“Now the earth was formless and
empty, darkness was over the surface
of the deep, and the Spirit of God
was hovering over the waters”
(Genesis 1: 2 NIV).
The earth had its first global ocean
(the deep) on Days 1 and 2, before the
gathering of waters and appearance
of land on Day 3 (Genesis 1: 2–10).
In Genesis 1: 2 the earth would have
appeared from space like a relatively
smooth formless watery ball, without
obvious features or landmarks such as
mountains protruding above the water. 18
“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb”
(Job 38: 8 ESV).
A common iron oxide mineral in
BIFs is hematite (Fe2O3) and this may
have appeared blood-coloured as if from
the womb. 18 I consider that the earlier
Precambrian iron formations (Algoma
and Superior types) formed early in the
Creation Week by catastrophic pouring
out of volcanics and associated banded
iron formations. 18
The second and only other global
ocean was during the peak of Noah’s
Flood (Genesis 7: 19–20). 18 Rapitan-type iron formations are interbedded
with Neoproterozoic mixtites and these
mixtites are considered to represent
mass flows early in Noah;s Flood. 18
Geochemical data indicates that
Neoproterozoic iron formations result
from mixing between a hydrothermal
and detrital component, while rare
earth element data indicates substantial
interaction with seawater. 12 I infer
that the Flood’s fountains, that rifted
the crust open, would have provided
the hydrothermal component, 19 and
erosion of land caused by the Flood’s
rain20 would have supplied the detrital
Modern evidence9 indicates that
BIFs formed rapidly in deep water
by catastrophic precipitation from
volcanic and associated silica-rich
and iron-rich hydrothermal fluids.
This is consistent with my young
earth model correlation of BIFs with
the Bible’s two occasions of globe-
covering ocean—early Precambrian
BIFs forming in the early Creation
Week and late Precambrian BIFs
forming in the initial phase of Noah’s
Flood. 18 BIFs are clear-cut examples
of non-uniformitarianism in the
earth’s history; 5, 6 modern analogues
are unknown4 and BIFs are restricted in
time to the Archean, Paleoproterozoic,
1. Zientek, M.L. and Orris, G.J., Geology and
nonfuel mineral deposits of the United States,
U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-
2. Trendall, A.F., Hamersley Basin; in: Geology
and Mineral Resources of Western Australia,
Western Australia Geological Survey, Memoir 3:
3. Gross, G.A., Lake Superior-type iron formations; in: Eckstrand, O.R., Sinclair, W.D.,
and Thorpe, R.I. (Eds.), Geology of Canadian
Mineral Deposit Types, Geological Survey of
Canada, Geology of Canada 8: 54–66, 1996.
4. Bekker, A., Slack, J.F., Planavsky, N., Krapez,
B., Hofmann, A., Konhauser, K.O., and Rouxel,
O.J., Iron formation: The sedimentary product
of a complex interplay among mantle, tectonic,
oceanic, and biospheric processes, Economic
Geology 105:467–508, 2010.
5. Groves, D.I., Vielreicher, R.M., Goldfarb, R.J.,
and Condie, K.C., Controls on the heterogeneous
distribution of mineral deposits through time;
in: McDonald, I., Boyce, A.J., Butler, I.B.,
Herington, R. J., and Polya, D.A. (Eds.), Mineral
Deposits and Earth Evolution, Geological
Society, London, Special Publications, 248:
6. Reddy, S.M. and Evans, D.A.D., Paleoproterozoic supercontinents and global
evolution: correlations from core to atmosphere; in: Reddy, S.M., Mazumder, R.,
Evans, D.A.D., and Collins, A.S. (Eds.),
Paleoproterozoic Supercontinents and Global
Evolution, Geological Society, London, Special
Publications 323: 1–26, 2009.
7. Klein, C., Some Precambrian banded iron
formations (BIFs) from around the world:
their age, geologic setting, mineralogy,
metamorphism, geochemistry, and origin,
American Mineralogist 90:1473–1499, 2005.
8. Stockwell, C.H., McGlynn, J.C., Emslie, R.F.,
Sanford, B.V., Norris, A.W., Donaldson, J.A.,
Fahrig, W.F., and Currie, K.L. IV., Geology of
the Canadian Shield; in: Geology and Economic
Minerals of Canada, Geological Survey of
Canada, Economic Geology Report No. 1,
Department of Energy, Mines and Resources
9. Lascelles, D.F., Plate tectonics caused the
demise of banded iron formations, Applied
Earth Science 122( 4):230–241, 2013.
10. Evans, K.A., McCuaig, T.C., Leach, D., Angerer,
T., and Hagemann, S.G., Banded iron formation
to iron ore: a record of the evolution of Earth
environments? Geology 41( 2): 99–102, 2013.
11. Baldwin, G. J., Turner, E.C., and Kamber, B.S.,
A new depositional model for glaciogenic
Neoproterozoic iron formation: insights from
the chemostratigraphy and basin configuration
of the Rapitan iron formation, Canadian J. Earth
Sciences 49( 2):455–476, 2012.
12. Cox, G. M., Halverson, G. P., Minarik, W.G., Le
Heron, D.P., Macdonald, F.A., Bellefroid, E.J.,
and Strauss, J.V., Neoproterozoic iron formation:
an evaluation of its temporal, environmental and
tectonic significance, Chemical Geology 362:
13. Garrels, R.M., A model for the deposition of
the microbanded Precambrian iron formations,
American J. Science 287: 81–106, 1987.
14. George, J. and Varghese, G., Intermediate
colloidal formation and the varying width
of periodic precipitation bands in reaction-diffusion systems, J. Colloid and Interface
Science 282:397–402, 2005.
15. Loewenthal, D., Bruce, R.H., and Bruner, I.,
Are millions of years necessary for petroleum
formation? Israel Geological Society, Annual
Meeting 1993, p. 85, 1993.
16. Barley, M.E., Pickard, A.L., and Sylvester, P.J.,
Emplacement of a large igneous province as a
possible cause of banded iron formation 2. 45
billion years ago, Nature 385: 55–58, 1997.
17. USGS, Comparisons with other eruptions, pubs.
usgs.gov/gip/msh/comparisons.html, 25 June
18. Dickens, H. and Snelling, A.A., Precambrian
geology and the Bible: a harmony, J. Creation
22( 1): 65–72, 2008.
19. Dickens, H. and Snelling, A.A., Terrestrial
vertebrates dissolved near Flood fountains,
Answers Research J. 8:437–447, 2015.
20. Dickens, H., The ‘Great Unconformity’ and
associated geochemical evidence for Noahic
Flood erosion, J. Creation 30( 1): 8–10, 2016.