Evidence for a Worldwide Flood
And what it means for us today

Although the thought of a worldwide flood that wiped out almost all plant and animal life on earth and then buried it in the rocks may seem incredible, that is exactly what Genesis and Psalms say happened,1 what Jesus and the apostles believed 2 and what the geological evidence supports.  The Bible also talks about the “deeps” being broken up, and the earth divided or “spread out.” 3  This likely refers to the oceanic ridges being broken up and where the continents appear to have been split apart: perhaps in a short period of time.

Such a flood is also described in literature or legend in over 200 different civilizations from around the world; however, in this short paper we will focus only on the geological evidence that points to such an event and what it means for us today.

Worldwide Flood or Miracle?
The fact that many of the same types of fossils are found all over the world, in the same order, suggests that the whole world was once under water.  We say this because water is required to deposit sedimentary rocks, and because rapid burial is required to preserve fossils, and because some of the layers are the size of Nevada, and because there is virtually no evidence of time (or erosion) between the layers, but rather they appear to have been laid down like pancakes: one on top of the other.  And since many layers also contain marine fossils, they must have been the result of an intercontinental or worldwide flood.

Consider a quote by Curt Teichert published in a Bulletin of the Geological Society of America.

"Such a hypothesis would require... a highly unlikely pattern of… migrations, where swarms of species of Manticoceras are followed, everywhere at the same distance and the same time interval, by swarms of species of Cheiloceras, the two waves preserving their separate identities on a staggered mass migration around the world…  without evolutionary changes and without ever becoming mixed..." 4

"It would be easy to repeat this investigation for almost every critical zone fossil… throughout the geological column for hundreds, perhaps thousands of... cases…
In the words of Jeletsky… we would have to 'invoke a miracle'… to assume anything but worldwide contemporaneous deposition for each of the 55 ammonite zones of the Jurassic.  Not all ... occur everywhere, but wherever two or more are found in superposition they occur in the same order.

Saltwater mollusks in the Black Sea:  A Discover magazine article tells us that “Science… has found evidence for a massive deluge that may have inspired Noah’s tale.” 5 It involves sediment cores from the Black Sea.  From it we learn that “…over the entire sea bottom was a…layer of sediment that could only have been deposited during a flood.”  And “within that layer saltwater mollusks appear, all from the Mediterranean and all dating from around 7600 years ago.” 2

Since the Black Sea is a freshwater Sea that is surrounded by land, this means that at one time the Mediterranean must have been much higher than at present, and tells us that the Oceans of the world were higher as well.

Foraminifera from the Gulf of Mexico:  In a 1977 article from Reader’s Digest
6 we learn about one-celled planktonic organisms called foraminifera, and how they “lock into their shells a chemical record of the temperature and salinity of the water,” and that “when they reproduce, the shells are discarded and drop to the bottom.”    The article discusses drill cores of sediments that were taken from the Gulf of Mexico by two oceanographic vessels, and which indicated that “a dramatic change in salinity” occurred, “providing compelling evidence of a vast flood of fresh water into the Gulf of Mexico.”  One of the Investigators said that: “There was no question that there was a flood and… no question that it was a universal flood.” 6  Emphasis Added

Upright Fossil Trees from Coal strata: Another evidence pointing to a worldwide flood is what Rupke termed "polystrate fossils."  Such fossils are found all over the world in and around coal seams.  They consist mostly of fossil trees of Sigillaria and Lepidodendron, along with their often fragmented roots called Stigmaria that are buried at all angles to the horizontal strata.  They range in size from small rootlets to trees over 80 feet long.7,8,9,10   At Joggins, Nova Scotia, upright fossil trees and roots are found at various intervals over 14,000 feet of layered strata.  Many are from 10-20 feet in length 8,9 and one was reported to be 40 feet long. 11,12,13 

Only about 1 in 50 of these trees have roots with attached rootlets. 14,15   This tells us they were likely not buried in their growth locations, but rather were uprooted and transported by a massive flood. Many of the fragmented Stigmaria roots are also missing their rootlets, and in fact, it is for this reason that the were so named: i.e. because of the scar marks left behind by their once present, but now missing, rootlets.
The “underclays” or “fireclays” above and below coal seams also suggest sedimentary deposition for these beds and the coals themselves, rather than ancient soils that supported forests.  Consider the following with regard to Coal Groups 1-12 of the Joggins area strata:

