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Steve Austin

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Dr. Steven A. Austin is a field research geologist with a Ph.D. from Penn State University in sedimentary geology. He is “Senior Research Scientist” with Institute for Creation Research in Dallas, Texas. He has performed geologic research on six of the seven continents of the world. His research adventures have taken him by helicopter into the crater of Mount St. Helens volcano, by bush plane onto glaciers in the high mountains of Alaska, by raft through the entire Grand Canyon, on horseback into the high Sierra, by elevator into the world’s deepest coal mines, by SCUBA onto the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, by rail into the backcountry of Korea, by foot onto barren plateaus of southern Argentina, and by four-wheel drive into remote desert areas of Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He is the author of three books, three videos, one computer software package, and more than thirty technical geology papers.

Dr. Austin’s field research within Grand Canyon includes over 400 nights camped out below the Canyon’s rim. He has launched 22 raft trips within Grand Canyon. He has explored very remote areas of Grand Canyon by mule, helicopter and ATV. His book “Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe” and his DVD “Grand Canyon: Monument to the Flood” summarize his investigations. He has over ten technical papers on Grand Canyon. Subjects of his technical publications on Grand Canyon include lava dams, breached dams, fossils, limestones, sandstones, basalts, diabase sills and radioisotope dating. He is widely known for his discovery of the regionally extensive mass-kill and burial bed within the Redwall Limestone about 2000 feet below the Canyon’s rim.

Steven A. Austin, Ph.D.
Institute for Creation Research
1806 Royal Lane
Dallas, Texas 75229
Phone: 800-337-0375

Current research

  • Mass-kill event and rapid burial of nautiloid fossils in a limestone layer within the Grand Canyon.
  • Mega-flood deposits within the Santa Cruz River valley of southern Argentina.
  • Frozen cones of spruce trees within a deeply buried peat layer on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in extreme northern Canada.
  • Gigantic slurry-flows in southern Alaska that were launched along superfaults and that produced widespread deposits composed of enormous boulders.

Professional data


B.S. in Geology from the University of Washington
M.S. in Geology from San Jose State University
Ph.D. in Geology from Pennsylvania State University

Professional Organizations

Member of the Geological Society of America
Member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Member of the Society for Sedimentary Geology
Member of the International Association of Sedimentologists



  • Austin, S.A., A.A. Snelling and K.P. Wise, Canyon-length mass kill of orthocone nautiloids, Redwall Limestone (Mississippian) Grand Canyon, Arizona, Abstracts with Programs, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, p. A-421, 1999.
  • Austin SA, Wise KP. 1999. Gigantic megaclasts within the Kingston Peak Formation (Upper Precambrian, Pahrump Group), Southeastern California: evidence for basin margin collapse. Geological Society of America Abstracts With Programs 31(7):A455.
  • JR Baumgardner, AA Snelling, DR Humphreys, and SA Austin. "The enigma of the ubiquity of 14 C in organic samples older than 100 ka". Eos Trans. AGU, 84(46), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract xxxxx-xx, 2003



Lecture topics

His Mount St. Helens lecture makes an excellent Sunday AM lecture. He has been in demand for doing debates, “Grand Canyon: Evolution or Creation?” Dr. Steve Austin’s primary lectures are:

Title Description
Mount St. Helens: Explosive Evidence for Creation (Steve’s experience at the volcano) See and experience the most significant geologic event of the twentieth century. See and understand geologic processes that created a new landscape and transformed geologists’ ways of thinking about how the Earth formed. We overlook the largest debris avalanche deposit to have formed within human history. Talking points are rapid strata formation, rapid erosion and log deposits of Spirit Lake . The field trip begins with an orientation lecture at the Seven Wonders Museum followed by a five-mile hike from Johnston Ridge Observatory to an overlooks of the valley of the North Fork of the Toutle River and Spirit Lake.
Geology and the Global Flood (Sedimentation, Tectonics, Erosion, Volcanism, Exponential Decline) Scripture describes a global flood in no uncertain terms. All major mountains of the world have fossil of sea creatures in very widespread sedimentary strata at high elevations. Five affirmations about geologic processes form the framework for understanding the geologic features of the earth: (1) sedimentation, (2) tectonics, (3) erosion, (4) volcanism, and (5) exponential decline. Catastrophic flood tectonics and sedimentation were followed by great volcanic events and colossal sheet-flood and channelized erosion. These global geologic processes have declined into the slower processes we see in the present world. Scripture forms the framework for interpreting the geology of the world we see.
Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History How did the catastrophic sedimentary and tectonic processes associated with the global flood form the world we see? Catastrophic plate tectonics was the theory devised by creationists 150 years ago to explain the geology of continents and ocean basins. Lately, creationists have modeled the ocean-floor upheaval that initiated the flood, subducted the pre-flood ocean floor, and propelled the oceans over the continents. Subduction of the pre-flood ocean floor moved continents into their present positions, and enlarged and deepened ocean basins. Major mountain ranges are the product of plate collisions. Left over heat and global cooling following the flood created the rapid post-flood ice age and Earth’s modern climate.
The Search for Sodom and Gomorrah (Steve’s explorations in Israel and Jordan) The lost cities are linked biblically to the region occupied by the “cities of the plain.” The key to locating the “cities of the plain” is to find the surviving city of Zoar . These cities must be southeast of the Dead Sea in the vicinity of modern Safi in the country of Jordan . Spectacular archaeological sites (Early Bronze III) exist that date to the time of Abraham. These cities show evidence of catastrophic collapse and burn. The cities were not rebuilt. The evidence points to a regional shaking event and a regional fire, even outside the walls of fortified cities. A regional earthquake associated with natural gas eruption and atmospheric ignition is the favored scenario for the natural/supernatural disaster. Those cities became famous for the nature of human wickedness, the swiftness of God’s judgment and the deliverance of the righteous.
  • Where Charles Darwin Went Wrong (the story of the Santa Cruz River in southern Argentina)
  • The Coming Mudrock Revolution: Understanding New Ways of Thinking in Geology
  • Amos’s Earthquake of 750 B.C. and its Extraordinary Impact on the Bible
  • Gigantic Mass-Kill Event of Squid in Grand Canyon
  • Current Research being Performed by FAST
  • Creation is the Foundation (Scripture on why the doctrine of Creation is foundational to understanding the world)
  • How Old is the Earth? (Steve’s way of looking at geologic evidence)


Where Charles Darwin Went Wrong - Steve Austin discusses flood geology formations on the Santa Cruz River in Southern Argentina, which were misinterpreted by Charles Darwin as evidence for an old Earth. Where Darwin Went Wrong

Videos from the Seattle Creation Conference 2009