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THE SANDS OF TIME: A BIBLICAL MODEL OF DEEP
SEA-FLOOR SEDIMENTATION


Larry Vardiman

April 11, 1996
CRS Quarterly
Institute for Creation Research


Abstract

Modern evolutionism requires that the earth be very old. One line
of evidence cited is the length of time required to deposit the
observed thickness of sea-floor sediments far from any direct
continental source. Using the low current depositional rates
results in a minimum age of tens of millions of years. The model
of deposition presented in this paper differs from the
conventional model primarily in the rate of deposition, which is
asserted to have peaked at an enormous level during and after the
biblical Flood and is presumed to have fallen at an exponential
rate to the present low level. Because biblical evidence strongly
supports a short historical period between the Flood and the
present, the shape of the decay curve is very steep. Data from the
Deep-Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) were reinterpreted for this
paper. By estimating the thickness of sediment corresponding to
this interval and asserting a set of boundary conditions, an
analytical model is presented that estimates the age of sediment
from a particular depth at a given borehole.

If the modern evolutionary model of deposition is correct, the water
temperature evidenced by fossils would show only small, random
variations. If a catastrophic event such as the Flood occurred,
temporary warming of the water immediately after the catastrophe
should have occurred and may be detectable. Fossil evidence of water
temperature at the time of deposition is believed by some
researchers to correlate with the ratio of oxygen isotopes of mass
16 and 18. Because foraminifera are common in both present-day and
ancient sediments and contain oxygen in their carbonate skeletal
remains, they are often analyzed for the oxygen isotope ratio and an
inferred water temperature is calculated. Based on DSDP data from
selected boreholes, and plotted on a time scale modified by the
analytical model derived in this paper, a general cooling trend
appears plausible from the limited dataset.

Introduction

Near the mouth of a muddy river flowing into the ocean, it is common
knowledge that sediments transported by the river slowly settle out
of the water and form deposits on the sea floor. In some locations,
such as the delta regions near the mouth of the Mississippi River or
the Nile River, the build-up of sediments has resulted in the
addition of large regions of new land. However, it is less well
known that the growth, death and deposition of microorganisms in the
deep ocean have contributed to the formation of sea-floor sediments,
particularly in mid-ocean regions. These microorganisms make up the
bulk of what is called plankton. Sediments, derived from rock
(lithogenous) and various life forms (biogenous), accumulate on the
ocean floor and form a record of earth history. If the
characteristics of the sediments can be related to events and
processes which supplied the sediment, they can be a valuable tool
to study earth history.

Scientific research on sea-floor sediments has been actively pursued
for over 200 years with a concentrated emphasis during the past 40.
Sediment cores have been extracted from the sea floor at locations
throughout the earth and analyzed for types of lithogenous material,
types of biogenous forms, sedimentation rate thickness, date of
accumulation, and many other interesting features. One of the most
interesting fields of research has been the study of paleoclimates
using the measurement of oxygen isotopes in the tests from types of
microorganisms called foraminifera. This specialized field has
developed an explanation for climate fluctuations from warm periods
in the Cretaceous, when dinosaurs are thought to have roamed the
earth, to cold periods, such as the recent "ice age" Strong attempts
have been made to explain the cyclical layering of sediments as
caused by periodic occurrences of Ice Ages" caused, in turn, by
orbitally-induced fluctuations in solar heating of the earth.
The time frame offered by the conventional explanations of climate
suggest that the ocean sediments accumulated over tens of millions
of years, and recent "ice ages" occurred over periods of time on the
order of 100 millennia. These ages are not compatible with a literal
interpretation of the biblical account of creation and earth
history. The main sources of disagreement between the conventional
model of earth history and a model consistent with the Bible for
sediment accumulation are the assumptions about the magnitude of the
driving mechanism and the process rates. The conventional model
assumes sediment accumulated slowly over long periods of time by
low-energy processes. The creation model, to be developed in this
paper and with more supporting documentation in Vardiman (1995),
assumes most of the thick sedimentary layer on top of the
continental basement and underwater accumulated rapidly over a
relatively short period of time by catastrophic processes during and
following the global Flood described in Genesis.

