Evillution, Intelligent Design

Geological features of other planets

This is an expansion of the material mentioned on:


You should read that first before continuing with this page.   On that page we mentioned these 5 processes that affect the surface attributes of the earth and we need to understand them in more detail.

These processes have been placed into five groups:

    1. Erosion, weathering and sedimentation.
    2. Impact cratering.
    3. Volcanism.
    4. Surface fracturing and distortion.
    5. Mountain-building, plate tectonics and continental drift.

To what extent are the geological processes observed on other planets and their moons similar to what has been observed on Earth?   Unmanned spacecraft have been placed on the surface of Mars and Venus; while other vehicles have flown past Mercury and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. We do have some information available to formulate a hypothetical answer to this question. It is still speculation as to how it applies to actual processes on earth, but some generalities can be assumed.

Erosion       by both wind and water (or something like water) is evident on Mars.[1]   We know this from satellite imaging and just about any Hollywood movies having to with Mars which endangers the poor earthlings that have had the misfortune to land there (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_set_on_Mars) .     Weathering by bombardment and temperature extremes seems to be widespread.


From decades of observing Mars, scientists know there is a seasonal pattern to the largest Martian dust-storm events. Neither of the two current NASA Lander’s on Mars (Opportunity and Curiosity) have experienced a sand storm, although Curiosity did detect a drop in atmospheric pressure   during one that was a couple hundred kilometers away. Weathering of observable features by bombardment of asteroids and temperature extremes seems to be widespread.

Impact cratering has been modeled in experiments involving detonating an explosion at ground level, so that scientists are quite confident that they know at least what energy of impact is required to produce a certain sized crater.[2]       Impact cratering is of course evident on the Moon and most other planets and their moons. Venus and the Earth have comparatively less impact cratering, which would be expected on account of their dense atmospheres. (It is of interest to note, however, that geologists are now recognizing evidence of more impact craters on the Earth’s surface than previously.) Sometimes cratering is unevenly distributed, suggesting that later volcanic action or melting has obliterated earlier impact craters—for example, on the Saturnine moon Enceladus.[6]

Approximately 200-per-year space rock impact rate for Mars was based on a portion of the 248 new Martian craters that have been identified in the past decade using images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a NASA spacecraft that has been circling the Red Planet since 2006.2   Now I may be wrong (but I didn’t learn math under Common Core), but its been almost 10 years the satellite has been up there and 248 Martian craters divided by 10 years is only 24.8 craters per year.   But what do I know.

mars asteroid


(The belief is the shiny one is indication of a fairly new impact crater since it isn’t covered with red sand as much as the others and shows sharp edges. Of course then the real small one beside it and under the other one must have hit sometime in between them wouldn’t you think?)

Most of our knowledge about how landforms have evolved on Mars is based upon interpretation of images taken by the Mariner and Viking Orbiters and the Viking and Pathfinder Landers. Many landforms on Mars remain enigmatic — the processes, environments, and constituent materials involved in their formation are either totally uncertain or subject to a variety of interpretations.  This is particularly true for channels and valleys on Mars, as well as the extensive heavily cratered terrain, which has a morphology very different from cratered landscapes of airless bodies such as the Moon.

To understand how surface processes have modified Martian landscapes we can only rely upon interpretation of images from orbiters and lenders, and, as discussed here, computer simulation of erosion.[3]


The Martian facts are just that, speculation at best. Some good speculation I will admit, but even with close orbiters and Landers just speculation at this point.

Volcanism has been identified on most of the solar system’s planets and their moons. The largest volcano known is on Mars: the 25km high Olympus Mons.4 What appear to be lava flows from volcanic outpourings are observed in many other places; notably the Moon and Mercury. Evidence strongly suggesting active volcanoes have even been found on Io, one of Jupiter’s moons.5

Surface fracturing       has been observed on Mercury in the Caloris Basin.[8] This is possibly due to shock from an impact, or maybe the result of solidification processes after melting. Extensive surface fracturing is also found on Mars, particularly in the Tharsis region.[9] This has been correlated with stresses resulting from surface gravity and topography.


In summary then, the first four categories are widely observed within the universe that we are able to perceive. But mountain-building processes and plate tectonics appear to be strangely absent. On Venus ‘The tectonic motion of large crustal plates appears not to have played the dominant role in altering the surface that tectonic motion has on the Earth’.[10] While for Mars ‘This tectonic framework [of Earth] provides a striking contrast to that on Mars, where there are no plate tectonics’,[11] and ‘Whatever the origin of Tharsis—be it deep seated uplift or long lasting volcanism—the nature of Martian tectonics is still vertical, rather than the horizontal varieties seen on Earth’.[12] Indeed, the Earth differs from all the other terrestrial planets in that it alone has folded mountain chains, and platform deposits—“The Earth terrain map appears remarkably different than maps of the other terrestrial planets”.[13]

This conclusion, derived from comparative study of geological processes on the Earth, the other planets of the solar system and their moons, that there are some geological processes unique to the Earth, is at first startling, and then somewhat disturbing. If we have found what is possible on all the other planetary bodies, we can perhaps conclude that what is left out and therefore unique to the Earth must be due to some as yet unknown factor operative on the Earth. There is no doubt that mountain-building has taken place during the Earth’s history, but if the plate tectonics and continental drift ideas have to be rejected, then we are at a loss to know by what forces do mountain chains form by folding of the Earth’s crustal strata?


