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Conformable Contacts
Notes from the intersection of faith, reason and geology
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Eerie Landforms

Eerie Landforms | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Utah's Fantasy Canyon features mudstone eroded into bizarre shapes. This one's called "Flying Witch". #Halloween


Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah.


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Gravity...

Gravity... | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The video clip shows the cliff where the fall initiated, near the ledge close to the skyline.  Then, below the ledge, you can see the talus cone, which are rocky bits along the slope. The really large boulders that fell down and ruined the house have carved out soil ruts as the boulders rolled downhill." http://geographyeducation.org/2014/01/30/gravity/


Via Seth Dixon
YEC Geo's insight:

Gravity-induced erosion in action.

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, January 31, 7:18 AM

Una decina di giorni fa, il 21 gennaio 2014, è franato un torrione di roccia posto sopra un'abitazione a Termeno (Tramin), in Alto Adige.

 

Devastati campi, attrezzature, vigneti - a Tramin si produce i famoso Traminer - e tanta paura per la famiglia del sig. Herbert Trebo che ha visto uno dei massi fermarsi a pochi metri dalla casa. 

 

Qui trovate un filmato che riprende dall'alto la zona, evidenziando la zona del distacco e gli effetti devastanti dei massi rotolati e del terreno franato.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, February 3, 2:04 PM

Gravity

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, February 5, 3:13 PM

There are some things that just cannot be avoided like this rock that gouged its way down a hill, destroying part of a home and the landscape. Will we ever be in time to predict their coming and avoid such disasters from happening?

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Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future

Eroding Soils Darkening Our Future | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"The thin layer of topsoil that covers the earth's land surface was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded the natural rate of erosion. Sometime within the last century, soil erosion began to exceed new soil formation. Now, nearly a third of the world's cropland is losing topsoil faster than new soil is forming, reducing the land's inherent fertility. Soil that was formed on a geological time scale is being lost on a human time scale."

YEC Geo's insight:

Sober appraisal of the decline of soil fertility wordwide.

 

However, the article goes on to state the "thin film of soil" is scarcely six inches thick.  If the earth is really billions of years old, how can topsoil be so thin?

 

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erosion_in_New_Field_-_geograph.org.uk_-_104539.jpg

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Crazy-looking Danxia Landforms in China

Crazy-looking Danxia Landforms in China | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Amazing photos of danxia landforms in a geological park in Gansu province, China.  You really have to see these to believe them.

 

According to Wikipedia, these landforms "look very much like karst topography that forms in areas underlain by limestones, but since the rocks that form danxia are sandstones and conglomerates, they have been called "pseudo-karst" landforms."

 

Reminds me of the multicolored layers of the Pierre shale in the American West, except tilted and exponentially more intensely colored.

 

And again, the contrast between such widespread homogenous horizontal layers and the existing intensely eroded topography raises the question of how such layering could have formed slowly over time without being subject to erosion.  (See here for another example:  http://sco.lt/4pXg5B)

 

Apparently, the geological park is becoming a popular tourist attraction for the nearby town of Zhangye.  Geology bettering the lot of the people!

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Charles Darwin, Geologist

Charles Darwin, Geologist | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Science blogger Greg Laden writes, "Everyone knows that Darwin was a biologist, and in many ways he was the first prominent modern biologist. Though Darwin scholars know this, many people do not realize that he was also a geologist."

 

But was he a good one?

 

YEC geologist Steve Austin visited the site of Darwin's camp on the Santa Cruz River in Argentina, interpreted by Darwin to be the result of slow erosion over a long time: "The river, though it has so little power in transporting even inconsiderable fragments, yet in the lapse of ages might produce by its gradual erosion an effect of which it is difficult to judge the amount."

 

However, as Austin shows in "Darwin's First Wrong Turn," (http://www.icr.org/article/darwins-first-wrong-turn/), Darwin seriously misinterpreted the geology. Basalt cliffs and boulders high above the valley floor actually mark the spillway of what is probably a glacial outburst flood. 

 

The Santa Cruz River itself is seriously underfit for its channel, highlighted in orange in the image above, which originates in the glaciers and glacial lakes of the mountains to the west.  The actual river follows the trace of the black lines, so you can see the contrast between the spillway and the current river channel.

