Dating the grand canyon
Dating the grand canyon - speed dating in christchurch
The tilted pre-Flood sediment layers are up to 14,000 feet (4,260 m) in thickness, but are only exposed in the eastern canyon and in a few other areas.
Over the last 30 years, the time frame for the carving of the Grand Canyon has gone full circle.Basalts found on the North Rim near the western end of the canyon were estimated to be only 6 million years old, but these same basalts are also found on the South Rim!8 This means these lavas had to flow across from one rim to the other, a process which could not have occurred had the canyon been in place at the time.The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most awesome erosional features.It is 277 miles (446 km) long, including the 60 miles (96 km) of Marble Canyon upstream.Some scientists still suggest 70 million years as the correct age, while others place it at less than 6 million years.10 The debate goes on, with none of the accepted dating methods providing a clear-cut answer to the age of the Grand Canyon.11 John Wesley Powell was the first to attempt an explanation of how the Grand Canyon was formed.
Known as the “antecedent river” theory, Powell theorized an ancient river eroded down into the Colorado Plateau at the same rate the plateau was being uplifted.12 Although this slow, gradual process fit nicely into the ruling uniformitarian thinking, over the next 50 to 75 years it was rejected by most geologists.The fatal blow against it came with radioisotope dating of the rim rocks.The antecedent river theory was replaced by the idea of “stream capturing.” Stream capturing suggests that through a process called headward erosion, the Grand Canyon was cut from the west through the plateau to “capture” the river, which ran a different direction at the time.13 This is the theory many evolutionary geologists hold today, but it has seen significant changes over the last 30 years.This idea met its demise in part because the necessary erosional debris could not be found anywhere east of the canyon.Still having the problem of the basalts on both rims of the western plateau, the theory was modified.Carved through sedimentary layers of sandstone, limestone, and shale and into the basement formations of mostly metamorphic schists and igneous granites, the Grand Canyon is a testimony to the erosive power of water. They can be divided into three groups as shown in figure 1.