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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Observations on Age of Carolina Bays

Observations on Age of Carolina Bays

oxytropidoceras at oxytropidoceras at
Sun Nov 15 14:46:30 EST 2009

As I will discuss in a paper that I am preparing, Carolina Bays
are not at all difficult to date in terms of their age relative to the
Younger Dryas as documented in a number of published, peer-
reviewed papers and specific Cultural Resource Management
reports. There is a huge amount of information available about
either the age or relative age of the Carolina Bays to be found
by carefully and persistently digging through the large number
of publications about them and the geomorphology of the
Atlantic coastal plain.

1. Radiocarbon dates, which are all minimum dates indicating
when ground water conditions allowed the preservation of
organic material within them. All the basal dates tells a person
is the last time that a bay was permanently filled with water
because of rising groundwater table, which is greatly influenced
by rises and falls in eustatic sea level. Despite the fact that the
radiocarbon dates are only minimum dates, they clearly
demonstrate that the Carolina Bays predate the Younger Dryas

2. optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating is now
a well established and proven dating method, which gives
credible dates for the age of these landforms. A person might
argued for mxing of older and younger sand, except that
Dr. Ivester, whom I personally discussed this matter with
on the GSA 2008 Meeting sand mantle, biomantle, mima
mound field trip told me that he did not find the anomalies
in the raw data for his dates that such mixing would create.
Also, a person can always use single-grain OSL dating to
unequivocally test for such mixing. Given that Dr. Ivester is
a very experienced Quaternary geologist, the claim he dated
the wrong material, in my opinion is the type of lame excuse
that I hear from Young Earth creationists when the data
refutes what they want to believe is the truth. If a person is
going to make this claim, they need to back it up with hard
and well-documented facts for it to be credible in any
manner at all.

3. the pollen records from several Carolina Bays clearly
go back to the last Glacial Maximum and in one bay,
back to Oxygen Isotope Stage 5a. In many more Carolina
Bays, the paleoenvironmental records start during full
glacial conditions, several thousands of years before the
hypothesized Younger Dryas event. Common sense and
basic stratigraphic principles dictate that the Carolina Bays
containing these records existed before any hypothesized
Younger Dryas events as it is physically impossible for
any sort of exterrestrial event / impact to create craters
thousands of years before it occurs. It is impossible for
mixing of sediment to have produced these records as
the paleoenvironmental records recovered from Carolina
Bays correlate precisely in time and nature to palynological
records from non-Carolina Bay lakes and swamps in the
same area as a Carolina Bay.

4. Cross-cutting relationships between well dated fluvial
terraces (lacking Carolina Bays) cut and inset into older
terraces and the Carolina Bays they exhibit establish the
minimum age of Carolina Bays. Similarly the superposition
dunes fields, which formed during the Late Glacial
Maximum and lacking Carolina Bays, upon Carolina
Bays that they partial bury, establish the preYounger
Dryas age of the Carolina Bays. Both cross-cutting
relationships and superposition is documented in great
detail by LIDAR DEMs available for large parts of the
Atlantic Coast.

5. Stratified archaeological sites demonstrates how
Carolina Bays have been modified after the Younger
Dryas. Carolina Bays on restricted government
reservations indicate how historic agriculture and
urban development have modified Carolina Bays
during the last few decades by comparison.

6. All the presence of hypothesized impactites filling
the Carolina Bays indicates is that preexisting Carolina
Bays was filled by material from this hypothesized impact.
The presence of hypothetical impactites within the loose
soils of coastal plain sands forming the rim of Carolina
Bays indicate is that bioturbation mixed material falling
on the surface of into the loose sand forming the rims.
The churning of surface materials deep into thick sandy
epipedons is a well documented and well known process.

7. In the northern extent of the distribution of Carolina
Bays, their orientation varies by over 120 degrees and based
upon cross-cutting relationships and great differences in
the degree of degradation of their rims strong indication
of multiple generations of Carolina Bays having formed at
greatly different time. The claim by Firestone that both the
Carolina Bays and playa and other lakes point at a central
point is based him having overlooked a significant amount
of orientation data that both subtly and grossly contradicts
and ultimately refutes this claim of his.

8. Although it is still in the realm of speculation, there
appears to be evidence that indicates that the Carolina Bays
in the Midlothian area are much older than the typical
Carolina Bays that are found on Pleistocene coast-wise

In my opinion, As far as the Carolina Bays are concerned,
they are a nothing more than a time-consuming red herring
of gigantic proportions. Even if the Carolina Bays are impact
features of some sort, they clearly are much too old be
connected in anyway with a Younger Dryas event.

I am not going into references and figures because I am
pulling this all together into a paper that I am working and
will submit to a journal that I know will both welcome it
and have it rigorously peer-reviewed. Before submitting
it, I will also have two or three select people review it.


Paul H.

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