The towering walls of the Gorge expose sediments from the Surat Basin, which hosts abundant gas and oil reserves in other parts of the state. The most prominent feature in the Gorge is its brilliant, white cliffs of Precipice Sandstone—the lowermost member of the Surat Basin. Like a blanket, these sediments cover a large part of eastern Australia (See Sedimentary blankets). They were deposited towards the middle of Noah’s Flood as the waters were rising on the earth and nearing their peak (See Carnarvon Gorge geological history).
Sediments from the uppermost member of the Bowen Basin form the floor of the Gorge. Because the Moolayember Formation is relatively impermeable water from the springs of the Gorge remains close to the surface, making the Gorge an oasis in the arid country. The Bowen Basin extends to the north and east, and has rich coal deposits. This basin was also deposited during Noah’s Flood, earlier than the Surat Basin (See Carnarvon Gorge geological history).
Basalt caps, up to 300 metres thick, sit high above the gorge on either side. These are part of the Buckland Volcanic Province and form the Consuelo Tableland, atop the north wall, and the Great Dividing Range, to the south. Boulders eroded from the basalt dominate the waterways of the gorge. The hot basalt lava flowed across the sandstone plateau after the floodwaters had reached their peak and just started to recede from the continents. It was subsequently disected by the receding water. (See Carnarvon Gorge geological history).
There is much evidence within the sedimentary themselves that point to rapid deposition, such as thick strata, cross bedding and an extensive geographical extent, consistent with Flood deposition. However, the erosion of the Gorge provides even more dramatic evidence for Noah’s Flood, and I plan to discuss this in future blogs.
1. Carnarvon Gorge is widely quoted as being 30 km long but from Google maps it’s more like 22 km, as the crow flies.
Carnarvon Gorge, Australia: monument to Noah’s Flood
Carnarvon Gorge rises above the waters of Noah’s Flood
Rainfall catchment for Carnarvon Gorge is not large enough
Carnarvon Gorge was carved in two stages
Landscape around Carnarvon Gorge was eroded in sheets by retreating floodwaters
Carnarvon Creek flows through a water gap carved during Noah’s Flood
The geological history of Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland, Australia, from a biblical Flood perspective