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Problems for
the Geologic Column.

The geologic column  does not simply refer to the fact that rocks are found in the Earth in layers, but it mainly refers to the classification of rocks and fossils based on index fossils and the theoretical division of these layers into "ages". These divisions are based on fossils and the comparison of rocks containing them with rocks found in distant locations.

The first problem is the fact that the geologic column assumes the three principles of stratigraphy. Two of which have been shown wrong, and one has never been tested.

Another problem is that all available sources claiming that fossil are found as shown in the geologic column, assume that they do. Yet, none of them give any actual evidence that fossils are found as claimed. The use of these geological ages is so pervasive that it makes a an independent determination of fossil distribution and  back checking the validity of the geologic column practically impossible. This gives the appearance that it has been proven.

Fossils do not always line up in layers. Often only one layer, of fossils, is found at a given site. This is particularly common with vertebrates.  Some times they are found in multiple layers, but a statistical study of their distribution shows the that even index fossils are seldom found layered on top of one another. It also shows that many fossils are artificially restricted to a few layers. Different names are given to similar fossils in different strata. This study can be found in Woodmorappe's book Studies in Flood Geology.

The fact is that the geologic column is not found complete any place on Earth, except in books, and on web sites. While the geologic column consists of 10 basic layers, all 10 layers are found in very few places making up  less than 1% of Earth's surface. The theory says it should be 100 miles thick. On average world wide, the sediment layers are only 1 mile thick. The entire geologic column was patched together from various locations.

Now there are places claimed to have the entire geological column. What they mean is that they have found layers that they can assign to all 10 geologic ages. This list is as found at "The Entire Geologic Column in North Dakota"

  1. The Ghadames Basin in Libya.
  2. The Beni Mellal Basin in Morrocco.
  3. The Tunisian Basin in Tunisia.
  4. The Oman Interior Basin in Oman.
  5. The Western Desert Basin in Egypt.
  6. The Adana Basin in Turkey.
  7. The Iskenderun Basin in Turkey.
  8. The Moesian Platform in Bulgaria.
  9. The Carpathian Basin in Poland.
  10. The Baltic Basin in the USSR.
  11. The Yeniseiy-Khatanga Basin in the USSR.
  12. The Farah Basin in Afghanistan.
  13. The Helmand Basin in Afghanistan.
  14. The Yazd-Kerman-Tabas Basin in Iran.
  15. The Manhai-Subei Basin in China.
  16. The Jiuxi Basin China.
  17. The Tung t'in - Yuan Shui Basin China.
  18. The Tarim Basin China.
  19. The Szechwan Basin China.
  20. The Yukon-Porcupine Province Alaska.
  21. The Williston Basin in North Dakota.
  22. The Tampico Embayment Mexico.
  23. The Bogata Basin Colombia.
  24. The Bonaparte Basin, Australia.
  25. The Beaufort Sea Basin/McKenzie River Delta

Of the 25 claimed locations I could only find strata graphic information on 6 of them. There is little if any mention of fossils other then micro fossils such a pollen. Often the rocks seem to have been assigned their geologic age by comparing them with rocks from other locations. Most of these are 100's of miles away and there is no direct observation of a  physical connection. In some cases the "ages" are assigned to a rock layer based on the strata above or below it.

The 6 that I could find information on provided some interesting information.

The Ghadames Basin in Libya.

First of all the only reference to fossils, was a general reference to micro fossils so this site seems to have little or no baring on fossils order.

Contrary to the claim that this site representing the entire geological column, it is missing the permian period. How can one claim the entire geological column is present when it is missing an entire period? The geological column labels seem to have been assigned based on the correlation with rocks from all across Libya. This means that there was sufficient room for subjective analyses, and that the labeling process assumed the geological column and thus can not be used as evidence for its validity.

The cross-section of  the Ghadames Basin hints that coincidence rather long ages brought these layers together as they are. The cross-section shows some 25 fracture lines. The pattern suggests that rather than being fault lines they are the result of compression stress. The Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous seem to have been forced over the others. This seems to have occurred after they and the rock beneath them had buckled down and before both had hardened completely. Such an event could have occurred during the Flood while the layers where not yet completely solidified.

The Tunisian Basin in Tunisia.

While this area is rich in fossils, Other than Pre-Cambrian only Late Permian through Late Cretaceous  seem to be represented and so it does not really contain the entire geological column. In at least five of the formations in area "generally lack biostratigraphically useful fossils" and were at least to some degree the assigned ages are based on indirect means such as the "age" assigned the strata above or below it. So it is circular reasoning to claim this site as evidence for the geological column in place and in order.

The Western Desert Basin in Egypt.

