Petrified Ideas of the Williston Basin Part I: Geologic Setting


The Williston Basin of central North America is famous for its “nearly complete geologic column,” and its huge fossil fuel resources. As an incratonic basin with relatively few unconformities and representatives of each of the purported geologic time periods, it has been a poster child for deep time. However, many features appear at variance with uniformitarianism and an ancient Earth. These include the thick sedimentary sequence, gravel-capped planation surfaces, petrified wood and other fossils, and fossil fuels. The geologic setting is presented, showing weaknesses and strengths in the diluvial hypothesis of the basin’s origin and history. The mental straitjacket of uniformitarianism results in petrified ideas that hinder understanding of likely geologic processes. This is particularly demonstrated by extensive planation surfaces with gravel veneers of largely exotic lithologies, which are readily explained by diluvial processes but not by uniformitarianism.

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