are not frosted and are angular. This also is not typical of windblown sediment. Geologists are not trained to jump to conclusions using only one line of evidence, and ignoring other evidence in doing so although I do see creationists do this rather frequently. The angle of inclination to the beds really has nothing to do with the composition of the actual sandstones or the nature of the depositional environment in which they formed.
The origin is generally thought to be a leftover of eroded mountains--thus the high angles are the result of orogeny, followed by erosion--a common uniformintarian (as opposed to "actualist, which claims to acknowledge catastrophe) approach to unconformities and potential "flies in the ointment."
Once again the â€œhigh anglesâ€ of the beds have little or nothing to do with the presumed provenance or source of the sediments. There is not a direct relationship as you imply here. The source is thought to have been from eroded granitic rocks still found in the remnants of eroded mountains to the south after the mountains were created in the Petermann Orogeny. This basically is more about the proper study of the sandstones than holding to uniforitarianism. It is the composition of the sandstones that ties the rocks to their source, not the high angles of the beds in Ayers Rock. The inclined bedding would have come by different orogenic activity than that which produced the sediments. Inclined beds are not â€œflies in the ointmentâ€ any more than unconformities are in terms the application of the science of geology. These are fies in the ointment for YEC ideas.
I notice that you have now generally shifted away from using the term uniformitarianism for a concept you want to attack in favor of actualism. Unlike the inclination of the bedding, your attempted slam of geologists who hold to uniformitarian concepts falls flat. There is essentially no difference between the modern concept of â€œuniformitarianismâ€ as used in the 20th or 21st centuries and â€œactualismâ€ in fact I made it all the way through grad school studying geology before anyone started to use a term other than uniformitarianism for the general nature of how we use present processes active on the planet to interpret past earth history. The presence of occasional catastrophic occurrences has been well known in modern earth environments and taken to be something that occurred in the past, sort of like punctuation to the general slow and uniform processes at work. We have not held to the slow and very uniform rates that Sir Charles Lyell tended to embrace in the 19th century. We have known that the name was not the best for the concept, but it had long usage and it didnâ€™t bother most of us since earth processes are far more uniform than the alternative discredited â€œcatastrophicâ€ school which fails miserably to explain much of the evidence found in the rocks. I do not use the term actualist out of past habit, but do accept that I hold to an uniformitarian viewpoint. Basically in geology after the 19th century Uniformitarianism= actualism and all that occurred was a name change used by some for greater clarity. Some are sticklers for keeping the historical context of uniformitarianism as it was held by Lyell when using the word, I am not one of them. If you find a geologist today that claims to accept uniformitarianism it will most likely be the same concept as actualism.
But there is plenty of evidence to build a water transport deposition, accompanied by following diagensis and/or metamorpism because of the volcanism that many creationists believe accompanied the breaking up of the "fountains of the deep."
So is there other evidence of water? Yes, the rock is classified as arkose. Arkose contains calcite, which acts as an initial cement. This would have most likely come from the ocean's diatomic and planktonic organisms that mixed with the sand underwater.
Also there are ripples and cross bedding found in the rock.
So because many creationists believe volcanism accompanied the â€œgreat fountains of the deepâ€ you conclude that metamorphism is present? I would think a better approach would be to only cite what evidence has actually be found, not to conclude it is there because your model predicts it should be there.
Arkoses do not usually contain calcite as a primary clastic component. Although calcite cement is commonly found, it is not an essential ingredient for a rock to be called an arkose. They are sometimes informally called â€œdirty sandstonesâ€ due to their large non-quartz content. While there is ample evidence that the sediments were water-lain, there is no evidence I have seen that shows these rocks were deposited by ocean waters. As far as I know these rocks do not contain much in the way of fossils, which is something typical of terrigenous rocks. Diatoms are not present as far as I have heard, but if so they would leave behind silica and not calcium carbonate (calcite). Material from planktonic organisms mixing with the sand underwater during a catastrophic flood?...there is no evidence of this at all. Calcite cements are not exclusive to sediments deposited by oceanic waters. They are often not primary either, but part of the diagenetic process. Ripples and cross-bedding are often found in fluvial deposits.
