Reading African Strata | The Institute for Creation Research

Reading African Strata

Recent Acts & Facts articles have discussed how ICR’s scientists are reconstructing the Flood-sediment patterns across North America using megasequences within the geologic column.1,2 The megasequences essentially serve as “chapters” whereby we can read the record of the Flood from top to bottom. Our compilation of geologic columns and megasequences across North America is coming to a close, and we are now gathering similar data across Africa.

If the Flood were truly global, we should find its sediments on every continent showing simultaneous Flood levels. According to many creation geologists, the continents of Africa and North America were joined together as part of a supercontinent during portions of the Flood year. So, we should observe many similarities in the stratigraphic columns, the megasequences, and in the floodwater levels between the two continents.

What do the rocks show? Although we have only completed northern Africa, we do see some startling results. The two continents’ strata match up; they independently record the same levels of the Flood at the same time and in many cases contain even the same type of sediments. The Sauk Megasequence, the first significant deposit of the advancing floodwaters, exhibits a basal sandstone unit that spreads across a large portion of North America (Figure 1). A similar lowermost Sauk sandstone layer also extends across most of North Africa (Figure 2). Finding the same type of broad, extensive deposit at the exact same time on two large continents is exceedingly strong evidence of a global flood!

Later megasequences across Africa record the relative height of floodwaters as the rising seas progressively inundated more and more land. Early megasequences, such as the Sauk and Tippecanoe (Cambrian through Silurian systems), show less flooding extent compared to the later megasequences, matching the results found in North America.

Offshore sediments began to accumulate along the west coast of Africa during the fourth megasequence (Absaroka, Pennsylvanian-Lower Jurassic systems), recording the opening of the northern Atlantic Ocean as catastrophic plate movement began to rapidly create a new seafloor.3 The timing of the subsequent split of South America from Africa is also observed in the sedimentary record. The first offshore sediments deposited off Africa’s southwest shore (south of Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria) appear in the Zuni Megasequence, indicating the initial division between these two continents.

The Zuni Megasequence (Jurassic and Cretaceous systems) also shows the maximum areal extent of sediments—the most extensive Flood coverage—possibly indicative of the highest water level. This fifth megasequence may have recorded the activity of Day 150 of the Flood, as described in Genesis 7:19-24, when all the “high hills under the whole heaven were covered.”

Finally, both Africa and North America simultaneously record what appears to be the receding phase of the Flood event in the sixth and final megasequence (Tejas Megasequence, Cenozoic stratigraphic units). The sediments of this megasequence show a major shift in depositional pattern, reflecting more extensive offshore sedimentation as the floodwaters drained from the continents into the new ocean basins. This is when the “whopper sand” formed in the Gulf of Mexico as sheet-like flow poured off the continents.4

Comparison of the stratigraphic columns of Africa and North America show many similarities indicative of a global flood. Water levels seem to have risen and dropped simultaneously across both continents. The observed patterns reflect an undeniable consistency with a global phenomenon. Contrary to the unfounded claims of uniformitarian scientists, the global Flood, as recorded in Genesis, offers the best scientific explanation for the actual rock data.

References

  1. Clarey, T. 2015. Dinosaur Fossils in Late-Flood Rocks. Acts & Facts. 44 (2): 16.
  2. Clarey, T. 2015. Grappling with Megasequences. Acts & Facts. 44 (4): 18-19.
  3. Austin, S. A., et al. 1994. Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Creationism. Walsh, R. E., ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 609-621.
  4. Clarey, T. 2015. The Whopper Sand. Acts & Facts. 44 (3): 14.

* Dr. Tim Clarey is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in geology from Western Michigan University.

Cite this article: Tim Clarey, Ph.D. 2015. Reading African Strata. Acts & Facts. 44 (9).

The Latest
NEWS
Creation and Climate Science with Dr. Jake Hebert
ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert* recently made a guest appearance on Good Heavens! A Podcast About the Universe with Wayne and Dan. Dr. Hebert presented...

NEWS
Inside May 2021 Acts & Facts
How should Christians respond when authorities are in conflict with God’s Word? Can we trust scientific measurements and reports about fossil...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Volcanoes
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Tributes of Honor and Remembrance
At the end of a long day, a boss I had early in my career would often tell me, “No more today, Henry. My brain is full.” I found his comments...

APOLOGETICS
Guided by Lynx to Appreciate Christ
Not all tour guides in Alaska are human. Amazing animals of Alaska can guide us into learning creation truth. In fact, such animals should direct us—like...

ACTS & FACTS
Zion National Park: Evidence of Deep Water Sand Waves
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* It was like driving into another world when we emerged from Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel right at dawn....

ACTS & FACTS
Is the Bible Evidence for Creation?
Have you ever had a skeptic tell you to keep the Bible out of it when discussing origins? Skeptics claim we Christians argue in a circle, that we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Vertebrate Origins on the Ropes…Again
In 1859, the Western world was turned upside down by the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: Enigma of the Carboniferous Explosion
Many creationists and evolutionists alike are familiar with the initial huge explosion of complex marine life buried in the Cambrian rock layers at...

RESEARCH
Archaeopteryx by the Numbers
Sometimes scientists get a chance to collaborate. This happened last year when a fellow creation-based researcher invited me to contribute comments...