Red Beds

2 Mar 2018

At ... red beds are composed of aeolian sands - sand waves deposited by flooding (or by tides). These also include sandstone rocks and can be seen on the Colorado Plateau - and various other places, dating from diverse geological periods. The oldest of them go back 1.5 billion years ago (the Proterozoic) and the youngest just 6 million years ago (the Miocene). They are  sand that has been reddened by finely dispersed iron oxides within clay minerals. They can actually be clay stones, silt stones, and conglomerates, and not just sandstone. There is no place on Earth where they are currently being produced and therefore the various theories are conjecture, he says. The deposits can be up to thousands of feet thick - so how did they form? The normal explanation is hey derived from sand dunes, or alluvial matter deposited by flash floods or alluvial fans. Some are considered Playa deposits. Marine origins are mostly excluded. However, in the Cretaceous we do have red beds containing marine fossils - which the author uses to ask if they are in fact tidal wave deposits (or even just tidal). Did the tides differ in the past, he asks - not something you find on your everyday science blog. He claim a recent astronomical study on the Moon came up with the conclusion that in the past its orbit must have been eccentric. Resonance between the orbits of Venus and Jupiter are considered to be one source of eccentricity affecting the orbit of the Moon. This implies that the Moon came close to the Earth during some months and further away in other months. We still have the effect of the super Moons (when its orbit is closest) but he is saying that in the past this was much more pronounced. Very strong tides may thus have alternated with weak tides (and the red beds may be a remnant of those strong tides). This would have occurred at different epochs of the geological time line (he assures us). Red bed periods were also contemporary with strong volcanic activity - creating tidal waves as they distorted the Earth's crust. These appear to have a frequency of 20 to 30MY.

Obviously, neo-catastrophism may well explain the red beds without invoking super tides from super close orbits of the Moon. One does have to have comets or asteroids involved in the catastrophes, or thunderbolts in an EU scenario. However, he than makes the claim that there were more frequent tsunami waves in the past (and his theory has catastrophic features). He also says every geologist knows that in the past huge  volumes of sediments were deposited on the continents. In contrast, in the modern world sediments form at the borders of continents, in deltas for example. They have a volume hundreds of times smaller than those found in continental basins. Red beds are also associated with major extinction events - such as the Permian-Triassic boundary event.

This seems to tie in with Louis Hissink's post at ... which is sand without the iron oxides, or both. In the sand quarries outside Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire sand is dug out that is white, yellow, and red, graded and sold separately to the construction industry. Louis Hissink says the origin of quartz sand and sandstone is puzzling. Mainstream understanding is hampered by the belief that depositional sediments occur in aqueous environments such as rivers, lakes, bogs or on beaches, or in the seas. Another supposition is that desert sands also form sand deposits - and this is the standard explanation for the sand that is buried around Leighton Buzzard. This link has been posted before but is still worth reading - again. His theory is that quartz sand is produced by extreme metamorphism via electric-plasma currents.