I see you have invoked the now nearly ubiquitous creationist usage of the â€œgreat fountains of the deepâ€ which are commonly cited to fill in several holes in creationist flood geology. They are used to provide great volumes of water, they are used to provide tectonism, and they also are sometimes linked to volcanism. Did they also slice and dice rocks like a Vegamatic? Did they emit gases that cured the common cold for a term as well? Iâ€™m sure with a little imagination other phenomina can be explained by invoking â€œthe great fountains of the deepâ€ whatever they actually were.
I don't want to deviate into alluvial fans, but is the 18000 feet of sandstone a result of water run off for a canyon??? That is what they are suggesting here! It is enough to make me sick--sorry!Â
Donâ€™t you think you may be exaggerating a little in terms of the thickness involved? Although I have seen estimates of multiple kilometers of thickness, the present Ayers Rock is a bit over 1,100â€™ and although the exact depth the beds reach below the surface is unknown, I think it is most commonly speculated to that 1/2 to 2/3 cannot be seen. That would put the thickness closer to 4,000â€™ or less.
I would recommend to stop being sick and do some more research into the geology involved with alluvial fans, one of the more common methods of accumulating great thicknesses of sediment. Your problem seems to be that your â€œworldviewâ€ â€¦.as you would term it, does not allow for you to add the time element that is part and parcel for such thick accumulations. Several â€œlayersâ€ are present and they would have been formed by repeated pulses of sedimentation on individual alluvial fans or coellescing fans accumulating through time. The sedimentation on these is often in sheet floods or related flash flooding events so you are basically arguing against a straw man that you have constructed about slow flow through canyons. Go out and look at the sediment accumulated on such a fan. They will not likely be very rounded as you seem to be saying in a couple of places. Alluvial fan deposits are more typically angular.
I once was hiking on Miyajima, a small Japanese island, and arrived just after some heavy rainfall. The streams were literally choked with â€œgranite washâ€ and it appeared that there was almost as much sediment as water in the flow. Lots of pink and white feldspar. This would have formed a rather thick bed of sand down and off the slope. Nothing all that slow about it, and certainly nothing catastrophic about it. I survived my hike without even getting my feet wet.
Although finding many sands in a section is generally a good thing in an oil and gas well since it provides reservoirs, we sometimes drill into sequences like this for thousands of feet that lack traps and seals. We term failed wells of this sort â€œsand pilesâ€â€¦a couple of exploration wells drilled here a few years ago failed for just such a reason. Oil and gas had been generated an migrated through the sands present, but it kept on going updip to traps formed by faults and sealed by shales across the boundary line of the concession.
Since by common sense we can rule out any possibility of canyon water run off, we must conclude by the sheer volume of arkose, and the upturn that we are looking at the results of cataclysm, involving both high regime current, earth movement, and volcanism. This is consistent with the Biblical account of ALL the fountains of the deep were broken up.Â
Common sense favors the possibility shown by all the evidence that can be used in making conclusions. The evidence does not lead in the direction of cataclysm, but more mundane geological processes such as those found in river and alluvial fan deposition.
Being consistent with something nodody can really explain? Those very useful â€œfountains of the deepâ€ put in yet another appearance. Volcanism cited again with no real evidence of any being involved in the tectonic tilting of the beds. Some minor amounts of basalt have been found in the sediments, but that is all. Actually common sense after an actual study of the rocks would not rule out alluvial fans at all, since the sediments involved are rather diagnostic of such features. Ruling something out just because you do not understand it is not a very good scientific approach. In fact it is one of the more dangerous ways to approach science if a correct conclusion is the goal. What common sense rules out is deposition of 18,000â€™ of sandstone in one world-wide flooding event over a few weeks time. Trying to conceive of that makes me dizzy, not sick.
First of all you have to produce all that sediment through erosion. The action of even the most rapid flood waters would not allow for even a fraction of the sediment to be produced from the erosion of the granites with a yearâ€™s time. Then the flood waters would be required to transport it all and deposit it with bedding surfaces, and as you have pointed out, ripples and cross-bedding. Not much chance of strong currents after all the mountaintops are covered so I would guess we are limited to when waters are raging down due to heavy rainfall, and then when the waters receded. What does the Bible give us as a time frame for all of this? Well, the waters decreased enough that by the seventh month the ark came to rest on ground and decreased steadiliy until the tenth month. Then after another month Noah sent out the bird to test for dry ground. So by the furthest stretch as I can see it, all of this had to accomplished in eleven months. About 330 days. If we say all the sediment was eroded already by the start of the flood, which is not likely due to a lack of the action of rains, etc. and the fact that the sediment could not have been accumulating for a long time prior to deposition due to the unweathered nature of the grains, we would have deposition would have to average about 55â€™ a day. Ripple marks and cross-bedding are very hard to preserve in the high flow regimes that would be necessary. So the presence of these bedforms goes against your hypothesis of deposition through a massive flooding event.
