A recent study published in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America in 2010 entitled "Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian-Ordovician" by geologists Paul M. Myrow, Nigel C. Hughes, John W. Goodge, C. Mark Fanning, Ian S. Williams, Shanchi Peng, Om N. Bhargava, Suraj K. Parcha, and Kevin R. Pogue concludes that the sediments across an enormous stretch of earth from Pakistan to Bhutan (around 2,000 kilometers or 1,242 miles wide and thousands of feet deep) all came from a single source.

This is an extraordinary finding, as the title of their text admits, and one that is extraordinarily difficult to explain according to conventional uniformitarian theories. Their tests indicate that the sediments are uniformly mixed and identical over this vast distance, which would be next to impossible if they were blown there by the various winds or carried there by many different streams and rivers.

Another strange finding the geologists noted is the wide range of zircon ages in the zircon crystals mixed in with the sediments over this vast area.

Zircons are tiny mineral grains found in sediments around the world, and they contain trace levels of the radioactive elements uranium and thorium. These radioactive elements allow scientists to measure the amounts of those elements present and place dates on the zircons. In the study above, the geologists found that the sediments registered ages stretching from 3.2 billion years ago to only 300 million years ago -- causing them to conclude that all these uniform sediments were deposited very slowly over a vast stretch of time, which they also found extraordinary. For sediments to be blown or carried into place uniformly over such a vast area of earth's surface is itself extraordinary: for the conditions which allowed such extraordinary distribution to remain in place for billions of years is even more unlikely.

Using a conventional geological framework, the scientists were forced to conclude that "The great distances of sediment transport and high degree of mixing of detrital zircon ages [. . .] may be attributed to a combination of widespread orogenesis associated with the assembly of Gondwana, the equatorial position of continents, potent chemical weathering, and sediment dispersal across a nonvegetated landscape."

This speculative series of events is hardly a satisfying explanation. However, as is the case with numerous other geological facts which cause the conventional theorists great difficulty, the massive deposit of uniformly well-mixed sediments on the ocean-ward side of the Himalayas (stretching from Pakistan to Bhutan) can be well and simply explained by the hydroplate theory, as Dr. Walt Brown does when he discusses the 2010 geological study.

He writes:
During the compression event at the end of the flood, the sudden uplift of the Himalayas (today's tallest and most massive mountain range) forced the overlying flood waters to spill away from the rising peaks and down the flanks of the new mountain range. Massive amounts of sediments were carried with those violent waters and deposited in thousand-foot-thick layers at the base of the Himalayas. www.creationscience.com "Rising Himalayas" in the chapter in Part II entitled "The Origins of Earth's Radioactivity"
This explanation is certainly more coherent than the idea that vast portions of the region remained "nonvegetated" for billions of years, allowing "extraordinary distribution" of sediments (as the uniformitarian geologists propose).

But what about the finding that zircons mixed into the massive sediment deposit appear to have ages stretching from 3.2 billion years to only 300 million years? First, let us note that this fact gives the conventional theorists even bigger problems than the extraordinary size of the deposit itself. They do not have a good explanation for it, and it forces them to speculate that the very extraordinary conditions (which are difficult to believe in all by themselves) lasted for an astronomical length of time (which is even more difficult to swallow).

However, as it turns out, the hydroplate theory has a good explanation for the readings of radioactivity in the zircon grains, an explanation which is related to the problem of the origin of radioactivity itself.

Dr. Brown suggests that the radioactivity of materials within earth's crust was created by the powerful electrical and plasma discharges that accompany severe vibration and distortion of the earth's crust, which took place around the world in the events leading up to and during the rupture that initiated the cataclysmic global flood. Such plasma discharges are reported even today around extremely powerful earthquakes. Dr. Brown points out that multiple eyewitness accounts from the powerful New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 in the United States described such phenomena (many are listed on pages 46-47 of this 1912 book about those earthquakes, in which the author begins by saying "The phenomena of what may be termed 'light flashes' and 'glows' seem so improbable that they would be dismissed from consideration but for the considerable number of localities from which they were reported").

In this web page from the online version of his book (which Dr. Brown makes available to everyone free of charge), Dr. Brown explains the evidence supporting the hydroplate theory explanation of the origin of radioactivity on earth, evidence which conventional theories find difficult to explain. According to his theory, the electrical discharges which produced radioactivity would have also greatly accelerated the decay of the uranium and thorium found in zircons, which is why conventional dating that assumes constant decay at today's rates will come up with erroneously long ages for zircons, including those found below the Himalayas in the study above.

Dr. Brown points out that other studies which measure the diffusion of helium out of the same zircons that are measured at billions of years of age by the state of uranium and thorium decay come up with ages of only 4,000 to 8,000 years of age judging by the amounts of helium remaining in the zircons. This discrepancy simply cannot be explained by the conventional theories, although some have speculated that something could have kept the helium in the zircons somehow.

Dr. Brown's explanation, however, explains these findings. If the violent disturbance of the crust during the events surrounding the flood produced extreme electrical discharges which created radioactive materials in the crust, including the uranium and thorium in zircons, and if those powerful electrical discharges also produced accelerated decay in the uranium and thorium, then the uranium and thorium in zircon would appear to be very old to those who do not account for the accelerated decay, but the helium which is produced within the zircons by the decay of the uranium and thorium would leak out at known rates and produce a true reading of the age of the zircons -- only 4,000 to 8,000 years ago.

Dr. Brown elsewhere points out that the hydroplate theory's explanation for the origin of radioactive uranium is much more logical than the conventional theory, which has a very hard time explaining how an element such as uranium-235 with a half-life of only 700 million years is still around at all, if it was created along with the earth 4 to 6 billion years ago.

In short, the 2010 publication of the extraordinary sedimentary deposit stretching across the base of the Himalayas from Pakistan to Bhutan raises ever-more-puzzling questions for proponents of conventional geological theories, but it leads to ever-more-compelling evidence supporting the hydroplate theory.