Awesome Science

Explore Mount St. Helens Pt 1

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ASB

Program Code: ASB000105A

00:04 And comes from the DVD series, "Awesome Science"
00:10 On May 18th, 1980, a catastrophic event
00:14 occurred that has been called God's gift to creationists.
00:18 On a beautiful Sunday morning at 8:32 AM,
00:22 Mount St. Helens erupted and caused the largest landslide
00:25 in modern human history.
00:27 Then, for nine hours, it released the explosive power
00:31 of one atomic bomb every second.
00:33 Not only was the world shocked by the eruption's
00:36 explosive power, but it also challenged the way
00:39 that secular scientists think how catastrophes
00:42 have changed this earth.
00:44 Never did creation scientists have
00:47 such a wonderful, observable laboratory
00:49 to help explain so many other geologic features
00:52 around the world by catastrophic processes.
00:55 It doesn't take millions of years
00:57 to form canyons, stratified layers, and petrified forests,
01:01 only days, weeks, and months.
01:04 All of this and more, next, on "Awesome Science."
01:12 "Awesome Science" takes you on a field trip
01:15 to some of the most amazing geologic and historical sites
01:19 around the world where we use "The Bible" as our history
01:22 guidebook to interpret what we see,
01:24 that "The Bible" can be trusted, and empirical science
01:28 falls in line with the Biblical account of creation,
01:30 the fall, and the Flood.
01:33 Science-- it's awesome.
01:35 [music playing]
01:51 The Pacific Northwest in the United States
01:54 is an amazing collection of pristine coast
01:57 land, lush valley farmland, high desert, and the Cascade Range.
02:02 The Cascade Range stretches from Northern California
02:06 to southern British Columbia.
02:08 The range was pushed up during the later stages of the Flood.
02:13 The range contains about a dozen volcanic peaks, averaging
02:16 at around 10,000 feet.
02:19 Most of the peaks are thought to have
02:20 been formed not long after the Flood
02:23 when the earth was still equalizing
02:24 from the massive tectonic shifting.
02:27 Eventually much of this volcanic activity
02:29 slowed down in about 500 years.
02:32 But a few volcanoes remained active or went dormant.
02:36 The recent increase in population centers
02:39 around these peaks has drawn concern from scientists.
02:42 The 14,400 foot dormant Mount Rainier
02:45 poses a huge threat of catastrophic destruction
02:49 if it let loose.
02:51 Another dormant volcanic peak was Mount St. Helens
02:54 in southern Washington state.
02:56 This area was a pristine, scenic wonderland
02:59 with tall, beautiful, virgin forests and deep blue
03:03 mountain lakes.
03:04 Youth camps and mountain cabins lined the shores of Spirit Lake
03:08 and the Toutle River north of the mountain.
03:11 For decades, brave mountaineers would climb the 9,677 foot tall
03:16 summit for a spectacular view.
03:21 But in March 1980, the mountain started to awaken.
03:25 At first, small earthquakes began
03:28 to rattle the countryside.
03:30 Over the next 60 days, there were over 12,000 earthquakes
03:34 each increasing in size.
03:36 Scientists knew that the sleeping giant
03:38 was about to wake up.
03:40 Then, in early April, the first steam explosion
03:43 penetrated the summit and a big hole appeared in the snow.
03:47 As earthquakes slowly increased, scientists
03:50 believed that magma was working its way up towards the surface.
03:54 In early May, a bulge began to appear on the north
03:57 side of the mountain.
03:59 It was estimated to be growing at 5 feet a day.
04:03 Like a giant balloon, the pressure was growing,
04:05 and the danger level of a large scale eruption
04:08 appeared to be imminent.
04:10 On the morning of May 18th, 1980, at 8:32 AM,
04:14 an earthquake at 5.1 on the Richter scale
04:17 signaled the eruption.
04:20 This earthquake caused a giant landslide
04:22 as one half of a cubic mile of summit
04:25 slid north into the valley below creating 25
04:28 square miles of new landscape.
04:31 The avalanche contained rock, snow, and glaciers.
04:35 When the landslide slid off of Mount St. Helens, 3/4 of it
04:39 went into the Toutle River Valley,
04:41 raising the valley floor by hundreds of feet.
04:44 As the landslide came into the valley,
04:46 huge chunks of the mountain stayed intact.
04:49 We call these hammocks.
04:52 One quarter of the landslide traveled northeast
04:54 and spilled into Spirit Lake causing an 860 foot
04:58 tidal wave across the water, washing up
05:01 onto the opposite hillside and totally destroying
05:05 the old growth forest there.
05:08 The new landslide material also permanently
05:10 raised the level of the lake more than 200 feet
05:13 above the pre-eruption level.
05:16 The landslide contained 30 glaciers
