Louisiana's Floating Marshes Echo Pre-Flood Ecosystem | The Institute for Creation Research

Louisiana's Floating Marshes Echo Pre-Flood Ecosystem

Certain rock layers hold fossils of unique and extinct plants that had hollow tube-like structures, which probably made them lightweight and able to float on peat mats before they were buried and fossilized.1

A recent video from the United States Geological Survey featured scientists studying a giant modern floating marsh field in Louisiana.2 This unusual ecosystem can give a glimpse into the world as it might have been before Noah's Flood and can help explain a peculiar feature of the plant fossil record.

In the video, USGS researcher Chris Swarzenski noted that if the Louisiana fields were not regularly burned, trees would begin to grow and form a floating forest: "Over time, the marsh mat may thicken, becoming strong enough to support woody plants such as wax myrtle."2 But to account for the vast numbers of apparently floating plants now known from fossils, floating forests must have been as large as continents.

Truett-McConnell College paleontologist Kurt Wise proposed just such a model, having drawn inspiration from a visit to a quaking bog in Michigan. Other researchers have also written about the possibility of vast antediluvian floating forests extending into shallow seas from the margins of solid continents.3 Dr. Wise suggests that this explains the vertical order of plant fossils, with smaller, more fragile plant fossils found in layers below larger, woody plant fossils. Dr. Wise described the basics of his model in a 2008 issue of Answers magazine:

If a floating forest once existed, how did the plants get buried in the right order? I suspected that the destructive waves of the Flood ripped apart the floating forest from the outside in—first burying the weak water plants, then the small bushes, then the tall bushes, and finally the tall trees [in higher rock layers].4

Piecing together clues to reconstruct the past is an intriguing and ongoing endeavor. And the fact that vast floating fields exist today is another clue that pre-Flood floating forests were feasible.

References

  1. Kuntze, O. 1884. Phytogeogenesis: Die Vorweltliche Entwickelung der Erdkruste und der Pflanzen in Grundzugen. Leipzig, Germany: P. Frohberg. In Woolley, J. F. 2010. The origin of the Carboniferous coal measures—part 1: Lessons from history. Journal of Creation. 24 (3): 76-81.
  2. McKee, K. L. The Floating Marshes of Louisiana: A Unique Ecosystem. United States Geological Survey. Online video posted on usgs.gov, accessed February 1, 2012.
  3. Scheven, J. 1996. The Carboniferous floating forest—an extinct pre-Flood ecosystem. Journal of Creation (formerly Technical Journal). 10 (1): 70-81.
  4. Wise, K. P. 2008. Sinking a Floating Forest. Answers. 3 (4): 40-45.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on February 22, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Inside March 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR uphold the clarity of Scripture? How do we know that canyons were formed by the Genesis Flood? How do fossilized fish confirm biblical...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Human Hands
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Dross and Dilution
The first of seven great signs of Jesus’ deity recorded in John’s gospel is the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). By the time Jesus...

APOLOGETICS
Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?
At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that...

ACTS & FACTS
Gunnison's Black Canyon: The Flood Solves Mysterious Missing...
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Gunnison River winds westward from the Colorado Rocky Mountains through dry and dramatic landscapes....

ACTS & FACTS
Do We See Complex Design in Mosquito Eggs?
Mosquitoes hatch from tiny eggs and spend a few days filter-feeding on things like bacteria, pollen, and algae. They molt three times as they grow,...

ACTS & FACTS
A Texas-Size Spider Mystery
The delightfully creepy spider belongs to a class called Arachnida—which is distinct from the “bug” class Insecta. Not surprisingly,...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Fins-to-Feet Transition
One of the alleged greatest transformations in vertebrate evolution is said to be the emergence of creatures that traded fins for feet and transitioned...

RESEARCH
Largest Canyons Were Formed by the Receding Flood
Two newly discovered canyons in Greenland and Antarctica have a lot in common with Grand Canyon. Both canyons are as deep as or deeper than Grand Canyon...