A.P. Coleman mentioned a whale (Megaptera longimana) found 420 feet above the sea in a gravel pit near Smith’s Falls, Ontario [Coleman, 1941, p. 94]. Also “the skull of a full-grown seal under a bouldery deposit at Finch ... showing typical marine conditions three hundred miles above the open Gulf of the St. Lawrence” [Coleman, 1941, p. 95].
Reference: A.P. Coleman, 1941. The Last Million Years, U. of Toronto Press.
Fossil whale and walrus bones and teeth in Michigan point to the effects of a flood, when the interior of the continent was submerged beneath the sea. How could whales swim up rivers so far inland?
Michigan's Fossil WhalesMarine squids once existed in Onondaga Lake near Syracuse, New York, according to this report:
John M. Clarke, The Squids from Onondaga Lake, NY, Science 16 (1902): 947Differential crustal uplift of the Great Lakes area can explain whale remains in Michigan and other marine fossils. The fast currents generated by the differential crustal movements can explain patterns of drumlins in the areas near the lakes, and the excavation of lake basins. Subsiding water levels caused the non-horizontal ancient high shorelines around the Great Lakes. See:
Origin of the Great LakesThe excavation of the lake basin of Lake Ontario points to the erosive power of catastrophic currents. Tilted shorelines of ancient high level beaches indicate crustal movements. Drumlins on the surrounding land show the former current flows. The crustal warping could be the clue to the cause of the currents which excavated Lake Ontario. Most geologists have assumed the uplift was a slow process, caused by "rebound" of the earth's crust when the ice melted. I. C. Russell wrote [Russell, I.C. 1900. Lakes of North America. Ginn and Co., Boston, p. 100]:
Drumlins and Diluvial Currents
Giant Current Ripples in Ontario's Bruce Peninsula
The amount of change in level shown by the warping of the beaches about Lake Ontario is considerable, and illustrates the character of the slow upheavings and subsidences known to be in progress over wide areas of the earth's surface. It is stated by Gilbert that "the old gravel spit near Toronto, belonging to what is known as the Davenport Ridge, is 40 feet higher than the contemporaneous gravel spit on which Lewiston is built; at Belleville, Ontario, the old shore is 200 feet higher than at Rochester; at Watertown, N.Y., 300 feet higher than at Syracuse; and the lowest point in Hamilton, Ontario, at the head of the lake, is 325feet higher than the highest point near Watertown. From these and other measurements..., we learn that the Ontario basin with its new attitude inclines more to the south and west than with the old attitudes." The general tilting has thrown the waters of Lake Ontario westward and flooded small tributary valleys so as to drown them and make miniature fjords.Movements in the earth's crust were also in progress during the long period in which the ancient lakes of the Laurentian basin were making their various records, as shown by the fact that the abandoned beaches do not lie in planes parallel with each other.
Russel's words, "The general tilting has thrown the waters of Lake Ontario westward", if taken more literally than the writer intended, give the idea of a violent displacement of the overlying waters at a time when the region was submerged, and this is the true scenario, I think, in which the basins of Lake Ontario and other Great Lakes were excavated, and the drumlins were formed.
A deeply eroded channel in bedrock at the eastern end of Lake Ontario was ascribed to "high velocity subglacial meltwater flow" by Gilbert and Shaw the paper referenced below.
Gilbert, R., and Shaw, J. 1992. Glacial and early postglacial lacustrine environment of a portion of northeastern Lake Ontario. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 29, 63-75. [See abstract.]For another discussion see:
Lewis, C.F.M. et al. 1996. Were the Ontario and Erie basins swept by catastrophic meltwater flooding? Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. 28 (3) 76.
Map showing the location of Kelleys Island.
View of the Canadian Falls
The gorge of the Niagara River has a complex history. During construction of railway bridges, drift gravel was found deep below the present Niagara River, beneath the talus blocks that have fallen down from the sides. Before this discovery, geologists had assumed the gorge had been eroded by a progressive slow retreat of the falls upstream, due to a "sapping" process at the falls, which undermined the harder dolomitic limestone above softer shale and sandstones, leading to periodic collapse of the limestone. Charles Lyell estimated 35,000 years were required for the formation of the gorge.
The presence of drift gravel below the river bed showed the river had eroded unconsolidated drift gravel and sand, like that which remained below the present river bed, rather than hard rock. This erosion of the gorge could occur much more rapidly than Lyell had claimed.
At least five cataracts, similar to the present one, spilled over the Niagara Escarpment, before the present gorge was excavated. Evidence for these former outlets exists at Holley, Medina, Gasport, Lockport, and Lewiston, all in NY. These outlets were associated with an ancient lake called Lake Tonawanda; this lake probably existed for only a brief period during the drainage of a former much larger Lake Erie, as the land was uplifted.
The drainage from the Lake Erie basin became confined to its most westerly outlet as the Niagara gorge was excavated. Most of the present gorge was probably eroded by a much larger volume of water than the present Niagara River. Traces of the former river bed can be found at various sites, high above the present river; for example at Niagara Glen. Smeaton Ravine, on the Canadian side, was the site of a small, temporary waterfall, 46 m wide. This torrent eroded a gorge 152 m long, and emptied into the Niagara River. The former more powerful currents probably eroded most of the gorge in a relatively short time span.
Conventional theory says a pre-glacial river eroded the upper part of the Niagara River Gorge, and the St David gorge, but this gorge was filled up with glacial drift by the glaciers. The pre-existing channel was partly re-excavated by the existing Niagara River.
A new alternative explanation is that the drift within the Niagara Gorge
was formed by an in situ disintegration process, during the retreat
of the flood waters, when the basins of the Great Lakes were excavated
by the fast currents generated by tectonic movements. This unconsolidated
drift sand and gravel of the Niagara Gorge was excavated by retreating
flood waters that drained the Lake Erie basin. At the Whirlpool, the course of the ancient drift filled valley split; one part was excavated by the currents, and the other remained unexcavated. The filled valley, 300 m wide and about 90 m deep, is the St. David buried gorge. [See map.] Well log data indicates other similar buried valleys occur below the surface in the area of the present town of Niagara Falls in Ontario. Some of these are upstream from the site of the present falls.
Niagara Falls: Origins
A Geological History of the Niagara Region
© 1999 by Douglas E. Cox
The Creation Concept