plate is diving below another oceanic plate or a continental
plate. How this happens is a subject of dispute.
Another problem is that there are no locations today
where ophiolites are currently being ‘slammed’ against
continental crust or being raised in mountains. In other
words, there are no modern analogues,
38 which is contrary to
the uniformitarianism principle upon which all mainstream
geological interpretation is based. It also makes it difficult
to develop a thorough understanding of any proposed
mechanism. Dewey writes, “… no credible mechanisms
have yet been devised for ophiolite obduction [pushed over
continental crust] from ocean ridges onto rifted continental
39 In regard to the Oman ophiolite, believed to have
been thrust 200 km westward onto a passive continental
margin, Hacker and colleagues are understandably mystified:
“The emplacement of oceanic lithosphere [crust
and upper mantle] onto continents remains one of
the great mysteries of plate tectonics—how does
ophiolitic material with a density of 3.0– 3. 3 g/cm3
rise from its natural depths of ≥ 2. 5 km beneath the
ocean surface to elevations more than 1 km above sea
level on continents with densities of 2. 7–2. 8 g/cm3?”
Ophiolites represent a conundrum to creationists also,
but it is not the purpose of this article to define a mechanism.
Nonetheless, opthiolites are widespread and are dated
anywhere from the mid Precambrian, about two billion
41 to the Cenozoic. There are not many Cenozoic
ophiolites; they are more common in the Jurassic and
Cretaceous System of rocks. Cenozoic ophiolites are found
mainly in the southwest Pacific, especially Indonesia; the
Red Sea area; southern Chile; and Japan.
42 Ophiolites have
been studied in the northern Philippine Islands that are
dated as late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic.
43 An ophiolite
on Macquarie Island, south of New Zealand, is even dated
as late Cenozoic.
44 Some of these Cenozoic ophiolites are
on the continents and believed to have been emplaced
somehow by plate tectonics. So, how would old ocean crust
be emplaced by catastrophic plate tectonics after the Flood,
if the Cenozoic was post-Flood?
Ophiolites represent tremendous tectonic upheaval.
The Flood was a colossal catastrophe and it seems more
reasonable to emplace them during the Flood and not after
Metamorphic core complexes
Metamorphic core complexes (MCCs) are generally
domal or arch-like uplifts of metamorphic and granitic-type
rock overlain by unmetamorphosed rocks that have usually
slid downhill on a low-angle fault during doming.
slide is commonly called a detachment fault. The resulting
dome can sometimes be called a gneiss dome,
46 since it is
mostly gneiss and granite that make up the dome. Sometimes
ultrahigh-pressure minerals (see below) are associated with
47 MCCs are relatively large structures; they can range
from a few tens of km to around 100 km in width.
48 It is
believed by many that the domes uplifted around 16 km,
and as a result the MCCs are often the highest mountains
in the region.
50 MCCs are accompanied by much volcanism.
MCCs are numerous and their uniformitarian age is
51 There are 25 MCCs near the
axis of the mountains of the western United States, from
southern Canada to northwest Mexico.
52 They are dated as
both early and late Cenozoic. The largest is the Bitterroot
dome-Sapphire block of west central Idaho and southwestern
53, 54 In this MCC, the eastern edge of the Idaho
Batholith uplifted and a block of rock 100 km long, 70
km wide, and 15 km thick broke off and apparently slid
eastward about 60 km. The block that came to rest is the
Sapphire Mountains. In between the Sapphire Mountains
and the eastern edge of the Idaho Batholith, the Bitterroot
Mountains, is the straight Bitterroot Valley (figure 7). Along
the western edge of the valley, the angle of the mountain
slope is the same at about 25°, which represents the slide
surface for the eastward slide of the Sapphire block. Below
the slide surface, several hundred feet of sheared rock, called
mylonite, caused by the slide, are found.
Other Cenozoic MCCs are located in the Aegean Sea,
Greece, Turkey, Iran, Tibet, Slovakia, Venezuela, Trinidad,
New Zealand, and eastern New Guinea. The latter is the
youngest, being dated as 2 to 8 Ma old.
55 It is also associated
with ultrahigh-pressure minerals (see below).
MCCs are a uniformitarian conundrum. In regard
to the rapid exposure of the core of the MCC in Papua,
New Guinea, Little and colleagues stated, “The tectonic
[uplift] processes by which this rapid exposure has been
accomplished remain poorly understood.”
56 MCCs are
Figure 7. Eastern Bitterroot Mountains showing the consistent 25°
eastward slope of the edges of the mountains (view north down the