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« on: February 02, 2017, 06:26:53 pm »
Experiments In Stratification
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Current at 1m/s => stratum of fine\larger\fine sediments.
Current slowed by half => 2nd similar stratum/first stratum.
Current sped back to 1m/s => 3rd similar stratum.
Part 4:


Guy Berthault
III. Geology.y
Coming to Geology the other major discipline where illusions have had just as great  implications: Geology. Its founder Nicolas Stenon who proposed proceeding in a very  precise and ordered way according to the method of Descartes in 1667 defined the  foundation of geology in his work Canis Calchariae.[1] He interpreted the  superposition of strata as a succession of sedimentary deposits. From this he  deduced in Prodromus the principles of stratigraphy. These were : superposition,  continuity and original horizontality of strata, which are the basis of the  relative geological time-scale.

Charles Lyell defined absolute chronology. In 1828 he travelled to Auvergne and  examined the fresh water foliated rocks. As the foliated strata or laminæ of less  than a millimeter were said to be annual de- posits, he realized the total (230  meters) would take thousands of years to form. In his « Principles of Geology »  (1832) he noted that there was a 5 per cent renewal of the fauna during the « ice  age ». Assuming a constant renewal (uniformitarian hypothesis) it would take twenty  times longer for a « revolution » of the fauna to be produced. Now, Lyell  calculated four revolutions since the end of the secondary era and eight others for  the time before since the beginning of the primary era. As his contemporaneous  James Croll, estimates, for astronomical reasons that glacial time lasted one  million years, Lyell fixed to 240 million years the base of the primary. This  figure was increased by radiometric dating to 560 million in the 20th century. It  was this succession of species over a very long time that led Darwin to formulate  his theory in his “Origin of the Species” in 1859. It was the natural selection of  the species by the struggle for existence that produced evolution over time.

Two years later, Karl Marx wrote to Lassalle: The book of Darwin is very  significant. It shows that class warfare in history has its foundation in natural  science. Also Engels in “Ludwig Feuerbach and the end of the German philosophy”  wrote: The general demonstration made for the first time by Darwin was that all the  products of nature around us now, including men, are the result of a long process  of development from a small number of unicellular germs originally, and that these,  in turn, stemmed from a protoplasm or from an albuminoidal body constituted from  chemicals. From this “discovery” of Darwin he deduced a law of the evolution of  societies : But what is true concerning nature, recognized equally as a process of  historic development, is true also for the history of society in all its branches  and all sciences which concern human things (and divine). (Marx, Engels, Etudes  philosophiques, Ed.Sociales, pp.213-214).

Scientific socialism therefore proceeds from Darwin as does, national-socialism  which with its advocacy for Aryan racial supremacy. Hence the Gulag, and the Shoah  with its death toll of over 60 million.

The historical geology founded on the interpretation of Stenon remains unproven,  because there were no witnesses to the stratification. It was this fact that led me  in 1970 to develop an experimental program to study the formation of strata. In  sedimentary rocks there are strata or laminæ of millimetric thickness similar to  those observed by Lyell mentioned above. I took a sample (fig. 1) of «  Fontainebleau sandstone » containing these laminæ . They were loosely cemented. I  reduced the rock to its component particles of different sizes.

I fed the sand into a glass tube (fig. 2) and saw the same laminæ form as those in  the sample. The speed of sedimentation was determined by the operator. I understood  that the phenomenon could be due to the sand being a powder whose mechanics are  intermediate between liquids and solids. If, in a tube, three solid bodies are  dropped successively, they will dispose in the order of their succession. Whilst if  three liquids of different densities are dropped such as mercury, oil and water,  they will superpose in the de- creasing order of their densities due to the effect  of gravity. It can be expected, therefore, that gravity will cause the particles to  sort out according to their size. Lamination is a mechanical phenomenon not  chronological. In consequence the thousands of laminæ observed by Lyell did not  correspond to hundreds of thousands of years.

The report of the experiments was presented to the French Academy of Sciences by  Professor Georges Millot, director of the Strasbourg Institute of Geology, dean of  the University, then President of the Geological Society of France. The latter  published my report in 1986.[2]

Following the publication the Professor had me admitted to the Geological Society  as a sedimentologist. I did the same experiment with the rock sample containing  fossils. The result was the same. It was also published by the French Academy in  1988[3] presented by Gorges Millot.

Figure 1 – sample of diatomite diatomite.png

What happens with thick strata?

A report entitled Bijou Creek Flood[4] published in the USA, authored by the  American Geologist Edwin Mac Kee, referred to the stratified deposits on the banks  of the Bijou Creek river. They resulted from the flood of the river from the Rocky  Mountains following the melting snow increased by the rain. The phenomenon lasted  less than 48 hours. With the continuity of the torrent, it could not be supposed  that a first strata had hardened into rock before a second had covered it as  required by the principle of superposition. The strata were approximately 10 cm  thick (see figure 3).
Figure 2. Lamination from dry flow resulting-229x300.jpg

To explain the phenomenon, the fact that the flood had reached 7 m/s in turbulent  conditions must be taken into account, and the speed of current varies  alternatively on the surface and in depth. Sedimentologists such as Hjulstrom and  Lichstvan-Lebedev[5], have determined experimentally the critical speed of deposit  of particles of distinct sizes. In flood conditions the capacity of sedimentary  transport is very high, and the variation of speed at each point when it becomes  critical causes the sedimentation of quantities of particles of distinct sizes, so  that the grading observed in calm water becomes strata of several centimeters  thickness in turbulent conditions. In 2008 the journal Sedimentology published an  article on the tsunami that struck South-East Asia in 2004 with photos of the  deposits left in its wake after several hours. Super- posed strata are shown 20 cm  thick.

