Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Changing Land of Promise—The Effect of Rising Mountains - Part VII – And the Timing of their Rise

Frequently, someone looks at South America as a possible Land of Promise site and dismisses it out of hand since the continent as a whole seen today in no way resembles any descriptions Mormon left us. However, Lehi didn’t land on his isle of promise today or in recent history—he landed around 600 B.C., 2600 years ago. And in that time a great deal of change has taken place in the topography of South America, and in the continent itself. 
   While some may feel we are belaboring the point, it is sometimes difficult to change the thinking of people and their old paradigms. Very few really understand that South America in times past was mostly underwater, and that plate tectonics has brought about the rise of the Andes mountains, the uplift of the eastern continental land, and the outflow of the seas that once covered most of the terrain.
    Some sages of the past have told us that repetition is the best teacher, and hopefully, the repetitive examples of South America and the topography changes over the past few millennia help give one a better understanding of why South America is the only location in the entire Western Hemisphere that matches Mormon’s descriptions of the land he knew.
    Consequently, in the past six posts we have attempted to show some of those changes and, most importantly, how the changes described in 3 Nephi affected the landscape of the Land of Promise and what that means to us today.
    So let’s take a look at South America the way Lehi found it:
In the Amazon Basin, several marine incursions appeared in Solimoes and Pebas formations in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela south of the Chaco foreland basin, resulting in the epicontinental Pebesian Sea, while the Paranense Sea covered a wide area in northern Argentina and Uruguay. This huge inland water system characterized Western Amazonia. The Andean uplift caused its disappearance and was replaced by the onset of the modern Amazonia setting seen today
    The Peruvian Sub-Andean fold and thrust belt, which is a series of mountainous foothills adjacent to an orogenic—the collective geological processes of mountain-building—belt that runs north and south through Peru and western South America, presents a complex latitudinal structural partitioning, which induced the individualization of sub-basins characterized by different types of structural plays.
    According to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Journal of E&P Geoscientists, this string of extensive foreland basins east of the Andes records Andean shortening, uplift, and lithospheric loading. Among these foreland basins, the Chaco Basin in southern Bolivia formed in front of the widest extension of the Sudandean Belt and is particularly well suited to record Central Andean tectonic and South American geographical features at particular times in the geologic past.
    In this Geomorphology, which is the study of landforms and the processes that shape them, this north-south structural evolution was controlled by the slab subduction geometry variations that recent 2D and 3D seismic data provides precise thrust systems geometries and the proposal of new structural balanced cross-sections.
This shows that in the Central Andes, upper crustal shortening within the Eastern Cordillera and the development of the Subandean fold-thrust belt started at the same time that tectonic subsidence increased in the Chaco Basin (left). Combined with an eustatic sea level high stand and shallow, restricted-marine incursions, the sea transgressed into south-eastern Bolivia. According to Hulka, Grafe, et al (Journal of South American Earth Sciences), these marine incursions are known from several foreland basin systems adjacent to the Andes, likely a result of combined foreland basin loading and sea-level rise, which shows a connection of the Paranense Sea and the Paraguayan Chaco Basin.
    This Paranense Sea covered a wide area in northern Argentina and Uruguay, as the Pebesian Sea covered a large area in the north, of what is today much of Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and eastern Bolivia.
The evolution of the Andes is associated with the subduction of the Nazca plate along the convergent, western margin of the South American continent. The Central Andes resulted from complex horizontal shortening and crustal thickening processes. The resulting load of the Central Andes onto the South American continent caused the development of retroarc foreland basins. Top: As the Nazca Plate subducted beneath the South American Plate; Bottom: The Andes Mountains rose
    According to Gubbels, et al (1993) and Müller, et al (2002), among many other studies, at the time of the uplift, the crustal shortening and plateau uplift was to the Altiplano and the Eastern Cordillera, followed by the broad foreland basin of the Subandean Belt and the Chaco Basin, creating a thin-skinned fold-thrust belt on the Brazilian lithosphere.
    At least a hundred different studies by several hundred scientisits in the past forty years have verified time and again that the Andean uplift occurred, bringing with it the uplift of the eastern continental area and the elimination of the sea incursion from what is now the Caribbean Sea to the Drake Passage, which at one time, they all show, existed to the east of where the Andes presently are located. These seas have variously been known as the Pebesian Sea, the Paranense Sea, and the Amazon Sea “outflow,” connecting these waters with the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, marine incursions are known from several foreland basin systems adjacent to the Andes.
    This area is where the Nephite Sea East existed prior to the Andean uplift.
Moses records in Genesis and in the Book of Moses that the Earth is approximately 13,000 years old; The Libby Carbon-14 Time Clock showed that the Earth was not in equilibrium, measuring it under 20,000 years old, but he adjusted it to be in line with current thinking because “Everyone knows the Earth is millions of years old”; The current thinking among evolutionists is 4.54 billion years old, plus or minor 0.05 billion
    The only difficulty in all of this is not that the geologic record does not verify this unindation and rise, but that the geologic time scale differs considerably with the Biblical time frame. As has been shown, and could be shown in numerous other studies, reports, and journal articles, the eastern part of the South American continent tilted upward from the tectonic plate movement described earlier.
    What is not well documented is the time frame in which the event took place, since there are two entirely different time frames involved. Which leads us to the battle or difference between Geologic Time and the Lord’s Time.
    Geologists claim the Andes Mountains rose around 14 to 7 million years ago. The Bible suggests a far more recent time—about two thousand years ago. This is an argument that will probably never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction until the Second Coming—an event that is going to startle an awful lot of geologists and their fellow scientists, especially those who deny the very existence of God.
    Geologic Time claims the Earth is 4.55 billion years old. Biblical Time suggests a far lesser time—about 13,000 years (7000 years in its organization, including the seventh day of rest, and six thousand years in its mortal existence since Adam was ejected from the Garden of Eden).
    This means, and as the Biblical record verifies, that numerous changes to the Earth took place in very short time frames. Such drastic changes obviously create difficulty for geologists who do not believe in cataclysmic events, such as the Flood or the Dividing of the Earth.
However, in order to understand the actual development of the Earth and its various changes over its existence, one must recognize that the Lord, He who organized the planets, stars, and worlds without number, is fully capable of bringing about immediate change in the landscape (cataclysmic change) despite the fact that geology ignores Him and His abilities.
    On the other hand, this blog is not meant for scientists and those who reject God and His workings. For those who understand the Book of Mormon and are interested in the Lord’s working with man and where Lehi landed, etc., the continuation of this theme is directed.
(See the next post, “Changing Land of Promise—The Effect of Rising Mountains - Part VIII and the problems inherent in the Geologic Time Scale,” for an understanding as to why we cannot count on the Geologic Time Scale of 4.55 billion years for the Age of the Earth)

No comments:

Post a Comment