Submarine Flow and Slide Deposits in the Kingston Peak Formation, Kingston Range, Mojave Desert, California: Evidence for Catastrophic Initiation of Noah's Flood

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by Roger Sigler and Van Wingerden

Presented at the Fourth International Conference on Creationism
Pittsburgh, PA, August 3-8, 1998

© Copyright 1998 by Creation Science Fellowship, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA USA – All Rights Reserved

Abstract

The case for a glacial origin for the upper Proterozoic Kingston Peak Formation is weak. Stratigraphic correlations and rock descriptions suggest a marine depositional environment for the entire formation. The Lower Sandstone Unit of the Kingston Peak Formation is best interpreted as an Antediluvian inner shelf deposit. It is underlain by other widespread shelf deposits, the Beck Spring Dolomite followed by the Crystal Spring Formation which rests on granitic gneiss. Overlying these deposits are thick accumulations of puddingstones (called diamictite by many) interpreted as debrites. These, in turn, are overlain by rhythmically laid breccias and megabreccias interpreted as suspension-sturzstrom deposits. The debrites and sturzstrom are comprised of debris derived mainly from the underlying Beck Spring Dolomite and Crystal Spring Formation. Large-scale catastrophic plate tectonics associated with the subduction zone to the west caused the Antediluvian sea floor to collapse. Debris flows moving at the rate of 15-30 m/s were instantly generated at the onset of massive local faulting associated with the event. A displacement of perhaps 950 m or more in some areas along the giant fault scarp converted the shelf to a 600 slope environment. This activity spawned seismic sea waves. Sheet flows of fluidized rock masses fell over the cataract and flowed across the basin at 50-100 m/s. In the deeper areas large scale slumping occurred as huge megaclasts or olistoliths hundreds of meters long slid downslope within a succession of high concentration turbidites. These catastrophic coarse clastic deposits of the middle and upper Kingston Peak Formation at the Kingston Range directly overly and crosscut into the Crystal Spring Formation and crystalline basement at nearby mountain ranges. This unconformity of extreme magnitude may correlate with the Great Unconformity and mark the base of the Sauk megasequence. After these initial Flood sediments were deposited widespread marine sediments, beginning with the Noonday Dolomite began to be deposited as the oceans inundated the continents.

Keywords

Breccia, Megabreccia, Megaclast, Olistolith, Debrite, Olistostrome, Mojave Desert, Unconformity, Earthquake, Faulting, Submarine Landslide, Debris Flow, Diamictite, Sturzstrom, Precambrian, Proterozoic, Pre-Flood/Flood Boundary, Plate Tectonics, California

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