The Wonder of Limestone – Ordovician Limestone.

Apologies for a late posting from a very jet-lagged Indy Joe! I am currently over in Tennessee, USA, which has actually given me the inspiration for this next post!

Exploring some of the deserted caves

Two days ago I visited a small town called Carthage, near Nashville. On the way we stopped to look in a road cutting that was full of fossils. It was a large cutting through limestone, all the layers running up the cliff face, and was absolutely chock-a-block full of brachiopod shell fossils.

With geologist Bob Powell
The large cutting through the rock

Now, the most interesting thing is that I knew exactly what rock it was. And exactly what fossils I would find in it. You see, I’d seen this rock type before, but not in Tennessee. I’d seen it all the way back in the UK…..

Just outside the village of Cheddar in Somerset, there is a very famous gorge. Towering up alongside the road that runs through the middle are the fantastic limestone cliffs. These are part of the Ordovician Limestone formation, just like the limestone in the Tennessee cutting, and they provide excellent evidence as to how they formed.

See the source image
Cheddar Gorge

The first thing we know is the limestone was formed underwater. We know this because of the incredible amount of marine fossils found in the formation. It is full of crinoids, brachiopods, bivalves, and shells. Because the shells are all squashed up together and pointing in the same direction, we know they were swept along by flowing water. In other words, the Ordovician limestone formation was formed in a flood.

Brachiopod
Brachiopod

So, how big was this flood? Well in the UK, the limestone formation goes from Cheddar Gorge, up to the Great Orme, near Llandudno, Wales, then up to the Lake District. So it covers a good chunk of the UK! But it then goes across the sea to the USA, where I am currently. It goes all around the country! So the flood covered at least 7,000 km.

But the story doesn’t end there. I visited Jenolan Caves in Australia in 2018, and guess what? It’s Ordovician limestone too! Same rock, same fossils, same everything. So this same flood went at least 25,000 km! Wow! This is a big flood!

Now I believe this is excellent evidence that the Bible is true, particularly with reference to Noah’s Flood. Many mock the concept of a worldwide flood, yet here we have marvellous evidence for it!