Biblical Time Constraints

The Bible does not speak directly about sea-floor sediments or
foraminifera. Nowhere do the scriptures describe the vast layers of
sediment which cover the ocean floor, nor do they discuss the
processes by which they were formed. Scripture contains only brief,
general references that discuss the creation of the sea and God's
control over its devastating power. Yet, it is evident that if a
global Flood occurred as described in scripture, catastrophic events
would have occurred in the ocean and massive quantities of sediments
would have been produced and distributed over the continents and the
ocean floor. Some sediments may have originated on the third day of
the creation week when the continents were separated from the
oceans, as described in Genesis 9,10. However, it is likely that
most of the sediments were produced during the Flood.

The Flood is described in Genesis 7 primarily in relation to the
destruction of life upon the earth. God's concern centers around
man. However, if " . . . every living substance was destroyed which
was upon the face of the ground . . " and ". . . all the high hills,
that were under the whole heaven, were covered . . . ," it is
logical to assume that major devastation to the crust of the earth
occurred as well. The Scriptures do not address these effects, but
if one accepts the biblical account that a global Flood occurred,
then the geologic evidence over the earth bears silent testimony to
the destructive power of the Flood event.

The conventional old-earth model assigns an age of about 65 million
years BP to the end of the Cretaceous period. A literal
interpretation of scripture would suggest that the origin of planet
earth occurred quite recentlymuch less than 65 million years ago.
The recent-creation model, which I will use assumes God created the
world in a supernatural creative event some 6,000 years ago, and
judged His creation through a worldwide catastrophic Flood some
4,500 years ago. The assumption that the Flood occurred about 4,500
years ago is derived from Ussher (1786) using the Textus Receptus.
Some would choose a longer chronology based on the Septuagint and
relaxation of additional time constraints (Aardsma, 1993). However,
the author prefers this time frame, at least to start the study.
Between God's supernatural interventions in the affairs of the
world, He normally allows the physical processes to operate
according to the laws of science. We wish to determine whether the
sea-floor sediment data can be reasonably explained within this
conceptual framework.

Thickness of Sediments and Accumulation Rates

The occurrence of a global Flood, as described in the Bible, would
have produced layers of sediment on both the continents and the sea
floor. Many of these sediments would have been deposited rapidly
during and immediately following the Flood. After the Flood, as the
frequency and intensity of the tectonic events subsided (Wise et
al., 1994), the rate of lithogenous sediment deposition would have
decreased in proportion to the decrease in tectonic activity and in
proportion to the reestablishment of vegetative cover. Because the
oceans would have been well-mixed by the Flood and probably warmed
somewhat by the energy released from frictional forces and heat from
magma, brines, etc. brought up from deep within the earth associated
with ". . . all the fountains of the great deep . . . " (Gen. 7:11),
as well as volcanism, it is likely that biogenic sedimentation would
have increased after the Flood for some time until the nutrients
were depleted. As the nutrients were depleted and the ocean cooled
and stratified, the biogenic sediments would have decreased with
time.

The functional change in sediment formation after the Flood is
unknown. However, it is reasonable to assume an exponential decrease
in tectonic activity and, consequently, an exponential decrease in
sedimentation. It is commonly found in geophysical phenomena that a
sudden pulse in activity (earthquake frequency, volcanic activity,
rate of erosion, sediment deposition, etc.) is often followed by an
exponential decrease in intensity and/or frequency. An exponential
function decreases by 63% over a given period called the relaxation
time. For example, if the sea-floor sediment deposition rate was 100
cm/year at the end of the Genesis Flood and the relaxation time was
500 years the deposition rate would be only 37 cm/year, 500 years
after the Flood. One thousand years after the Flood the deposition
rate would decline further to 14 cm/year, etc. The relaxation time
is determined by the characteristics of the physical system and is
generally defined as the time interval required for a system exposed
to some discontinuous change of environment to undergo 1/e (e =
2.718...) of the total change of state which it would exhibit after
an infinitely long time. A refinement to the assumption of an
exponential decrease in deposition may need to be made later by
treating the accumulation of lithogenous and biogenous sediments
separately. For now, a simple exponential decrease, irrespective of
type, will be assumed.