It was now necessary to study stratification in the laboratory. A report by a group  of American sedimentologists operating in the hydraulics laboratory of the State  University of Colorado showed the presence of strata in the deposit of a  circulating flume. I visited the University and signed a contract to determine the  cause of the strata. The experiments were performed by a young member of the group  Pierre Julien, Professor of hydraulics and sedimentology. In a flume, the water was  mixed with sand. The large particles were colored black and the small white. The  mixture was circulated by a pump. Due to the contrast of color in the particles,  stratification in the sedimentary deposit can be observed. It developed laterally  in the direction of the current, and vertically as it thickened. The deposit was  laminated and stratified. A lateral section of the deposit shows a superposition of  strata several centimeters thick as shown in the photos below. The report of the  above experiment was published in 1993 by the Geological Society of France[6].

Figure 3. Sedimentary structures of sedimentary deposits of the river “East Bijou”  in 1965.
a – alternate strata of sand and muddy sand.         – b – Stratification of  deposits Sedimentary-structures-of-sedimentary-deposits-of-the-river-300x103.png

Figure 4. Formation of graded layers experiments-300x224.gif

Figure 5 – Transversal section of the deposit sectional-view-of-deposit-300x200.jpg

Figure 6 - Longitudinal view of the deposit longitudinal-view-of-deposition-flow-from-right-to-left-300x199.jpg

This new data questions Stenon’s interpretation by which a relative chronology on  the basis of strata could be constructed according to his three principles. To  elaborate a chronology one has to refer to the cause being rising and falling  marine movements which deposit stratified ensembles called sequences. A growing  number of sedimentologists and geologists are adopting the sequential stratigraphic  method of reasoning. However they must go further as will be shown.

At the beginning of the years 2000 the time had come to apply the knowledge learned  from the experiments and completed by other sources on the terrain. Providentially,  during a trip to Moscow at that time I met a young geologist Alexander Lalomov who  had taken a great interest in my published work. Thanks to him, I was able to have  published in 2002 the report of our experiments in the USA in the Academy of  Sciences and Institute of Geology in Russia under the heading of Analysis of the  main principles of stratigraphy on the basis of experimental data[7]. In 2004 the  same journal published my article Sedimentological Interpretation of the Tonto  Group[8] explaining the fact that the facies of a geological series were superposed  and juxtaposed at the same time in the area of deposit due to the sediments carried  by the current. This studies were also published in China.[9]

Alexander Lalomov determined the hydraulic and sedimentary genesis of rock  formations in several regions in Russia. The most decisive of his works was to  determine the time needed for a rock formation to be deposited, such as the  cambrian-ordovician sandstone system of the Saint-Petersburg region[10].

Sedimentary mechanics evaluates from the critical speed of paleocurrents and  function of particle size, the capacity of sedimentary transport and its speed. The  quotient of the volume of the rock formation studied by its capacity, per unit of  time and volume, indicates the time of the corresponding sedimentation. This method  is applied by a number of sedimentologists amongst which I would cite H. A.  Einstein. The time ascertained by this method applied to the cambrian-ordovician  sandstone system mentioned above represents 0.05 per cent of the time attributed to  it by the geological time-scale. The report of the study was published in 2011 by  Lithology and Mineral Resources, journal of the Academy of Sciences and the  Institute of Geology of Russia.[11] According to Alexandre Lalomov, the  paleohydraulic conditions often have a catastrophic appearance.

Golovkinskii (Kazan 1868) on the rocks and Walther on marine sediments established  that : Only facies and facies areas juxtaposed on the surface could have been  superposed originally[12]. As explained in my 2002 publication the superposed and  juxtaposed facies constitute a sequence resulting from a marine transgression or  regression. A succession of sequences included between a transgression and a final  regression is a « series ». The data from sequence stratigraphy, and the  experiments mentioned above, show that a series corresponds to a period.  Consequently the sequence must be considered as the basic reference to relative  chronology, rather than « stage ».

Today, sedimentologists, according to their sub-marine observations and laboratory  experiments have established relationships between hydraulic conditions, depth and  size of particles. This enables the critical speed of transport below which a  particle of a given size will sediment to be determined. The Russian Hydraulics  Institute is undertaking at my request an experimental program of erosion of  sedimentary rocks by powerful currents (v < 27m/s) to complete these relations[13].  Others should follow.

Relevant publications and videos are included on my website

In consequence the geological time-scale is called into question. It should hence- forward be founded relatively not upon superposition of strata, but their origin  which implies gravitational action for formation of laminæ, and a turbulent current  for strata and superposed and juxtaposed facies of sequences.

As to the absolute time of the foliated strata observed by Lyell and assumed to be  annual deposits, they are principally laminæ, which as shown by experiment provide  no absolute time. The same applies to the 240 million years chronology based upon  biological revolutions which Prof. Gohau called an unproven « uniformitarian  hypothesis. Professor Gabriel Gohau, said in his book “An history of Geology”  (1990)[14]“What measures time is the duration of sedimentation, and not orogenesis  or biological revolutions”. This leads to radiometric dating of rocks. The method  is no longer viable because of the radioactivity which existed in the magma before  it erupted. In a rock sample the respective related parent and daughter radio- active elements produced in the liquid magma were separated. Because of the effect  of gravity, it is unlikely the elements would remain together for a ratio to be  determined. An example is the potassium/ argon dating of rocks resulting from  volcanic eruptions whose historic date are known[15]. The radiometric date for the  origin of the rock, because of the excess argon is sometimes given in millions of  years.

