Biblical Geology of Wisconsin
Biblical Geology of Wisconsin
When you think of places with amazing geological formations I doubt Wisconsin is the first state on your mind; however, Wisconsin’s unique location allowed for remnants of the most major geologic events in world history.
Some examples of Wisconsin geology: - Before the fold up of the Rocky and Appalachian mountains, northern Wisconsin was a high point on the continent. The sheet erosion event at the middle to late Flood exposed the igneous and metamorphic rocks that were created during the creation week. - The Flood sedimentary layers that were not removed contain many amazing fossils like jellyfish and trilobites that can be found in quarries throughout the state. While much of the flood was violent and deposited conglomerates with huge boulders, the preserved jellyfish and sand ripples indicate the Flood ebbed and flowed between catastrophic and gentle. - The glaciers came through Wisconsin leaving much evidence in lateral moraines, terminal moraines, till, erratics, drumlins, scraped rock, and kettle lakes. The moraines we see today are probably what was dropped at the end of the Ice Age. Each year the glaciers expanded and retreated with the seasons, reaching their climax about 500 years after the Flood. - The south and west part of Wisconsin is covered with the Driftless Area. This is a part of the state that was not glaciated but was catastrophically eroded. Highway road cuts clearly show horizontal layers deposited by the Flood, but the uneven erosion indicates catastrophic water flow. - Large amounts of water flowing through soft, easily dissolved limestone allowed for the formation of caves across Wisconsin. - Wisconsin is surrounded by two of the largest bodies of fresh water on the planet that provide beaches, islands and bluffs. Walking along the shore you can easily find fossiliferous rocks containing various corals. - The subcontinental divide runs through Wisconsin. The southern and western part of the state drain through the Mississippi River out to the Gulf of Mexico, while the northern and eastern part of the state drain out the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence sea way to the Atlantic Ocean.
The items presented here is a summary of data from multiple researchers, interpreted with the Bible as our starting point. The creationist model of geology changes as new facts emerge; however, the current model explains everything we see.
General Overview Earth History
There are three types of rock: Igneous, Metamorphic, Sedimentary
Major geologic events in world history: Creation, Flood, & Ice Age
Two views of geologic history: Uniformity or Catastrophe
The catastrophic view of world history has great predictive and explanatory power, while the unitarianism view cannot explain many anomalies in geology.
Before the flood the world had lower mountains, and shallower oceans. The oceans had more sand and high lime content.
Catastrophic Plate Tectonics
The ocean floors are made of the igneous rock basalt, while the continents are made of granite. Since granite is less dense than basalt the continents float higher on the mantle. At the beginning of the Flood the ocean floor fractured and began to subduct under the granite. As the cool solid crust slides into the mantle around the coastline, the hot magma replaces it at the ocean center. The less dense magma flash boils the water creating huge amounts of steam and displaces the ocean water onto the land via tsunamis and a rising ocean floor. The ocean floor was 3,000 ft higher when the basalt was hot. With the old floor subducting and the water overflowing all the sand and sediment in the basin are pushed/scraped onto the continents.
In 150 days the entire ocean floor was replaced with new, hot, less dense basalt. The old cool ocean floor sank into the mantle causing convection currents which rapidly and repeatedly flipped the Earth’s magnetic field. As the old floor melts it creates a moving plume within the mantle. These pockets of magma still push up through the surface today and create volcanoes like the Hawaiian islands and Yellowstone.
Several mountain types formed during or as a result of the Flood. Block fault mountains formed when the pressure in the mantle caused by the cooling and sinking ocean floors was suddenly released by raising very large blocks of continental crust. The Rocky Mountains are a good example of block fault mountains.
Volcanic mountains formed as the mantle released pressure by the extrusion of lava onto the surface. The Cascade Range contains many volcanoes.
Fold mountains were made by the folding of rock layers when two plates collided. The Appalachians contain many folded mountains. Some mountain ranges are a combination of multiple types.
A megasequence is a sequence of rocks of the same contents that all appear in the same order across the globe. The rock layers in the first megasequence (Sauk megasequence) appear in the order of sandstone, shale, and limestone. The base layer of the Sauk is the coarsest layer being a conglomerate of sandstone and chunks of other rocks. After the conglomerate the smaller sized particles of sand drop out of the flowing water forming sandstone. Then shale drops out from silty mud. And finally the lime settles or precipitates into limestone. This megasequence as well as others have been to date found content wide in America, Africa, and and South America. Most megasequences span multiple contents. The only way a worldwide megasequence can be explained is by a worldwide flood.
