This article is from
Creation 36(1):15, January 2014

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Fast-forming ‘Fly Geyser’


Wikimedia CommonsFly-geyser

In Nevada, there is an unusual water feature known as Fly Geyser, so-named as it is found at Fly Ranch, near the town of Gerlach, Washoe County. In the 1960s, a drill hole previously bored into a natural, underground source of water began gushing heated water up at the ground surface, creating a geothermal hot spring. Rock minerals began depositing, and have now formed an oddly-shaped formation 3.7 metres (12 feet) high.1

It’s become something of a tourist feature.2

The formation at Fly Geyser is composed of travertine and siliceous sinter. Travertine is a type of limestone rock, often associated with supposed long ages of formation. It is a historically-important building stone, used to build the outer wall of the Colosseum in Rome, for instance, and still widely used today. Interestingly, this same type of rock readily ‘precipitated’3 out of the flowing spring water at Nevada in modern times to form the sizable Fly Geyser feature within a few decades.

This curious deposit shows that it doesn’t take millions of years for limestone rock to form, contrary to what I was told as a small boy, when visiting some famous caves in Australia. The guide said the big stalactites, stalagmites, and other amazing cave ornamentation formed over millions of years, however, I have since discovered that millions of years are not needed. All that is needed are the right chemical conditions.4

During the global Flood, recorded in the Bible, the conditions would have allowed much faster deposition of enormous quantities of limestone, formed from minerals deriving from below the surface of the earth. Huge deposits of limestone were formed, in some cases hundreds of metres deep and covering thousands of square kilometres.5 Fly Geyser gives a tiny insight into how these formations would have been deposited very rapidly, within months.

Posted on homepage: 29 December 2014

References and notes

  1. The main rock ‘mound’ is 1.5 m (5 ft) high, sitting atop a raised rock platform which has also been naturally deposited by the hot spring, giving a full height of 3.7 m (12 ft). Return to text.
  2. However, the geyser is on private land, and is not accessible to the public. It can be seen in the distance from the road. Return to text.
  3. The definition of ‘Precipitate’ in chemistry is the formation of a solid from a solution. Return to text.
  4. Some other instances of rapid formation of limestone include the ‘Tepee Fountain’ of Thermopolis, Wyoming, USA, and the rock-covered petrified waterwheel of Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia. See Walker, T., A monstrous mound of … minerals, Creation 27(4):56, 2005; creation.com/mineral-mound, and Petrified waterwheel, Creation 16(2):25, 1994; creation.com/waterwheel, and Rapid stalactite growth in Siberia, Creation 32(1):40–42, 2010; creation.com/stalactite. Return to text.
  5. A good example is the Redwall Limestone, which forms prominent red-stained cliffs half way up the sides of Grand Canyon. This formation extends from Mexico to Canada and is up to 240 m (800ft) thick in places. Return to text.

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