The only  geologic "ages" that seem to be represented here are Jurassic and Cretaceous. Pre-Cambrian can be included since the basement rock is automatically labeled as such. The description seems to suggest that this is all that is actually found at this location. So only 2 out of 10 geologic  periods seem to be represented.

The Jiuxi Basin China.

Only the Mesozoic and Cenozoic era's seem to be here with no sign of the Paleozoic except for the Pre-Cambrian being the generic label the basement rock. In fact it seems to only include Tertiary and Cretaceous periods. The  Tertiary being part of the Cenozoic and the Cretaceous being part of the Mesozoic. So only 2 out of 10 geologic  periods seem to be represented here. Further more the nearby Qilian Shan ( mountain range ) Ordovician strata can be found over Pliocene strata. ( part of the Tertiary ) So contrary to being an intact geological column there is a place were "older" rock is found on top of "younger" rock and thus in the wrong order.

The Bonaparte Basin, Australia.

This one is fairly complete in that all "geologic period" are present  but it in no way qualifies as a complete column, since there are numerous gaps when the strata are spread out on the geologic column chart.

There seems to be cases of interbedding that go between periods. They are at  Devonian / Carboniferous and Triassic / Jurassic. There may be others as well. There are also cases of interbedding spanning large portion of periods that should still be separated by 10's of millions of years. They occur in the Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian,  Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary.

This means that the evidence suggests that this column formed allot more rapidly than the geologic column suggests.  I can find no reference to how any of the Rock layers were assigned their respective ages but at the same time I can find no reference to fossils, so it is doubtful that they were used. This means that this site shows nothing about fossil order.

The Williston Basin in North Dakota.

Also known as the North Dakota Column, it is claimed to contain the entire geologic column. As stated earlier the total theoretical column depth 100 miles, but the depth of the Williston Basin is only 3.4 miles; this means that much of the column is missing. Such large amounts of sedimentation are possible during a year long global Flood, because it was laid down sideways making it quite possible to lay down such large amounts of sediment vary quickly, the main factors are available sediment and the rate current flow.

Now it does have rocks labeled as all 10 ages, but some interesting data can be found in The Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. The Williston Basin is part of  the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.

I have looked at how they labeled some these strata:

Hay River Embayment(van Hees, 1964) - a depositional area northwest of the Peace-Athabasca Arch, developed on the Interior Platform, containing remnants of rocks that have been interpreted as being equivalent to Lower and Middle Cambrian units of central Alberta. The rocks have not been dated, and some of the strata may be younger than here interpreted. The embayment extends westward into the mountains of northeastern British Columbia.
Geological Atlas Sedimentary Basin - Chapter 8

This indicates that when lacking fossils, they find rocks that they can interpret as equivalent to the rocks they are dating, so as to set a geologic age. According BIOSTRATIGRAPHY, WILLISTON BASIN "biostratigraphy based on pollen and spores has been used to determine the age of the coal beds." Other fossils include shells and fish but many layers have few if any fossils. In general these layers have not been dated by fossils. Further more there is little reference to radiometric dates beyond pre-Cambrian. The one set that is mentioned produced inconsistent results.

Local lithostratigraphy and sedimentology are generally well known. However, the paucity of reliable radiometric dates and the absence of biostratigraphic control has hindered correlation within and between the assemblages and precluded accurate dating of each assemblage.
 Geological Atlas Sedimentary Basin - Chapter 6

There are several other cases were  poor or no biostratigraphic data is mention, as well as no reference to radiometric dates. As a result it seems that many of these strata were assigned geologic ages, based on comparing rocks. Then the comparisons were interpreted based on the geological column. They seem to be assuming that because of the geologic column, the gaps must contain ages for which they have no fossils.

The conclusion that they have a complete geologic column in this area is base on the assumption of the existence of the geologic column.  This is circular reasoning.

If that is not enough there is a place were a rock layer labeled Devonian can be found between rock layers labeled Carboniferous.  Devonian is alleged to be older than Carboniferous, this would suggest that they are really the same age.

Curiously while the theoretical column thickness is 100 miles, the maximum thickness of sediment found any place is only 16 miles. That means that at any given location at least 84% of the geologic column is missing.

Out of place layers.

