Is There Evidence For A Rapid Formation Of The Grand Canyon? -- By: Robert Goette
BSP 2:3 (Summer 1989) p. 77
Is There Evidence For A Rapid Formation Of The Grand Canyon?
Yes. But before we look at some of the evidence, let us pause a moment on the South Rim and contemplate this magnificent formation - 277 miles long, including the 60 mile long Marble Canyon, 3000–6000 feet deep, and 4 to 18 miles wide. In order to produce the present form of the canyon 1000 cubic miles of sediment had to be removed! All of man’s trash could be placed in just a small part of it (we hope that will never happen!)
According to Dr. Steve Austin, Institute of Creation Research geologist, some of the evidences for a relict1 landscape and youthful canyon follow.
(1) The prominent slopes of the canyon are generally in an arrested stage of development. An example of this is the rather sheer Redwall Limestone cliffs which have a red surface coating derived from the overlying reddish Supai Formation. The Redwall cliffs are not now eroding back to any major extent in the canyon.
(2) The deepest and oldest rocks, found in the inner gorge of the canyon, are covered with desert varnish. The Vishnu Schist, as these non-stratified metamorphic rocks are called, are believed by many creationists to be Creation Week rocks. This dark, sometimes shiny, coating of brown to black manganese oxide and clay minerals is deposited on the rock surface over hundreds of years. Thus, the presence of desert varnish indicates a long period of stability and not continuous erosion.
(3) The relatively flat surface of the Kalbab and Coconino plateaus which form the north and south rims, respectively, of the Grand Canyon are not now evolving.
(4) The many side canyons which branch off the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon area are typically short, rather wide, quite deep with bowl-shaped heads. These are not typical of the W” shaped gullies formed from stream erosion. In fact, streams are rarely found at the head of these canyons today - thus suggesting they are relict features. The bowl-shaped heads suggest collapse where water oozed out of wet sediment causing the supporting layers of sediment or rock to be removed.
(5) Dr. Austin writes,2 “Just up stream from Grand Canyon in Marble Gorge [Canyon], the channel of the Colorado River forms incised meanders. Laboratory experiments indicate that these elaborate meandering canyons could not have formed by the continued action of the present river. Greater water flow was required. Thus, the present Colorado River can be considered ‘underfit’ relative to its canyon.”
Dr. Austin’s st...
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