Re: Canadian Coal - unanswered questions

From: Kevin Sharman <>
Date: Sun Jun 20 2004 - 19:45:17 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Payne" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 9:18 PM
Subject: Re: Canadian Coal - unanswered questions

> Hello again, Kevin,
> Relative to a portion of our unfinished discussions - I was recently
> logging soil cores in Memphis, Tennessee. We were using "Rotosonic"
> drills to take continuous 4-inch cores as deep as 240 feet. The section
> consists of about 20 feet of loess (brown silt with minor clay), several
> feet of sandy clay to clayey sand, maybe 60 feet of a series of fining
> upward units of sand and gravel, a gray clay from 0 to ~25 feet thick,
> and fine sand to a depth of about 300 feet, where the Memphis Aquifer is
> penetrated.
> I thought of you when we had drilled through some sandy clay and I
> noticed that it contains minor amounts of shell fragments and subangular
> to subrounded chert. The largest fragment I have found in the core is a
> piece of subangular chert which has a flat bottom and is 2.0 cm long x
> 1.0 cm wide x 0.8 cm high (rounded on top). I have not yet done a sieve
> analysis, but I suspect there is a smooth gradation of grain sizes from
> this subangular chert down to clay. I'll send you some photos offline.
> On Wed, 17 Mar 2004 22:24:43 -0700 "Kevin Sharman" <>
> writes:
> > 12. Stokes Law
> >
> > You commented that unknown and unconsidered variables may alter and/or
> > invalidate Stokes Law. No comment when I asked what the unconsidered
> > variables would be, and no explanation of why the observed data in
> seams is
> > inconsistent with Stokes Law settling.
> I filled a glass cylinder with 42 cm of water and dropped the chert
> fragment into the water; it took and average of 1.16 seconds to settle 42
> cm. Six smaller particles took an average of 1.66 seconds to settle 41.5
> cm in water. At the settling velocity of 42 cm per 1.16 seconds, that
> particle will settle 3.13 x 10^6 cm/day. We know from Stokes' Law that
> clay particles (radius of 0.0001 cm) settle at 3.67 x 10^-4 cm/sec or
> 3.17 x 10^1 cm/day. This is a difference of 5 orders of magnitude in
> settling velocity between the clay particles and chert, yet these clay
> particles are found homogeneously mixed with a gradation of courses
> particles.
> How do you propose to get this mix of grain sizes in a water-borne
> deposit?

If you want to carry on this debate, it will have to be without me. I would
suggest looking in a geology text under "sorting". The mechanism of
sediment deposition by flowing water is unlike settling from suspension.
Look at any modern creek with a fairly steep gradient, and you will see a
mixture of grain sizes in the sediment.

Your arguments, after many months, still are not convincing - to me, or to
others, I think. Don't take my word for it, though. Summarize the
arguments you've made in our debate and send them to "International Journal
of Coal Geology". I'm guessing that I won't be seeing a tribute issue to
"Bill Payne, The Man Who Revolutionized Coal Geology" in the near (or
distant) future.

From the beginning of our debate, I realized that I was unlikely to be able
to make you realize that the mainstream view of coal formation was the most
reasonable. My role was to show readers of the list how a person with a YEC
mindset tries to challenge the mainstream views with weak, flawed arguments.
In my opinion, you have willfully ignored the simplest, most reasonable
interpretations of the data in order to try to advance your own agenda -
that of one who must hold the YEC/Global Flood paradigm at all costs. But
you are welcome to hold your own ideas about the way the world was put
together....I am bowing out, though.

Received on Sun, 20 Jun 2004 16:45:17 -0700

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