It is known that the layers of the geologic column are some times found out of place, that is " older " layers on top of " younger " ones. They are referred to as over thrusts. An over thrust would be one layer of rock being pushed over another. Here are some examples:

Name Location Out of place layers Description
Qilian Shan  North / West China  Ordovician over Pliocene 
505 million - 5.1 million 
Ordovician strata is over Pliocene gravel with a valley filled  with Pleistocene gravel 
Lewis Overthrust  Montana, USA  Precambrian over Cretaceous 
644 million  -  144 million 
350 miles and 15-30 miles wide and goes from Glacier National Park to Alberta, Canada. However there is a fault line.
Franklin Mountains  Near El Paso, Texas, at West Crazy Cat Canyon Ordovician over Cretaceous 
 450 million - 130 million 
No physical evidence of an overthrust. 
The Glarus  Overthrust  Near Schwanden, Switzerland  Permian - Jurassic - Eocene 
supposed to be 
 Eocene - Jurassic - Permian 
21 miles long. An overthrust is assumed because the fossils are out of place
Empire Mountains  Southern Arizona, USA  Permian over Cretaceous 
286 million - 144 million 
Contact is like gear meshing. Sliding would ground off lower formation's projections..
Mythen Peak  The Alps  Cretaceous over Eocene 
200 million - 60 million 
Older rock allegedly pushed all the way from africa
Heart Mountain  Wyoming, USA  Paleozoic - Jurassic - Tertiary - Paleozoic  supposed to be Tertiary - Jurassic -Paleozoic Fossils in the wrong order 
Big Time 
Matterhorn  The Alps  Eocene - Triassic - Jurassic - Cretaceous; supposed to be Triassic - Jurassic - Cretaceous - Eocene Alleged to have been trusted 60 miles

Qilian Shan is interesting since the upper stratum is over gravel. At first glance this would seem like a perfect example of an overthrust but the implication is that all of the underling Pliocene material and Pleistocene material  are gravel. An overthrust would grind the rock at the contact point not two hole rock layers pushing one aside and going over the other. If the Pliocene material and Pleistocene material were gravel to start with both would have tended to be pushed a side. The top lay is partly broken up but that does prove it is an over thrust. They seem to have been laid down together, with gavel under solid rock.

In some places the Lewis Overthrust has a well defined line between the Precambrian and Cretaceous. These places lack the deformation and rubble that would result from an overthrust. Some places do have such deformation and  there is a fault line which shows there is tectonic activity. It could be an over thrust, but it could still have formed were it is, the fault would result from subsequent tectonic activity.

Out of Place Fossils

Fossils are often found out of place according to geologic column. Some of those relating to humans are discussed under Out of Place Artifacts. A list of over 200 some out of place fossils has been compiled by John Woodmorappe.

Out of place fossils are ether ignored as anecdotal if  not published by a "proper" (evolutionist) scientific journal, or explained a way by one of two methods if they are. These methods are:  

Reworking Fossil eroded from older rock
Down washing Fossil is  washed down in to older strata

Reworking is used more often since preference is given to " younger " fossils in dating layers.

The interbedding Mississippi and Cambrian limestone near the bottom Grand Canyon shows they formed at the same time, erasing  at least 155 million years from the geologic record.

 Living fossils like the Coelacanth  and Nautilus have not left any fossils for 100's of million years according uniformitarian geologists. These and other living fossils were all thought to be extinct based on fossils. They have all been found alive. This shows that a lack of fossils does not mean that an animal was not living when a given layer was laid down. This places the entire stratigraphic order and time sequence in question. Further more the fact that these animals are unchanged after the alleged million years strongly suggests that the time did not happen.

As near as I can tell the Geologic Column only is a mental abstraction. There are sufficient assumptions made in classifying fossils and rocks as to justify questioning its legitimacy. There are also sufficient anomalies to show that the time scale is wrong and that the fossil order depicted in the Geologic Column is at best a local phenomenon. Basically the Geologic Column is found only in books and web sites and does not really exist.

What is needed is a statistical study of fossil locations that does not involve the geologic column classification system, but is based only on the actual three dimensional location of fossils, latitude, longitude, and depth relative to sea level. Surface altitude above sea level should be included as well, this would give a true picture of both local and global fossil distribution, not one based on a theoretical classification system.


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Studies in Flood Geology.

The Entire Geologic Column in North Dakota

Ghadames Basin Modelling Project

Dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates from fluvial deposits in the Lower Cretaceous of southern Tunisia.

The Petroleum Geology and Exploration Potential of the Western Desert Basin, Egypt

Qingxi Oilfield in Jiuxi Basin and Its Enlightenment for the Exploration in the Thrust Belts of Foreland Basins in Central and Western China


North and Northwest Region: Bonaparte Basin


Oxford Brookes - Geology - North Africa Research Workshop

The Geological Atlas of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin


Can Overthrusts Occur?  Can Mountains Buckle?

Anomalously Occurring Fossils

Layers In The Grand Canyon that are supposed to be millions of years apart, are inter-bedded!

Living Fossils

Floating Rock Formations

Upside Down Formations That Can't Be