Christian Marchal of ONERA, a polytechnician colleague, published in 1996 a study  on the subject in Bulletin du Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris (completed by an  “erratum” in Geodiversitas – 1997). It was entitled: Earth’s polar displacements of  large amplitude : a possible mechanism[16], and showed that the uplift of a large  mountain mass such as the Himalayas would modify by several millionths the moment  of the Earth’s inertia, sufficient to displace by several tens of degrees the  stable equilibrium position of the poles. This published study stated specifically  that large transgressions and regressions would result from the combined effect of  the displacement of the poles and the Earth’s rotation large transgressions of the  ocean Their amplitude would be much greater than ocean level variations due to  glaciation or melting glaciers following cyclical variations of the orbital  parameters of the Earth.. In addition to the data of paleo-hydraulic analysis, this  could explain, the existences of extensive flood conditions in the geological past  rather than attributing them to falling meteorites. As stated in the Bulletin, the  North Pole, at Eocene, before the Himalayan orogenesis, was at the mouth of the  Siberian River Yenissei, at 72 degrees of north latitude. After the orogenesis, it  was nearly at its present position following a movement of 18°. The direction of  marine transgressions and regressions following each of the 19 orogenesis since the  beginning of the Primary era corresponds to the succession of sequence facies, such  as sandstone, clay, schist, limestone. An example is the Tonto Group, in the  Cambrian. It proceeds from the Cadomian orogenesis at the beginning of the  Cambrian, and results, from the transgression of the Pacific Ocean up to New  Mexico. Other directions can be ascertained from other orogeneses which occurred  elsewhere on the Earth.

Contemporaneous submarine fauna varies according to depth, latitude, and longitude.  The apparent change of fossilized marine organisms from one series to another  following an orogenesis, could result from different fauna transported by current  from different areas caused by successive orogeneses. What has been attributed to a  biological change could, therefore, be ecological in nature due to fauna coming  from different orogeneses and taking into account the shorter period of  sedimentation it now discloses.

It should be noted that in recent times collagen, organic tissue has been found in  dinosaur fossils and radiometrically dated as forty-thousand years. According to  the geological time-scale dinosaurs are said to have become extinct 65 million  years ago.

The conclusion of this section on geology is that a relation can be established  between cause and effect. Orogenesis, which is the uprising of mountains contingent  upon volcanic eruptions[17], is the cause of polar rotational axis displacements.  This provokes marine series and creates deposits of sedimentary rocks. The duration  of these deposits being much more rapid than the time indicated by the geological  time-scale shows the need for a revision of the latter.

The causal relation between orogenesis and sedimentary rocks, was the subject of my  two recent publications. The « Georesources » journal of the University of Kazan,  in December 2012[18]. and ”Open Journal of Geology, at the ”International  Conference of Geology and Geophysics”, in Peking, in June 2013, October 2014[19] at  the Kazan geological conference; it has also been presented at the Moscow  lithological conference in October 2015 by an American geological engineer Rachel  Dilly.

In light of the above facts, what remains of Darwin’s theory and the aforementioned  ideologies it engendered?


The impact of a priori science and its disastrous consequences for humanity calls  for objective analysis of science based upon observed fact. Scientific theories in  education which could mislead the human spirit in search for truth should conform  to experimental proof.

Recent centuries illustrate the situation. Copernicus and Galileo asserted without  proof that the sun was the center of the world. If they had limited themselves to  hypothesizing, as Cardinal Bellarmine had pro- posed, they would not been condemned  by the Holy Office and thereby the mobility of the Earth would have remained a  permissible theory. There would not have been a bad feelings against the Church.

In the same way if Descartes had stayed with the facts, he could not have based his  judgements solely on clear and distinct persuasive ideas, which originally had led  Steno to his a priori principles and Newton to his inexact definitions without  prior proof. It was in this way that Descartes had originated the Philosophy of  Enlightenment which with notoriously anti-religious Voltaire led to the revolution  in 1789, the fall of the Bourbon monarchy replaced by Napoleon I, later Napoleon  III and the ensuing wars. Objectively speaking, these wars ought not to have  happened.

Moreover, without historical geology founded upon an incorrect a priori Darwin  could not have been led to write his “Origin of the Species”, postulating survival  of the fittest between species, upon which Marx and Engels based their “class  struggle” theory. Thereby leaving Stalin a seminarist and Hitler a house decorator  and thus avoiding the Second World War. Their « a priories » having been exposed,  the aforementioned disasters are circumvented.

History cannot be re-made. However, by applying objectivity, it should be possible  to return to its previous path from a scientific, political, moral and spiritual  point of view.

Conclusion: The disastrous consequences of « a priories » in the natural sciences  would probably not have happened if the sciences concerned had been founded on  purely observed and experimental facts. This knowledge should help man in his  search for truth. It appears all the more necessary in the critical situation in  which we are living.



[1] N. Stenon and N. Stensen, “Canis Carchariae Dissectum Caput, KIU” Aus., lat. u.  engl. The earliest geological treatise, 1667.

