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Limestone Presents Problems for the Global Flood

Copyright 2003 G. R. Morton  This can be freely distributed so long as no changes are made and no charges are made.

I pointed out in the thread, Too many animals, that there were too many animals to be on one pre-flood earth. I would like to show another limestone from my collection. This rock type is informally called carbonate hash or lime hash because the animal remains have been chopped up while they were being deposited.

This rock was deposited in a similar fashion to what is happening in parts of the earth today. Today the rates of carbonate deposition are fastest at the equator and lowest at the poles. In the tropics an average value of 1210 grams/meter squared per year is deposited in a reef environment. (see Dennis K. Hubbard, Arnold I. Miller,  David Scaturo, "Production and Cycling of Calcium Carbonate in a Shelf-Edge Reef System (St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands): Applications to the Nature of Reef Systems in the Fossil Record," Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol. 60 (1990)No. 3. (May), Pages 335-360, p. 335)

Now the rate cited above is a maximum rate. The reality is that such a rate is NOT observed all over the continental shelves. Most of the continental shelves have sand and shale being deposited not carbonate. In reality only a small percentage of the continental shelves have carbonate being deposited at all. But we will pretend as if ALL the world's shelves had carbonate being deposited at a ridiculously maximum rate. Can the carbonate observed on earth be accounted for in this fashion in 1600 years which is the time from creation to the flood?

Now, what does this very rapid rate mean? There are 28 million square kilometers of continental shelves. there is little carbonate deposition off the shelf so at a maximum we can find out how much shell material can be deposited in a single year by multiplying the area times the rate above. I get 3.58 x 10^16 grams of limestone generated per year.

Now, J. M. Hunt (John M. Hunt, Petroleum Geochemistry and Geology, (New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1996), p. 19) Says that there are 51,100 x 10^18 grams of limestone on earth. To see how long it would take to deposit such a vast quantity of limestone we merely divide the latter number by the first. We get:

51,100 x 10^18 / 3.58 x 10^16= 1,426,700 years. Thus even giving young-earth creationism the maximum area and the maximum rate, for the creation of the world's limestone is impossible in a young-earth scenario.

Anyone want to try to explain this? Instead of falling back SOLEY on preferred views of Hebrew or exegesis which force the Bible to say that limestone CAN be deposited in 1600 years (in spite of the evidence), explain how this can take place in a young-earth perspective.

In the picture you can see the body parts of the dead organisms clearly. Limestone is largely the remains of dead things.

In a later note on that same thread I discussed this:
So I will post a pic of a fossil in my personal collection from the Cotham Marble near Bristol England. It is Rhaetic in age, roughly 205 million years old. It is uppermost Triassic.

The two-inch tall rock tells a great story of slow deposition. At the base are laminated sands. Whatever deposited them deposited alternating lithologies. The photo only shows 2 laminations but there are 3 on my sample. You can see the sudden onset of lime deposition and the numerous small bulb-like algae growths. some of them grew taller than the others and that is what is marked algae on the pic. It takes some time (not to mention still waters and no deposition raining down on them in the Flood) for the algae to grow. How much time? Don't know but it isn't instantaneous. Eventually the algal trees gave rise at the top of them to stromatolitic deposition. In between the algal trees, one can see banding. The nature of them suggests that they are of equal time frames, like a year worth of deposit. Limestone stromatolites don't grow that fast--1 mm per year. see

That rate would mean about 25 years worth of growth for this fossil. I count about 18 banding events which is in the ballpark of the above growth rate. After the stromatolites grew, one sees a return to sandier deposition which kills off the stromatolites.

Then sometime after the rock was deposited, it was heated and turned to marble and is now used for decorative building stones.

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