Does the Distribution of Coal Deposits
REFUTE the Vapor Canopy Theory ?
Does Plate Tectonics provide the Answer?

"Prior to the Flood the greenhouse effect would have been amplified greatly. An amplified greenhouse effect would have not only caused the atmosphere to be warmer but would have tended to create a uniform temperature distribution from equator to poles." ref: THE SKY HAS FALLEN- IMPACT No. 128 February 1984 by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D. (http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-128.htm)

"The combination of warm temperature and adequate moisture everywhere would be conducive later to extensive stands of lush vegetation all over the world, with no barren deserts or ice caps." ref: The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris, Baker Book House, June 1991, page 60.

"The genesis Flood removed vast amounts of living biomass" ... "organic material that now forms the earth's vast coal, oil and oil shale deposits. A conservative estimate for the pre-Flood biomass is 100 times that of today." ref: Impact #364, "Carbon Dating Undercuts Evolution's Long Ages" by John Baumgardner, October 2003. (http://www.icr.org/newsletters/impact/impactoct03.html)

We could then expect the pre-Flood biomass to total about 1851.7 x 10^9 tons times 100 or 185,170 x 10^9 tons and to be evenly distributed over the pre-Flood land surface.

COAL DEPOSITS AND RESERVES
"Although coal deposits exist in nearly every region of the world, commercially significant coal resources occur only in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. Commercially significant coal deposits occur in sedimentary rock basins, typically sandwiched as layers called beds or seams between layers of sandstone and shale. When experts develop estimates of the world's coal supply, they distinguish between coal reserves and resources. Reserves are coal deposits that can be mined profitably with existing technology, or current equipment and methods. Resources are an estimate of the world's total coal deposits, regardless of whether the deposits are commercially accessible. Exploration geologists have found and mapped the world's most extensive coal beds. In 1997 world coal reserves were estimated to be 1.04 trillion metric tons, and world coal resources were estimated to be 9.98 trillion metric tons. These coal reserves are geographically distributed as follows: Europe, including all of Russia and the other countries that made up the Soviet Union, 44 percent; North America, 28 percent; Asia, 17 percent; Australia, 5 percent; Africa, 5 percent; and South America, 1 percent." "Coal," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

World Coal distribution

Why then the very uneven distribution of the significant coal resources with 89 percent located in the northern hemisphere and only 11 percent in Australia, Africa and South America which have 40 percent of the land surface area and presumedly 40 percent of the pre-Flood biomass ?

On the other hand the secular scientific theories of coal formation and plate tectonics would seem to have an explanation.

"Coal is a sedimentary rock formed from plants that flourished millions of years ago when tropical swamps covered large areas of the world.
Coal formation began during the Carboniferous Period (known as the first coal age), which spanned 360 million to 290 million years before present. Coal formation continued throughout the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary Periods (known collectively as the second coal age), which spanned 290 million to 1.6 million years before present. Coals formed during the first coal age are older, so they are generally located deeper in the earth's crust. The greater heat and pressures at these depths produces higher-grade coals such as anthracite and bituminous coals. Conversely, coals formed during the second coal age under less intense heat and pressure are generally located at shallower depths. Consequently, these coals tend to be lower-grade subbituminous and lignite coals." "Coal," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Continental Drift

380 million 300 million 220 million
from http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/anim10.html

We see that with the starting of the theorized coal formation periods large portions of Asia, Europe and North America were located in the tropics area of the globe and with Africa and South America starting out located in the southern region of the globe and slowly over time moving up into their present positions. Australia which has significant coal deposits, starts off in the tropics, moves down and then back up. Therefore, theoretically during the start of the coal formation ages the continents with the concentrations of coal resources had been located for extended times in the tropics regions especially during the Carboniferious Period.

Conclusion:
It would seem that to justify the theoretical pre-Flood canopy theory with the biomass evenly distributed over the global land surface, and that the coal deposits are due to the Flood, one must also have a reasonable theory for why the Flood resulted in the uneven distribution of coal deposits, with large areas of the world today devoid of significant coal deposits ! The secular scientists have proposed the plate tectonics movement theories which would seem to provide a suitable answer.

Also see Appendix A below concerning a fossil forest discovered in Illinois that is rooted on a coal seam, "It's an upright forest with trees still standing upright."

There are also many other reasons to discount the vapor canopy theories.
The following from Answers in Genesis at http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/09/25/feedback-collapse-canopy-model;

"Currently, the pitfalls of the canopy model have grown to such an extent that most researchers have abandoned the model. For example, if a canopy existed and collapsed at the time of the Flood to supply the rainfall, the latent heat of condensation would have boiled the atmosphere! And a viable canopy would not have had enough water vapor in it to sustain 40 days and nights of torrential global rain."