 

Austin notes that Darwin "...saw the structure of the present valley and understood it to have been formed by the continued slow action of the modern river during the lapse of great geologic ages. Later, Darwin revisited the bogus methodology when he assumed that beaks of finches on the Galapagos were derived slowly during geologic ages from a common bird by the cumulative process called natural selection. ... Darwin was in error about the Santa Cruz River valley. What if young Darwin had correctly interpreted the colossal flood evidences within the valley? Would he have later entertained that biological extrapolation called biological evolution? ... It is evident that Darwin became a committed geological evolutionist before he became a biological evolutionist. Camp Darwin marks this young naturalist’s first scientific wrong turn."

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New study claims mountains are minor contributors to global sediment, carbon

New study claims mountains are minor contributors to global sediment, carbon | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"In geology circles, researchers have long contended that small mountain rivers create a major share of the sediment that is eventually deposited into the world’s oceans.

 

Brandon McElroy, assistant professor in the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics, is a member of a research group that has challenged those findings and proffered that the majority of sediment delivered to the oceans actually comes directly from sediment located in floodplains and other low-lying areas."

 

I suspect this may be a bit controversial.  Plus, the cynical side of me notes how the research is tied into the climate controversy--i'm sure I'm not the only one noticing that research that's funded is increasingly becoming research that's climate-related.

 

 


Via Catherine Russell
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Possible pre-Grand Canyon "Lake Colorado"?

Possible pre-Grand Canyon "Lake Colorado"? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

In keeping with Scheele's article on the Grand Canyon, here's a post by Australian geologist Tas Walker that may point to the pre-Grand Canyon lake postulated by Scheele.

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After love, the most powerful force on earth...

Not explosives.  Water.  Water has been responsible for an incredible amount of geologic change throughout history, and now it's being used to disable IEDs.  Check out at t=1:12 how water sliced through a propane tank like a knife through butter.  

 

Read in Wikipedia about water jet cutters, which use water in a similar manner to cut metals and even granite, preferred when the materials being cut are sensitive to the high temperatures generated by other methods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_jet_cutter

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Rivers from Above

Rivers from Above | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Get a unique view of these rivers beyond the banks.Photo editing by Lia Pepe

Via Seth Dixon
YEC Geo's insight:

My favorite is the slot through the Olga mountains in Australia--how does that happen?

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Woodstock School's curator insight, February 25, 5:01 AM

The Art of Geography

Mark Burgess's curator insight, February 26, 6:26 AM

Awesome rivers. i love a good river.

ok's curator insight, September 23, 5:45 AM

esrdcfvtgbhyjnkmstgyb weiweeee

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Tsunami in Japan 2011

"This video captures some amazing footage of the 2011 tsunami in Japan."


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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:05 PM

This shocking video makes me so glad I live where I live, granted we have blizzards but I would definitely take the snow any day over a tsunami or a hurricane. In this video it was like a bad car accident I waanted to stare at the horrific site oof mother nature taking her course but that was just it it was too scary! Can't believe this is normal for some people in the regions that they choose to live in.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 7:17 PM

Most people do not realize the sheer power of a tsunami. It has the force of the entire ocean depth behind each wave. It also pours onto land for hours until it stops then pours back into the ocean for another hour or so. Most people killed are killed by objects such as cars and buildings crushing them. Seeing videos such as these can help people get a better idea of the forces actually involved and maybe save lives.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:33 PM

I hope something like this never happens again. Tsunamis are unreal. They are literally horrifying and to see something like this captured on camera is actually really scary. Damn plate tectonics and people living on the water front.

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Eroding ages

Eroding ages | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
The continents cannot be billions of years old because they would have eroded away long ago; there should be nothing left.
YEC Geo's insight:

Tas Walker spells out why erosion rates are a consistent problem for conventional geologists.

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Erosion rates and "doomed outcrops"

Erosion rates and "doomed outcrops" | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
YEC Geo's insight:

Callan Bentley takes a Gigapan to the Chesapeake Bay to record fossiliferous banks that are scheduled to be reinforced against erosion, and thus removed from scientific inquiry.

 

What I find interesting about this article is the rate of erosion of these banks.  According to another site, erosion on the east side of the Bay near Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland, can be up to 2 feet/year (http://www.newsline.umd.edu/health/septic-slide-121510.htm).  The homeowners profiled in the article lost 30 feet in six years!