The current accumulation rate for sediment formation in the deep
ocean has been measured extensively. The rate appears to vary
between about 1 cm/1000 years to about 10 cm/1000 years, depending
on the investigator and location on the earth. The rate is so small
that direct measurements are difficult. In addition, corrections
must be made to account for dissolution and other effects. Traps are
positioned at various levels in the ocean to collect samples of
sediments as they drift downward from biogenous and lithogenous
sources. For calibration purposes a uniform accumulation rate is
assumed and the observations are compared with the upper layers of
sediment formed over the past few hundred years. Since the
conventional interpretation of sea-floor sediment accumulation
requires at least tens of millions of years for the formation of the
observed layers, it is likely that the average accumulation rates
quoted are biased to small values. Nevertheless, the model developed
here will assume today's average accumulation rate of deep sea-floor
sediment is 2 cm/1000 years or 2 x 10-5 meters/year.
The thickness of sea-floor sediment accumulated since the Flood is
unknown. It is unclear how much of the sediment was formed during
the energetic events of the Flood and how much formed later as the
effects of the Flood subsided. There is no uniformity of opinion
among creationists as to the location of the boundary between
pre-Flood and Flood rocks on the continents, let alone between Flood
and post-Flood strata on the ocean floor. For example, some
creationist scientists believe the boundary between pre-Flood and
Flood rocks in the Grand Canyon occurs between the Vishnu
Schist/Zoroaster Granite and the Tapeats Sandstone at the Great
Unconformity about 4,000 feet below the south rim. Others would
include the tilted layers of Dox Sandstone, Shinumu Quartzite,
Hakatai Shale, and Bass Limestone in the Flood sediments. Some would
even include the metamorphosed Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite
as Flood layers. Morris (1976) indicates that the entire continental
Tertiary Period was probably produced by the events of the Flood. If
creationists cannot agree on the location of the boundaries between
major events on the continents where there are numerous exposures to
study, how much less likely is agreement on boundaries in sediments
miles under the ocean?

For the purpose of this first study, the partition between the Flood
and post-Flood events will be assumed to be at the
Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. This is one of the most recognizable
boundaries in the geologic column. It is the boundary between two of
the major erasthe Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. It has been identified
by creationists and non-creationists alike as the location of major
changes in geologic history. In fact, some evolutionists are now
suggesting worldwide catastrophic events at the Cretaceous/Tertiary
boundarynamely, the impact of asteroids on the earth, a worldwide
dust cloud, global winter, and the destruction of the dinosaurs and
many major life forms. Many of these scenarios fit well with the
devastation suggested by creationists in the global Flood of Genesis.
Figure 1. Frequency histogram of sediment thickness above the
Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary for 186 cores from the DSDP.

In addition to this easily-recognizable boundary and the
catastrophism associated with it, the temperatures inferred by the
18O record show a decline to the present from a maximum during the
Cretaceous Period. If the oceans were heated by events of the Flood,
the Cretaceous Period would logically be included in the Flood.
Several warm events occurred following the Cretaceous but these were
of smaller magnitude, lending support to the idea of the Tertiary
coming after the year of the Flood. Use of temperature estimates
from dpwO of foraminifera should always be used with caution. Some
of the data sources used in this study only reported a single value
at intervals of 140 centimeters. The most precise data were at five
centimeter intervals, but variances were not provided.

DSDP extracted cores from 624 sites on the ocean floors of the
globe. Cores from most of these sites showed only recent sediments
from the Tertiary and Quaternary periods. Of the 624 total sites
only 186 contained sediments from the Cretaceous period or earlier.
This means that the ocean floor is relatively young compared to the
continents. The mean thickness of the sediments above the
Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (as identified by DSDP based on
fossils, paleo-magnetics stratigraphy, etc.) for all 186 sites was
322 meters, with a standard deviation of 273 meters. Figure 1 shows
a histogram of sediment depth for the 186 sites. The mean thickness
of the sediments reported below the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary was
about 400 meters in the Atlantic Ocean and 100 meters in the Pacific
Ocean.

A Young-Earth Age Model

The conventional age model used to calculate the age of sediment as
a function of depth assumes that the accumulation rate of sediment
was essentially constant over millions of years at today's rate of
about 2 x 10-5 meters/year. If, in fact, the accumulation rate was
much greater following the Flood and decreased exponentially until
today, then the period of time back to the formation of a given
layer can be found from the following sediment accumulation model.
Let the sediment accumulation rate be an exponentially decreasing
function of time since the Flood:

Eq. 1

where y represents the height of a sediment layer above a reference
point (in this case the Cretaceous/ Tertiary boundary), A is a
constant to be determined from the boundary conditions, t the
relaxation time, and t is the time after the Flood when a layer of
sediment was laid down. This equation can be integrated to give the
height y directly:
Eq. 2

where C represents a constant of integration to be determined from
the boundary conditions. For the first boundary condition, y = 0 at
t= 0. It is assumed in this model that initially no sediment had yet
begun to accumulate, so:

Eq. 3

Solving for C and substituting into Eq. 2:

Eq. 4

For the second boundary condition, y = H at t = tF, where H
represents the total depth of the sediment above the
Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and tF is the time in years since the
Flood. For this condition:

Eq. 5

Solving for A:
Eq. 6


Substituting back into Eq. 4:

Eq. 7

A more useful relationship may be found by inverting this equation
to find t as a function of y, H. and T.

Eq. 8

This relationship is typically called an age model and is used to
find the age of a layer based on its vertical position. At this
point, it is not specific to any particular worldview and can be
applied to any chronology by substituting any time frame tF, between
the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and today. When applying Eq. 8 to a
specific site, the value of H for that site should be used, not the
average sediment thickness discussed earlier.

If the chronology of the Biblical events according to Ussher (1786)
is assumed to be true approximately 4,500 years have transpired
since the Flood (tF = 4,500). Using this time interval, the average
observed depth of sea-floor sediment above the Cretaceous/Tertiary
boundary (322 meters), and the measured accumulation rate of
sediment today (2 x 10-5cm/year), the relaxation time, t, may be
determined from Eqs. 1 and 5.

Substituting the time interval since the Flood and today's sediment
accumulation rate into Eq. 1:

Eq. 9

The initial sedimentation rate, A, in terms of the relaxation time t
may he found:

Eq. 10

Substituting A into Eq. 5:

Eq. 11

Rewriting in order to facilitate solving for:

Eq. 12

This is a transcendental equation in t The solution for t can be
found using iterative methods or by finding the point at which the
two sides of the equation are satisfied jointly. The second method
was used here by plotting the left and right sides of Eq.12
simultaneously and solving for t using the average value of H. The
solution to this transcendental equation gives a value for t of 373
years. Substituting t = 373 years and tF = 4,500 years into Eq. 8
results in the following young-earth age model derived from
young-earth boundary conditions:

Eq. 13

Figure 2. Age of sediment layer from the young-earth age model vs.
height above the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary and the total
sediment thickness, H, in meters.

This age model is displayed in Figure 2. The height of sea-floor
sediment above the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, y, is shown on the
vertical axis and time since the Flood, t, on the horizontal axis.
The age model is shown for several total sediment depths, H. Note,
that each curve asymptotically approaches the value of H as time
approaches 4,500 years after the Flood. In general, it can be seen
from Eq. 7 that y = 0 when t = 0 and y - H when t = tF.

Application of a Young-Earth Age Model

The age model developed here can now be applied to data used by
Kennett et al., (1977) to estimate ocean temperatures from the
Cretaceous to the present. The analytical procedures and
interpretations are contained in Shackleton and Kennett (1975). For
this analysis the total sediment thickness H above the
Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary was found to be 760 meters. Figure 3
shows the results of applying the new young-earth age model to these
same data.

A significantly different interpretation of the data from that of
Kennett et al. (1977) results. First, the period over which the data
occur is assumed to be about 2000 years, rather than 65 million
years. Second the temperature initially decreases rapidly, followed
by a slower decrease. The decrease shown by Kennett et al., (1977)
is basically linear with a few short-period departures implying a
gradual cooling over a long period of time. The trend shown in
Figure 3 is typical of rapid cooling driven by a large temperature
gradient. If the oceans were initially warm at the end of the Flood
and were cooled to a new equilibrium temperature by radiation to
space in the polar regions, this would be the type of cooling curve
one would expect. The relaxation time appears to be about 1000.
This curve was derived from benthic foraminifera in the South
Pacific at high latitudes, so polar ocean bottom waters show a
dramatic cooling of about 20C. Similar analyses of polar surface
waters using planktic foraminifera show a similar cooling trend of
about 20C but averages that are slightly warmer. Equatorial surface
waters show only a minor cooling of 5C or so while equatorial
bottom temperatures show a similar cooling trend as polar waters of
about 20C. The initial temperature for each of these cases was
estimated to be about 20C.

Figure 3. Polar ocean bottom temperature vs. time afetr the Flood.
Data are from Kennett et al. (1977) composited from DSDP sites
277, 279, 281.

