who let the dawgs out...MA'ADIM VALLIS...the grand canyon of MARS

Posted by
anyman on Jul 22, 2002 at 14:17

this one got lost in the nether regions of my hardrive for awhile, visible but invisible, apparently irretreivable, and i was more than a little frustrated because i spent a couple of dozen hours on it...but it reappeared...somehow :-)

anyway...for your thoughtful pleasure...


aside from the false water (computer generated assumptions/faith) in the picture...and the obligatory mention of the "billions of years"...i found the statements in the caption of today's "astronomy picture of the day" very interesting

Explanation: Just as erosion from the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon on Earth, a river of flood water may have carved Ma'adim Vallis, one of the largest canyons on Mars. Researchers have presented strong evidence for such a scenario based on elevation data recorded by the MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter) experiment on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. This false-color, detailed, topographical map of MOLA data shows in blue the area of an enormous complex of lakes that are thought to have existed over three and a half billion years ago in the southern highlands of Mars. As the largest lake spilled over the low point in its boundary a torrential flood would have moved north, along the direction indicated by the arrow, carving the sinuous Ma'adim Vallis. At the north end of Ma'adim Vallis, the flood waters would have poured into large, round Gusev Crater. Since standing bodies of surface water are thought to be favorable for ancient martian microbial life, Gusev Crater has been suggested as a landing site for future Mars missions.

it sounds like the guy that wrote the caption is cautiously acknowledging that the grand canyon was carved by rapid catastrophic flood water...he’s not alone...some others, even non-creationary geologists are coming to the same conclusions

but irwin is still stuck in the old millions of years mode...at least in regard to the grand canyon

“Imagine more than five times the volume of water in the Great Lakes being released in a single flood and you’ll have a sense of the scale of this event,” said Irwin, the first author of a study appearing in Friday’s issue of the journal Science.

The force and volume of the water was enough to carve a valley 6,900 feet (2,100 meters) deep and 550 miles (885 kilometers) long within a matter of months, he said.
A ridge on the edge of the crater gave way, suddenly releasing the flood that carved Ma’adim Vallis, said Irwin.

Unlike Arizona’s Grand Canyon, which was carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, Ma’adim Vallis was made “within a matter of months, certainly less than a year,” said Irwin. clicky

And this from his article in science

If this interpretation is accurate, a relatively large and brief discharge of water created the present valley.

full article

is there any evidence of similar processes on earth

sure there are...

but first a little background

in another sad story involving seriously biased and subjective scientists...

j harlan bretz suggested that the “scablands” in the american northwest were created by rapid catastrophic floodwaters :-)

both he and his theory were called incompetent...and worse...in fact the rhetoric got so bad that the label became attached to his department and some even regarded the university as inferior for a period of time...what university was it, you ask...why it was dano’s place...the university of washington :-)

the controversial battle raged for two generations (~50yrs)...but bretz finally won out...his theory was accepted and is the current explanation for the formation of the scablands...and of course the university’s reputation was restored and uw is now considered a top flight research etc outfit :-)

The gorge was cut more than 12,000 years ago when the Missoula floods roared down the Columbia River as the last ice age ended. An ice dam near present-day Missoula, Mont., formed and failed more than 50 times over several thousand years. Each time the dam cracked, it unleashed a thousand-foot wall of water that dug through the scablands of Eastern Washington and sliced basalt at 50 mph.

The floods' scale was worthy of Moses. [yep, sure was, got that right :-] More water roared in one Missoula event than flows today in all the rivers of the world. The crest at The Dalles was 1,000 feet; the ancient high water line still is visible in the gorge. clicky

did you catch that...”sliced basalt”...we are not talking mere sedimentary deposits...we are talking basalt, baby...that’s hard rock, folks...and i don’t mean bangin’ guitars or burger joints :-)

(and it may have been far fewer than the 50 – 70 dam failures proposed by many...and while they claim that the entire process occurred over “thousands of years,” each event only lasted a matter of hours, perhaps days :-)

here’s more

Giant Floods and Raging Waters

When Ice Age glaciers blocked the Columbia River, the Spokane River and the Clark Fork river in Montana they formed Glacial Lake Columbia, Glacial Lake Spokane and Glacial Lake Missoula. The evidence of these lakes can be seen in the lakebeds visible in various road cuts in eastern Washington and lap marks on hills and gravel deposits in Montana. Glacial Lake Missoula, the largest lake, covered some 3000 square miles and was about 2000 feet deep.

At some time the ice dam blocking the Clark Fork broke, sending nearly 500 cubic miles of water across northern Idaho's Rathdrum Prairie and into eastern Washington. At 45 miles an hour and 10 times the flow of all the rivers in the world today, the raging floodwaters swept into the Spokane Valley and out across the loess-covered basalt plateau. Turbulent, powerful currents eroded the basalt, tearing out whole columns, eroding the loess and scouring the landscape.

