However, recent research by Schieber, Southard and Thaisen (2007) and Schieber and Yawar (2009), using the Indiana University Flume Laboratory, has demonstrated that the commonly observed laminated mudrocks, so prevalent throughout the rock record and around the globe, formed by moving water, and energetic deposition. Their experiments showed that mudrocks, and laminae in particular, form not by slow deposition out of a stagnant water column, but by flowing water at speeds of 0.3 m/sec (1 ft/sec). Geologists have known for quite some time that multiple laminae may form very rapidly. French creation scientist Guy Berthault performed groundbreaking laboratory experiments demonstrating that multiple laminations can form spontaneously when sediment mixtures consisting of particles of different sizes are deposited in air, running water, or still water. The Bio Logos Foundation has published a popular-level article by old-earth geologists Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth presenting arguments for an old earth. One such argument involves counts of sedimentary laminations (“varves”) within the floor of Japan’s Lake Suigetsu. “SG06, A Fully Continuous and Varved Sediment Core from Lake Suigetsu, Japan: Stratigraphy and Potential for Improving the Radiocarbon Calibration Model and Understanding of Late Quaternary Climate Changes.” Quaternary Science Reviews 36: 164–176.
It also held that thick deposits of clay-rich rocks needed thousands and even millions of years of slow, stagnant clay deposition, as is observed in parts of the deep ocean today. “Spontaneous Stratification in Granular Mixtures.” Nature 386 (6623): 379–382. For instance, the Institute for Creation Research has on display multiple examples of fossils from the Green River Formation. 2a) contains the fossilized fish Diplomystus dentatus and Knightia eocaena. (a) A fossilized Diplomystus dentatus (the large fish) and Knightia eocaena (the smaller fish) in a slab from the Green River Formation. Close inspection reveals many fine laminations (fig. Although there is disagreement among creation scientists as to whether or not the Green River Formation represents a Flood or very early post-Flood depositional environment (Oard and Whitmore 2006; Oard and Klevberg 2008; Whitmore and Garner 2008), one thing is clear: because these fish were preserved, the thin layers must have formed quickly around them, before the fish could decay or be eaten by other scavengers (Whitmore 2009). Many laminations (b) are clearly visible and must have formed quickly before the fish could decompose. Finally, the latest empirical research has demonstrated that thinly-bedded mudrocks, which make up much of the world’s deposits of laminae and the majority of the geologic record, form much differently than previously thought. Even uniformitarian geologists have acknowledged that stratification can occur quickly. Almost ten years later, the results of similar experiments were published in Nature (Makse et al. Because varves are by definition “annual,” they have been used to measure the ages of lake deposits and as proof of ages of millions of years. However, there is actually no empirical evidence to back the claim that varves form as annual deposits over extended periods of time. There are some varve pairs that form in a single year, but in many cases, the observational evidence shows that multiple supposed varve couplets can and have formed in a single year (Buchheim and Biaggi 1988; Lambert and Hsü 1979; Makse et al. In fact, it has been documented that at least five pairs of varve couplets can form in a single year due to fluctuations in water flow (Lambert and Hsü 1979). It appears then, that claiming a varve is an annual event is an assumption in itself; one steeped in uniformitarian thought, but not reality. “Improved C Dating of a Tephra Layer (AT Tephra, Japan) Using AMS on Selected Organic Fractions.” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B (223–224): 555–559. This occurs because particles of different sizes have a tendency to spontaneously segregate and stratify themselves. Berthault’s research was published in two papers published by the French Academy of Sciences (Berthault 1986, 1988a), and English translations of these papers were subsequently published in a prominent creation research journal (Berthault 1988b, 1990).