JURASSIC ARK – ROCK LAYERS FORM FAST – LINEAR STRATA MACHINE REPORT 11 © Copyright John Mackay 21st February 2022.
STRATA MACHINE TEST 11 c) February 2022
It’s one thing to have a small-scale flume machine that can produce all sorts of stratified layers (SEE EXP RESULTS 1-10). It’s a totally different matter to produce results which match what’s out there in big-scale reality.
Joseph and John teamed up in the UK to visit the area around Bristol Channel to not only collect fossils but to investigate the strata across the area.
Location of site shown below
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John has been collecting fossils at this site for some 40 years. The area also has great fossils ranging from sea creatures (above) to dinosaurs (below 6, 7), all of which we have found and are now in our UK museum collection.
The location is very popular in geological circles because the bedding in the cliffs below is so clear due to the layers being red, white and grey.
For many years we have taken home schooling and public groups here at low tide of course, as the Bristol channel is a Tidal Bore area. The group above (9) visited on a very cold day with frost coating the cliffs.
The geological society has an explanatory poster (below 10,11) at the entrance, explaining how the rocks are interpreted as a dry Permian desert (red) for millions of years which was later flooded and then buried by marine strata millions of years later. All this happened many millions of years ago.
The question we set out to answer was “Can we duplicate a similar sequence to that shown in 14, using only the natural processes we’ve seen in the tidal bores of Nova Scotia, the UK and other places, and we have also observed in floods and tidal movement. All such locations were characterised by deposition and erosion due to variations in the flow-speed and direction of currents, which were characterised by laminar deposition (layers), similar to what we have observed in our strata machines. So we set up our Mark 10 flume with the simple aim of pumping sediment rich water from right to left then simply altering the speed of the flow (15).
Picture 16 shows the basal deposits formed by both deposition and erosion during the initial turbulent flow from the right-side entry point. That original apparent turbulent flow produced the ‘bent beds’ (centre). For all practical purposes the ‘bent beds’ look as if they had a history of being first laid down horizontally, then uplifted, distorted and eroded before being covered. Yet they never were laid down horizontally. Four of our team watched these beds form with the strata laminations always being parallel to the direction of the current’s laminar flow, even when the turbulent current was travelling steeply down or up. Note in the picture (17 right above) the strata forming at the top from the right side, as you use the top of the Perspex walls as your horizon since it is parallel the actual horizon. On the right side the water surface is inclined up then alters to down on left side. As a result, the sediment formed slightly up-curved yet almost horizontal beds at top right which followed the same principle we have always observed – deposition is parallel to the surface of lamination in the water – which is not necessarily the earth’s horizon.
As water flow (right to left) was hindered by the current hitting the left hand slope (or hill) thus transferring energy vertically to the surface producing new wave turbulence (as in surf waves at beach) which in turn produced a slight backflow, followed by what appears to be a standing wave formed at the surface of the water where the two flows interacted above the midpoint of the valley. (mid water surface 17 left below 18). This soon determined that the next deposition commenced in the centre of the valley when the incoming current from the right stripped off sediment and built it up as an anticline in the ‘valley’ centre (19 below)
This continued to grow until the reason for the turbulence was infilled and the flow became less turbulent, but this change was progressive and as noted previously changes in direction of the strata formed were always parallel to the laminar flow and not to the earth’s horizon. Note again Steno’s principle of original horizontal deposition is incorrect, along with his principles of angled inclined deposition. Note pictures below show final surface with flat laminae at the right and inclined laminae (left) draped over the previous valley wall ‘hill’.
Now compare 18, 19, 20 and 21 and consider our challenge.
How do our small scale flume cross sections compare with big scale country wide cross sections. The connecting factor is the observation that to date our 10 versions of strata machines, whether they were 1/2 m (18″) long or 3m (10′) long, have all behaved in exactly the same way. Regardless of the depth, width or the length of the machine, the laminate strata formed have always been a consequence of the laminar properties of the water alone, and were never been related to size of the flume or the presence of the confining boundaries.
In all the pictures from 18 to 23, orthodox Steno-based geology interprets similar ‘cross country scale’ layers as having been laid down horizontally, undergone subsidence, uplift and folding, and was then eroded away by a series of region-wide space-time events, until later subsidence erosion and deposition formed the present surface level. Conventional geological modelling requires millions of years and many different depositional and erosive sequences through deep-time to achieve such a result.
The significance of our strata machine experiment is that we have produced identical structures without any strata movement up or down, and achieved it all in only 20 minutes. Again a reminder that the connecting factor between the flume and big scale geological reality is our observation that to date our 10 versions of strata machines, whether they were 1/2 m (18″) long or 3m (10′) long, have all behaved in exactly the same way. Regardless of the depth, width or the length of the machine, the laminate strata formed have always been a consequence of the laminar properties of the water alone, and have never been related to size of the flume or the presence of the confining boundaries.
Now to get provocative! For those who think the millions of years approach with many different sequences is the observationally based means of constructing geological history, you need to remember that the founding father of modern Geology Charles Lyell, definitely used the Steno based ‘oldest layers at the bottom methodology’ and then built on this with his least known yet most important paradigm, ‘My aim is to remove Moses from science’. Lyell used this thought because he was determined to get rid of rapid catastrophic processes such as were associated with the then widespread belief in Noah’s Flood. Should you wish to pursue this further consult the quote from Lyell below (a).