[2] B.G. Sedimentology, “Experiments on Lamination of Sediments, Resulting from a  Periodic Graded-Bedding Subsequent to Deposit”, compte-rendu de l’Académie des  Sciences, Paris, t. 303, Série ii, No. 17, 1986.

[3] G. Berthault, “Sedimentation of a Heterogranular Mixture. Experimental  Lamination in Still and Running Water”, Compte- rendu de l’Académie des Sciences,  Paris, t. 306, Série ii, 1988, pp. 717-724.

[4] E.D. McKee, E.J. Crosby, H.L. Berryhill Jr, “Flood Deposits, Bijou Creek,  Colorado, June 1965”, Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, Vol. 37, No. 3, 1967, pp.  829-851.

[5] Lischtvan-Lebediev, “Gidrologia i gidraulika v mostovom doroshnom.  Straitielvie”, Leningrad, 1959

[6] F.Y. Julien and L.Y., Berthault G., “Experiments on Stratification of  Heterogeneous Sand Mixtures”, Bul- letin de la Société Géologique de France, 1993,  Vol. 164. No. 5, pp 649-660.

[7] G. Berthault, “Analysis of Main Principles of Stratigraphy”, Lithology and  Mineral Resources, Vol. 37, No. 5, 2002, pp. 509- 515. doi :  10.1023/A:1020220232661.

[8] G. Berthault, “Sedimentological Interpretation of the Tonto Group Stratigraphy,  Grand Canyon Colorado River”, Lithology and Mineral Resources, Vol. 39, No. 5,  2004, pp. 504-508, doi : 10.1023/B : LIMI. 0000040737.85572.4c.

[9] G. Berthault, “Geological Dating Principles Questioned Paleohydraulics a New  Approach”, Journal of Geodesy and Geodynamics, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2002, pp. 19-26.

[10] A. Lalomov, “Reconstruction of Paleohydrodynamic Conditions during the  Formation of Upper Jurassic Conglomerates of the Crimean Peninsula”, Lithology and  Mineral Resources, Vol. 42, No. 3, 2007, pp. 268-280. doi :  10.1134/S0024490207030066.

[11] G. Berthault, A. Lalomov and M.A. Tugarova, “Reconstruction of  Paleolithodynamic Formation Conditions of Cambrian- Ordovician Sandstones in the  Northwestern Russian Platform” Lithology and Mineral Resources, Vol. 46, No. 1,  2011, pp. 60- 70. doi : 10.1134/S0024490211010020.

[12] G.V. Middleton, “Johannes Walther’s law of the correlation of facies”,  Geological Society of America Bulletin, 1973, Geological Soc America.

[13] G. Berthault, A.L. Veksler, V.M. Donenberg and A. Lalomov, “Research on  Erosion of Consolidated and Semi-Consolidated Soils by High Speed Water Flow”,  Izvestia VMG, Vol. 257, 2010, pp. 10-22.

[14] G. Gohau, “Une histoire de la géologie”, Paris, Seuil, P.277. 1990.

[15] J.C. Funkhauser and J.J. Naughton, “Radiogenic helium and argon in ultramafic  inclusions from Hawaï“, Journal of Geological Research, Vol. 73, 15/07/1968, pp.  4601-4607.

[16] C. Marchal, “Earth’s Polar Displacements of Large Amplitude. A Possible  Mechanism”, Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Paris.4th, 18, Errata  Geodiversitas, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1997, p. 139.

[17] M.R. Rampino and A. Prokoph, “Are Mantle Plumes Periodic ?” EOS Transactions  American Geophysi- cal Union, Vol. 94, No. 12, 2013, pp. 113-120, doi :  10.1002/2013EO120001.

[18] G. Berthault, “Towards a Refoundation of Historical Geology”, Georesources,  2012, pp. 4-36.

[19] G. Berthault, “Orogenesis, cause of sedimentary formations”, Open Journal of  Geology, Vol.3, 2013, pp. 22-24.



Stenon was the founder of stratigraphy. It was in 1667 that he introduced in his  work Canis Calchariae the postulate: layers of sub-soil are ‘strata’ of ancient  successive ‘sediments’. From this partial interpretation, Stenon drew three initial  principles of stratigraphy formulated in his work Prodromus (1669).

(1) Principle of superposition
At the time when one of the high stratum formed, the stratum underneath it had  already acquired a solid consistency. At the time when any stratum formed, the  superincumbent material was entirely fluid, and due to this fact at the time when  the lowest stratum formed, none of the superior strata existed.

(2) Principle of continuity
Strata owe their existence to sediments in a fluid. At the time when any stratum  formed, either it was circumscribed on its sides by another solid body, or else it  ran round the globe of the earth.

(3) Principle of original horizontality

At the time when any stratum formed, its lower surface, as also the surfaces of its  sides, corresponded with the surfaces of the subjacent body, and lateral bodies,  but its upper surface was (then) parallel to the horizon, as far as it was  possible.

The sedimentological model corresponding to these three principles is, therefore,  the following. In a fluid covering the Earth, except for emerged land, a  precipitate deposits strata after strata, covering all the submerged Earth  [ANIMATION 1]. After the deposition of each stratum, the sedimentation is  interrupted for the time it takes for the stratum to acquire a solid consistence.  The stratum being contained between two parallel planes indicates that the  sedimentation rate of the precipitate is uniform around the submerged Earth.