“…Therefore, out of 44 possible soils, only 3 contain both roots and rootlets that are also situated beneath a coal. …if any of these "soils" contained roots with attached rootlets, (Dawson) would have eagerly said so.  However, since he didn't, then to say that such beds represent in situ growth of multiple "forests" is highly questionable.” 16

Stigmaria roots are also found at all different angles to the strata, as well as in different types of strata.  In this regard Williamson stated that:

"… Such fragments, both of roots and rootlets, are extremely abundant.  Indeed it is rare to find a fireclay in which such is not the case, but how these roots have so often become disturbed and broken up is a question not easily answered." 17 Emphasis Added

Lesquereux also noticed that:

"Fragments of Stigmaria… are generally found… in every kind of compound, clay, shales, sandstone, coal, even limestone, in carboniferous strata ...  They are always in large proportion, far above that of any other remains of coal plants." 18

The fact that similar fossil trees with missing roots and fragmented Stigmaria occur elsewhere in Canada, as well as the United States, England, France, Germany, China, and Australia is suggestive of a worldwide flood.  Some of these fossils even cross coal seams.  These facts suggest that the Carboniferous, or Coal “era” simply represents different types of strata laid down during a worldwide flood, rather than in situ growth of forests in peat bogs over millions of years.  It also suggests that the Earth’s sedimentary strata is best explained by a worldwide flood, rather than a “Geological Time Chart” of so-called “eras” that were deposited slowly.

The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley:  The Grand Canyon is composed mostly of flat lying sedimentary strata.  Some of its layers can be traced for hundreds of miles, and some also contain marine fossils.  Its numerous large side canyons tell us that water must have spilled over both sides of the canyon for many miles.  Such a scenario again points to a very large portion of our continent being under water.   There is also a good chance that the massive flood that spilled over both sides of the Grand Canyon is the same body of water that flowed through Monument Valley to the North, and that left behind large sandstone monuments.

Mt. St. Helens:  Between 1980-1982 various eruptions at Mt. St. Helens produced sedimentary-type layers hundreds of feet thick and also carved a canyon it their midst in a single day.  One was a hurricane velocity deposit that produced thousands of thin laminations up to 25 feet thick. 19,20,21 The third eruption was a lava flow that turned into a hot mudflow as it crossed the Toutle River.  The mudflow not only diverted the river but also carved a 17-mile-long series of canyons up to 140 feet deep in a matter of hours.  They call it the Little Grand Canyon of the Toutle River. 22  For more on this see Mt. St. Helens: Evidence in Support of Biblical Catastrophe.

Spontaneous Sorting of Layers: Laboratory experiments have shown that spontaneous sorting and layering of sediments can and does occur with a sand, mud, and clay slurry.  When the mixture slows down, the sand, mud, and clay will spontaneously precipitate (or settle out) and form individual layers. 23 Dr. Guy Berthault has demonstrated this in laboratory experiments. 24,25,25,26,27,28   Those who want to see this for themselves can do so by ordering: Evolution: Fact or Belief, 29 or Experiments in Stratification. 30

Conclusion: It seems likely that there was a worldwide flood in the recent past.  According to Jesus and the apostles, this means that God will come back to judge the world in the future as well: Matt. 7:21-23; 24:32-25:46; I Pet. 1:13-19, 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:4-9; 3:3-7.  My hope is to be ready and not caught off-guard when this happens: Col. 1:15-18; 3:1-4; I John 2:28-3:3.

