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7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens

 
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01/10/2005 02:56 PM
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7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
[link to web.archive.org]
Lloyd and Doris Anderson are the stewards of the Mount St. Helens Creation Information Center, near Toutle, Washington, in the shadow of Mount St. Helens (MSH). They have assembled a wide array of information and illustrations in the Information Center and invite families, home schoolers, church groups, and other interested persons to contact them at the address below, and feel free to come and spend some time at the center when visiting Western Washington State. (The Center is a few miles east of I-5, between Seattle and Portland.)

Intro for MSH Creation Information Center: [link to web.archive.org]
7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
by Lloyd & Doris Anderson

Introduction: The 7 Wonders, summarized below, are seven geological features resulting from the eruptive activity of the ‘80’s and displayed at the MSH Creation Information Center. Because they were formed rapidly they challenge evolutionary thought which assigns long ages to such formations. We call them “wonders” because of the awe they produce. In fact, it is our persuasion that these wonders are a message from God to remind man of the speed in which He created the world.


1. Mountain rearranged beyond recognition in nine hours. MSH was acclaimed the most beautiful of the Cascade peaks. Cone-shaped and snow-covered, it towered over heavily-forested deep ravines with a crystal clear lake to its north. In March of 1980, magma began moving up into the mountain wedging it apart. A powerful earthquake at 8:32 a.m., on May 18, caused the north slope to plunge into the valleys below, releasing the pressure within with a lateral, northward, fan-shaped explosion. This initial eight minute blast destroyed 230 square miles of forest.

The mountain continued to erupt until evening, expending the power of 20,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs. In those nine hours, the top 1/4 and entire center of the mountain disappeared, leaving a vast, gaping, horseshoe-shaped crater. Deep ravines were filled, 250’ of material was deposited on the bottom of the lake, and the river that drained the north and northwest sides of the mountain was buried under an average of 150’ of deposit. In just nine hours the region had become a hideous, lifeless moonscape.

For 150 years geological evolution minimized the role of catastrophic events. Yet the enormous geological change produced by this nine-hour eruption of a minor volcano would take a million years of gradual change.

2. Canyons formed in five months. In the five months following the eruption two canyons were formed by mud and pyroclastic flows, establishing drainages for the 1.5 x 2.0 mile crater. The primary drainage, Step Canyon, is up to 700’ deep. To its east is Loowit Canyon. Both canyons cut through 100’ of solid rock. Creeks flow through each canyon. The typical evolutionary explanation is that a creek slowly forms a canyon over vast ages. In this case we know that the canyons were formed quickly; then a stream began to run through them. Textbooks say the most spectacular canyon in the world, the Grand Canyon, was formed by stream erosion over a hundred million years. Now scientists who specialize in geological erosion believe it was formed rapidly just like these canyons at MSH.

3. Badlands formed in five days. Badlands topography is found in the Southwest and in South Dakota. It occurs where loose material has been eroded in areas of rock structures, leaving a jagged but picturesque landscape. The standard explanation for such landforms is that water, over the centuries, washed away the loose materials, leaving free-standing towering rock patterns.

Last Edited by Phennommennonn on 06/06/2013 10:46 AM
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."

Orville Wright
Wag (OP)

12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Good catch, Proof™


Now perhaps they will rethink their theories on the formation of Earth´s oil fields...


Although, somehow, I doubt it....
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."

Orville Wright
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Fucking Fundy crap obviously geared toward supporting creationist dogma.
SunSpot (OP)

12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Before I start, let me first say (just
so there is no ambiguity or confusion) that, other than the fact that both
are big holes in the ground, there is NO similarity between the Grand
Canyon and small gorges at Mt. St. Helens. I have seen and observed both
the Grand Canyon and the gorges at Mt. St. Helens personally and my basis
for stating that there is no similarity is the following:

1) scale. Although the gorge at Mt. St. Helens is a few hundred feet
deep, it is really of no comparison to the dimensions of the Grand Canyon

2) time. The volcanic sediments that make up the gorge at Mt St Helens
are primarily derived from two eruptions (one in the late 1800´s and the
1980 eruption). Both deposits were laid down over a very short period of
time as opposed to the sediments of the Grand Canyon which were deposited
and lithified over millions (billions if you count the protolith for the
Vishnu Schist) of years before the Colorado River was a gleam in her
mother´s eye (so to speak).

3) lithology. The gorge at Mt. St. Helens is composed of volcanic
sediments, not rocks. Sediment weathers MUCH more easily than rock. This
was stated before and is so obvious that it seems almost ridiculus to
state it, but I felt the need here.

4) lithology again. There is a wide variety of rock preseved at the
Grand Canyon, some of it is volcanic, most of it is not. There is no
question that volcanic ash is laid down rapidly. When it is observed in
the rock record it is never interpreted as being the result of slow
deposition of sediments. It is pretty silly to suggest that geologists
haven´t noticed that volcanoes put out a lot of ash all at once and, as a
result, interpret large ash layers in the rock record as anything other
than catastrophic.

