Creation Science

Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index


G311:  The Coconino Sandstone in the Grand Canyon was Deposited by Water


Edited by Greg Neyman



The Coconino Sandstone in the Grand Canyon shows evidence of being deposited in water.  Cross-bedding is at 25 degrees, which is consistent with water deposition, not what one expects (30-34 degrees) from desert dunes


Source:  Answers in Genesis (

                Book:  Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe,




  1. This is an argument from necessity.  The young earth model for the flood requires that all rock layers in the Grand Canyon be deposited by Noah's Flood.  This requirement forces the young earth creationist to twist the data to show that it was a water-deposited formation.  Having a wind-blown, desert formation between other flood deposited layers is contrary to the young earth model.  Therefore, no matter what the evidence, they cannot allow it to be interpreted as a wind-blown desert deposit

  2. There is much evidence that the Coconino was formed from eolian desert dunes.  This evidence includes the extend an homogeneity of the sand body, slump marks that are distinctive of dry sand avalanching, the ripple mark orientation, rain pits, sharply defined footprints, and the constant orientation of reptilian tracks up the steep foreset slopes.

  3. Much new evidence is available after the published work that the young earth creationists quote, including the identification of features that are never seen in marine sand depositions.

  4. Water deposited sand wave cross-bedding rarely exceed 10 degrees, far from the 25 degrees claimed by the young earth theorists.  Eolian sand waves cross-bedding varies from 11 to 34 degrees, with an average of 25-28 degrees, which fits the 25 degree cross-beds of the Coconino.

  5. To prove their point, Steve Austin, in the book Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe, uses data from the desert formation known as the Navajo Sandstone.  He admits the Navajo is a wind-blown desert sandstone.  However, the Navajo is younger, and deposited on top (stratigraphically) of the rocks in the Grand Canyon.  It also invalidates the global Flood theory, since it would have to be formed during the Flood.  Interestingly, all the dinosaur fossils are above the Navajo, therefore there were no dinosaurs killed by Noah's Flood.


To learn more on this topic, read the rebuttal.

Also see Coconino Sandstone on this website.



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Young Earth Creation Science Argument Index


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