Coral Growth

Posted by Pat on September 09, 1998 at 20:29:59:

In the Pacific, there are coral atolls growing on the tops of submerged volcanos. As the volcano slowly sinks, the coral grows upward to stay near the surface. At Enitiwok Atoll, US Army cores showed coral growth about a mile deep. Reef forming coral grows about 0.5 cm per year. It's obvious that the coral has been growing on some islands for hundreds of thousands of years.

You insisted that the coral was accumulated there rapidly. You offered two conflicting stories;

1. The coral was moved and concentrated there by unspecified means from unspecified places.

This has the weakness of not explaining how the coral blocks got neatly reassembled to simulate normal growth, or how the coral happened to get piled up there, or from whence it came, or even why the process stopped just as people got there to observe it.

2. The coral used to grow faster (would have to be at least hundreds of times faster)

The problem with this is that no one has ever seen reef coral grow that fast. It would use up huge amounts of nutrition, but that much calcium, protein, etc. in the water just poisons the coral. You can try it in an aquarium. And the heat produced would be greater than the coral could take. And the laws of chemistry have to be violated to get that kind of biochemical rate, or else the coral once had a biochemistry unlike anything we see today. And that brings up the question about why the process suddenly stopped just as people arrived to see it, and other processes picked up without a trace in the coral deposits. Or why the volcano stopped rapidly subsiding just as the process changed.


Response

Posted by stan on September 09, 1998 at 21:14:50:

Pat, could you explain how the volcano sank at the same rate the coral was growing for 320,000 years?

Response to stan

 

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 07:22:07:

Actually, it would most likely have been a lot longer than that. It would be highly unlikely that the volcano sunk at precisely the right rate to match the growth rate of the coral. So it must have been somewhat slower than 0.5 cm a year. There are examples of "failed reefs" where the volcano sunk faster than the coral could grow, and the atoll died as it went too deep for the coral to live. Odds are, Enitiwok is much older than the simple calculation I gave you would indicate.

Response to stan

Posted by Mockingbird1 on September 09, 1998 at 22:33:03:

PK: Interesting point. I'm guessing that coral grows in shallow water, but not above water, where it gets access to photosynthesizing plants flowing by.

PK: Can coral growths on bedrock suggest that sea levels rose as the reef grew?

Response to Mockingbird1

 

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 07:25:42:

I'm not an expert, but I understand that there are some ways to check on sea level fluctuations by looking at very old reefs. On the other hand, I think sea levels drop during ice ages, and I'm not sure how that would affect growth. I doubt very much that there have been fluctuations in the sea level to account for a mile of coral.

Response to Pat

 

Posted by karl on September 10, 1998 at 16:40:49:

The total amount of coral material in a reef or atoll is dependent upon the amount of multiplying reef building corals.

The 0.5 cm a years pointed out by Pat is not always the case. Scientist have noticed the growth rate around Krakatau in 1883 after the eruption was about 20 cm in 5 years. Some corals appear to grow at a much slower rate of 0.1cm per year. There are many factors that determine the growth rate of coral. It is very possible that after the flood conditions were right for large amounts of multiplying coral for a rapid growth of reefs or atolls. The uniformitarian viewpoint typically likes to look at current rates and infer backwards. This method is not always the most accurate or the best.

Response to karl

 

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 18:09:22:

No reef corals at all grew that fast. Other sessile animals did grow rapidly, but they don't build reefs. It is these others to which karl refers.

karl:

Some corals appear to grow at a much slower rate of 0.1cm per year. There are many factors that determine the growth rate of coral. It is very possible that after the flood conditions were right for large amounts of multiplying coral for a rapid growth of reefs or atolls.

 

Pat:

This is a testable assertion. One merely has to get an aquarium tank and reproduce whatever conditions were presumed to exist. Those who actually do this assure me that karl is full of prunes. If you put enough nuturients into the water to build a reef at that rate, you just poison the coral.

Response to Pat

 

Posted by karl on September 10, 1998 at 22:25:21:

The total amount of coral material in a reef or atoll is dependent upon the amount of multiplying reef building corals. The 0.5 cm a years pinyted out by Pat is not always the case. Scientist have noticed the growth rate around Krakatau in 1883 after the eruption was about 20 cm in 5 years.

Pat :

No reef corals at all grew that fast. Other sessile animals did grow rapidly, but they don't build reefs. It is these others to which karl refers. I've asked him repeatedly for the reference showing that reef coral grew that fast. He declined to reply.

karl:

Would it help?

ref: from The Genesis Flood page 408

ref: Ph. H. Kuenen: Marine Geology, (New York, Wiley, 1950) p 421

 

Response to karl

Posted by Pat on September 10, 1998 at 22:59:51:

Here's from the National Marine Web Page:

"Growth and Reproduction

Reef-building corals grow in size by increasing the amount of carbonate calcium in their skeleton and adding new living tissue tocover the larger skeleton. Under idealconditions, some species of coral form boulders which can be taller than an adult human. This process takes decades as boulder-type corals grow less than onecentimeter per year. Thinner, branching corals grow as quickly as ten centimeters per year, but are easily broken in strongstorms or as a result of human impact. Theage of corals can be determined by examining coral growth rings, similar to counting rings in the trunk of a tree, or through theuse of radioisotopes. "

 

Reef coral grows rather slowly. The thinner, branching coral grows rather faster, but does not add significantly to the reef.
And, as I pointed out to you before, the "growth" near Krakatoa was not reef coral.

 

For information about coral reef dating see http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v14/n1/coral-reef

 

 

 

 
 
CARM ison
 
 
CARM.org
Copyright 2014

CONTACT US:
CARM Office number: 208-466-1301
Office hours: M-F; 9-5 pm; Mountain Time
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: CARM, PO BOX 1353, Nampa ID 83653