1.        Gen. 6:5-8:22; Ps. 104:5-9
2.        Matt. 24:36-39; 2 Pet. 2:4-9; 3:3-6; I Pet. 3:18-20
3.        Gen. 10:25; Prov. 3:19-20; Isa. 42:5
Teichert, Curt, "Some Biostratigraphical Concepts," Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 69, Jan.1958, p.111.
Svitil, Kathy A., "Forty Days and Forty Nights, More or Less," Discover, Jan. 1999, p. 69.
Warshofsky, Fred, "Noah, The Flood, the Facts," Readers Digest, Sept. 1977, pp. 132-134.
Berg, R. S., Upright Trees in Coal: www.earthage.org/What%20is%20Wrong%20with%20this%20Picture.htm
Berg, R. S., The 'Fossil Forests' of Nova Scotia, Pt. Two: www.earthage.org/polystrate/Fossil%20Forests%20part_2.htm
Rupke, N.A., “A Study of Cataclysmic Sedimentation,” Creation Res.  Soc. Quart., Vol. 3, 1966, p. 23
Bölsche, W., 1918, Im Steinkohlenwald, Stuttgart, Franckh’sche Verlagshandlung, 16th impr. P. 34.
Dawson, John W., 1868, “Acadian Geology,” 2nd ed. Macmillan & Co., London, pp. 150-202.
12.     Berg, R. S., The "Fossil Forests" of Nova Scotia: www.earthage.org/polystrate/Fossil%20Trees%20of%20Nova%20Scotia.htm.
Part Two of this paper discusses one of the rare trees that had both roots and rootlets.  The author does not think it was in
        growth position because it was filled with different sediments than that which surrounded it.

13.     Gessner, Abraham, 1836, Remarks on the Geology and Mineralogy of Nova Scotia. 272 pp. 
        See also: www.earthage.org/polystrate/slightly_modified_version%20of%20online%20post.htm
See ref. 9 above: section on Extensive Root Systems, or Root Systems Extensively Missing?. 
        See also: www.earthage.org/polystrate/Early%20Mississippian%20lycopsid%20forests.htm

  See refs. 8 and 9 above.
Berg, R., S. See ref. # 9 above: “The Underclays of Joggins”.  Link located at bottom of article.
Williamson, C. W., 1887, "A Monograph on the Morphology and Histology of Stigmaria ficoides," p.12,
          London Palaeontograhical Society.

 Lesquereux, Leo, 1880, "Description of the Coal Flora of the Carboniferous Formation in Pennsylvania and
        Throughout the United States," Vol. 1, pp. 510-513.
The Little Grand Canyon: located at: www.nwcreation.net/presentations/geology/sld034.htm
Ham, Ken, I Got Excited at Mt. St. Helens: www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v15/i3/mtsthelens.asp. Also published in
        Creation mag., Vol. 15, No, 3, June-Aug., 1993, pp. 14-19.  Creation mag. is now called Answers.

Austin, Steven A., Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, pp. 37-39,94, 97-98.  Available through www.icr.org,
 www.amazon.com, as well as  many other outlets.
Morris, John D., Ph.D., The Young Earth, 1994, Creation Life Publishers, Inc., pp. 106-107. Available through www.icr.org,
        www.answersingenesis.org, www.amazon.com
, or other sources.
Mt. St. Helens: Evidence in Support of Biblical Catastrophe, at: www.nwcreation.net/mtsthelens.html.
Julien, Pierre Y., Yongqiang Lan and Guy Berthault, "Experiments on Stratification of Heterogeneous Sand Mixtures," 
        Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1994, pp. 37-50.

Austin, Steven A., "Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe," 1994, Institute for Creation Research, Santee, CA, 92071, pp. 37-39.
Kuenen, P. H., "Experimental Turbidite Lamination in a Circular Flume," Journal of Geology, Vol. 74, 1966, pp. 523-545. 
        This ref. was obtained from "Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe," Edited by Steven A.Austin, 1994, pp. 38, 54, ref. #67

Evolution: Fact or Belief; Video available from www.creationtruth.com/Bookstore/Video/V-022.htm or from  www.icr.org,
        www.answersingenesis.org, www.amazon.com
, or other sources.
30.     Experiments in Stratification: Video available from www.arky.org/store/catalog.php?selected_title=e.  Also available through
, www.answersingenesis.org, or amazon.com.   

Copyright 2008, Randy S. Berg
Permission is granted to copy and use for Educational purposes.