suggested evidence can just as well
be explained by the uniformitarian
mechanism of an uplifted planation
surface that is dissected.
Fifth, there may not have been
enough time for the planation to occur
while the catchment edge of the second
river was aggressively incised by
So, it looks as though the traditional
explanation of the uplift of a planation
surface is still the preferred view.
Whipple and colleagues conclude:
“… [this] demonstrates that the
topography [of the south-eastern
Tibetan Plateau] is in no way
consistent with the drainage net-
work dynamics mechanism and is
fully consistent with incision into
an elevated, pre-existing low-relief
Planation surfaces do not form
today, except along the edge of flooding
rivers. 14, 15 Instead, they are dissected
and destroyed. It is more likely the
Tibetan Plateau planation surface was
carved by a wide, fast-moving current
of water consistent with the sheet flow
runoff during the Recessive Stage of
the Flood. 16 The fact that the planation
surface was carved on variable rock
types supports this conclusion. 8
The planing and dissection of the
Tibetan Plateau occurred during the
Cenozoic. Clark et al. state:
“The landscape of eastern Tibet is
highly unusual; it stands at high
elevation and is drained by four
of the world’s largest rivers, yet
it has experienced little erosion in
Cenozoic time … .” 17
Presently, the river channels are
rapidly eroding, but the erosion has not
worked back to the upstream eastern
Tibetan Plateau planation surface.
The geomorphology of the Tibetan
Plateau and the south-east sloping
planation surface between rivers
strongly suggests that the time for the
Cenozoic is greatly exaggerated. This
evidence further confirms that water
gaps, supposedly derived from river
piracy, were not the formative features
of the planation surface.
1. Shugar, D.H., Clague, J. J., Best, J. L., Schoof, C.,
Willis, M.J., Copland, L., and Roe, G.H., River
piracy and drainage base reorganization led by
climate-driven glacier retreat, Nature Geoscience
10( 5):370–375, 2017.
2. Headley, R.M., River redirected, Nature
Geoscience 10( 5):327–328, 2017.
3. Oard, M.J., The Great Global Warming Debate
(CMI DVD), 2011.
4. Shugar et al., ref. 1, p. 370.
5. I am using the term planation surface to include
rolling erosion surfaces or low-relief surfaces also.
6. Oard, M.J., The uniformitarian puzzle of
mountaintop planation surfaces, J. Creation 30( 2):
7. Clark, M.K., Royden, L.H., Whipple, K.X.,
Burchfiel, B.C., Zhang, Z., and Tang, W., Use of
a regional, relict landscape to measure vertical
deformation of the eastern Tibetan Plateau,
J. Geophysical Research 111(F03002): 20, 2006.
8. Clark et al., ref. 7, pp. 1–23.
9. Yang, R., Willett, S.D., and Goren, L., In situ
low-relief landscape formation as a result of river
network disruption, Nature 520:526–529, 2015.
10. Lavé, J., Landscape inversion by stream piracy,
Nature 520:442–444, 2015.
11. Whipple, K.X., DiBiase, R.A., Ouimet, W.B., and
Forte, A.M., Preservation of piracy: diagnosing
low-relief, high-elevation surface formation
mechanisms, Geology 45( 1): 91–94, 2017.
12. Sinclair, H., Making a mountain out of a plateau,
Nature 542: 41–42, 2017.
13. Whipple et al., ref. 11, p. 91.
14. Oard, M.J., Flood by Design: Receding water
shapes the earth’s surface, Master Books, Green
Forest, AR, 2008.
15. Oard, M.J., Earth’s Surface Shaped by Genesis
Flood Runoff, 2013; Michael.oards.net/
16. Walker, T., A biblical geological model; in: Walsh,
R.E. (Ed.), Proceedings of the Third International
Conference on Creationism , technical symposium
sessions, Creation Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh,
PA, pp. 581–592, 1994; biblicalgeology.net/.
17. Clark et al., ref. 7, p. 1.
Figure 1. Block diagram of river capture (drawn by Peter Klevberg). Two streams are flowing parallel
to each other, and the tributary of one stream erodes through the ridge between the streams and
captures the water from the other stream.