Wisconsin contains amazing geologic formations from each of the major events in geologic history: Creation, The Flood, and the Ice Age.
Devils Lake – Creation Week
Quartzite is a common metamorphic rock on the Earth, but it only appears at the surface in a few places because it is usually very deep. The Baraboo quartzite is one of the few places in the world where scientists can study a quartzite formation.
It is impossible to measure the age of a rock. Several techniques have been developed to measure the elements in rock and use assumptions to determine the rock ages. The granite intrusions in the Baraboo quartzite were uranium-lead dated to be between 1.64 to 1.76 billion years old; however, helium diffusion rates of the same rock yields rock ages of 6,000 years old. Since raidometric dating methods are built on assumptions there is no way to know if a date is correct because it is impossible to go back in time to verify if the assumptions are true. The only way we can know what is true is if we follow the words of someone who was there and cannot lie. While the Bible is not a science book it never contradicts science, and science always confirms the Bible is true.
The Baraboo quartzite appears to have formed during the creation week because it is a basement rock and contains no fossils. Just by looking at a rock it is not possible to tell if a rock was created in the beginning or if it formed later. Since we know there was no death before sin we can know a rock was not formed during the creation week if it contains fossils, or if it is on top of layers containing fossils.
On day 3 of the creation week God said, “Let the dry land appear.” And it was so. It does not look like this was an instantaneous process, but like the rest of the creation God used supernatural movement of natural processes (during the span of one 24 hour day) to create the land. At the beginning of day 3 the sediment that makes up the Baraboo quartzite was below the surface of the water. As God moved the land to the surface the heat metamorphosed the sand into quartzite.
Ripples form in sand from waves or water flowing. The top layer of sand could have developed ripples while underwater, and the catastrophic movement upward on day 3 instantly metamorphosed those ripples into quartz.
Quartz in its pure form is just silicon dioxide (SiO2). Liquid silicon dioxide is clear (like glass). The red color in the Baraboo quartzite is from varying amounts of iron mixed in the silicon dioxide. The layering of sand is evident in cross sections, and shows signs of moving water before God moved it to emerge above the surface. Each crossbed layer (horizontal layer with diagonal lines through it) was formed when fast-flowing water built sand waves that were originally twice as high as the resulting rock layer.
The Baraboo quartzite forms a bowl around the city of Baraboo. This bowl shape formed as the center depressed and the edges arose. This bending of the rock left slickensides on the horizontal planes between layers. These slickensides must have formed while the rock was warm enough not to fracture, but cool enough to leave evidence.
Devils Lake – Worldwide Flood
At Devils Lake you find potholes that were carved from swirling water. The potholes occur on the inside corner of a river bend when a course rock (chert) settled in a depression and were spun by the water moving past. The mystery for long age geology is how a river was flowing 500 ft. above the ground level! These potholes must have formed from the worldwide Flood waters as they were leaving the continent because at no other point in history was the water level that high.
Wisconsin is dome shaped with the peak of the dome in northern Wisconsin. At the end of the Flood sheet erosion removed almost all of the sedimentary rock in northern Wisconsin while leaving sedimentary layers in the south and at the east coast.
At the height of the Flood there was as much as 325 ft. of sedimentary rock above the top of the Devils Lake bluffs. These sedimentary layers can still be seen in other places in Wisconsin like Blue Mound.
The Sauk megasequence is named after Sauk County in Wisconsin and is seen worldwide from the Grand Canyon, to Wisconsin, to the Middle East, to Africa. The Parfrey’s Glen formation in Wisconsin the same sandstone megasequence as the Tapeats sandstone in the Grand Canyon.
Parfrey’s Glen is located near County Highway DL in Merrimac, WI. On June 7, 2008 Sauk county received 6 inches of rain in 8 hours. This flash flood caused the entire boardwalk and paved path system of Parfrey’s Glen to be destroyed, and washed out a new gully at the location of the old parking lot while blocking the original channel with large chunks of rock and concrete from further up the glen.
The hill behind the glen is made of the same Baraboo quartzite at Devils lake but is only visible at a small outcropping. You can see the 25 degree angle consistent with the Baraboo bowl shaped syncline.
