How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

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How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby driggs » Mar 6, 2008 7:08 pm

How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow
By Carl Zimmer

http://www.wired.com/science/discoverie ... ction_0307

Three geologists from the University of New Mexico have explored caves along the Grand Canyon, ranging from the very bottom to the rim. In this week's issue of Science, they report that the highest caves have mammilary coatings dating back about 17 million years, and the lowest ones date to about 800,000 years. And all the caves between the top and bottom have the intermediate ages you’d expect. By measuring the distance from the rim to the caves, the geologists were then able to estimate how fast the Colorado River carved the canyon. The downstream end of the canyon formed first, and only later did the upstream end catch up. These new measurements show that even as the river sank down into the earth, the earth itself rose, lifted by hot rock welling up through the crust.

The Grand Canyon is far older than Noah's flood, but at just 17 million years or so, it’s geologically infantile. For 99.99 percent of Earth's history, the Grand Canyon as we know it did not exist.
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby driggs » Mar 6, 2008 7:10 pm

Err, perhaps this belongs in the Speleology Forum rather than Caves In The News? Mods, move it if you like!
Last edited by NZcaver on Mar 6, 2008 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Your wish is my command...
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 7, 2008 3:40 pm

This was on Science Friday today, too:

http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200803073
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 7, 2008 3:42 pm

I am at work and only caught a snippet of this story. I see this text in the SciFri story:

The researchers studied structures known as mammillaries or “cave clouds” — carbonate deposits that form at or near the water table level, and dated the features using uranium-lead isotope dating techniques.


But aren't there examples of perched pools in cave way above the water tables? While it's likely the mammillaries did form underwater, did they have to do it below the water table?

Hah, maybe I just need to read the actual article in Science myself! (I think it comes out tomorrow).
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How to Date the Grand Canyon

Postby cavedoc » Mar 7, 2008 7:21 pm

Send it flowers. Compliment its nice stratigraphy. Suggest coffee sometime...

Sorry, it had to be said. :tonguecheek:
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby Teresa » Mar 7, 2008 9:12 pm

What is interesting to me is that the dissenting (non-caver) experts all seem to say "it's 6 million years and that's that". When pressed to explain (at least in the two or three reports I' ve read or heard with a rebuttal) the answer seems to be, "Well, I'm an expert on this, and I've been studying for 1000 years and that's not what I found, so obviously these cave people have to be mistaken." One so called expert says the reason that the older date cannot be true is because he couldn't find any extra-Canyon debris that old. But was he looking in the right spot,considering the Colorado Plateau is acknowledged by both sides to have risen over that time. But it wouldn't be the first time a preponderance of evidence was stood on its ear in geology. Arguing from authority is -- well, so 15th century.

I too look forward to seeing the evidence in the published paper. Until then, I'm suspending judgement on the case. I still think both sets of scientists, and the creationists were wrong on this one. I always heard it was the place where Babe the Blue Ox dragged a nail of his oxen shoes while trying to keep a runaway wagonload of sequoia from skidding into the Sea of Cortez. :boxing: :rofl:
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby NZcaver » Mar 8, 2008 12:40 am

Also just released by NPR:

How old is the Grand Canyon?
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby KeyserSoze » Mar 8, 2008 1:20 pm

Sounds good and all, but it can't be true. The Earth is only 6 thousand years old.

:laughing:
This signature is really funny
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby NZcaver » Mar 8, 2008 1:43 pm

KeyserSoze wrote:Sounds good and all, but it can't be true. The Earth is only 6 thousand years old.

:laughing:

Are you sure? I swear I've met cavers who are older than that! :tonguecheek: :lmao:
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby shibumi » Mar 9, 2008 10:40 am

NZcaver wrote:
KeyserSoze wrote:Sounds good and all, but it can't be true. The Earth is only 6 thousand years old.

:laughing:

Are you sure? I swear I've met cavers who are older than that! :tonguecheek: :lmao:


It's possible. Here's the logic:

Dirt isn't generally that old, a few thousand years old at most.
Some cavers are older than dirt.

I mean, look at K*n La*****
:)
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby NZcaver » Mar 9, 2008 9:00 pm

You're goin' straight to hell for that one! :devil:
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon

Postby Cheryl Jones » Mar 10, 2008 9:16 am

cavedoc wrote:Send it flowers. Compliment its nice stratigraphy. Suggest coffee sometime...

Sorry, it had to be said. :tonguecheek:


:clap: :funny post: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby Pitbully » Jun 9, 2008 4:09 pm

Hey here is a technical article about age of Grand canyon. The normal dating procedures (millions of years) are based on historical assumptions. It is no more than 6000 years old.
http://www.icr.org/article/42/
Here is a mp3 to listen to.
http://www.icr.org/radio/view/555/
enjoy
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby ArCaver » Jun 9, 2008 4:32 pm

Pitbully wrote:Hey here is a technical article about age of Grand canyon. The normal dating procedures (millions of years) are based on historical assumptions. It is no more than 6000 years old.
http://www.icr.org/article/42/
Here is a mp3 to listen to.
http://www.icr.org/radio/view/555/
enjoy


The "No more than 6000 yr. old" theory is based on a mis-interpretation of an historical anthology.
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Re: How to Date the Grand Canyon: Go With the Flow

Postby GypsumWolf » Jun 9, 2008 5:30 pm

ArCaver wrote:
Pitbully wrote:Hey here is a technical article about age of Grand canyon. The normal dating procedures (millions of years) are based on historical assumptions. It is no more than 6000 years old.
http://www.icr.org/article/42/
Here is a mp3 to listen to.
http://www.icr.org/radio/view/555/
enjoy


The "No more than 6000 yr. old" theory is based on a mis-interpretation of an historical anthology.


I know cavechat does not like religious vs. evolution debates so be careful how this thread goes.
Last edited by GypsumWolf on Jun 10, 2008 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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