These results are interpreted as surface cooling of polar waters
followed by sinking and movement toward the equator along the ocean
floor. A general oceanic circulation is established where warm
equatorial water is transported poleward at the surface and cold
polar water is transported toward the equator at the ocean floor.
Horizontal gyres within the separate ocean basins are superimposed
on these latitudinal motions by the Coriolis force.

In the polar regions one would expect surface cooling to decrease
the temperatures at the ocean floor because the cooler water aloft
would sink and displace the warmer water below. This interchange
would result in vigorous vertical mixing and cooling of bottom
waters. During this strong cooling period one would predict
outstanding conditions for nutrient supply and formation of
biogenous sediments in the polar regions. In the tropics the ocean
would have become more stratified with time because of the advection
of cold bottom water under the warmer surface water. Except for
specific regions of upwelling along the continents and near the
equatorial counter-currents, vertical transport of nutrients and,
therefore, the formation of biogenous sediments, would have been
more restricted.

The data resolution in Figure 3 is very coarse. Near the top of the
sediments sampling occurs at close intervals for the young-earth
model because the sedimentation rate is decreasing exponentially.
Fortunately, many cores have been extracted in recent years and
sampled for d18C at very high resolution. This allows time to be
resolved to short intervals near the top of the core. It is
desirable that data be displayed over equal time intervals to avoid
potential aliasing problems, however, this was not attempted in this
study. Resampling would be required to avoid this problem which may
even require additional chemical analyses.

Figure 4. Polar ocean bottom temperature vs. time afetr the Flood.
Data are from core RC11-120 used in the CLIMAP project.
Figure 4 shows the results of applying the new young-earth age model
to a high-resolution core extracted from site RC11-120 in the
Sub-Antarctic Pacific at about 45 S latitude. Note that a
consistent warming trend of about 5C has occurred in the recent
past preceded by rapid fluctuations at various time scales. Rapid
warming followed by a slow cooling trend occurred between 1500 and
2500 years after the Flood.

The "ice age" in the young-earth chronology (Vardiman, 1993, 1994a
1994b) would have ended about 2000 years ago. This event has been
identified in the literature as the most recent "ice age" followed
by rapid deglaciation. Note that the period of this event is on the
order of 700 years for the young-earth model instead of the
conventional 100,000 years.

If the "ice age" ended about 2000 years ago as suggested above,
there should be evidences for recent dramatic changes in climate.
Historical and archeological records between 0 and 2000 B.C. should
reveal changes in ice cover on mountains and in polar regions
changes in sea level, and expanding deserts. Most conventional
reports place the end of the "ice age" between 11,000 and 20,000
B.C. With the exception of a report by Hapgood (1966) which presents
data on advanced civilizations during the "ice age," the author is
unaware of evidences for such events between the time of Christ and
Abraham. The Chronology earlier than about 1000 B.C. is based
heavily on carbon dating techniques which are suspect if the Genesis
Flood occurred only slightly earlier. The search for historical and
archeological evidence for a recent "ice age" should be given high
priority.

Figure 5. Equatorial Pacific Ocean surface temperature vs. time
after the Flood. Data are from core V28-238 used in the CLIMAP
project.

The young-earth age model has also been applied to a second
high-resolution core taken from site V28-238 in the Pacific near the
equator. The results, shown in Figure 5, also show a 5C warming
trend in the recent past preceded by similar oscillations in
temperature. The period of the feature in this core associated with
the most recent "ice age" is also about 700 years, but the
temperature is about 15C warmer. Because this core was longer than
the previous one we can see a longer period of temperature
oscillations into the past. Notice that these oscillations have a
fairly uniform period of about 100 years. This compares to a period
of about 20,000 years derived from the conventional model.

Implications of a Young-Earth Age Model

It has been recognized for several years that the layering of
sediments on the ocean floor has been deposited in such a manner
indicating that some type of harmonic process has occurred. Analysis
of d18O in fine resolution cores show periodic repetitions of cold
and warm periods. A statistical correlation between the temperature
oscillations and the periods of the three orbital parameters of the
earth/sun system has led to stronger support for the astronomical
theory. CLIMAP and SPECMAP were two projects designed to strengthen
this relationship.

