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Creation 35(3):50–52, July 2013

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Fascinating flower pots

Noah’s Flood explains Hopewell Rocks, Canada



The Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada is famous for its enormous tides. At Hopewell Rocks, toward the end of the bay, the tide may rise as high as 14 metres (46 feet), but it does not stay high very long. The water is always moving, either up or down, and the level can change by a metre (3 feet) in 30 minutes.1

The tides are eroding the cliffs and leaving stacks that are narrow at their base and look like ‘flower pots’ standing on the shore. These have fascinating names like Baby Elephant, Mother-in-law, and Lover’s Arch. Visitors to Hopewell Rocks, sometimes thousands a day, descend the Main Staircase at low tide and stroll across the ocean floor—until the water begins to rise again.

When I visited Hopewell Rocks some years ago, the large, modern, interpretive centre was equipped with colourful display boards and models. On-site interpreters gave talks about the local wildlife, sea life, and plant life, and told the geological story about how the rocks formed.2 Their story was one spanning eras of unimaginable time hundreds of millions of years ago.

When I descended the steps, I saw that the flower pots were made of gravel that had been cemented into stone. Some of the chunks of rock were angular but most were rounded. This conglomerate rock, as it is called, spoke of large quantities of fast flowing water. Rushing floodwaters would not have taken very much time to deposit that gravel. As I walked across the exposed ocean floor and examined the flower-pot stacks and cliffs, I realised I was looking at evidence from the global Flood of Noah’s time.

Large tidal movement erodes cliffs leaving stacks like flower pots with narrow bases.
The tide can rise 14 m and, when it is full, most of the flower pot is under water.
The cliffs are composed of conglomerate made of large pieces of rock, needing lots of fast-moving water to wash them into place.
Low tide among the flower pots. The strata were tilted by earth movements.

Time was the key. Although the interpretive boards spoke of millions of years, I reminded myself that that time was not in the rocks I saw.3 And, after suitably adjusting the times that were quoted,4 the sequence of geological events shown on the interpretive board fitted well with what was expected from Noah’s Flood. The Flood explained it well, giving new insights into features like the origin of the buried vegetation that turned to coal.5 When we apply the new interpretation to the interpretive boards it changes the way we see the world.

9666-sign1 Formation of rift valley about 350 million years ago. Early during Noah’s Flood, about 4,500 years ago, after the floodwaters had been rising for a few months (Genesis 7:17–18), they had deposited vast quantities of sediment in thick layers. Then, earth movements faulted and fractured the crust, as occurred in the Bay of Fundy area. Some areas were pushed up and others sank down, forming a ‘rift valley’.
9666-sign2 Flooding of valley by warm shallow sea. Floodwaters rushed into the rift.
9666-sign3 Erosion of mountains and formation of Hopewell Conglomerate 330 million years ago. The rushing floodwaters eroded the higher land alongside, depositing thick layers of gravel into the rift. This has been called the Hopewell Conglomerate.
9666-sign4 Sandstone bearing fossils deposited in Coal Age swamps, 315 million years ago. As the rush of water eased, the valley filled with sand and vegetation. The vegetation had been ripped up by the floodwaters, and was floating in huge rafts. After the vegetation was buried, heat transformed it, over the years, into coal.
9666-sign5 Warping of land by pressure, eruption of volcanoes, 210 million years ago. Further movements in the crust caused huge volcanic eruptions.
9666-sign6 Tilting of land and changing of drainage, 15 million years ago. These earth movements tilted the land around the Bay of Fundy. They opened up the ocean basins allowing the floodwaters to drain off the continents (Genesis 8:5).
9666-sign7 Glacial covering of land, one million years ago. After the continents had drained (Genesis 8:14), the warm oceans produced high evaporation and high precipitation, which caused ice to build up on the land over several hundred years.6
9666-sign8 The Bay of Fundy today. When the oceans cooled, the glaciers melted back, and the Bay of Fundy emerged much like it is today.
First posted on homepage: 18 August 2014
Re-posted on homepage: 16 September 2020

References and notes

  1. Berry, D., A Companion Book of the Hopewell Rocks, 2006. Return to text.
  2. Tourism NB, Hopewell, Interpretive Centre, thehopewellrocks.ca/about-the-park/interpretative-centre. Return to text.
  3. Walker, T., The way it really is: little-known facts about radiometric dating, Creation 24(4):20–23, 2002; creation.com/dating_reality. Return to text.
  4. Oard, M., The geological column is a general Flood order with many exceptions, Journal of Creation 24(2):78–82, 2010; creation.com/flood-order. Return to text.
  5. Walker, T., Coal: memorial to the Flood, Creation 23(2):22–27, 2001; creation.com/coal. Return to text.
  6. Warm oceans cause increased evaporation of water vapour which precipitated on the continents resulting in a build up of snow and ice. See: Oard, M., An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood, ICR Monograph, San Diego, 1990; see also creation.com/ice. Return to text.

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