The Numbers Just Don’t Add Up

Salt in the Sea

Figure 1: Every year, the continents, atmosphere, and seafloor add 458 million tons of salt into the ocean, but only 122 million tons (27%) is removed. At this rate, today’s saltiness would be reached in 42 million years. But God originally created a salty ocean for sea creatures, and the Flood quickly added more salt.

Rescuing Devices

Those who believe in a three-billion-year-old ocean say that past sodium inputs had to be less and outputs greater. However, even the most generous estimates can only stretch the accumulation timeframe to 62 million years.5 Long-agers also argue that huge amounts of sodium are removed during the formation of basalts at mid-ocean ridges,6 but this ignores the fact that the sodium returns to the ocean as seafloor basalts move away from the ridges.7

Dr. Andrew Snelling holds a PhD in geology from the University of Sydney and has worked as a consultant research geologist in both Australia and America. Author of numerous scientific articles, Dr. Snelling is now director of research at Answers in Genesis.


  1. M. Meybeck, “Concentrations des eaux fluvials en majeurs et apports en solution aux oceans,” Revue de Géologie Dynamique et de Géographie Physique 21, no. 3 (1979): 215. Back
  2. F. L. Sayles and P. C. Mangelsdorf, “Cation-Exchange Characteristics of Amazon with Suspended Sediment and Its Reaction with Seawater,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 43 (1979): 767–779. Back
  3. Steven A. Austin and D. Russell Humphreys, “The Sea’s Missing Salt: A Dilemma for Evolutionists,” in Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, R. E. Walsh and C. L. Brooks, eds., volume 2 (Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 1990), pp. 17–33. Back
  4. For a fuller treatment and further information see:
    John D. Morris, The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2000), pp. 85–87.
    Andrew A. Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood (Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2009), pp. 879–881. Back
  5. Austin and Humphreys, 1990. Back
  6. Glenn R. Morton, pers. comm., Salt in the sea, Back
  7. Calculations based on many other seawater elements give much younger ages for the ocean, too. See Stuart A. Nevins (Steven A. Austin), “Evolution: The Oceans Say No!” Impact no. 8. (Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1973). Back