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Addresses of All Authors

John H. Whitmore, Cedarville University, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, OH USA 45314 johnwhitmore@cedarville.edu 937-532-6471

Raymond Strom, Calgary Rock and Materials Services Inc., #3, 3610-29th St. NE, Calgary, Alberta Canada T1Y 5Z7 Canada rocktell@telus.net

Author's Biography

John H. Whitmore is senior professor of geology at Cedarville University where he has been teaching since 1991. He has a B.S. in Geology (Kent State University), M.S. in Geology (Institute for Creation Research) and a Ph.D. in Biology with a Paleontology emphasis (Loma Linda University). He is widely published in both the conventional and creation literature. His primary interests are fossil fish taphonomy, the Green River Formation, the Flood/post-Flood boundary and Grand Canyon geology. He has been studying the Coconino Sandstone since 1998. He is a coauthor of The Heavens and the Earth, a college-level earth science text.

Raymond Strom is currently President of Calgary Rock and Materials Services Inc., a Canadian based geological lab operation providing technical support mainly to the oil and gas industry of Western Canada. Many international studies, with Ray’s direct input, have been supported by the company as well. Ray was a graduate of the Chemistry program (Chemical Technologist) of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alberta. Ray has authored and co-authored numerous papers and posters relating to the geology field, including use of UAVs (drones) to enhance geological data sets. Ray is currently involved in several studies relating to biblical geology in addition to the varied studies he is involved with in conventional geology.

Abstract

In our studies of ancient sandstones, many of which are purported in the conventional literature to be eolian deposits, we frequently encountered angular K-feldspar sand grains. In particular, we encountered them while studying the Coconino Sandstone of Arizona, but we have found them in many other ancient sandstones as well. To gain some insights on the petrology of ancient “eolian” sandstones, we studied the petrology of a number small ergs in the western United States, beach and dune sands along the California and Oregon and reviewed the literature on the petrology of modern eolian and subaqueous deposits.

In our literature review and from our own observations along the California and Oregon coastlines, we found that fluvial and shoreline processes are not sufficient to cause rounding of sand grains of any type, even after energetic and prolonged longshore transport and frequent tidal activity. Conversely, when sand grains are picked up by eolian processes and transported to coastal dunes, all species of mineral grains are quickly rounded, even over short distances. K-feldspar is rounded faster than quartz probably because it is softer and cleaves easier. We frequently encountered rounded K-feldspar grains in the small ergs we examined despite many of them being close in proximity to sources of angular K-feldspar sand grains. In larger ergs, all types of sand grains become quickly rounded and angular grains only occur if there are local fluvial or coastal sources for them.

The frequent occurrence of angular K-feldspar grains that we found in ancient cross-bedded sandstones, purported to be made by eolian processes, causes us to question whether these deposits were made by eolian activities or not. The presence of angular K-feldspar may be one petrographic criterion for identifying ancient fluvial and marine deposits. The goal of this paper is to document the ubiquitous occurrence of angular K-feldspar grains in many supposed ancient cross-bedded sandstones. Coupled with other criteria, angular K-feldspar sand grains are a crucial piece of data that might be used to argue that these ancient sandstones were formed by aqueous rather than eolian processes.

Keywords

K-feldspar, abrasion experiments, rounding of K-feldspar, rounding of quartz, Aztec Sandstone, Bridgnorth Sandstone, Casper Sandstone, Cedar Mesa Sandstone, Coconino Sandstone, Corrie Sandstone, Hopeman Sandstone, Locharbriggs Sandstone, Lyons Sandstone, Navajo Sandstone, Penrith Sandstone, Schnebly Hill Formation, Tensleep Sandstone, Weber Sandstone, Yellow Sand

DOI

https://doi.org/10.15385/jpicc.2018.8.1.43

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