ICR Ice Sheet Research: Status Update | The Institute for Creation Research
ICR Ice Sheet Research: Status Update

With ICR’s new focus on biology, my current ice sheet research is wrapping up. So, now is a good time to summarize the results so far.

Creation scientists argue that there was only one Ice Age and that it was triggered by the Genesis Flood. Heat from rapid seafloor spreading during the Flood greatly warmed the world’s oceans. This significantly increased evaporation, which resulted in heavy snowfall on mountains and at high latitudes. Explosive, sulfur-rich post-Flood volcanism placed sunlight-reflecting aerosols in the stratosphere, causing colder summers. This prevented snow and ice from melting, allowing quick growth of thick ice sheets.

This theory solves mysteries that still puzzle conventional scientists. It explains how millions of woolly mammoths could thrive in Ice Age Siberia and what caused their extinction.1 Creationists have answered the claims of uniformitarians and Bible skeptics that deep ice cores demand an old age for the earth.2 Heavy Ice Age snowfall, predicted by our Flood/Ice Age model, would allow thick ice sheets to form in just hundreds of years.

Uniformitarian scientists use theoretical models to assign ages to ice at various depths. However, these models completely ignore the time needed for a thick ice sheet to form, treating the ice sheet’s height as constant. This makes the mathematics much easier, but ignoring the time for the ice sheet to form is a source of error in the model. Uniformitarians feel justified in ignoring this time because it’s very short compared to the millions of years they believe the ice sheets have been in existence. So, these models implicitly assume long ages.

In the early 1990s, ICR scientist Dr. Larry Vardiman developed a basic mathematical model for the rapid formation of a thick ice sheet.3 It allowed the ice sheet height to change over time and assumed heavy Ice Age ice accumulation that gradually tapered off in the centuries after the Flood. I recently wrote a computer code to calculate the thicknesses of annual layers in Vardiman’s model.4

Figure 1. Output of a computer model simulating the rapid post-Flood growth of an ice ridge over 4,500 years. Height is exaggerated for clarity. (Image credit: Jake Hebert)

Since the 1970s, there’ve been ice sheet models that don’t assume the thickness of the ice sheet to be constant and that allow for varying ice accumulation rates. Creationists could use these to more realistically model the rapid growth of thick post-Flood ice sheets. I recently combined such a model with Vardiman’s post-Flood ice accumulation model to simulate the rapid growth of a thick post-Flood ice dome.5

It’s also possible to use this model to simulate the rapid growth of a long ice ridge (Figure 1). I’ve done so and submitted a paper for publication.

This computer code can conceivably be modified to take uneven bedrock terrain into account, as well as up-and-down movements of the underlying bedrock caused by the weight of the overlying ice. A limitation of this model is that it treats every part of the ice as having the same temperature, which isn’t true in real ice sheets. Doing so would require more sophisticated computer models, which do exist.5

For readers who would like to read my original technical papers, all but the most recent are freely accessible under Publications/Technical Papers/Past Articles on the ICR.org main menu. We’re also in the process of constructing a new exhibit at the ICR Discovery Center that will highlight some of these discoveries. We hope you come pay us a visit!6


  1. Hebert, J. 2018. The Bible Best Explains the Ice Age. Acts & Facts. 47 (11): 10-13.
  2. Hebert, J. 2019. Earth’s Thick Ice Sheets Are Young. Acts & Facts. 48 (2): 11-14.
  3. Vardiman, L. 1994. An Analytic Young-Earth Flow Model of Ice Sheet Formation During the “Ice Age.” In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism. R. Walsh, ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 561-568.
  4. Hebert, J. 2021. Using Vardiman’s Young-Earth Ice Sheet Model and a Simple Computer Code to Estimate Annual Layer Thicknesses. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 57 (3): 175-185.
  5. Hebert, J. 2022. Towards a More Realistic Young-Earth Ice Sheet Model: A Shallow, Isothermal Ice Dome with a Frozen Base. Creation Research Society Quarterly. 58 (4): 262-272.
  6. Go to ICRDiscoveryCenter.org for information on visiting the ICR Discovery Center in Dallas, Texas.

* Dr. Hebert is Research Scientist at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Cite this article: Jake Hebert, Ph.D. 2022. ICR Ice Sheet Research: Status Update. Acts & Facts. 51 (9).

The Latest
Can Scripture Be Trusted? | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 8
Both believers and skeptics can find themselves asking if Scripture can be taken at its word. Is it scientifically accurate? Can its history be trusted?...

Cambrian Soft Tissue Defies Evolution
Paleontologists have discovered “early fossils [of] simple hollow tubes ranging from a few millimetres to many centimetres in length.”1...

Fruit Fly Jitters
Researchers working with fruit flies–the ubiquitous lab animal–have discovered the flies are able to undergo an amazing ocular process called...

Can Radioisotope Dating Be Trusted? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Carbon dating is a common method used to determine the ages of fossils and other materials, but carbon14 deteriorates quite quickly. How can it still...

Prepare for the Big Non-Event!
In 1950 the famed Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked his coworkers at the lunch table the simple metaphysical question in regard to possible aliens...

Move Toward the Enemy: Fighting for Truth in Science
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the...

Evolving Mammals?
The evolution of mammals from non-mammals, like the evolution of all other animal groups, has been, and will always be, problematic. English paleontologist...

Butterfly Variation
Butterflies have made science news again, this time in regard to a master gene called WntA: “a combined team of researchers from Cornell University...

How Old Is The Universe? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 35
Many scientists claim that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old by reverse-engineering the Big Bang with the assumption that this theory...

Massive Tsunamis Generated by the Flood, Not an Asteroid
Two separate studies claim massive tsunamis and earthquakes from an asteroid impact profoundly affected the rock record. One research team modeled a...