A new view of Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Town, South Africa
Revealing spectacular evidence for Noah’s global Flood
Published: 3 July 2012 (GMT+10)
Chapman’s Peak Drive is a glorious and breath-taking drive that winds its way in a hundred curves around the mountainous coastline south of Cape Town, South Africa. The locals affectionately call it ‘The Chappies’. Perched almost in space, its bends and twists manoeuvre along a sheer drop into the ocean, hugging the escarpment of Cape Peninsula.
What is even more spectacular, especially for a geologist, Chapman’s Peak Drive runs along the junction between two starkly different geological features. In the cut as you drive along the road you can see flat-lying maroon, purple, and tan beds stacked like pancakes one upon the other. The beds continue up the escarpment peeking out from beneath the vegetation. These strata are part of a vast sedimentary blanket1 called the Cape Supergroup. Although this blanket has been folded and eroded, it still covers much of the southern portion of South Africa.2
Underneath the road and plunging into the sea is a steep outcrop of granite. These smooth, grey, rounded rocks were once part of an enormous body of molten ‘lava’ deep within the crust of the earth. That body is now called the Cape Peninsula Pluton,3 and is itself part of a larger group of granite outcrops called the Cape Granite Suite.
According to the Bible, the world experienced a global, catastrophic Flood about 4,500 years ago, and we can explain this landscape from that perspective. Mainstream geologists do not believe the global Flood ever occurred, so they use a different lens through which to interpret the past. All the same, the careful observations they have made and the detailed reports they have written of those observations (e.g. in the references below) help us understand the rocks and interpret them from a biblical perspective. (I.e., minus the speculation in their reports about what happened before the geologists were born.)
We need to realise that we are looking at just a tiny part of the evidence for the Flood. We are like ants in the grass; our perspective is limited as we try to understand the world around us. That is why it is so helpful to examine geological maps and geological diagrams that show us a bigger scale of what is present.
Briefly, as a result of movements in the crust, the granite was emplaced in large magma chambers kilometres in diameter under the earth early during the Flood. Ongoing movement of water across the earth during this catastrophe removed the rock above the granite. As the Flood continued, fast flowing waters deposited a great volume of sediment in gigantic, flat, sheets over the continent. The sea levels continued to rise and this made room for more sediment to be deposited until eventually the sediment pile reached an enormous thickness—more than 7 km (4 miles) in Western Cape.4
Eventually, the floodwaters reached their peak. Further movements within the crust of the earth folded the sediments of the Cape Supergroup and deepened the ocean basins, allowing the floodwaters to flow off the continent. This eroded many kilometres of sediment from the landscape, depositing it at the edges of the African continent on the continental shelves. The mountains alongside Chapman’s Peak Drive, including Table Mountain, are erosional remnants, isolated rock outcrops that survived that remarkable erosional process.
References and notes
- Walker, T., Sedimentary blankets: Visual evidence for vast continental flooding, Creation 32(4):50–51, 2010. Return to text.
- McCarthy, T. and Rubidge, B., The Story of Earth and Life: A Southern African Perspective, Struik Nature, Cape Town, p. 194, 2005. Compton, J.S., The Rocks and Mountains of Cape Town, Double Storey Books, pp. 110–111, 2004 has a geologic map that also shows the geographical extent of the Peninsular Formation but his map does not extend as far as Port Elizabeth. Compton’s map on p. 17 shows the geographical extent of the Cape Supergroup which compares well with McCarthy & Rubidge’s. Return to text.
- Theron, J.N., Gresse, P.G., Siegfried, H.P. and Rogers, J., The Geology of the Cape Town Area, Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs, Republic of South Africa, 1992. Return to text.
- Compton, ref. 2, pp. 58–59. Return to text.
If the entire Table Mountain Sandstone Group was laid down during the flood, then how do you explain the presence of trace fossil burrows within some layers?
See the following link for photos.
Trace fossils are physical traces of life, such as the 'worm burrows' that are indicated in the photos on that site. Trace fossils can include tracks and there are said to be trilobite tracks in this Graafwater Formation.
Note that the 'traces' are sparse and the beds are clear, crisp and distinct. This indicates that there was not much time elapsed after each bed was deposited. If there had been a long time one would expect the beds to be colonized by organisms and bioturbated, even to the extent that the depsoitional structures would have been obliterated. So, if these features are burrows, they could be escape burrows for organisms that had been quickly buried in the sediment.
But we should always question these sorts of standard geological interpretations that are automatically assigned. Rapid deposition introduces other possibilities. It's feasible that they could be features formed abiotically as the sediments were deposited. They could be dewatering tubes on account of the beds being deposited rapidly and then settling.
Great to see an article on South africa, thanks. We need more, to counter the belief that this country is the "Cradle of Mankind" - millions of years old!
After the Flood, what happened to the water? Before the flood, where did it come from?
An interesting article. I do have a question though concerning marine life. Simply put, how did any marine life survive the flood? Silly question on the face of it, I know, but the idea of runaway subduction (as I understand it) effectively removes the crust from large portions of the globe which would in turn exposes large amounts of the molten mantel to water. Then there are the super volcanoes mentioned in the article, if they happened while the world was flooded, presumable they heated the oceans as well. Wouldn’t this have collectively raised the ocean temperature to the point it would have killed off the fish and mammals living there? In addition you have blankets of sediment, literally kilometers deep shifting about, burying creatures and creating the fossils certainly, but how would some escape being choked/buried in all that? I recognize the ocean is a huge place, but the scale of the disaster seems equally large.
Thanks for any insight you can provide.
You raise some good points. Indeed, many fish didn't survive and we find their fossils. Chapter 14 of the Answers Book, How did fresh and salt water fish survive the Flood discusses some of the issues.
All I can say to anything read on this website all the time is...you guessed it... AMEN...
May more people around the world realize the unfathomable dimensions of the One True GOD and come back to Him to be saved...
The lateral volcanic eruption of Mount St Helen in May 1980 accompanied with super heated steam lead to vast sediment dumped into the Spirit Lake in no time.
Colorado River flood in 1983 requiring spillway tunnel of Glen Canyon Dam opened, sending water 32000 cubic feet per second from the dam to the river below pulverized three foot thick steel reinforced contrite lining of the tunnel in no time.
These two events did not require erosion over millions of years.
The vast sedimentary blanket of Chapman’s Peak must be due to a catastrophe – a global flood.