5) time again. The gorges at Mt. St Helens are a transient feature on
the landscape. The very rapidity of their erosion ensures that. Take a
look at any active volcano that hasn´t had a major eruption in the last
100 years and guess what - no gorges. The Grand Canyon was nearly
completely formed over a million years ago (I´ll present evidence below) -
the gorges at Mt. St Helens won´t see the 22nd century.

In light of these facts, I would be very suprised indeed if there has
been any comparitive study between the gorges at Mt. St Helens and the
Grand Canyon. I´m afraid that any suggestion that they are the same
would (correctly) be laughed out of any funding agency (except one
maintained by some religous organization perhaps). Therefore, although
there have been many _reputable_ studies done of Mt. St. Helens, I doubt
there are any that adress the issue you are raising. What I will do for
you, however, is state some of the evidence for the age of the Grand
Canyon. What is conveniently forgotten in these type of discussions is
that geology is a science, not a belief system. We don´t just think that
the Grand Canyon is old because it´s deep, there is a LOT of very good
scientific evidence which supports this hypothesis. Herein illustrates
the difference between a science and a belief system - a science
reconciles its hypotheses to observations and a belief system is not based
on observations and thus may ignore them. What are (some of) the
observations? Here you go (most of this information was obtained from
Pages of Stone by Halka Chronic):

1) In the western Grand Canyon there were numerous volcanic eruptions
about 1.2 million years ago which sent lava flows into the canyon itself.
Note that this is an absolute date on these flows - we know within
several thousands of years exactly when this lava solidified. These flows
are now "perched" about 15 meters above the base of the canyon.
Therefore, we KNOW that all but the lowermost 15 meters of the canyon was
formed before about 1.2 million years. The reason the Colorado River has
cut down only 15 meters in the last 1.2 million years is because it has
been inscising into the extremely hard metamorphic and igneous rocks of
the Inner Gorge. Next time one of your creationist friends tell you that
the Grand Canyon was formed by a Noachian Flood, ask them how lava flowed
1.2 million years ago into a canyon that didn´t exist until 4000 years
ago.

2) The Colorado River did not empty into the Gulf of California until
rifting began about 5 million years ago. Again, this is an absolute date
obtained from the oldest volcanic rocks associated with the rifting. This
rift gave some of the tributaries a new sea-level outlet and these streams
were strengthened and eventually formed the present day course of the
Colorado River. This river eroded strongly headward cutting the southern
edge of the Colorado Plateau (at the Grand Wash Cliffs) and captured the
Ancestral Colorado River. We know that this capture happened because
portions of many of these streams and tributaries are preserved and we can
obtain the paleo-current direction from the sediment they deposited. We
know when the capture happened because we know when the paleogeography
changed the drainage pattern for the Colorado Plateau (about 5 million
years ago).

Based on these two observations alone (there are many more), it is obvious
that the bulk of the erosion in the Grand Canyon occured over an
approximately 4 million year time span ending a little over 1 million
years ago. This is not a belief system, it is the best hypothesis that is
consistent with the observations. A Noachian Flood is not. As far as
reccomended literature, I think some easy reading stuff should do the
trick. Check out:

Grand Canyon: The Story Behind the Scenery (Beal, 1978)
Geology of the Grand Canyon (Breed & Roat, 1976)
Along the Rim (Loving, 1981)

I´m sure there are much more recent books - check your library. These
were just a couple I had sitting on my shelf.

Scott Barboza
University of Washington
Department of Geological Sciences
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."

Orville Wright
Wag (OP)

12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
You miss my point, Scott...


The article does not say that the canyon formed is exactly like the Grand Canyon, it says that it is a microcosm of the Grand Canyon...


What is does suggest is that the scientific timeline science holds as to the formation of these structures may be drastically off.


Until fairly recently, science held that ALL the formations and crater remnants were laid down long ago geologically, before Man appeared on the scene. Go and check any geology text from the 1960s and see for yourself- the plate tectonic theory accepted today was viewed as a highly controversial- even crackpot- notion.
Today that theory is accepted as fact. Science in the 50s and 60s viewed any sort of catastrophic theory as nonsense...


My suspicion is that the truth lies somewhere between your viewpoint and that of the OP of this thread.
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."

Orville Wright
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
I´m for the tweeners, too

really like to see science sit on the sidelines and actually observe, not solidify theory into fact

observable repeatable

well, as to ancient processes, how observable are they really?

How deep does the fossil record go?
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Informative post, Scott. Thank you.
Proof™ (OP)

12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Thank you Sunspot and wag for your input on this, I say right up front I have no geological background,
I´m more of the electronic background, I have not formed an opinion on the article, just found it to be interesting and to share it here..........

cheers
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance."

Orville Wright
Anonymous Coward
12/08/2005 10:11 AM
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Re: 7 Wonders of Mount St. Helens
Thanks Proof...
It is an interesting post!

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