Remembering Mount St. Helens 35 Years Later | The Institute for Creation Research

Remembering Mount St. Helens 35 Years Later

The volcano’s main 1980 eruption filled in an entire valley with hundreds of feet of sediment. Another smaller eruption event deposited more material on top of that, and then a third deposition occurred in 1982. Later, a catastrophic flood of snowmelt water and muddy debris tore a gash through those fresh deposits, revealing sharp and flat contacts between each earlier deposit. It also showed that fast-flowing currents can lay down multiple layers thinner than a finger width.

Mount St. Helens revealed to the world that both thick and thin layering can happen fast. Millions of years are not needed to form sedimentary rock or stratigraphic layering.

Sedimentary layers hundreds of feet thick formed within hours during the eruption itself, and then hardened into rock soon after the water drained from them. Could other layered sedimentary rocks in Earth’s crust have formed rapidly?

The mountain also provided a clear reason to distrust radioisotope dating. Geologist Steve Austin sampled new rock from atop the mountain that formed in 1986. If the K-Ar radioisotope method really works, then it should have revealed the rock’s true age of only ten years. Instead, three rock “ages” ranged from 340,000 to 2,800,000 years.1 What other rocks from around the world have been dated incorrectly by following those same questionable age-dating protocols?

Because of the Mount St. Helens eruption, scientists know that sedimentary rock layers and steep-walled canyons can form in only hours, rather than millions of years. The documented evidence is undeniable. It also exposes flaws in radioisotope dating. In just the past 35 years, catastrophism has become readily accepted in the geological sciences. How many other Earth surface features will scientists recognize as having formed suddenly or much more recently than previously recognized?

References

  1. Austin, S. A. 1996. Excess Argon within Mineral Concentrates from the New Dacite Lava Dome at Mount St. Helens Volcano. Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal. 10 (3): 335-343.

*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on May 26, 2015.

The Latest
NEWS
Saturn’s Moons Continue to Challenge Secular Theorists
A recent article in Sky & Telescope magazine explains why secular theorists have difficulty agreeing on the ages of Saturn’s moons.1...

NEWS
Support Creation Ministry in Texas and Beyond
ICR scientists and support staff recently completed a two-week science expedition through the Great Plains and western mountain states to conduct scientific...

NEWS
Great Unconformity Best Solved by Global Flood
The Great Unconformity is one of the most baffling mysteries in the geological sciences.1 It is marked by a massive surface of erosion that...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...