Now consider the fact that the results in our humble Aussie Strata machine results are far more consistent with massive flood flows, than millions of years of daily tides, rain, earth movement. It is time to rewrite Steno’s 3 principles as we have done in experiment number 10 (CHIASTIC FLOW), summarised below (b).
- Quoting from Lyell:
I am sure you may get into Q.R. [Quarterly Review] what will free the science [of geology] from Moses, for if treated seriously, the [church] party are quite prepared for it. A bishop, Buckland ascertained (we suppose [Bishop] Sumner), gave Ure a dressing in the British Critic and Theological Review. They see at last the mischief and scandal brought on them by Mosaic systems. … I conceived the idea five or six years ago, that if ever the Mosaic geology could be set down [put aside] without giving offence, it would be in an historical sketch, and you must abstract mine, in order to have as little to say as possible yourself.
Charles Lyell: Letter to George Scrope, 14 June 1830 In Lyell, K. [Lyell’s sister-in-law]. Life, Letters and Journals of Sir Charles Lyell, Bart. I:268-271. John Murray, London, 1881. [Items in square brackets added for clarification]
- REWRITING STENO. The below article is a repeat version of what I have suggested in experiment 10 to replace Steno’s 3 principles so they more accurately reflect what happens when sediment is deposited by a moving current.
Steno’s original principles of deposition are known as 1) the law of original horizontality, 2 the law of superposition, and 3) the law of lateral continuity.
Briefly explained they are:
- Original Horizontality – all sedimentary layers/strata were deposited in the horizontal position, therefore if a set of strata are found at an angle to the horizon, it is assumed they have been tilted from their original position.
- Superposition – the layers at the bottom were laid down first.
- Lateral continuity – all parts of a continuous layer have been deposited at a similar time and such strata originally extended in all directions until they thinned to zero or terminated against the edges of their original basin of deposition.
These results again seem to support my original contention that sedimentary deposition is a consequence of the pre-existing property of laminar flow that already exists within a moving body of water. Thus, sinking sediment is not the cause of the majority sedimentary layering, therefore I suggest Steno’s 3 principles at best apply to standing water only and not to sediment deposited by water in motion, so the 3 principles should be replaced with the following:
ORIGINAL HORIZONTALITY should be replaced with the term Original Emplacement defined as ‘Sedimentary Strata deposited by a moving current will be laid down parallel to the main direction of laminar flow within the moving water and will only parallel the horizon if the flow parallels the horizon.
Since the flow direction of the water laminae determines the angle of the strata to the horizontal, it can therefore be any angle to the horizon. As a result the angle of settling via a moving current is not governed by the ‘exposed slope factor’ of Stenos maximum angle of deposition.
However when a flow or flows occur within the bulk of a moving sedimentary mass, the particles of differing mass will move at differing rates along and within the enclosing flow, which may also result in multiple and simultaneous directions of intersecting bedding as seen in our experiments. We have defined this phenomenon as CHIASTIC LAMINATION.
SUPERPOSITION should be replaced with:
‘Chronology of Deposition’ defined as; “Sedimentary sequencing will be related to the direction of the flow and is therefore linear not vertical, commencing at the source and finishing at the terminal end of the flow. Ageing will therefore be along the bed and not through the sequence from bottom to top.
LATERAL CONTINUITY needs to be redefined as: ‘Whilst a bed may be laterally consistent in space across a basin, it will not necessarily be laterally consistent in time.
A NEW PRINCIPAL IS NEEDED which I will call Deltaic Flow which should state that ‘All flows whether confined within liquid boundaries or by solid boundaries, will behave as deltaic flows’ .. SEE ALSO Guy Bertault’s work.
Thus the interpretation of the order of strata deposition will be largely determined by the direction of flow with the consequent sequence-time of deposition in any basin being mostly lateral, not vertical.
Therefore, the distribution of fossils contained within a stratigraphic series will be the result of whatever fossil mixes were accumulated at the source of the different laminar flows carrying the sediment.
This concept of Deltaic Flow within either liquid or solid boundaries predicates that most fossil beds will therefore appear to be mixed environments, rather than buried ecosystems, which is the commonly ignored norm in observation of geological strata.
Consequently since the strata in reality ‘age’ horizontally along the bed and not vertically up through the bed, the fossils in the top sequence at the start of a flow may actually be older than fossils in the bottom layer at the terminal end of the flow.
Plus all fossils in a stratified formation could be deposited in the same flow event.
THEREFORE FAUNAL SUCCESSION, being totally dependent on Steno’s principle of Superposition which led to the concept that the fossils in the bottom layer lived, died and were buried before creatures in the next layer which then led to treating the cumulative strata as an ascending column through deep time, which next led to Darwin’s Theory, all now collapse like a house of cards, and Faunal Succession and evolutionary transition exist only in the minds of palaeontologists.
FURTHERMORE the results of these experiments add support to my contention that for sedimentation the ‘key issue is process not time!’
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