Animation 1 (no sound)

Stenon’s assertion relies solely upon observation of stratified rocks and the  superposition of strata, independently of data from the sedimentological process.  This process is composed of three phases: erosion, transport and deposition of  sediments, the liquid current being the vector of transport. Stenon’s stratigraphy  only took account the third phase of sedimentology, i.e., the deposition, assuming  implicitly a nil velocity of current.

Fig. 1 : Grand Canyon in North Arizona,an example of stratification>>> Problems



Problems of the Stenon’s stratigraphy

This model based upon a postulate, which takes into account only one particular  case of sedimentation – the absence of current, implying succession of time on a  global scale, according to the vertical sequence of strata is not in accordance  with experimental and field investigations.

The first part of the definition of the principle of superposition is: At the time  when one of the highest stratum formed, the stratum underneath it had already  acquired a solid consistence. A stratum between 50 cm and 1 m is considered thick.  Consequently, submarine drillings should encounter solid strata in the stratified  oceanic sediments after a few meters.

The results of sea bottom drilling showed that the first semi-consolidated  sediments appeared about 400-800 metres (in depth). The isolated instances of  certain beds of chert (siliceous beds) have been found under 135 metres of sediment  near the zones of the oceanic transform faults (Logvinenko, 1980). Stenon’s  definition, therefore, relative to successive hardening, which extends greatly the  total length of time of deposition, is not supported by the sedimentological  observations mentioned above.

Animation 1 (no sound)

No sedimentary layer goes all around the Earth. Seismic readings and sub-marine  coring demonstrate that the strata in ocean deposits are not always horizontal and  the rate of sedimentation is not uniform on a global scale of the Earth’s oceans.

In the first part of the definition for the principle of continuity Stenon affirms  that: Strata owe their existence to sediments in a fluid.

Stenon says nothing about the action of the fluid on sediments, so that the  relative stratigraphic chronology resulting from his principles did not take it  into account (the two later principles of paleontological identity and  uniformitarianism changed nothing in this respect). Currents exist in present day  oceans, which erode, transport, and deposit sediments, as shown by Straknov in  1957. Geologists have attributed the change in orientation of stratification and  erosion surfaces in sedimentary rocks to marine transgressions and regressions.  This is the object of study in sequence stratigraphy today. Diagrams in this latter  discipline, however, give no indication of the current velocity of these  transgressions and regressions, only variations in the level of the oceans.  Detrital sedimentary rocks alone (resulting from mechanical desegregation) would  have required a minimum current to transport the particles from where they were  eroded to their sedimentation site.

Charles Lyell added a principle of uniformitarianism, giving as an example layers  deposited in fresh water in Auvergne. Observing that the layers were less than 1 mm  thick, he considered that each one was laid down annually. At this rate, the 230- m-thick deposit would have taken hundreds of thousands of years to form. In the  next section I show that these layers, which are laminae, do not always  corresponded to annual deposits and may be generated in a time interval much less  that the modern geological time-scale indicates.


 Experiments & Videos

Major stages of the laboratory research

Two principal stages of the program dwelt upon the following two lines of research:  lamination (Fig. 1) and stratification (Figs. 2, 3).

Fig. 1 : Lamination resulting from sediment flowing into water resulting-229x300.jpg

(1) Lamination

The following abstract of my paper (Berthault, 1986) provided the basis of my  research on the deposit of heterogranular sediments in water, with and without a  current :

These sedimentation experiments have been conducted in still water with a  continuous supply of heterogranular material. A deposit is obtained, giving the  illusion of successive beds or laminae (Fig. 1). These laminae are the result of a  spontaneous periodic and continuous grading process, which takes place immediately,  following the deposition of the heterogranular mixture. The thickness of the  laminae appears to be independent of the sedimentation rate but increases with  extreme differences in the particle size in the mixture. Where a horizontal current  is involved, thin laminated layers developing laterally in the direction of the  current are observed.

Video 1 : lamination (no sound)

The second series were performed at the Marseilles Institute of Fluid Mechanics.

The experiments demonstrate that in still water, continuous deposition of  heterogranular sediments gives rise to laminae, which disappear progressively as  the height of the fall of particles into water (and apparently their size)  increases. Laminae follow the slope of the upper part of the deposit. In running  water, many closely related types of lamination appear in the deposit, even  superposed (Berthault, 1988).

(2) Stratification

Experiments in stratification were conducted in the Fort Collins hydraulics  laboratory of the Colorado State University with professor of hydraulics and  sedimentology Pierre Julien [video 2 : Fort Collins hydraulics laboratory].

Video 2 : Fort Collins hydraulics laboratory (no sound)

For these, it was necessary to operate with water in a recirculating flume  traversed by a current laden with sediment. As Hjulstrom (1935) and his successors  had defined the critical sedimentation rate for each particle size, the current  velocity would need to be varied. By modulating the current velocity, a  superposition of segregated particles could be obtained.

The flume experiment showed that in the presence of a variable current, stratified  superposed beds prograde simultaneously in the direction of the current (Fig. 2)  [video 3 ].

Video 3 (no sound)

The result, on the scale of strata, is also conform, on the scale of facies [video  4 ] to Golovkinskii, Inostranzev and Walther’s law (Walther, 1894 ; Middleton,  1973; Romanovskii, 1988), according to which the extension of facies of the same  sequence is the same both laterally and vertically [video 5 ].

Video 4 (no sound)

Video 5 (no sound)

Fig. 2. Typical longitudinal view of deposition (flow from right to left). longitudinal-view-of-deposition-flow-from-right-to-left.jpg

The report of the experiment entitled Experiments in Stratification of  Heterogeneous Sand Mixtures was published in (Julien et al., 1993).

