Theories of Alaska Muck Deposition Tanana Valley

There are some interesting problems for theories of glaciation as to how they explain large muck and silt deposits in Alaska. These deposits were mined in the late 1890's and early 1900's for gold and were extensively surveyed. It is the method of their formation and the contents of these deposits combined with their location which piqued my curiosity. I do not find the explanations given as to their origin to be convincing. I think the evidence points more convincingly towards some type of water born formation of these deposits. In particular the evidence regarding the finding of whole skeletons intact with flesh and hides still attached to the bones seems to me to preclude any of the standard geological theories of their deposition. The attempts at supporting an "aeolian" deposition process are very weak they do not account for the high proportion of water in these frozen deposits or the mangled carcasses of dead mammals or the volcanic ash layers etc. According to geologists, this area, " The Tanana river" region was not glaciated which creates another problem for those attempting to explain the origins of this very extensive muck and silt deposition. The deposits lie up to 200 ft in thickness and are comprised in the case of the muck of about 50% vegetable and animal matter often including vertebral remains. I have included an excerpt from a major journal article on this muck because it reveals the type of thinking which underlies the geologists attemtps to explain how this muck originated and how the organic matter came to be found there. I leave it up to the reader to deduce how logical these explanations are. It should also be added that these muck deposits are frozen and have been since they were deposited. This also creates problems for the explanations of their origins. I think it would be more logical to conclude that these deposits are evidence of flood borne material deposited in Alaska and that theories of Aeolian deposition fail to explain the organic remains of such huge mammals in the muck.

"Vertebrate remains-usually bones, but sometimes almost completed skeletons with skin and flesh adhering-occur throughout the muck. These remains include the living species such as moose, caribou, and many smaller types, and extinct species such as mammoth, mastodon, sabre-tooth tiger, super-bison, and camel. The occurence of most of the remains indicates that they have been washed,or slid into their present location, but a few are found in place. Usually where one fossil is found there are many, suggesting the possibility of a water hole where they congregated or a boggy spot where they may have been entrapped. The finding of complete skeletons indicates that the remains are where the animals died, and, when flesh is and hide are still adhering, that freezing and covering must have occured shortly after death....Organic material is so abundant in the muck that the odor from its decay is noticeable half a mile or more from the open-cuts ...."

This journal article by R.Tuck also contains interesting pictures of hydraulic strip mining by the goldminers which had exposed thousands of trees in the Goldstream valley "Alaska", in-situ and showing clearly that they were sheared off by some catastrophic action before being buried in this muck. There is a man standing in this destroyed forest in the photo showing by his height that the trees were broken off at about 2meters. R.Tuck the author of this article contends that an Aeolian process has created the muck deposits in Alaska but on p.1305 he states " The direct aeolian origin of the silt seems almost conclusive, but its contribution to the inorganic constituents of the muck is not known." The problem is that the muck and the silt are made up of the same constituents as Tuck admits earlier in this article. I think they are really the same material and ,therefore, the problem of their origin is still unsolved.

The above information and excerpt is located in the following journal:

Bulletin of the Geographical Society of America Vol51:pp.1295-1310,Sept01,1940 R.Tuck

Other ref which cover this problem in greater detail can also be found in Immanuel Velikovsky's book "Earth In Upheaval"Dell Pub N.Y.1955. Velikovsky was severely criticised by his critics for his theories but the references he has given in this book are accurate and available, I have checked most of the footnotes against the original journal articles.

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