Towards a Creationist Explanation of Regional Metamorphism

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Published in: Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, volume 8, number 1, pp. 51–77, 1994.

© 1994 Answers in Genesis A.C.N. 010 120 304. All Rights Reserved.


The “classical” model for regional metamorphism presupposes elevated temperatures and pressures due to deep burial and deformation/tectonic forces over large areas over millions of years—an apparently insurmountable problem for the creationist framework. Furthermore, zones of index minerals are said to represent differences in temperatures and pressures, and therefore mineral reactions, across the regionally metamorphosed terrain. However, evidence is now mounting that such mineral reactions do not occur and diffusion is severely limited. Furthermore, rather than temperatures and pressures being the key factors, compositional variations within and between metamorphic minerals are shown to reflect patterns of original sedimentation.

The metasedimentary sheaths surrounding stratiform sulfide orebodies have facilitated the study of regional metamorphic processes on a much smaller scale. Such orebodies were produced by hydrothermal waters disgorging both sulfides and a variety of other minerals and chemicals onto the sea-floor, where they have been superimposed on “normal” marine sedimentation. Rapid fluctuations have resulted in zones of different clay and related minerals of varying compositions being found at scales of centimeters and meters. When subsequently metamorphosed, these patterns of sedimentation are reflected in zones identical to the “classical” zones of regional metamorphism, and yet minerals are together in the same assemblage that would normally be regarded as having formed under vastly different temperature and pressure conditions. Thus it is shown that these metamorphic minerals have been primarily formed from precursor minerals and materials by in situ transformation, and at only moderate temperatures and pressures or less. Indeed, several “remarkable” examples of pre-cursor minerals/materials having survived the supposed highest grades of metamorphism over presumed millions of years are adequate testimony against the “classical” model of regional metamorphism.

This leads to a proposal for a creationist explanation of regional metamorphism. Two major events within the creationist framework of earth history are capable of producing regionally metamorphosed terrains— the tectonism, catastrophic erosion, and sedimentation during the formation of dry land on day three of creation week, and the catastrophic erosion and sedimentation, deep burial and rapid deformation/tectonics during the Flood. Catastrophic sedimentation linked to increased volcanic activity and release of hydrothermal waters during the Flood particularly would have aided the production of zones of sediments of differing clay and related minerals, while catastrophic burial and higher heat flow from that volcanism and hydrothermal activity would have aided the transformation of these precursor materials to produce the resultant index mineral (“grade”) zones across these metamorphic terrains.


Regional Metamorphism, Metamorphic Zones, Metamorphic Facies, Stratiform Ore Deposits, Metamorphic Diffusion, Mineral Reactions, Metamorphic Equilibrium, Mineral Zoning, Precursor, Mineral Assemblages, Clay Minerals, Creationist Explanation, Zones of Precursor Materials, Moderate Temperatures, Hydrothermal Waters

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