A frequency analysis of many cores with the traditional age model
found that peaks in the frequency spectra occurred at periods of
approximately 20, 40 and 100 thousand years. Because these periods
were similar to those of the orbital parameters, it has been assumed
that the driving mechanism for the temperature fluctuations derived
from sea-floor sediments is the change in radiational warming of the
earth as the earth/sun distance and orientation change. These
concepts have become known as the astronomical theory a revision of
a theory proposed by Milankovich (1930, 1941).

However, several difficulties have yet to be resolved with this
theory. First, the magnitude of the change in radiational heating
calculated from the orbital parameters does not seem to be large
enough to explain the observed cooling and heating. Secondary
feedback mechanisms have been proposed to amplify the orbital
effects. However, it has been found that many of the hypothetical
feedback mechanisms are of the wrong sign at certain phases of the
orbital cycles.

A major result of this need for feedback mechanisms has been the
development of a perspective that the earth's climate systems are
extremely sensitive to minor disturbances. A relatively minor
perturbation would initiate a non-linear response which could lead
to another "ice age" or "greenhouse" Because of the fear of the
consequences such a small perturbation might cause, radical
environmental policies on the release of smoke, chemicals, and other
pollutants and the cutting of trees have been imposed by some
countries. If the basis for the astronomical theory is wrong, many
of the more radical environmental efforts may be unjustified.
A second difficulty with the astronomical theory is the relative
effect of the orbital parameters. The orbital parameter which has a
period of about 100,000 years produces the weakest change in
radiational heating. If the "ice ages" are caused by radiational
changes, the orbital parameter causing them should be the largest of
the three. Yet, the orbital parameter with the 100,000 year period
is the smallest of the three.

If the young-earth age model proposed by this work is valid, the
conventional correlation between sea-floor sediments and the orbital
parameters is completely false. The periods illustrated in Figures 4
and 5 are on the order of 100 years and 700 years. Rather than an
external forcing function like orbital parameters causing
fluctuation in the earth's climate system, it is suggested that
these oscillations are a manifestation of frequencies which are
naturally present in the earth-atmosphere-ocean system. These
natural frequencies were probably excited by the initial high-energy
events of the Flood. In the young-earth model there has been only
enough time for one "ice age" since the Flood. The initial forcing
function for the "ice age" was the tremendous amount of heat left in
the oceans by the events of the Flood. The length of the "ice age"
would have been determined by the amount of time for the oceans to
lose their heat to the atmosphere and subsequently to space.
Many other shorter-period oscillations in the earth's climate system
may still be operating, however. For example, a significant
oscillating climate event which has received a large amount of
international research attention recently is the El Nio Southern
Oscillation (ENSO) which has been documented in the equatorial
Pacific (Jacobs et al., 1994). This climate event starts as a
warming of surface waters in the western equatorial Pacific. It
progresses eastward over a period of two to four years increasing
precipitation along the equator and changing the wind patterns. When
it intersects the Americas, it produces flooding and major changes
in marine habitats along the west coasts of both continents. Effects
further east cause wet and dry regions over large areas. This
oscillation has a period of about seven years and may be just one
example of many such oscillations still observable in our
atmosphere/ocean system. If a young-earth model of sea-floor
sediment accumulation such as that developed in this monograph can
be justified, the conventional theories of multiple "ice ages,"
greenhouse warming, and millions of years of earth history required
for evolutionary processes will be refuted.

Conclusions and Recommendations

An alternative, analytic, young-earth model of sea floor sediment
accumulation has been developed in this treatment. Rather than a
slow accumulation of sediments at a nearly constant rate of a few
centimeters per millennium over millions of years, an initially
rapid accumulation of sediments decreasing exponentially to today's
rate over some 4,500 years was assumed. Observations of d18O from
sea-floor sediment cores were transformed to estimates of
temperature and plotted as a function of time of deposition in
accordance with this exponential model.

These plots indicate that temperature at the floor of tropical and
polar oceans and the surface of polar oceans decreased rapidly,
immediately following the estimated end of the Flood. This decrease
was on the order of 15C and asymptotically cooled to today's
average value of 4C. The major portion of the cooling occurred in
about 1000 years, in agreement with Oard's (1990) estimates of
cooling following the Flood. Application of this model to very
detailed tropical cores found a consistent warming trend of about
5C over the recent past, preceded by rapid fluctuations of
temperature at various time scales. The period of the longer
fluctuations, typically identified with the "ice ages, is on the
order of 700 years, rather than the conventional 100,000 years. The
period of the shorter fluctuations is about 100 years, compared to
the conventional 20,000 years.