 

Going to Google Earth reveals that the Bay ranges from about 31,000 to 33,000 feet wide near Calvert Cliffs.  If we assume erosion has been constant, and is equal on either side of the Bay, working backward shows that it would have taken around  8000 years for that width of channel to be eroded.  And that's the "limit of absurdity," which presumes that the Bay was 0 feet wide when erosion began.

 

The point is, unless erosion has dramatically accelerated, the outermost limit of calculated time for the Bay to have eroded to the width it has now is way too short.

 

Image credit: http://www.newsline.umd.edu/health/septic-slide-121510.htm

 

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CEH: Evaluating the Chicxulub Impact Dinosaur Extinction Hypothesis

CEH: Evaluating the Chicxulub Impact Dinosaur Extinction Hypothesis | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

David Coppedge at Creation-Evolution Headlines reports on the latest iteration of the Chicxulub impact theory and the K-T boundary. 

 

This has bothered me for some time, because the whole discussion illustrates what I have come to see as a major logical failing in modern stratigraphic interpretation, especially in regard to the interpretative principle that the present is the key to the past.

 

In a nutshell, the idea that flat, horizontal contacts between thick, areally-widespread formations can be analogized to the present time, is unrealistic because of the ubiquity of erosion.

 

The above image illustrates the point quite nicely.  Much work has been done to support the theory that the iridium layer above the Hell Creek formation (essentially at the position of the red line above) marks the K-T boundary.  Thus, fossils buried below the boundary are Cretaceous, and those above are Tertiary.

 

But now look at the contrast between the current topography and the geometry of the outcrop--could it be more stark? 

 

The main point is that EROSION is the dominant process of the present.  Nowhere in historical time do we find thick subaerial layers being deposited and left undisturbed long enough to accumulate the thickness and areal extent of the Hell Creek and its other equivalents, such as the Lance Formation (see here for an map: www.und.nodak.edu/instruct/jhartman/Research/PDFs/2002-117-Johnson%20et%20al%20sp361.pdf)

 

The connection with the K-T border is that conditions must have been extremely unique for the ash that marks the border to fall on horizontal, uniform rock layers and then remain undisturbed by erosion for the amount of time required by current interpretations for the accumulation of both the overlying and underlying horizontal layers. 

 

Think about it:  where are the widespread, thin horizontal ash layers from Mt. St. Helens?

 

Coppedge reports on the slap in the face that the cometary extinction theory had for uniformitarianism:

 

"'It flew in the face of the position that geologists and paleontologists at the time had for gradual explanations for everything that happened in the Earth’s past, a position that went by the name of uniformitarianism,' said Walter Alvarez. 'The notion that this mass extinction was caused by an impact, or even the notion that there was a sudden mass extinction, raised a lot of dispute at the time, and people strongly challenged the idea.'"

 

However, you can't have it both ways. If the Fort Union and Hell Creek formations were laid down slowly, uniformitarianism predicts that they should have been heavily eroded.  If they were laid down quickly, then the fossils they contain can't be representative of different geologic time periods.

 

Draping actualism over uniformitarianism results in a useless predictive paradigm, because anything is possible, and nothing is improbable. 

 

Unless it allows people to entertain the hypothesis of a catastrophic global marine transgression.  I'm not holding my breath.

 

Image credit: http://geologyblues.blogspot.com/2010/05/accretionary-wedge.html

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Stratigraphy session - Mountain Beltway - AGU Blogosphere

Stratigraphy session - Mountain Beltway - AGU Blogosphere | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Gorgeous badlands topography from Alberta, Canada.  I have a weakness for badlands of all sorts, having worked for a summer in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, during college.

 

To me, they are an exquisite example of the contrast between the past deposition of thick, essentially horizontal layers of rocks and the current deeply eroded topography--what paleontologist Douglas Johnson calls the contrast between the "D-world" of the past (deposition world) and the "E-world" of the present (erosion world).

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Draining Condit Dam, Washington State, shows effects of receding floodwater

Draining Condit Dam, Washington State, shows effects of receding floodwater | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

From Tas Walker's blog. Contains a link to an amazing video of the erosive power of water.

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