Re: Review of Johnson's book again

Allen Roy (
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 10:08:10 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 29 Aug 1997, Joel Duff wrote:
> I will delurk for a moment because I've just been dying to ask someone this
> question and you might just be the person. I was wondering how you explain
> the various footprints and other trace fossils found on various levels in
> the Grand Canyon? Am I right about their presence and do you talk about
> them on your tours? I really am quite curious though admit to being very
> skeptical that they can be explained in a global flood context. Just
> wondering because I can't remember this being a topic of discussion and I
> have been reading quite a bit lately about fossil footprints and other
> trace fossils lately.

I concieve of the "Flood" as a global catastrophe composed of thousands of
various events. At any one locality there could be very violent events
followed by periods of stasis--inundation (sometimes violent, sometimes
more calm), sedementation (sometimes fast, sometimes slow), exposure of
sediment surfaces from time to time, erosional events (channeled or
sheet), tsunami events, turbidite events, volcanic euptions, flows and
ash deposition.

Also, it is thought that the flood catastrophe began slowly and built up
to a peak over several months. It is proposed that the primary causitive
facter was earthquakes due to a resturcturing of the crust. Then, most of
the violence subsided and the rest of the year was spent in relative calm
as waters drained off and surfaces dried out (however, aftershocks may
have continued for some time afterward).

The Ark was probably only afloat for some 110 days. It was not lifted up
on the waters until after day 40 of the onset of the catastrophe and it
set down on or just after 150 days. For this and other reasons, it is
proposed that the Ark was originally built at a reltively high elevation
(< 1000 m ??) in a mountainous region and landed in a mountainous region
not long after the peak of the catastrophe.

What about the mountains being covered by 15 cubits of water? We need to
remember that Noah and family were sealed inside the Ark and had no direct
view of the flood (the cover to the window was not removed until long
after they had landed). Since 15 cubits is 1/2 the depth of the ship it
is thought that the draft of the ship was therefore 15 cubits. Noah and
family may have noted that during the whole time that they were afloat
they never touched bottom, which ment that everywhere they happened to
drift or be driven by wind, wave or current the waters had to be greater
than 15 cubits. It is proposed that during at least one event (or perhaps
for several events) any one locality was completely covered with water,
the exact measure of which is unknown.

About trace fossils. It is proposed that up to the peak of the Catastrophe
animals and men were running here and there trying to escape destruction.
It is possible to concieve them fleeing across exposed recently deposited
'mud' flats leaving foot prints behind. Then the flats could then again
be covered and deposits made (probably by a more quite type of event),
which could then preserve the tracks. The conditions would have to be
just right, but, none-the-less, possible.

The trace fossils in Grand Canyon. From off the top of my head, i believe
that many of the trace fossils (aside from the usual trilobite tracks in
some layers) are in cross bedded standstone such as the Coconino. Austin
(1994, Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe) makes a case for underwater
sand wave (rather than aeolian) origin for the Coconino crossbedding.
And, Brand's (1979, "Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology")
detailed study of track ways made underwater up sand slopes by
salamanders, concludes that the traces in the Coconino crossbeds were also
made underwater by amphibians of some kind. Traces thus made could quite
easily be preserved because of the way sand waves (and thus crossbedding)
are formed.

It seems to me that how one conceives the 'Flood' greatly determines what
one does or does not think could have happened.

Allen Roy
Grand Canyon Creationary Geology Tours, see: