46 Creation Research Society Quarterlythe development of a Flood-orientedsequence of geologic events by Walker(1994) provides a good framework (Fig-ure 1). Walker (1994) proposed that theretreating stage of the Flood includedtwo phases: an initial sheet-ﬂow phaseand a later channelized-flow stage.This two-stage sequence of events canexplain the features of the ColoradoPlateau, including Grand Canyon, andcan make sense of ﬁeld data that othermodels cannot explain.Geomorphology is the study of thelandscape features of Earth’s surface. Itis the area of geology best suited to exam-ine Grand Canyon. Within the differentclasses of landscape features, GrandCanyon is best classiﬁed as a water gap. A water gap is a deep, perpendicular cutin a ridge, mountain range, plateau, orsome other transverse barrier that car-ries a river or stream (Douglass, 2005).This paper will provide evidence for thelate Flood
for the carving of thecanyon, based on geomorphology and acomparison with other geomorphologi-cal features of the Earth’s surface. Thenext paper in this series will addressthe widespread sheet erosion event thatoccurred across the entire ColoradoPlateau prior to the erosion of GrandCanyon. This event is called the “GreatDenudation” by secular geologists.Large-scale sheet erosion occurred overvast areas of the southwest United States,caused by very broad currents that wereﬂowing east to northeastward. It was onlyafter the Great Denudation that GrandCanyon was eroded by more restrictedchannelized currents that ﬂowed in theopposite direction. This stage will be ad-dressed in the ﬁnal paper of this series.Over the course of this series, I willseek to demonstrate that the key to under-standing Grand Canyon in its geologicaland geomorphological setting is the two-stage nature of the late Flood retreat off of North America. I propose that no othercatastrophist or uniformitarian modelhas the comprehensive explanatory valueof this simple Flood explanation.
Geomorphology Demonstratesa Late-Flood Origin
In very few places on Earth can ge-ologists study sedimentary strata orstructural features as well as they canin Grand Canyon. However, there is adistinction between the geology that thecanyon makes visible and the canyonitself. The origin of Grand Canyon isessentially a problem in geomorphology(Meek and Douglass, 2001) becauseit is a landform. Geomorphology isthe geological science that studies thegeneral conﬁguration of Earth’s surface,especially the classiﬁcation, description,nature, and origin of landforms andtheir relationships to the underlyinggeological structures (Bates and Jackson,1984). Landforms are features that whentaken together make up the surface of the Earth (Bates and Jackson, 1984).They include broad features such asmountain ranges, plateaus, or plains,as well as small-scale features such ashills, valleys, slopes, canyons, or alluvialfans. Geomorphology is concerned withgeography, topography, shape, and otherpertinent features of landforms.The uniformitarian study of the geo-morphology of Grand Canyon has notprovided a solution to its origin, as Hillet al. (2008, p. 316) lament:
The history of Grand Canyon—itsage and how it formed as a physio-graphic unit—has been, and is, oneof the great unsolved problems of geomorphology. Past workers havehypothesized practically every di-rection imaginable for the ancestralroute of the Colorado River throughthe Grand Canyon region. Theyhave set dates for drainage throughthe canyon as early Eocene, lateEocene, early Miocene, Miocene,Pliocene, and Pleistocene. Theyhave described the Colorado Riveras being wholly, or in part, ante-cedent, superimposed, subsequent,consequent, obsequent, or resequent. And, they have debated (withoutresolution) how the disparate geo-morphic sections of Grand Canyonhave evolved together to create thetotal integrated canyon that we seetoday.
This uniformitarian fog aroundGrand Canyon is not unique; mysteriesabound in the uniformitarian attemptto explain other types of landforms(Oard, 2008a). Many of those myster-ies can be solved by applying a newparadigm—that of the Genesis Flood,especially the two phases of the retreat-ing stage (Figure 1), the sheet-ﬂow andthe channelized-ﬂow phases.The secret to understanding land-forms is the realization that each of thesetwo distinct phases of Floodwater retreathad its own distinct erosional patternsand that the channelized-ﬂow patternsare superimposed on top
of featurescreated by the sheet-ﬂow phase. This isdemonstrated clearly with the ColoradoPlateau and Grand Canyon. But ﬁrst, wewill delve into the geomorphologicalevidence that Grand Canyon was indeedcarved late in the Genesis Flood.Since the Flood provides reason-able explanations for geomorphologicalfeatures on a global scale (Oard, 2008a),and since Grand Canyon is merely oneof those features, it stands to reason thatthe Grand Canyon was carved duringthe late-Flood period.
Grand Canyon:Just Another Water Gap
A water gap is deﬁned as “a deep pass in amountain ridge, through which a streamﬂows; esp. a narrow gorge or ravine cutthrough resistant rocks by an antecedentor superposed stream” (Neuendorf et al.,2005, p. 715). This deﬁnition is similarto that from the older
Dictionary of Geo-logical Terms
(Bates and Jackson, 1984),and both contain genetic mechanismsthat should not be part of any geologi-cal deﬁnition. What is interesting aboutthese genetic terms (antecedent andsuperposed stream) is that they leaveout the most popular uniformitarianmechanism for the formation of water