This experimental study examines possible stratification of heterogeneous sand  mixtures under continuous (non-periodic and non-interrupted) sedimentation. Three  primary aspects of stratification are considered: lamination, graded beds, and  joints.

(1) Experiments on segregation of eleven heterogeneous mixtures of sand-sized  quartz, limestone and coal demonstrate that through lateral motion, fine particles  fall between interstices of the rolling coarse particles. Coarse particles  gradually roll on top of fine particles and microscale sorting is obtained.  Microscale segregation similar to lamination is observed on plane surfaces, as well  as under continuous settling in columns filled with either air or water.

Fig. 3. Results of experiments.
(A) Schematic formation of graded beds.
(B) Time sequence of deposit formation for t 1 < t 2 < t 3. experiments.gif

(2) The formation of graded beds is examined in a laboratory flume under steady  flow and a continuous supply of heterogeneous particles. Under steady uniform flow  and plane bed with sediment motion, coarse particles of the mixture roll on a  laminated bed of mostly fine particles. In non-uniform flow, the velocity decrease  caused by tail-gate induces the formation of a stratum of coarse particles  propagating in the downstream direction. On top of this cross-stratified bed, fine  particles settle through the moving bed layer of rolling coarse particles and form  an almost horizontally laminated topset stratum of finer particles. A thick stratum  of coarse particles thus progresses downstream between two strata of laminated fine  particles, continuously pro-grading upward and downstream

Video 6 (no sound)

Video 7 (no sound)

(3) Laboratory experiments on the desiccation of natural sands also show  preferential fracturing (or joints) of crusty deposits at the interface between  strata of coarse and fine particles.

Rather than successive sedimentary layers, these experiments demonstrate that  stratification under a continuous supply of heterogeneous sandy mixtures results  from segregation for lamination, non-uniform flow for graded beds (Fig. 4)  Superposed strata are not, therefore, necessarily identical to successive  sedimentary layers.

Video 8 (no sound)

Video 9 (no sound)

Video 10 (no sound)

Fig. 4. : Typical cross-sectional view of deposit sectional-view-of-deposit-1024x682.jpg

Fig. 5 : Horizontal fracturing of the Bijon Creek sand fracturing-of-the-Bijon-Creek-sand-1024x676.jpg

Our flume experiments demonstrated that Stenon’s assumption (strata are ancient  successive sediments) and his principle of superposition can only apply in the  absence of a current (transport velocity nil). Moreover, the experiments reported  in my second paper to the Academy of Sciences and experiments conducted by P.  Julien and presented by video Fundamental Experiments on Stratificationat several  sedimentological congresses clearly show that up to the limit of the angle of  repose (30o to 40o for the sands), the lamination of the deposit is parallel to the  slope (Fig. 6)

. In this case the principle of horizontxality does not apply. It should not,  therefore, be concluded that the dip of the strata necessarily implies tectonic  movements subsequent to the horizontal deposit of the strata.

Video 11 (no sound)

Fig. 6 : Lamination parallel to a slope of 15o parallel-to-a-slope-of-15.jpg

Fundamental Experiments in Stratification – Full video

A presentation for a more general public – Full video


 Paleohydraulic Analysis
Paleohydraulic conditions

Analysis of the main principles of stratigraphy on the basis of experimental data  is necessary to determine the hydraulic conditions that existed when the sediments,  which have become rocks, were deposited.
In this respect, the relation between hydraulic conditions and configuration of  deposits (submarine ripples and dunes and horizontal beds) of contemporary deposits  have been the object, especially recently, of well-known observations and  experimentation. Examples are works of Rubin (Rubin and McCulloch, 1980) (Fig. 7)  in a sea environment (San Francisco Bay) and Southard (Southard and Boguchwal,  1990) (flume experiments).

Fig. 7. Graphs of (a) water depth vs. sand-wave height and (b) water depth vs.  water velocity, showing bedforms in fine sand expected under different water  conditions. The thickness of cross beds observed in fine-grained sandstone is used  to estimate sand-wave height. Then, sand-wave height is entered into the graph (a)  to estimate the water depth where the sand wave formed. After a water depth is  estimated on graph (a), the depth is transferred to graph (b), where the minimum  and maximum velocities of water are indicated for the specific water depth. water-depth-vs-sand-wave-height-and-b-water-depth-vs-water-velocity1.jpg

Meanwhile, Hjulstrom and his successors (Hjulstrom, 1935; Lebedev, 1959; Neill,  1968; Levi, 1981; Maizels, 1983; Van Rijn, 1984; Maza, Flores, 1997) have  determined a minimum velocity of erosion and sedimentation for each particle size  at a given depth (table).

These relations can be applied particularly to detrital rocks, such as sandstone,  the first stage of a transgressive marine sequence resulting from a process of  erosion, transport, sedimentation, driven by an initially erosive powerful current  in shallow water. The competence, i.e., the paleovelocity of current below which  particles of a given size deposit, and the corresponding capacity of sedimentary  transport of the current can be determined. These two criteria determine the time  for sequence to deposit.

When the transgression reached its maximum depth and correlatively the velocity of  current tended toward zero, the finest particles, transported initially by the  transgressive current, precipitated at known fall velocities and eventually by  flocculation [video 1 ]. It is, therefore possible, not only to appreciate the time  the particles took to fall but, based on the capacity, to evaluate the time taken  for the sediment to precipitate. Such data would, of course, only be minimum, but  it would nevertheless give access to knowledge of the genesis of sedimentation.

