Sedimentation and the Loess Problem

One of many unanswered problems in geology is the loess problem – thick accumulations of extremely fine grained yellow coloured strata of silt often containing Pleistocene fossils, mega fauna etc and large erratics. In fact it is the enigma of the surface erratics, large blocks of rock originating from crust long distances away, that continues to puzzle geologists. It’s for a good reason that Quaternary studies are described as the most disputateous of scientific study.

Global Distribution of Loess


The preferred model of formation is linked to the work of ice age glaciations which form these silts by the action of grinding and separation. Other explanations involve global floods of the Noachian kind surging over the continents and depositing the fine silts etc from ‘normal’ sedimentation processes in water. Then there is the aeolian model where loess is interpreted as wind deposits, the one I more or less accepted.

Years ago when I was working in the diamond exploration business in the far north of Western Australia in the Kimberley Region, commuting via an old Mercedes Unimog (In diamond sampling we collect large samples, ~ 20kg each), up and down the Gibb River and Kalumburu roads from Kununurra, I had plenty of time to think about how the vast beds of monotonous sandstones forming the Kimberley Basin originated. The magnitude of the problem became more acute when years later I would be working in the Gulf of Carpentaria area where the same sedimentary rocks occurred; vast deposits of quartz sandstones.

Sediments are deposited into topographic depressions filled with water, but the deposition of sand requires high energy currents and these do not occur at the bottom of seas and oceans. And then there is the ongoing problem of raising and lowering the crust because having deposited the sediment into a local sea or lake, we then have to lithify it, and then raise it high enough so it can be eroded. It remains a problem that plate tectonic theory can’t solve.

What natural agents have we to use to explain sedimentary deposition? Wind, water, and their erosive effects. We need uplands for water to flow strongly enough to erode downwards. Just how does the Earth raise and lower its crust? We know subsidence occurs when water is pumped out from aquifers, as the Californians have discovered, but what about the reverse? How the heck does one move large areas of crust upwards? And how can one explain obvious hydraulic-flow artefacts in sandstones such as current-bedding, cross-bedding, scour and fill structures etc? In surface riverine systems?

The error is in limiting the transportation of eroded rocks to the agencies of wind, water and ice.

A solution exists in adding the process of magnetohydrodynamics – where by the fluid behaviour of electrically charged plasma at the earth’s surface has the means to erode, transport and deposit the material without the necessity of having large volumes of water existing at the surface. While some deposits are obviously formed by tsunamis, eg the various chevron deposits adjaceent to uplifted lands, though the role of plasma should not be totally omitted from this explanation, tsumanis can’t explain the deposition of loess or incorporate mega fauna, etc. In fact it might be the case that the plasma slurry is comprised not only of electrically eroded material but perhaps also includes water in the mix, so that we are dealing with a massive electrically charged slurry travelling over the earth’s surface, that when the driving electric currents start to wane, will cause some of the bed load to drop off, and the finer size fractions settling in whatever topographic lows in the path of the plasma slurry.

This mechanism does not necessarily entail a careening earth to cause oceans to slosh over the continents, though this might happen during a cosmic plasma interaction with another planet, comet etc. We do know that small shifts might have occurred to the Earth’s inclination, but any changes in the calendars could also be related to a minor shift in the orbit around the sun as well.

The scenario is catastrophic and implies that during the past the Earth had close encounters with other cosmic bodies so that when the plasmaspheres touched enormous electrical forces occurred, short circuits in other words, causing enormous discharges to occur at the the surface, machining the surface of the Earth producing volumes of fine dust and rocks, extirpating large numbers of animals both land and marine, and then dumping part of the plasma slush in topographic lows. The Earth would also have expanded a little and it’s quite likely that the large oceans of today, are only of recent origin, as a degassing process.

So it appears that the massive sedimentary deposits found over the Earth’s outcropping landmasses were not formed in older oceans and seas, but were deposited at the surface by the process of plasmahydrodynamics. No need for ice dams or other ad hoc explanations invoking Noachain scenarios. Mind you the uniformitarians and creationists will both bridle at this hypothesis, which suggets it may well have legs. And science is settled?

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
This entry was posted in Catastrophism, Electric Universe, Geology, Hare-brained theories, plasma universe. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sedimentation and the Loess Problem

  1. fabio says:

    Then Wrench Tectonics could help to explain deep basins, which formation orocess in turn seem to be accelerated in some periods like Hurassic Cenomanian


  2. The problem is finding an existing basin that is being fed material – once sediment hits a large volume of water it stops. hence the limited size of the deltas at various river mouths. And remember Loess is considered a wind blown material, not water transported. Apart from our inability to explain its source rock. Geochemically loess seems to have average crustal REE abundance, and what rock is 90% quartz and 10% feldspar? And then what type of feldspar? Too many loose ends at present.


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