The arkose also contains 25 % conglomerate rock, which would lend secondary support to turbidity currents.
No it wouldnâ€™t. I donâ€™t think the conglomerates present are part of a graded-bedding Bouma sequence that would be found in a turbidite.
The evidence of volcanism is high, by the presence of feldspar (50%), and mica. Also it contains pieces of basalt--indicating extrusive lava that was then covered by sand. Basalt is what is on the oceanic ridges, and formed the Hawiian islands.
There is no talus (broken eroded sediment) at the foot of Ayers Rock, because there are no joints (cracked openings), indicating the rock is not only cemented by calcite, but in part welded by the contact metamorphism caused by the volcanic heat within the sandstone.
I think evidence of some regional volcanism is present, but not evidence for the creation of the actual rocks in Ayers Rock, which is shown by only small amounts of basalt fragments within the sandstones. Other than that, the arkosic sands are mostly typical of a granite wash in terms of grain size and sorting. With rather rare exception feldspar or mica grains from a volcanic source would be much smaller than seen here. Basalt also commonly forms on land. So if sand covered the lava, where is the lava now? Was it ever really present, or is it hat your model would predict it should be there so you assume it is there?
Where did you find reference to metamorphism in the sandstones? I have never seen any mentioned nor any volcanism causing alteration. You would plainly see this in â€œbaked zonesâ€ yet Ayers Rock has none that I have ever seen reported. The unweathered arkoses are grey in color and not showing the typical red color caused by the heat of nearby igneous activity.
In desert environments such as on the Colorado Plateau you can see a similar situation with talus. Some studies indicate that if weathering of produced talus dominates the creation of more talus not much will be found at the base of cliffs. Joints have been noted and small caves appear to form near there. But having joints or not is not evidence of calcareous cementation. This is also not evidence of metamorphism.
As I mentioned before, I will do so again for the purposes of this question. If the massive sub-surface deposit at Uluru is the result of eroded mountains, where are the signs of the erosion? There should be talus around Ayers Rock. Metamorphism welded the rock to make it a unit, so that there are no joints. This is a sign of a LACK of erosion--and an indication that the rock is relatively young.
You seem to be confusing two erosional events. One would be the erosion of granitic mountains located some 60 kms away, as shown by the included sediment types. The erosion of the beds that formed into rocks would be a separate issue. The pictures you have provided very plainly show features caused by erosion, including what appear to be ventifacts from wind erosion. The ribs show differential erosion rates of the beds present. The very color of Ayers Rock is evidence of erosion. Again you lead with metamorphism. Please supply a citation that such is present or I will continue to assume that you are simply jumping to a conclusion.
Severe Uplift Would Cause Joints and Faults
I am not saying there were no earth movements at all, but bedding angles are caused by severe uplift and turning from oregenic events, as claimed by standard geology, why does the large Ayers rock contain no faulting or joints. You would think that if the layers are strata laid originally horizontal, and then turned nearly vertical on such a gargantuan scale, there would be faulting and joints-but there is none!
So you have studied Ayers rock to the point that you know that there are no faults or joints in it? Geologists have found faults and joints associated with Ayers Rock, it is just that they are far less common than usual. I have heard it is bounded by major faults on some sides and that the material on the other sides of the faults was less resistant to erosion and has since vanished. There are sheeting joints where blocks of the sandstone is separating from the dome. Some caves are thought to be associated with joints.
Evidence of Transport
The grains are jagged, supporting rapid transport, rather than slow run off through a canyon, which would tend to produce more eroded rounded grains.
The angularity of the grains is evidence of deposition following relatively little transport. This fact does not come about due to the speed of the transport per se. If a stream carries such grains at a rate of 1 meter a minute and deposits them relatively close to where they were eroded you will still see this angularity. But once again you try and force fit mainstream geologic work into an unrealistic uniformitarian straw man.
By the way, the photomicrograph shows no signs of metamorphism that I can detect, and I have looked at metamorphic in such sections. There is no binding at grain contacts at all. There is no undulation to the surface of the grains.