Remaining in the glen are several igneous rhyolite and granite erratics. These rocks are not native to this area but were transported by the glacier all the way from northern Wisconsin or Canada.
Since the Baraboo quartzite is from the creation week, then the Parfrey’s Glen conglomerate sandstone would have been the first layer deposited in the worldwide Food. This sandstone covers the bedrock and is a conglomerate consisting of rocks and boulders of Baraboo quartzite. During the flood other layers (Mt. Simon formation, Eau Claire formation, etc.) intersected the Parfrey’s Glen formation which lies on the sloping syncline of the Baraboo formation. Since Parfrey’s Glen conglomerate is found uniformly from the bottom of the bluff to the top, the same environmental conditions (the Flood) must have been in place while the entire bluff was being buried. Just a few hundred feet to the south and southeast, the Parfrey’s Glen formation intertongues with the rest of the Sauk megasequence layers which are horizontal. According to evolutionsists, these horizontal layers were formed over a period of 128 million years each under different environmental conditions including deep and shallow seas, beaches, and dry land. Obviously environments this different cannot exist within a few hundred feet of each other over millions of years. The most straightforward explanation is that all of the rock was deposited over a short period of time under flood conditions.
Since Wisconsin sits on top of the granite continent, and the granite floats above the basalt ocean basin, then Wisconsin could never have been under an ancient ocean. All the sand (and cementing material to make sandstone) in Wisconsin had to be transported here from the coastlines. Being located at almost a center-point between the Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic oceans the Flood water currents would have been coming from all directions carrying sand and silica from various sources.
The flood waters deposited all the sedimentary layers we see today, but they also deposited over 325 ft. of additional sedimentary layers which eroded at the end of the Flood. The release of this overburden caused orthogonal fractures (cracks at right angles) in the underlying rocks. Looking from above you can see that all the dells, glens, and the Wisconsin River follow right angle patterns that started as fractures which runoff water eroded into larger waterways. The erosion of the glen probably started with the Flood, but runoff and ruptures of glacial lakes widened the glen to what we see today.
Rapid water flow also carved potholes in the glen riverbed. As the riverbed eroded some of these potholes remained up on the walls of the glen.
As the glaciers melted the under cutting of the sandstone caused large boulders to fall at the end of the glen. The flash flood of 2008 destroyed what used to be the scenic overlook at the end by the same undercutting process.
The problem with uniformitarian explanations of the Ice Age is that they rely on a cold Earth. If the Earth is cold, then there is less evaporation. Less evaporation means less precipitation. Less precipitation means no ice for an Ice Age.
The worldwide Flood would have caused massive volcanic activity. The fault zones turned into a 49,000 mile ring of fire filling the atmosphere with aerosols and flash boiling thousands of cubic miles of water. When things settled after the flood all the oceans were warmed up over 36 degrees on average. Warmer oceans cause more evaporation. More evaporation caused more precipitation. The increased aerosols caused cooler summers where the ice did not melt.
Computer modeling shows hypercanes would have dropped up to 200 ft. of snow per year on what is now Hudson Bay. The ice continued to build for about 500 years, and then receded for about the next 200 years. The glaciers flowed from Hudson Bay at the rate of about 4 to 10 miles per year. They were slowed down while passing over Lake Superior and Lake Michigan heading for Wisconsin.
Devils Lake is where the glacier ended leaving the remaining southern area of Wisconsin the Driftless Area. As ice dams broke the glacial lakes rapidly carved through layers deposited in the worldwide Flood. The southern entrance of Devils Lake contains a terminal moraine filled with glacial till. The till filled what was once a river flowing from the north and out the east narrows to the Wisconsin River. Today Devils Lake is spring fed and has no outlet.
At the bottom of the Devils Lake cliffs is a thick layer of talus (large quartzite boulders). The almost daily freeze thaw cycles during the Ice Age caused rocks to crack and fall off the cliff at a much faster rate than we see today.
The Bible refers to snow or ice four times. Job, who probably lived at a time that the glaciers were reaching their maximum extent, is the only Biblical author to mention what we would call ice sheets in Job 37:1-13. In Job 6:15-16 he compares his friends to an intermittent wadi that flows with turbid water from ice melt. Winter ice melt is clear, but the book of Job describes the water running off the ice as “turbid” which means it is not muddy, but it is carrying rocks and rock powder just like glacier melt.