Table. Maxima permissible velocities or non-erosive for non-cohesive grounds, in  m/s (selon Lischtvan–Lebediev)

video 1 (no sound)

V Average diameter of particles, in mm    
....... Average flow depth, in m
0.40    1.0    2.0    3.0    5.0    >10
–    –    –    –    –    –    –
0.005   0.15   0.2   0.25   0.3   0.4   0.45
0.05   0.2   0.3   0.4   0.45   0.55   0.65
0.25   0.35   0.45   0.55   0.6   0.7   0.8
1   0.5   0.6   0.7   0.75   0.85   0.95
2.5   0.65   0.75   0.8   0.9   1   1.2
5   0.8   0.85   1   1.1   1.2   1.5
10   0.9   1.05   1.15   1.3   1.45   1.75
15   1.1   1.2   1.35   1.5   1.65   2
25   1.25   1.45   1.65   1.85   2   2.3
40   1.5   1.85   2.1   2.3   2.45   2.7
75   2   2.4   2.75   3.1   3.3   3.6
100   2.45   2.8   3.2   3.5   3.8   4.2
150   3   3.35   3.75   4.1   4.4   4.5
200   3.5   3.8   4.3   4.65   5   5.4
300   3.85   4.35   4.7   4.9   5.5   5.9
400      4.75   4.95   5.3   5.6   6
>500         5.35   5.5   6   6.2


 Time of Sedimentation

A team of Russian sedimentologists, directed by Alexander Lalomov (Russian Academy  of Sciences, Institute of Ore Deposits) applied paleohydraulic analyses to  geological formations in Russia. One example was the publication of a first report  in 2007 by the “Lithology and Mineral Resources”, journal of the Russian Academy of  Sciences. It concerned the Crimean Peninsular. It showed that the time of  sedimentation of the sequence studied corresponded to a virtually instantaneous  episode, whereas  according to stratigraphy it took several millions of years.  Moreover, a second report concerning the North-West Russian plateau in the St.  Petersburg region shows that the time of sedimentation was much shorter than that  attributed to it by the stratigraphic time-scale: 0.05% of the time.

The third report concerning the the Ural determines equally the time of  sedimentation.
I concluded an agreement with the Institute of Kazan for the Moskovite team of  sedimentologists to determine the paleohydraulic conditions of the local  transgressive sequence studied in 1868 by Golovkinskii, founder of sequence  stratigraphy.

This forth report determines equally the time of sedimentation.

We presented their report to the 33rd International Congress of Geology held in  Oslo in August 2008, and in Ekaterinburg (Russia), in October at the 5th Conference  on Lithology.
A new series of experiments  was arranged with the St. Petersburg Institute of  Hydrology to study erosion of different types of rocks (sandstone, limestone) at  higher velocities of water current up to 27m\s to ascertain their rate of erosion  over time and to provide the formation of conglomerates, to know the critical  velocity of erosion of conglomerates seen in sandstone at the base of   transgressive sequences.  Initially, the water current was parallel to the surface  plane of the sedimentary sample. The results show that at a velocity of around 25m \s, erosion was nil; where the period of the experiment was less than an hour.  However, when the period reached  18h the erosion was around 2 grams. Experiment 25  was done with a sample whose surface was at an angle of 2.5 degrees to the  direction of the current. In this case erosion reached 6.6g. in 18h. of-the-pre-report-of-the-Institute-of-Hydrology.jpg



The dating principles determined in the 17th century by an anatomy professor of  Copenhagen University, Stenon (Molyavko et al., 1985), upon which the geological  time-scale is founded should be re-examined and supplemented.

The most probable way of determining the genesis of sedimentary rocks is, first, to  identify cycles of transgressive-regressive sequences by sequence stratigraphy. The  results of our flume experiments are relevant in this connection. They show that in  the presence of a current, strata in a sequence are not successive. Change of  orientation in stratification, or erosion surfaces between facies of the same  sequence, or between superposed sequences can result from a variation in the  velocity of an uninterrupted current. Bed plane partings separating facies or  sequences can result from desiccation following the withdrawal of water.

Having established the sequences of cycles, their paleohydraulic conditions must be  determined. These would be minimum conditions, because it is possible that certain  cycles, resulting from tectonic processes, attained an amplitude beyond anything  comparable today.

Given the paleohydraulic conditions,the sediment transport capacity by unit of  volume and time,can be determined in reference to sedimentary mechanics.  Consequently,the time of sedimentation of a sequence is the quotient of the volume  of the sequence by the sediment transport capacity. For the sequence of  St.Petersburg region, this time represents only 0.05% of the time attributed by the  geologic time-scale.

Knowledge of paleohydraulic conditions should help to determine better the paleo- ecological zones (depth and site) of the species which, as with the sediments, were  dragged along by the currents. It might also provide a better explanation of the  layering of fossil zones in the sediments of sedimentary basins.

By calling into question the principles and methods, upon which geological dates  are founded, and in proposing the new approach of paleohydraulogy, I hope to open a  dialogue with specialists in the disciplines concerned, who are able to appreciate  the implications, and propose a geological chronology in conformity with  experimental observation.



Exxon Systematics

A further contradiction of Stenon’s principles of stratigraphy can be seen in  sequence stratigraphy, for instance, by examining the EXXON SYSTEMATICS diagrams  (Stranded parasequences and the forced regressive wedge systems tract : deposition  during base-level fall , Hunt & Tucker – 1992, Sediment. Geol., 81:1-9).

