Geological Unconformities: What Are They and How Much Time Do They Represent?

June, 2012

Geological Unconformities

Fig. 1

What are unconformities and what do they mean to young-earth, biblical creationists? The simple definition is that they are surfaces, usually seen as a linear contact in a vertical rock outcrop or exposure, that separate younger overlying rock strata or layers from the older strata below. They are interpreted by uniformitarian (evolutionist and “old-earth creationist”) geologists as gaps in the record, each gap representing missing time and sediments. But is this interpretation warranted by the field evidence?

There are four subgroups of unconformities that are rec- ognized by geologists, illustrated by the diagrams in Figure 1. The first is called a nonconformity. A nonconformity is a type of unconformity in which there is a surface between underlying older metamorphic or igneous rocks and younger sedimentary rocks above. These contacts are usually very sharp and clear. Some period of time must have passed at these contacts between the exposure by erosion of the rock below and the deposition of the sedimentary strata.

How Did This Happen?

February, 2011

The Grand Canyon is probably the most famous geologic formation in the world. It is 216 miles long1,14–18 miles across, and about a mile deep. The first question most visitors express is, “How did this happen?” Many geologists have tried to answer this question and have proposed different theories as to how the canyon was formed.

Geologists saw the power of moving water through catastrophic failures of dams that breached. In 1889 the Johnstown flood and the 1976 Teton Flood in Idaho, breached dams caused loss of life and showed quick catastrophic geological events. Unfortunately, in geology, invoking catastrophes violates a “sacred rule,” any explanations should involve only processes we see today. This assumption, known as uniformitarianism, still underlies most geological thinking today.

Catastrophic Geologic Evidences in Ecuador: Part 2: Puyango Petrified Forest

August, 2009


As part of my December 2006 trip to Ecuador, I had the opportunity to visit the extraordinary Petrified Forest of Puyango hidden in a living tropical forest. The forest is located near the Peruvian border in the provinces of Loja and El Oro in Southern Ecuador (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Entrance to the Petrified Forest

The forest is at an altitude between 812 ft. to 2460 ft. above sea level and covers an area of about 6567 acres. I finally found the site after a five-hour trip from Guayaquil, the main port of the country. In addition to petrified wood, all sorts of fossilized creatures could be found, such as ammonites, sea turtles, sea shells, snails, and fish, just to name a few (Figures 3-5).

Catastrophic Gelogic Evidences in Ecuador - Part 1: Fossil Formations

October, 2008

In December 6, 2006 I had the opportunity to arrive in Ecuador, South America (Figure 1) for a month and a half trip. Mainly my family was looking to have vacation time, but all turned out to be filled up with adventure and discovery. After being involved with creation science, suddenly my eyes started catching sites of evident catastrophism—so the adventure began. In this article, I will present the first finding at Las Peñas, located northwest of the country not too far from Atacames Beach.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Location 1: Las Peñas: The coast line is formed with thousands of thin colorful layers of sedimentary rock (Figure 2), exposed to erosion by the tides of the Pacific Ocean. These visible layers are just the tip of what probably extend thousands of feet below sea level.

Bits and Pieces from the Earth Sciences

August, 2008

Truth from an evolutionist?

T. Rex Bone

                                                          Science via AP

Unfossilized soft tissue from bone of Tyrannasaurus rex

A: The arrow points to a tissue fragment that is still elastic. How could elastic tissue like this have lasted for 65 million years?

B: Another instance of “fresh appearance”.

C: Regions of bone showing where the fibrous structure is still present, compared to most fossil bones, which lack this structure.

This past January North Carolina State University held a dedication for a new wing of the Earth Sciences building, which, naturally, houses the geology department. Being an alumnus of the geology program (1975) I received an invitation to attend. When I saw that one of the featured speakers was to be Dr. Mary Schweitzer, the discoverer of red blood cells and soft collagen (a protein found in most tissues of living organisms) in a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex bone, I could not miss it.

More Flood Evidences Come to Light

February, 2008

From time to time, new research results give additional insight into the Biblical flood. In fact, for one who understands the Biblical flood, many current discoveries are easy to understand. For example, a recent article in Science “calls for critical reappraisal of all mudstones previously interpreted as having been continuously deposited under still waters”.1 Because mud sediments are “the dominant sediment type on earth”, this reappraisal has tremendous  implications for our understanding of the entire geological column.

Accurate Predictions Based on the Young Earth Creation Model

January, 2008

Good scientific theories are able to explain data and make testable predictions. For the Christian, a third element is required, that the theory be in harmony with the clear teachings of scripture. Some creation scientists even begin with scripture to formulate theories and hypotheses. In this essay, we will look at three predictions ultimately based on scripture, made by physicist Russell Humphreys of the Institute for Creation Research. The predictions deal with (1) the magnitude and dynamics of planetary magnetic fields, (2) the existence of a cosmic rotation axis, and (3) diffusion of helium through zircons. All of these predictions are in accord with a young earth interpretation of Genesis 1. As we will see, the data fit the predictions well.

D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.

Evidences and Events of the Flood

December, 2007

Geological structures give considerable evidence about the sequence of events during the world-wide flood described in Genesis and also give evidence for the flood itself. These structures include the chalk deposits during the CCretaceous period, paleocurrents, which indicate the direction of water flow when fossils were deposited, coral formations, and others. Astronomical findings also give us information about the flood and its development.


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