Return to main article:



1 Masursky, H., Mars. In: Beatty, J.K. (ed.), The New Solar System, Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–87, 1981.

2 http://www.space.com/21198-mars-asteroid-strikes-common.html

3 http://erode.evsc.virginia.edu/mars.htm



Evillution, Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Young Age Earth

See first article in this series: https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/rationale-for-a-young-age-earth-yae/


In review:

The scientific revolution in the Earth sciences that unfolded during the decade of the 1960s established the plate tectonics paradigm as the reigning framework for explaining not only present day geophysical processes but also the large-scale geological changes that are thought to have occurred in the past.


While this scientific revolution correctly recognized many important aspects of the Earth’s dynamics and how near surface processes are coupled to phenomena in the Earth’s deeper interior, the prevailing uniformitarian mindset prevented the revolution from reaching its logical end, that Earth had experienced a major tectonic catastrophe in its recent past.



The development of sonar technology that helped to develop and detect and track submarines during World War II has provided the means to map the topography of the ocean bottom at high resolution for the first time. With further development of 3-Dimensional X-Ray topography, fascinating changes in how we look at the continents have come about.

gulf of mexico seafloor large

(Here we can see on the West side of Florida a wide expanse of the continental shelf narrowing as it gets to the Mississippi delta and getting even narrower as he winds around the west of the gulf of Mexico becoming almost a deep drop off.   Then it starts to widen as it goes around the Yucatan peninsula and then once more becomes a deep drop off as it heads south. Part way down the coast a deep trench goes up and meanders towards the middle of Cuba with another section of a trench going out at about a 45 degree angle to the East end of the island.)


Not only did accurately determining the margins of continental shelves reveal the striking jigsaw puzzle fit of North and South America with Europe and Africa,1 but the global mid-ocean ridge system, running like a baseball seam some 37,300 miles around the Earth, was unveiled.2 This jigsaw effect leads some credence to the original idea of the giant landform known as Pangaea. (

https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/a-series-on-pangaea/; https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/part-1-pangaea-rocks-on/;https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/part-2-pangaea-flood-facts/)


This ridge system, representing a long chain of mountains on the ocean bottom, contained topography some 1 1/4 miles higher than the ocean’s abyssal plains.3

oceantopopdfphoto 2


(This is a cross-sectional view representing what the Gulf of Mexico image and the World image below would look like. It displays all of the features shown in the cross-sections but does not represent any particular real spot on the maps. Some of the features will be mentioned later on so you should familiarize yourself with the image.)


Moreover, its axis displayed curious lateral jumps that came to be known as fracture zones[.4,5,6]   As technology became available to measure heat flow from the ocean bottom, it was found that exceptionally high values of heat flow occurred along the axis of the mid-ocean ridge system.7



One can make a logical inference that the elevated topography of the ridge was a consequence of higher temperatures and hence lower densities in the rock beneath. We will get into that further on another posting: https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/earths-magnetic-field/


For now we will concentrate on more general concepts at this point in time.


Geologists identify various processes by which the face of the Earth is being and has been shaped. These processes may be placed into five groups:

  1. Erosion, weathering and sedimentation.
  2. Impact cratering.
  3. Volcanism.
  4. Surface fracturing and distortion.
  5. Mountain-building, plate tectonics and continental drift.


At this point I am going to ask that you click on the link below to go to the following page which will discuss the above 5 items in more detail:




If you have just returned from the other page on the similarities of the geographic features of other planets then you are ready to continue after this paragraph summary of that page. If you haven’t read the page, then the following summary will probably not make sense to you.

At the bottom end of the scale we have plate tectonics, which is believed to be evidenced by continental drift and mountain-building by folding. It is the least understood of the 5 categories (mainly because we do not see much evidence of it). If continents are moving slowly in the directions suggested, the forces required are absolutely immense; volcanic forces being trivial by comparison. No satisfactory explanation for the source of such forces has yet been provided. But it should also be noted that scientists are far from unanimous about whether it is really happening. Actual observational evidence is highly ambiguous,[8] and a growing number of scientists are rejecting the whole concept of continental drift.

Return to https://iamnotanatheist.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/plate-tectonics-and-the-genesis-flood/

  1. Heezen, B.C., Tharp, M. and Ewing, M., The floors of the oceans, 1, the North Atlantic, Geol. Soc. Amer. Spec. Pap. 65, 122pp, 1959
  2. Heezen, B.C., The rift in the ocean floor, Sci. Amer. 203:98–110, 1960
  3. Heezen, B.C. and Ewing, M., The mid-oceanic ridge; in: Hill, M.N. (Ed.), The Sea, 3, Wiley-Interscience, New York, pp. 388–410, 1963
  4. Menard, H.W. and Dietz, R.S., Mendicino submarine escarpment, J. Geol. 60:266–278, 1952.
  5. Vacquier, V., Measurement of horizontal displacement along faults in the ocean floor, Nature 183:452–453, 1959.
  6. Menard, H.W., Fracture zones and offsets of the East Pacific Rise, J. Geophys. Res. 71:682–685, 1966.
  7. Sclater, J.G. and Francheteau, J., The implications of terrestrial heat flow observations on current tectonic and geochemical models of the crust and upper mantle of the Earth, Roy. Astron. Soc. Geophys. J. 20:509–537, 1970.
  8. Snelling, A.A., What about continental drift? Have the continents really moved apart?, Creation 6(2):14–16; Wieland, C., Snelling, A.A., Has continental drift been measured?, Creation 9(3):15–18.