The major decrease in oceanic temperature by 15C, following the
Cretaceous Period, is suggested to be the cooling of the ocean to a
lower equilibrium temperature following the Genesis Flood. The
100-year and 700-year fluctuations are suggested to be transient
oscillations as the ocean/atmosphere system reached equilibrium.
Massive quantities of data available from DSDP ODP, and other
sea-floor core drilling projects may be used to investigate other
features of sediment accumulation from a young-earth perspective.
d18O is only one of many variables available for such studies. Cores
from almost 1000 sites and nearly every region of the ocean floor
are available for study. It is likely that an entirely new
understanding of paleoceanography could be developed from this
preliminary age model.

In order to improve the young-earth model proposed here, similar
analyses should be made of d18O measurements for many additional
cores. The results of Douglas and Savin (1971,1973, 1975), Savin,
Douglas, and Stehli (1975), and Shackleton and Kennett (1975) should
be replicated with more recent cores over a wider geographic
distribution. d18O observations from the upper 50 meters of sediment
would be of particular interest. Further consideration should be
given to the identification of the Flood/post-Flood boundary. It may
be that the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary is too deep in the geologic
column. A larger survey of sediments above the Cretaceous/Tertiary
boundary may lead to smaller values for a typical thickness,
reducing the model accumulation rate and revising other parameters
in the young-earth model. A universal average sediment thickness
should not be used to plot time versus depth at any single site.

An analysis of the productivity of biogenous sediments in the
post-Flood ocean should be made and compared with the mass of
sediments observed. The accumulation of hundreds of meters of
sediment, on the average, and kilometers of sediment in some
locations, such as the Arctic Ocean, require very high productivity
following the Flood. Although the potential for high productivity
has been suggested by Roth (1985), can the oceans supply enough
nutrients, in some 4,500 years, to explain the observed sediments?
Refinements in the young-earth model should be made to better
simulate the formation of sediments. Such assumptions as the
exponential decrease in accumulation, the total depth of post-Flood
sediments, and the composite of biogenous and lithogenous sediments
should be explored further. The model may need separate parameters
for different oceans, latitudes, and sediment types, as well as
sites.

A similar study should be conducted for d18C. d18O was selected for
this first study because of its immediate relationship to climate
and the polar ice sheets. However, the burial of carbon has major
implications on the mass balance of carbon in the hydrosphere
biosphere, and atmosphere. It affects the formation of carbonates,
the radiation balance and temperature of earth, and
paleochronometers such as 14C. Combinations of d18O and d13C may be
useful for estimating productivity and sediment accumulation rates.
The result of this effort was to initiate the development of an
analytical model of sea-floor sediment accumulation. The model uses
the measured sediment accumulation rate of today, the observed
sediment depth on the ocean floor, and a literal Biblical time frame
as boundary conditions. An exponentially-decreasing accumulation
function was assumed. All of the questions have not been answered.
In fact, this monograph may raise more questions than it answers.
Other researchers are encouraged to work on portions of this problem
and to keep me informed.

Acknowledgments

Thanks are extended to the reviewers who helped make this a better
document, especially Gerald Aardsma, John Baumgardner, Richard
Bliss, Robert Brown, David Bowdle Jim Cook, Henry Morris, John
Morris, Michael Oard, Andrew Snelling, and Kurt Wise. One of the
CRSQ reviewers was particularly helpful with his extensive comments
and suggested abstract. Data for the Deep Sea Drilling Project
(DSDP) were provided on CD-Rom by the National Geophysical Data
Center (NGDC) Data and Information Service. References to specific
reports and data are made in the article to the Initial Reports of
the DSDP. Analyses were partially conducted on computer equipment
provided by Steve Low and his associates with the Hewlett-Packard
Company.

Also I thank Dr. Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation
Research (ICR) for providing the opportunity and facilities to
conduct the research supporting this article. It was a very real joy
to be able to work on this project. The opportunity to ". . . think
God's thoughts after Him . . ." is not available to everyone.

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Larry Vardiman, Ph.D., Institute for Creation Research, 10946
Woodside Ave. N., Santee, CA 92071.


Promoting an Understanding of the Intelligent Design of the Universe