Radiohalos: A Tale of Three Granitic Plutons

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by Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D. and Mark H. Armitage

Presented at the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 4–9, 2003. Published in: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism, R. L. Ivey (Ed.), pp. 243–267, 2003.

© 2003 Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Published with permission. All rights reserved.


The origin and significance of radiohalos, particularly the 218Po, 214Po, and 210Po radiohalos, have been debated for almost a century, perhaps largely because their geological distribution has been poorly understood. In this study samples from three granitic plutons were scanned under microscopes for radiohalos as part of a larger project to investigate the geological occurrence and global distribution of all types of radiohalos. These three granitic plutons were all demonstrated to have formed during the Flood, but all contained 210Po, 214Po, and 238U radiohalos, usually with 210Po >> 214Po and 238U; 218Po radiohalos were rare, and 232Th radiohalos were abundant in one granitic pluton. Thus neither the Po radiohalos nor the granitic rocks could have been formed by fiat creation. Instead, a model is proposed in which hydrothermal fluids separated 222Rn and the Po isotopes from their parent 238U in zircons and transported them very short distances along cleavage planes in the host, and adjacent, biotites until the 222Rn decayed and the Po isotopes were chemically concentrated into radiocenters, there to subsequently produce the Po radiohalos. Furthermore, the very short half-lives of these isotopes require this transport process to be rapid (within days), and the observed fullyformed 238U and 232Th radiohalos imply at least 100 million years worth (at today’s rates) of accelerated radioactive decay has occurred. Other implications include: accelerated heat flow during the Flood that helped catastrophically drive global tectonic and geological processes, including metamorphism and magma genesis; and rapid convective hydrothermal fluid flows that rapidly formed and cooled regional metamorphic complexes, rapidly cooled granitic and other plutons, and rapidly formed many metallic ore deposits.


Radiohalos, 218Po, 214Po, 210Po, 238U, 232Th, Granitic Plutons, Biotites, Zircons, Monazites, Hydrothermal Fluids, 222Rn, Radiocenters, Accelerated Decay and Heat Flow, Rapid Hydrothermal Fluid Flows, Rapid Regional Metamorphism, Rapid Pluton Cooling, Rapidly Formed Metallic Ore Deposits

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