The Moon and Tidal Rhythmites

5 Mar 2012

Gary has sent in details of a paper that can be found at www.eos.ubc.ca/~mjelline/453website/eosc453/E_prints/1999RG900016.pdf which has the subject of 'tidal rhythmites' - an interesting subject from a uniformitarian and a catastrophist angle. Over the last few years the analysis of sedimentary rocks associated with cyclic rthymites of tidal origin, being stacked in beds or laminae (thin layers of deposition) usually of sandstone, siltstone and mudstone that display periodic variations in thickness reflecting a strong tidal influence on sedimentation, has provided information on earth's paleo-rotation and the evolving lunar orbit from Pre Cambrian times. Such laminae layering exists at other points in time, during the Jurassic for example (at Coombs Quarry near Buckingham for example) but no attempt to link into the orbit of the moon is part of that geological sequence, although it is assumed to reflect wave action. Depositional environments of tidal rhythmites range from estuarine to tidal deltas with a wave protected distal ebb tidal delta setting being particularly favourable for the deposition and preservation of long rhythmite records etc. (see also http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2000RvGeo..38...37W). Now, there is no reason why a long period sedimentary layer was not laid down over many years - it is the preservation of that sediment  that may have a catastrophic origin, and it is that which marks the difference with uniformitarian interpretations. It is equally clear that not all sedimentary layers were laid down over a long period of time - some were laid down quickly (at the K/T boundary for example). However, the gripe with this particular study, if I understand Gary correctly, has to do with the moon - and when it was captured by the earth. Do rhythmites indicate the moon is a long term partner - which is actually the consensus theory. Do these tidal rhythmites reflect other forces on earth - tides resulting from our association with the sun, or any other cosmic body? Gary has suggested looking at www.mantleplumes.org/WebDocuments/MazumderESR_reply_2005.pdf