# RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003

From: Glenn Morton (glennmorton@entouch.net)
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 20:48:26 EDT

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: allenroy [mailto:allenroy@peoplepc.com]
>Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 6:48 PM

>Glenn, I did an interesting experiment. I took 3 jars and put
>different amounts
>of the same soil sample in each jar -- 1) ~1/16 of the volume, 2)
>~1/4 of the
>volume and 3) ~1/3 of the volume. Then I filled the rest of each jar with
>water. I shook up each jar and then set them down. Jar's 1 and 2
>did what I
>expected, the sediment slowly settled out of the water according
>to density and
>size by Stokes Law. The layer of sediment slowly accumulated from
>the bottom up
>as the particles settled out. However, Jar 3 behaved completely different.
>When all the sediment got mixed up it formed mass such that when
>the jar was set
>down the entire mass came to a sudden stop on the bottom nearly
>filling the jar
>to the top. Then the mass slowly shrank as water seeped up out of it.
>
>So, what happened to Stoke's Law in the 3rd Jar?

That is easy. There was not enough water to actually support the grains in
the water. If you put a teaspoon of water in with a jar of dirt, it won't
behave as Stokes predicted because the water is carried inside the dirt. The
water adheres to the dirt and moves with the dirt. Stokes' law is
applicable when the water is much greater than the quantity of particles.

If you were to examine the grain size in the 3rd jar, I would predict that
there is no sorting of the particles. Big and little particles are all mixed
sediment distribution because the sediment is sorted for the most part. Only
glacial sediments and landslide sediments are not. (at least that is all I
can think of off the top of my head and maybe other geologists on the list
are smarter than I and can think quicker.)

The soil
>particles did not
>slowly settle out of the water, but the water slowly seeped up out
>of the muddy
>mass. Does the ratio of soil particles per unit of water make a
>difference?

That is exactly the issue

>Does Stoke's Law work all the time, or only for small ratios of
>soil particles
>per unit of water?

Stokes' law only works with lots of water and little sediment. But if you
don't have lots of water and little dirt, you can't get a sorted layer of
rock which is what we observe on the earth.

Is there a difference between having water
>with soil in it
>or soil with water in it?

Yes.

Does mud behave differently than water?

In mud, there is more water than dirt. In muddy water, Stokes' law applies.

> Frankly, I
>believe so. When a catastrophist interprets a layer of clay as
>being laid down
>in a short time, they imagine the clay being a thick slurry rather
>than a few
>particles of clay carried in 10 feet of water.

The problem with this is that that one has to start with sorted clay
particles. Why would the preflood world have presorted sediment?

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