Separated into three huge flows up to 600 feet deep the torrents carved the 20 mile-wide Cheney-Palouse Tract, the 14 mile-wide Crab Creek Channel and the 50 mile long Grand Coulee. clicky and... clicky again

and still more...it gets better :-)

Bretz proposed a flood in which the sudden release of a volume of water much larger than that which now flows through the area produced the very large scale erosion. This would require the formation of a dam which would hold back the normal rainfall and snowmelt for many years, and then suddenly break, releasing this water over a period of days of weeks.


This evidence strengthened Bretz' case, but left many unconvinced. What was missing was evidence for the large body of water and its sudden drainage. This was found in "beaches" on the mountainsides above Missoula, Montana.


With the source of the water identified and supporting evidence for its volume and flow, Bretz' idea was accepted. One of his antagonists was heard to say "How could I have been so wrong" when he visited Palouse Falls. Like many of those who disputed Bretz, he had never before visited the Channeled Scablands... clicky

"How could I have been so wrong" said one of those that had claimed bretz’ incompetence :-) ...he he he...he certainly wasn’t alone in his erroneous nonsense…

many people today ask me the same question when i lecture on the demerits and merits respectively of the evolutionary and creationary philosophies…”how can so many scientists be wrong about evolution?” they ask...here is just one of many examples of how that happens :-)

and did you catch it...many of those that had called bretz incompetent were in fact themselves guilty of tragically gross incompetence of the worst kind...they destroyed much of a man’s career and even affected the reputation of a university to protect their sacred uniformitarian evolutionary millions of years nonsense... and they had never even been on site

this sad saga of highly subjective scientists, just one of many, began in the 20s...uniformitarianism and evolutionary thought had just gotten firmly entrenched in the minds of mainstream scientists and they weren’t about to let some “quack” push them back a hundred years to the pre-lyellian, pre-darwinian era :-)

they did not argue from evidence...they had never even gone to observe the evidence...they argued from pure faith in their sacred uniformitarian evolutionary garbage philosophy :-)

they epitomized my favorite oxymoron...objective scientist :-)

moving along...is there any other earthly evidence of similar processes

let’s go south...where there is another series of massive dry lake beds...and a grand canyon

grand canyon is 277 miles (443km) long...it ranges from 5 – 18 miles (8 – 29km) with an average 10 miles (16km) in width and it averages about 1 mile (1.6km) deep, some places a little and some a little less

grand canyon is roughly the same size as ma’adim vallis with the exception that the martian canyon is TWICE AS LONG!!!...and yet irwin posits that the martian canyon was cut catastrophically and rapidly, and is sure enough (has enough faith) that his interpretation is correct to further claim that it was formed in less than a year while he and many others are claiming that it was impossible for the same kinds of processes to have cut the grand canyon and instead claim that it took millions of years...(actually many now claim that instead of the grand canyon taking 40ma to form they have reduced their estimate to about 1 million years :-)


as an addendum, since it took me so long to get this one to the board, some more recent info excerpted from southern man’s link to work reported by UA scientists among others is included below

As early as 1882, geologists realized that the Colorado River was blocked several times in the past by huge lava dams.

They theorized that these dams...were slowly worn away as water flowed over them.

But now geologists have found evidence that some of these dams didn't slowly waste away. Instead, some burst catastrophically -- in one case unleashing a massive flash flood carrying 37 times more water than the largest ever recorded on the Mississippi River.


In addition, much of the excavation may have happened during a series of short, violent events that were linked by long periods of little change. This runs counter to previous theories that say the canyon formed slowly and continuously through uplift of the Kaibab Plateau and steady, day-by-day erosion by water and wind.


"Large sustained floods can cause rapid downcutting in bedrock," Webb said.


When large dams fail catastrophically, such as Idaho's Teton Dam did in 1976, they leave distinctive profiles in soils and on canyon walls. The water drops quickly with an exponential decay curve...

For this to happen, the dam had to fail almost instantaneously. The Teton Dam, for instance, failed in less than two hours. Webb estimates that the resulting flows from the lava dam were up to 15 million cfs - 37 times larger than the largest known Mississippi River flood.

thanx for that additional link, southern man

so...is there any reasonable evidence that the grand canyon was formed catastrophically rather than slowly slowly slowly over millions and millions of years…and that it may in fact be very young, relatively speaking

obviously there is :-)

in the past century the canyon has gone from ~40ma old to ~1ma in evolutionary geologic terms...one wonders how much younger it will get in the next century :-)

the earth and the universe are old…about 6000 years old :-)

something less than 10,000 years old is only young when compared to the alleged billions and billions of years old evolutionary philosophy :-)

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