Ocean Sediments and Salts: What do they really tell us? Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

 

Introduction:

The ocean is salty and full of sediments. How salty is the ocean? How much sediment is in the oceans? Is this evidence that the earth is only thousands and not millions of years old? Why is the ocean salty? Does the saltiness of the ocean fluctuate?

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

There is not as much sediments in the ocean, as some expect, because seafloor sediments have accumulated at a much slower rate in the past and high levels of tectonic activity would rid the oceans of much of the sediments that had been deposited.[i]

The slower rate of sediment accumulation in the past may be in part due to increased desertification and human influence on the land, like so much deforestation, loss of vegetative cover, and simply hard use of the land. Live Science reports that “human activity causes 10 times more soil erosion than all natural processes combined.”[ii]

Continental DriftSome sediment has subducted into the crust of the earth due to the movement of tectonic plates. Sea floor spreading is the process of the sea floor moving like a conveyor belt with new rock churning up from below and sediments on the ocean floor funneled back into the earth under ocean trenches.[iii]

Oceans have also been in different places in the past and so as continents uplift, submerge, or change over time, the oceans are not constantly stacking up sediment in one place. Ocean floor can uplift and again become landmasses.[iv]

How salty is the ocean? “Some scientists estimate that the oceans contain as much as 50 quadrillion tons (50 million billion tons) of dissolved solids. If the salt in the sea could be removed and spread evenly over the Earth’s land surface it would form a layer more than 500 feet thick .”[v]

The oceans are salty because of the sediments and salts that are constantly washed out into the sea from off of the continents. The oceans are not too salty because today they “probably have a balanced salt input and outgo” because “about the same tonnage of salt from the ocean water probably is deposited as sediment on the ocean bottom.”[vi]

The extensive size of the oceans (about 70% of the Earth’s surface) create challenges in truly understanding everything about the oceans. “The salinity of ocean water varies. It is affected by such factors as the melting of ice, inflow of river water, evaporation, rain, snowfall, wind, wave motion, and ocean currents that cause horizontal and vertical mixing of the saltwater.” It is also possible that “sea life has a strong influence on the composition of sea water.”[vii]

“At least 72 chemical elements have been identified in sea water,” with some more abundant in certain places. Europe, for instance, contributes more salt to the ocean than Australia. In chemistry, when certain chemicals come together, they become insoluble (not dissolvable in water). So those solid salts will gradually fall to the ocean floor.[viii]

Ultimately, there are so many things going on with…the ocean, that there may be many other factors that affect the sediment and salt content of the ocean. Rates and estimations are approximated and so one has to be careful in evaluating, extrapolating, and making conclusions about the age of the ocean.[ix]

Check back tomorrow for the Creation Answer.  Thanks again for your constructive help.

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

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[i] A Pocket Guide to…Best Evidences: Science and the Bible refute millions of years, Answers in Genesis – US, 2013.

Stewart E. Nevins, M.S., Evolution: The Ocrean says NO!, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/56/, accessed October 11, 2013.

[ii] Earth Movers: Humans Cause Most Erosion, November 3, 2004, LiveScience Staff, LiveScience, http://www.livescience.com/63-earth-movers-humans-erosion.html, accessed October 11, 2013.

[iii] A Pocket Guide to…Best Evidences: Science and the Bible refute millions of years, Answers in Genesis – US, 2013.

Stewart E. Nevins, M.S., Evolution: The Ocrean says NO!, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/56/, accessed October 11, 2013.

[iv] Stewart E. Nevins, M.S., Evolution: The Ocrean says NO!, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org/article/56/, accessed October 11, 2013.

[v] Herbert Swenson, Why is the Ocean Salty? US Geological Survey Publication, http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm, accessed October 11, 2013.

[vi] Herbert Swenson, Why is the Ocean Salty? US Geological Survey Publication, http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm, accessed October 11, 2013.

[vii] Herbert Swenson, Why is the Ocean Salty? US Geological Survey Publication, http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm, accessed October 11, 2013.

[viii] Herbert Swenson, Why is the Ocean Salty? US Geological Survey Publication, http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/salty_ocean.htm, accessed October 11, 2013.

[ix] Matthew S. Tiscareno, Is There Really Scientific Evidence for a Young Earth?, 1999-2000, http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~matthewt/yeclaimsbeta.html, accessed October 11, 2013.

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