In the upper diagram 1. STRATAL PATTERNS, LSW consist of two superposed facies  (shelf margin and foreslope facies). In the lower diagram 2. CHRONOSTRATIGRAPHY,  each of the five horizontal lines in LSW, which are isochrones relating to the  vertical geological time scale on the right of the diagram, and correspond to the  five positions of the slope in the upper diagram, cut across the two facies. This  indicates a simultaneous deposition of the two facies, which is in contradiction to  Steno’s principle of superposition, when the lowest stratum formed, none of the  superior strata existed, here applied to superposed facies.


Apart from sedimentology, there are two other important subjects which I think are  relevent.

Radiometric Dating

The second concerns radiometric dating. Brent Dalrymple, a leading specialist in  K/Ar dating has given examples of several volcanoes where the year of eruption is  historically known and where the K/Ar dating is completely divergent.

In 1996 American Geologist Steven Austin agreed to use this method to date the late  eruption of Mt. St. Helens which occurred in 1986. He took a sample of the dacite  from the cone of the eruption, reduced part of it to its component parts and sent  them, together with the whole-rock, to an American laboratory for dating. The  results were published by CEN Tech. J. , vol. 10, n3, 1996 :



Please note that some of these documents are scans of the original and may take long to download.

Dilly, R., Berthault, G.: “Orogenesis: Cause of sedimentary formations” – The Russian Academy of Sciences scientific Council on Lithology and Minerals in Sedimentary Formations – VIII All-Russian Lithological Meeting (Moscow, 27-30 October 2015), Tome II, pp. 162-164

Berthault, G. : “Orogenesis: Cause of sedimentary formations” – Kazan Golovkinsy Stratigraphic Meeting, 2014, pp.19-20

Lalomov, A., Berthault G., Tugarova, M., Isotov V., Sitdikova L.: “Reconstruction of sedimentary conditions of Middle Permian Kama-Ural basin studied by N.A.Golovkinsky” – Kazan Golovkinsy Stratigraphic Meeting, 2014, pp.53-54

Berthault, G. : “Orogenesis: cause of sedimentary formations” – “Open Journal of Geology“ ISSN 2161-7570.Vol 3, Number 28, April 2013.

Berthault G. : “Towards a Refoundation of Historical Geology” – “Georesources” 1(12) 2012, p.38, 39

Berthault, G., Lalomov, A. V. and Tugarova, M. A. : “Reconstruction of paleolithodynamic formation conditions of Cambrian-Ordovician sandstones in the Northwestern Russian platform” – “Lithology and Mineral Resources, 2011, Volume 46, Number 1, 60-70” (Springer Publishing site)

Berthault, G., Veksler A.B., Donenberg V.M. , Lalomov A. : “RESEARCH on EROSION OF CONSOLIDATED and semi-consolidated SOILS BY HIGH SPEED WATER FLOW” Izvestia.VNIIG., 2010, Vol. 257, pp.10-22. – (Russian original.)

Lalomov, A. : “Reconstruction of Paleohydrodynamic Conditions during the Formation of Upper Jurassic Conglomerates of the Crimean Peninsula”, Lithology and Mineral Resources, 2007, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 268–280

Berthault, G : “Sedimentological Interpretation of the Tonto Group Stratigraphy (Grand Canyon Colorado River)” , Lithology and Mineral Resources 2004, Vol. 39, No 5. October 2004.

Berthault G., “Analysis of Main Principles of Stratigraphy on the Basis of Experimental Data”, Litol.Polezn.Iskop.2002, vol 37, no.5,pp 509-515 (Lithology and Mineral resources 2002 (fac-similé) (Engl.Transl.), vol.37, no.5, pp442-446), Journal of the Academy of Sciences of Russia.

Julien, P.Y., Lan, Y., and Berthault, G., “Experiments on Stratification of Heterogeneous Sand Mixtures”, Bulletin Société Géologique de France, 1993, vol. 164, no. 5, pp. 649–660.

Berthault, G., “Sedimentation of a Heterogranular Mixture. Experimental Lamination in Still and Running Water”, Compte rendu de l’Académie des Sciences 1988, vol. 306, Serie II, pp. 717–724.

Berthault, G., “Sedimentologie: Expériences sur la lamination des sédiments par granoclassement périodique postérieur au dépôt. Contribution a l’explication de la lamination dans nombre de sédiments et de roches sédimentaires”., Compte rendu de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris 1986 , vol. 303, Ser., 2, no. 17, pp. 1569-1574.


Lalomov, A. and Tugarova, M. A. : REPORT for 2008 joint research of Geological Laboratory ARCTUR (Moscow) and Lithological department of Geological Faculty of St.-Petersburg State University “RECONSTRUCTION OF PALEOHYDRAULIC CONDITIONS OF DEPOSITION OF PERMIAN STRATA OF KAMA REGION STUDIED BY GOLOVKINSKY”

Lalomov, A. : FINAL REPORT for 2006 – 2007 joint research of Geological Laboratory ARCTUR (Moscow) in co-operation with Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits Russian Academy of Science (IGEM RAS) and Research – Exploration Centre “Monitoring” (Khanty–Mansiisk, West Siberia) – “PALEOCHANNELS OF URAL FOLDED BELT AND PIEDMONT AREA: RECONSTRUCTION OF PALEOHYDRAULIC CONDITIONS”
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