Addresses of All Authors

Dr. Sarah Petersen

1971 University Blvd

Lynchburg, VA 24515

Dr. John Baumgardner

1971 University Blvd

Lynchburg, VA 24515

Author's Biography

Sarah Petersen received her bachelor's degree and master's degrees in Geology from Arizona State University, and her PhD in Geophysics from Northern Arizona Univeristy in 2021. She is currently an online faculty member for Liberty University, and has been involved in young earth geophysics research with Dr. John Baumgardner since graduation with her PhD in 2021.

Presentation Type

Abstract Presentation


Catastrophic Plate Tectonics (CPT) is a widely accepted theory among Young Earth Creation scientists to explain the catastrophic flooding and tectonic plate movement during the Biblical Flood. CPT has implications beyond the early stages of the Flood, as rapid subduction would result in a variety of tectonic settings that influenced modern topography. In western North America, the formation of several major tectonic features has been debated by secular scientists for decades. Using hypotheses that depend on slow tectonic rates and long timescales has led to a general inability to account for all geologic observations in this region. During the Cretaceous and before the uplift of the Rocky Mountains, a large swath of Western North America was below sea level. This is evidenced by large deposits of sediment in what is referred to as the Western Interior Seaway. Secular modeling studies of the Western Interior Seaway have been unable to recreate the full depth and breadth of the seaway using old earth assumptions. Immediately following the formation of this seaway, The Colorado Plateau, Rocky Mountains, and Great Plains all rose to several kilometers above sea level. The timing and mechanism by which these regions uplifted so far from a plate boundary has been a subject of great secular debate. In this study, we use geodynamic modeling to show that CPT during the Biblical Flood resulted in the formation of the Western Interior Seaway. We hypothesize that rapid collision of the North American Plate with the Farallon Plate resulted in the North American Plate overriding the subduction zone and causing low-angle subduction far inboard of the subduction trench. The Western Interior Seaway was therefore formed as an expression of double thickness of the mantle lithosphere as the Farallon Plate was overridden by the North American plate, and this weight pulled down on the lithosphere. Geodynamic modeling of CPT during the Biblical Flood provides answers to questions about the formation of many tectonic features in western North America that are precluded by naturalistic assumptions.




Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, western North America, Western Interior Seaway, Rocky Mountains, geodynamics




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Submission Type


Included in

Geology Commons



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