Express-Lane Magma Indicates Young Earth | The Institute for Creation Research

Express-Lane Magma Indicates Young Earth

Magma can really make tracks according to a recent study published in Nature that has significantly upped the perceived speed limit of magma movement in the earth.1 Philipp Ruprecht and Terry Plank examined rocks generated from the most recent, 1963–1965 eruption of the Irazú volcano in Costa Rica and found indications that the magma traveled at 150–300 feet per day and possibly as fast as several thousand feet per day. These findings present problems for old-earth theories that are based on sluggish magma movement.

Key factors in the study were the olivine crystals found in the rocks generated during this latest eruption. These crystals preserved the chemical signature of the mantle below the crust from as deep as 22 miles below the surface. Lack of chemical mixing within the magma below the volcano indicates that ascent times were extremely short, with travel from the top of the mantle to the surface taking only a matter of months.

Magmas ascend through the earth because the liquid is more buoyant than the surrounding rocks, somewhat like a hot air balloon traveling upward through the cooler air. However, for many decades, most uniformitarian scientists advocated slow-moving, slow-cooling magmas that inched their way to the surface over thousands or even millions of years.2 The present study smashes this ingrained myth, replacing it with evidence of a more rapid, "catastrophic" magma ascent.

Creation scientists advocate this theory of rapid ascent and cooling of magmas.2,3 Granites in the Front Range of Colorado and in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada, had telling ascent rates between 0.5 and 9.0 miles per year.2 However, these magmas originated in the crust at depths only 13 miles down. The Nature study reveals a rapid ascent from depths as far down as the top of the mantle—well beyond 20 miles deep!1

Secular scientists argue that the Sierra Nevada batholith in California, a large magma chamber many miles across, formed by slow magma movements, bit by bit, over a 40-million-year time span. However, based on this newer ascension-rate data, even extensive granitic batholiths, like the Sierra Nevadas, could have formed in just over 1,000 years.2

Studies showing the brisk rise of magma during volcanic eruptions are now becoming more common, and scientists are even considering such movement "catastrophic."4 Nature authors Ruprecht and Plank conclude, "This is not an isolated occurrence; magma mixing, mafic magma recharge, and high Fo [fosterite] olivines are common to many stratovolcanoes above subduction zones [i.e., the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon], and the approach we have outlined here may be applied generally."1

Evidence supporting rapid and catastrophic movement of magma fits the young-earth model, proving that millions and billions of years are not necessary to form the geologic features we see today. The reality is that volcanoes and magmas can form and move rapidly, a fact that confirms the youthful age of the earth spelled out in the book of Genesis.

References

  1. Ruprecht, P. and T. Plank. 2013. Feeding andesitic eruptions with a high-speed connection from the mantle. Nature. 500 (7460): 68-72.
  2. Snelling, A. 2009. Earth's Catastrophic Past, Volume 2. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 987-993.
  3. Woodmorappe, J. 2001. The rapid formation of granitic rocks: more evidence. Journal of Creation. 15 (2): 122-125.
  4. Petford, N. et al. 2000. Granite magma formation, transport and emplacement in the earth's crust. Nature. 408 (6813): 669-673.

Image credit: Tim Clarey

* Dr. Clarey is a Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Geology from Western Michigan University.

Article posted on September 13, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
Human Genome 20th Anniversary—Junk DNA Hits the Trash
The first rough drafts of the human genome were reported in 2001 (one in the private sector and one in the public sector).1-2 Since then, after...

NEWS
Bacterial Proteins Use Quantum Mechanics
Researchers have found a dimmer switch inside a protein. It tunes the protein’s configuration to take advantage of quantum mechanics during photosynthesis....

NEWS
Dr. Bill Cooper, ICR’s Adjunct Professor, Now in Glory
Earlier last month on March the 9th, Dr. William R. Cooper, ICR’s Master Faculty (known to ICR-SOBA’s faculty as “Dr. Bill” since...

NEWS
Inside April 2021 Acts & Facts
How will ICR expand biblical creation education this year? How do fossilized fish and land creatures confirm Genesis history? Does recent research support...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Bees
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Pleasure in Our Purpose
Eric Liddell was one of the most famous athletes of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest that Scotland ever produced. An international rugby player,...

APOLOGETICS
Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations
The sudden falling of some Christian schools can be compared to tiankengs, the geological term used for sinkholes that are at least 300 feet deep.1,2...

ACTS & FACTS
The Painted Desert: Fossils in Flooded Mud Flats
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Painted Desert stretches across 120 miles of northern Arizona. Its sedimentary rocks show bright...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Recent Research Support Human Evolution?
In 1997, the Institute for Creation Research ran an Acts & Facts article on the lack of compelling evidence regarding our supposed evolution from...

ACTS & FACTS
Building a Perfectly Optimal Flying Machine
For thousands of years, people have dreamed of flying because they witnessed birds and knew it was possible. Inspired by a study of birds, the Wright...