Burrows cause problems for the Flood

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

Burrows and burrowing throughout the geologic column are a great challenge to the young-earth paradigm.  If there was a global flood which laid down all the rocks in a one year period, then there should be little time for burrowing animals to burrow. and they should become fewer and fewer the higher up one goes in the rock record. This is because the animals should have been killed and buried down deep and they should not have lived to burrow in the later stages of the flood.
Young-earth creationists never speak of burrows and at the same time understand the implications.  Below are some burrows. The first is from my collection. A few years ago I was on a field trip to the northern deserts of Mexico. We stayed in Saltillo (pronounced Saw-tee-yo). It was so dry out there that water had to be trucked into the town, yet the only motel had a swimming pool--go figure.

Anyway, we were studying the Difunta group, a turbidite deposit. It consisted of layered sands and shales thousands of feet thick. On the way back to Monterrey, we went up a mountain east of Saltillo on which a radio tower was placed. We stopped to look over the geology all around us and I noticed the following burrows in the rock by where I was standing. I took a picture and then retrieved the central burrow from the mountain and it is a prized possession in my fossil collection.

What does this burrow say about the 'global' flood? It says a lot. The animal which dug this spiral burrow was in no hurry to escape the flood. He dug down in a spiral and then up in a spiral. There were hundreds of these burrows in that shale. About the top of the central burrow, you can see a horizontal line. That is about the level of the former ocean bottom, where the burrowing animal came out of his burrow into the sea. You can see a very slight color difference (from greenish to orangish above) in the rocks above that level. They differ slightly in lithology.

These burrows are NOT escape burrows as is often claimed by YECs when faced with this data. Escape burrows are straight up. this thing is eating the organic matter in the mud. The maker of this burrow is not in a hurry.

Once again, young-earth creationism fails to explain this data. There are around 15,000 feet of sediment beneath this burrow and stratigraphically another 5,000 above it. To deposit 20,000 feet of sediment in a one year flood requires 54 feet of deposition per day. and that means 2.28 feet per hour. If sediment were raining down on that poor burrower while he was going down, he would have to then burrow further up to get to the ocean than the level at which he started. Clearly you can see that this isn't the case.

The burrow shown here is Palaeophycus. It is on a stone pillar near my house.  This sandstone has numerous burrows. It takes time for burrows to be made, and when the global flood is supposedly dumping 75 feet per day on the area, it is difficult to see how the animals would have time to make such features.

Also in my neighborhood on another stone is a different type of burrow which looks like ant burrows.  The age of the stone is unknown, but once again, it is difficult to see how this can fit into the global flood with 75 feet of sediment being dumped on top of the burrow makers every single day.

In the following picture  one can see the former ocean bottom upon which the skolithos creature lived.  The burrow was later filled with oolites, which are tiny balls of limestone which take time to form. Oolites are created when layer upon layer of limestone is deposited on the outside as the little balls roll around in the waters. Thus they take time to form before they could fill the burrow.

The final set of burrows comes from the Carboniferous of Egypt.  They show how prevalent burrowing can be in some horizons.  This simply doesn't look like turbulent flood deposition.

There are also burrows found in hundreds of feet of oil well cores.   It is almost impossible to account for lots and lots of burrows during a global flood when the average sedimentation rate for a 1 year flood MUST be of the order of 50-100 feet per day (2-4 feet per hour). The burrowing animals simply don't move that rapidly. They would be rapidly buried and then killed.

What I am going to show is 100 feet of burrows in a single well from Wyoming. But first I want to show a burrow from the modern day Atlantic coastal shelf. There are burrows there that we know were not deposited with the rock and took some time for the animal to make the burrow and then for the next layer of sand to infill the burrow.

Note that this burrow looks very similar to the burrows below. All burrows are marked with red arrows. There are some that are not marked. First is from 9308 feet deep

Now 9343 feet.

Now 9361-9363 feet deep

Now 9401 and 9410 feet deep

this is 102 feet of nearly continuously burrowed strata. How does this happen in a flood? Any explanations? Why don't the YEC leaders show this in their journals?

I once looked at a long core in a major oil producing province. The core went from something like 7500 feet to 8575 feet--this is feet below the earths surface. The entire 1000 feet had burrows. Here is one core segment in two pictures. The red arrows mark the burrows, the blue arrows mark old horizontal surfaces which you can see partially remaining. The burrowing destroyed the layering along most of the layers.
Here are burrows found at 7685 and 7707 feet respectively.

here are more burrows several hundred feet higher in the same vertical well bore. The red arrows mark the burrows at 7685 feet in the well.

The red arrows now mark the burrows at 7707 feet in the well

This is at the 8527 foot level. Note the blue old ocean bottom surfaces which have been penetrated by burrowing animals.


We have now seen core with burrows extending over 843 feet of sediment in a single vertical oil well. How do the YECs explain this?   What is one to say about a global flood when one sees nearly 1000 feet of continuously burrowed section just like what you see here? And why don't YEC leaders tell their followers about it?

And as an added bonus, since David Tyler's flood model claims that these are post flood burrows, and he believes that Noah's flood only deposited the Cambrian and Ordovician strata, I have a burrow from the Ordovician Red River dolomite. This rock is used as a flooring stone in the building I am working in. I found some really neat burrows as I was walking along looking at the floor. I will show one of them, a sinusoidal burrow which is clearly seen below and the scale is my pen. This one is in our hallway

And this burrow rides our elevator

YECs have not addressed the burrow problem. I have shown lots of burrows over the past few months. How do you have animals burrow 2-4 feet per hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 4 weeks per month, for a year without rest? Since these marine animals had to live outside of the ark, in the water where they were being buried, how did they survive the flood? This isn't a case of merely believe.

I would ask David Tyler if he has  any idea how the animals were able to burrow during the  flood? I would bet I could find burrows in the Arbuckle Mtns of Southern Oklahoma where there is over 20,000 feet of Cambrian strata alone.

Is there any YEC  who is honest enough to acknowledge publicly that burrows cause problems?

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