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Appendix A

Science in the News

Natural History Highlight

Four Square Miles of Carboniferous Forest Discovered

Smithsonian paleontologist Bill DiMichele and colleagues Howard Falcon-Lang (University of Bristol), John Nelson and Scott Elrick (Illinois State Geological Survey), and Phil Ames (Peabody Coal Company) discovered the remains of one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests, preserved in the ceiling of a coal mine 250 feet below the surface. Their discovery was recently published in the journal "Geology" entitled "Ecological Gradients Within a Pennsylvanian Mire Forest."

The rainforest extends over more than four square miles as the roof of two adjacent underground coal mines in eastern Illinois. This may be the largest single-time-period fossil forest found in the fossil record.

View of Mine

Fallen trunk section. A section of a large trunk has fallen from the roof and lies in the middle of the floor, to the right of the backpack. In the background, study coauthors John Nelson and Howard Falcon-Lang are examining the roof for plant fossils. The sides of the room are the coal bed.

A forest of lycopsid trees and tree ferns was uniformly developed throughout this area, and an understory of horsetails, seed ferns, and cordaitaleans (seed plants related to conifers) filled in under and around the tree fern-lycopsid forest where the land was drier. The forest was preserved when an earthquake dropped the area a few feet allowing flooding from an adjacent river, which drowned the vegetation and buried it in sediment. The sudden flooding in the submerged block killed the rainforest. Mud and silt rushed into the depression, preserving the stumps and logs in a layer that eventually became shale.

Neurpteris

Neuropteris, part of a frond of a "seed fern", seen on the mine ceiling or roof. The roof is the forest floor of the swampy environment in which these plants were living. Miners removed the coal bed exposing the forest floor "this would be the worm's eye view" (if worms had eyes!). Seed ferns were seed-bearing plants that had large, highly compound leaves much like ferns (hence their descriptive name).

Plant fossils are common in coal beds. Coal is the compacted result of peaty plant material. These are the remnants of extinct plants from Carboniferous period 300 million years ago, when the world was covered in lush, green vegetation. Illinois was near the equator and much warmer and wetter.

The forest's animal life was also unlike any found today, it was the age of insects. Early amphibians, dragonflies the size of seagulls, and nine-foot-long (three-meter-long) millipedes roamed the now lost world, the scientists said. But no fossils of these lost animals remain, according to Elrick. "We only saw a few insect parts," he said.

Neurpteris

Howard Falcon-Lang and John Nelson are standing on opposite sides of a large, prostrate trunk of a giant lycopsid tree. This monster tree is over 6 feet wide and stretches for over 120 feet, neither the base nor the top can be seen.

Giant tree ferns would have formed a lower canopy 30 feet high. Poking up through the ferns would have been 100-foot-tall clubmosses , asparagus-like poles that sprouted crowns full of spores. "What's extraordinary about this discovery is that this forest has been preserved in its growth position," said Falcon-Lang. "It's an upright forest with trees still standing upright."

Calamites

Base of lycopsid tree stump buried while still upright, as seen from underneath. A metal plate keeps the stump from falling and injuring the miners. The trunk projects up into the roof shale. This stump would have been "rooted" in the very top of the coal bed.

Lead study author Bill DiMichele said the lateral extent of the fossils allowed him to notice subtle changes in species diversity as he did surveys. As mining continues, the size of the exposed fossil forest grows by the day. DiMichele is now doing inventories of ancient plants in two other actively mined Illinois coal seams, the Danville and the Springfield, which sit above and below the Herrin, respectively, and are separated by about a half-million years of geological time. Where most botanists do their work by walking through a forest, DiMichele takes elevators down mine shafts "to get beneath the forest. "We get to walk under it and look up at it," he said. "It's the earthworm's view."

Calamites

Pith cast of Calamites, an extinct sphenopsid, but a close relative of the modern horsetails (Equisetum). Note the nodes (lines around the stem) where leaves and leaf-bearing branches would have been attached.

View of land above

Coal-swamp reconstruction: Peat forming swamps, also known as "mires", formed over vast parts of what is now the eastern United States and Western Europe during the later Carboniferous Period. The coal beds of these regions are the remains of these swampy landscapes. This reconstruction, done by Mary Parrish of the Department of Paleobiology, shows a forest dominated by a mixture of lycopsid trees (front right, also with juvenile tree), tree ferns (center front, with "mantles" of prop roots extending out from the trunks), seed ferns (left center, short trees with crown of frond-like leaves), and calamites (right side rear foreground, with branches in whorls). The forest is open and includes many vines and low-growing plants.

View of land above

Above ground, showing the flat, central Illinois landscape near the Riola mine. The current landscape is a far cry from the rainforest vegetation of the Carboniferous Era, 300 million years ago.

[ TOP ]

© Copyright 2007 Smithsonian Institution, copied from http://www.mnh.si.edu/highlight/riola/

(edited for emphasis)

More photos and detailed information about this study can be found at the Illinois State Geological Survey.


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