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Mossdale Caverns, Yorkshire Dales, England

At the Mossdale Scar in Yorkshire Dales the surface flow disappears into the cave system.

How are caves formed?

Today’s feedback comes from R.B. asking for information on the Mossdale Caverns in the Yorkshire Dales, England.

Hello, I have a question about the Mossdale Caverns. Secular scientists believe it was formed millions of years ago. I couldn’t find a creationist response, so I am 99 percent sure no website covered/talked about it. It would be nice if you can respond.

CMI geomorphologist Dr Ron Neller replied.

Greetings R.B. and thank you for your email. You are correct that Creation Ministries International (CMI) has not written on this cave system—but we nonetheless have articles on cave formation, cave features, and so on.

The Mossdale Cavern passageways can be small and muddy, and these caves are quite flood prone. The Mossdale Caverns are carved within the Yoredale Formation, which consists of numerous formations that can have significant physical character variations both vertically and laterally. These are often identified as cyclothems, which are sequences of limestones, sandstones, shales, coal, and so on.

On the formation and age of caves my initial suggestion is that you go to Geology Questions and Answers and look under the section titled How does the Flood explain limestone caves, stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothem formed? Here you will find 5 articles on caves and their features. Of these I recommend Caves for all seasons by cave scientist Dr Emil Silvestru. Dr Silvestru highlights that caves are part of larger features called karst, which are limestone landscapes with underground drainage. He goes onto explore difficulties that secular scientists have in explaining deep cave systems. He points out that to dissolve limestone the water must be acidic. But if water loses its acidity within tens of metres from the surface, then how do caves as extensive and deep as the Mossdale Caverns come into being?

Speleothems in the Jenolan Caves, N.S.W., Australia.

Another collection of cave articles can be found at Caves. Here you will see another article by Dr Silvestru in which he ‘digs deeper’ into challenges, particularly with radiometric dating techniques The age of the Jenolan Caves, Australia. In this article Dr Silvestru focusses on the spectacular Jenolan Caves in New South Wales, Australia, and the unique relationship between the surface and the underground drainage systems. He elaborates on various cave features and the radiometric dating techniques used by secular scientists (highlighting problems, discrepancies and unanswered questions) and proposes a simple formation model during the closing stages of the Noahic Flood.

Perhaps best of all though is a set of articles on the rapid formation of caves and their features by Michael Oard – see Rapid growth of caves and speleothems: part 1—the excavation of the cave, Rapid growth of caves and speleothems: part 2—growth rate variables, Rapid growth of caves and speleothems: part 3—Flood and Ice Age variables. In these articles he explores the excavation of caves, the growth rate variables, and the Flood and Ice Age variables. In the first article Michael highlights recent research that shows that caves can form rapidly, and that the recessive (final) stage of the Noahic Flood is an ideal formation setting. In his second article Michael explores the conditions needed to form speleothems (that includes stalactites and stalagmites), whilst in his third article he explores how the post–Flood Ice Age accounts for their growth. These are longer more explanatory articles but are excellent for a deeper understanding.

I trust that these readings help you, through the many examples we have published, to note that caves such as the Mossdale Caverns could not have been formed millions of years ago but are only thousands of years old and were initiated primarily in the final stages of the Noahic Flood.

Dr Ron Neller
Scientist, Speaker, Writer
Creation Ministries International

Published: 26 March 2022

Helpful Resources

Catastrophic Caves
by Vance Nelson
US $33.00
Hard cover