What does Ormiston Gorge have to do with the very first Rainbow?

Posted by Elaine June 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM AEST

Someone drew my attention to this article recently and it immediately had my attention. That the flood described in the Bible in the time of Noah had an influence on the formation of these beautiful cliffs makes so much sense to me now….. Here’s the article:

Ormiston Gorge – Central Australia
The spectacular geology and landforms of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia are graphically revealed in Ormiston Gorge, which cuts some 300 metres deep through a high ridge, around 135 km west of Alice Springs.

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The gorge exposes thick strata that were deposited very early in Noah’s Flood during the initial high-energy period as the waters started to burst accross the earth. The thick beds are part of the Heavitree Quartzite, which is widespread through Central Australia. The strata, stacked like vast pancake sheets, indicate that the sediment was laid down by high-energy flows of water that covered a large area.1 (Within the evolutionary timescale the rocks are assigned to the Neoproterozoic some 800 to 760 million years ago, but the catastrophic nature of Noah’s Flood washes those ideas of long ages away.)

Later during the Flood, as the waters continued to rise during this geological upheaval, enormous forces in the earth’s crust slid the rocks across the earth, bending and cracking them. Two layers of quartzite are visible in the cliff. The top layer was thrust some 2 km from the north to its current location, and sits on another slab of quartzite, forming what is known as a thrust zone.
Terrain view of Google Maps shows Ormiston Creek flowing through the steep-sided Ormiston Gorge, which cuts through ridge of the Heavitree Quartzite.

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Some months later, after the waters of the Flood had come upon the earth and peaked over what would become the continent of Australia, more tectonic upheavals began to unfold. The the ocean basins began to sink causing the water to start draining from the continent. The landforms around Central Australia were carved by the enormous forces of the retreating floodwaters.
The creek enters Ormiston Gorge flowing west and changes direction in the gorge to flow south. Downstream of the gorge the creek flows through the rocky ridges that run in an east-west direction.
These deep gashes across the rock ridges are called water gaps, narrow gorges that the creeks now run through. There are many water gaps in Central Australia, some of which are clearly visible in the Google Earth image above.

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Geological map (extract from 1:250000 SF 53 13) illustrates how the rock units have been pushed and twisted by tectonic forces. The rich brown area Puh represents the Heavitree Quartzite. Thick black lines indicate faults. Lines with black triangles represent thrust faults where one layer of strata has pushed on top of another.

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Geological map (extract from 1:250000 SF 53 13) illustrates how the rock units have been pushed and twisted by tectonic forces. The rich brown area (Puh) represents the Heavitree Quartzite. Thick black lines indicate faults. Lines with black triangles represent thrust faults where one layer of strata has pushed on top of another.

These water gaps were formed by the retreating floodwaters. In the middle of the Flood when the water was deep over the land and began to retreat, it flowed over the ranges shaving some parts of them a little lower. As the water level dropped, the high parts of the ridges emerged, and the receding water was constrained to flow through low parts, cutting a gap. As the water continued to drain through the gap, it cut the gorge deeper and deeper.

The orange and red quartzite rock in Ormiston Gorge is cut by fractures, allowing large, hard boulders to break free from the wall and fall onto the floor below. Although many boulders are lying around, there are not many of them compared with the size of the gorge. This indicates that the gorge walls are relatively young, and that erosion has not been going on for millions of years. Otherwise the gorge would be full of boulders.

Reference 1. Lindsay, J.F., Heavitree Quartzite, a Neoproterozoic (ca800–760 Ma), high-energy, tidally influenced, ramp association, Amadeus Basin, Central Australia, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 46:127–139, 1999.

So what do we know about Noah?

He was destined to bring change:
Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, “He will bring us relief from the painful labor of farming this ground that the LORD has cursed.” Genesis 5:29

He found favour with the LORD. Genesis 6:8

This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him. Genesis 6:9

God said to Noah, "It’s all over. It’s the end of the human race. The violence is everywhere; I’m making a clean sweep. "Build yourself a ship from teakwood. Make rooms in it. Coat it with pitch inside and out. Make it 450 feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high. Build a roof for it and put in a window eighteen inches from the top; put in a door on the side of the ship; and make three decks, lower, middle, and upper. "I’m going to bring a flood on the Earth that will destroy everything alive under Heaven. Total destruction. "But I’m going to establish a covenant with you: You’ll board the ship, and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives will come on board with you.

You are also to take two of each living creature, a male and a female, on board the ship, to preserve their lives with you: two of every species of bird, mammal, and reptile – two of everything so as to preserve their lives along with yours. Also get all the food you’ll need and store it up for you and them."

Noah did everything God commanded him to do. Genesis 6:13-22

Finally, the day came when the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I consider you alone to be righteous. Genesis 7:1

Finally, the day came when the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I consider you alone to be righteous. 2 Take along seven pairs of each animal that I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others. 3 Then select seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and a female in each pair to ensure that every kind of living creature will survive the flood. 4 One week from today I will begin forty days and forty nights of rain. And I will wipe from the earth all the living things I have created.” 5 So Noah did exactly as the LORD had commanded him. 6 He was 600 years old when the flood came, 7 and he went aboard the boat to escape — he and his wife and his sons and their wives. 8 With them were all the various kinds of animals — those approved for eating and sacrifice and those that were not — along with all the birds and other small animals. 9 They came into the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. 10 One week later, the flood came and covered the earth. 11 When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, the underground waters burst forth on the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. 12 The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights. 13 But Noah had gone into the boat that very day with his wife and his sons — Shem, Ham, and Japheth — and their wives. 14 With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of breathing animal — domestic and wild, large and small — along with birds and flying insects of every kind. 15 Two by two they came into the boat, 16 male and female, just as God had commanded. Then the LORD shut them in. 17 For forty days the floods prevailed, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. 18 As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. 19 Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, 20 standing more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks. 21 All the living things on earth died — birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all kinds of small animals, and all the people. 22 Everything died that breathed and lived on dry land. 23 Every living thing on the earth was wiped out — people, animals both large and small, and birds. They were all destroyed, and only Noah was left alive, along with those who were with him in the boat. Genesis 7:1-23

Click this link to read more of what happened after the flood began to disappear Genesis 8

…. And the LORD was pleased with Noah’s sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.”

Then God told Noah and his sons, “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants, and with the animals you brought with you — all these birds and livestock and wild animals. I solemnly promise never to send another flood to kill all living creatures and destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, "I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures.

I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth.
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When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with everything that lives. Never again will there be a flood that will destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth." Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this is the sign of my covenant with all the creatures of the earth.” Genesis 9:1-17

And just this morning as I stood in teaming rain waiting for some glimpse of sunrise, I was blessed to capture a brilliant rainbow in the clouds, this rainbow of promise. I thank you for reading to the bottom of this epic . I would appreciate it if you could please pass this on to your friends, maybe they’ll may find this fascinating too!

2014 – From Elaine Costin – Capturing Sunrise –