Although most Archean rocks are igneous or metamorphic
in lithology, Ronov included those he deemed to have been
at some time sedimentary.
The sedimentary record is marked by several interesting
discontinuities. The most obvious is the disproportionately
high volume on the continents and continental margins.
Together, they contain 82.8% of sedimentary rocks, even
though they occupy less than 42% of the total surface area.
Ronov estimated Earth’s total surface area to be 510,072,000
km2, with a little more than 29%, or 148,940,000 km2, as
dry land. Of the 361,132,000 km2 under water, 12.7%, or
64,779,144 km2 comprised continental margins (figure 2).
After estimating the distribution of Earth’s sedimentary
rocks, Ronov calculated the average thickness of the
sedimentary shell in a variety of crustal settings. On
continents, he estimated the average thickness to be 5 km.
This decreased to 2. 5 km on the continental margins, and
0.4 km on the sea floor (figure 3). His averages include
everything from exposed continental shields to deep basins
like the Southern Caspian Basin, where the sedimentary
column thickness reaches 25 km, 7 and the western Gulf of
Mexico, where it locally exceeds 16 km. 8
Others have estimated significantly lower average
thicknesses and volumes. Blatt et al. 9 estimated an average
thickness of 2. 7 km on continents and 2. 8 km on continental
margins—an increase from Blatt’s10 earlier estimate of 0.82
km globally, 1. 82 km on the continents, and 0.24 km on
the ocean floors. Nelson11 reported a continental average of
only 1. 8 km, very similar to that of Blatt. 10 One difference
in these estimates may be that Ronov5 focused on the entire
5. do not
Figure 1. While stratigraphy focused on the paradigmatic debate between
uniformitarianism and the Flood (A;, geologists ignored the five actual
logical options (B). This obscured three options, and a fourth—the
possibility of a supportive relationship between the Flood and the rocks—
was rejected a priori (C). Thus, geologists have wrongly concluded that the
sedimentary rock record unilaterally supports deep time (D).
Cont. Margins 14.4%
Cont. Margins 12.7%
Sed. Rock Volume
1, 100,000,000 km3
Figure 2. Oceans and submarine continental margins occupy most of
Earth’s surface area (left), but the bulk of Earth’s sedimentary rocks occur
on the continents (right), according to Ronov. 5
Figure 3. Comparison of calculations of Ronov5 and Blatt et al. 9 for
the average thickness of sedimentary rocks on continents, continental
margins, ocean floors, and the entire planet. Ronov’s estimates are shown
in the darker patterns and font.
2. 8 2. 7
5 Oceans Total