05:18 from the top of the mountain.
05:21 These glaciers were buried in the landslide, eventually
05:23 covered in ash.
05:26 After this 1,300 feet of mountain
05:28 disappeared into the landslide, a massive steam explosion
05:32 came spreading across the landscape to the north.
05:36 This steam explosion went lateral
05:39 and leveled 150 square miles, causing the old growth forest
05:43 to look like toothpicks laying on top of each other.
05:46 Usually, when a mountain erupts, the explosion goes straight up,
05:50 but Mount St. Helens did something different.
05:53 The first explosion went straight out to the north.
05:56 Having seen this kind of blast for the first time,
05:59 scientists were now able to find 300 volcanoes around the earth
06:04 that they were now able to explain using observations
06:07 from Mount St. Helens.
06:09 For the next nine hours, the mountain
06:11 released the equivalent of 40 million tons of TNT blast
06:15 energy.
06:16 That's equivalent to 33,000 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs,
06:20 or one atomic bomb a second.
06:23 Seeing the amazing eruption, reminds us of God's power.
06:27 In Psalms 104:32, God says "who looks on the earth
06:32 and it trembles.
06:33 Who touches the mountains and they smoke."
06:36 It just take God's little finger touching
06:38 the earth and incredible power and destruction
06:41 are released at His command.
06:43 The ash and pumice cloud spread across the eastern part
06:47 of Washington state.
06:48 Cities like Yakima were turned from day to night
06:52 in a matter of hours.
06:55 As the buried glaciers in the landslide debris heated up,
06:58 they eventually exploded, causing large pits
07:01 in the landslide material.
07:04 All of the melted snow and ice caused the mud flow
07:07 down the Toutle River.
07:09 The mudflow carried ash, pumice, and rocks tens of miles
07:13 down the valley all the way to the Columbia River.
07:16 Shipping lanes were shut down because of the debris clogging
07:20 up the river.
07:22 Down the Toutle River Valley, bridges were totally gone.
07:26 Logging camps were destroyed.
07:29 Houses were washed away.
07:31 The devastation was massive.
07:34 But the events at Mount St. Helens
07:36 were small compared to an average volcanic eruption.
07:40 In past eruptions, the volcanic activity at Yellowstone
07:44 was much larger.
07:45 One of these eruptions at Yellowstone
07:47 is estimated to have been 2,500 times larger
07:50 in its destructive force.
07:53 The next day, there were 57 people dead.
07:57 And the devastation was beyond description.
08:01 In recent memory, no one had ever
08:03 seen such catastrophic destruction.
08:06 President Carter flew over the area a few days after May 18th
08:11 and described the blast zone as looking
08:13 like the surface of the moon.
08:15 But in the destruction, came a blessing
08:18 for creation scientists.
08:19 As it began to be studied, it revealed how many
08:22 geologic features around the world that could have happened
08:26 as the result of major catastrophes,
08:28 in particular, the global flood.
08:34 The Cascade Range has a variety of volcanic peaks.
08:38 Some have gone dormant.
08:39 Others have gone extinct.
08:40 And some are still active.
08:44 Crater Lake in southern Oregon is the remnant
08:46 of Mount Mazama which exploded a few thousand years ago.
08:50 And its ash can be found all around the Pacific Northwest.
08:55 Another imploded mountain is at Newberry Crater
08:58 in central Oregon.
08:59 And, like Yellowstone, it is considered active
09:02 because of its hot springs.
09:04 On the south side date of Mount St. Helens,
09:07 great ancient lava flows can be seen at the timberline level.
09:11 I would encourage you to visit this area
09:13 and tour some great geologic formation.
09:16 Most volcanoes have lava caves.
09:19 Up here, at Mount St. Helens, is Ape Cave.
09:22 It's one of the longest lava caves in the world at almost
09:25 12,000 feet.
09:27 Let's go exploring.
09:34 I've got our lantern, the bat food, and a couple flashlights.
09:39 Well, let's go.
09:43 The origin of the name for Ape Cave is somewhat unclear,
09:47 but some think it goes back to the alleged Bigfoot
09:50 sightings in the area back in 1924 where a big ape was seen.
09:55 Others say it's due to the foresters
09:58 and loggers from many years ago who were
10:00 referred to as brush apes.
10:03 Another group says it was named after a Boy Scout troop called
10:07 the Apes back in the 1950s.
10:10 This lava cave was formed when the lava
10:13 flow cooled on the top, but the hot lava still ran underneath.
10:17 Eventually, it got lower and lower
10:19 and left the cave altogether.
10:23 This type of cave formation can be seen at active volcanoes,
10:27 like Kilauea in Hawaii.
10:29 Hot lava flows through a trough.
10:31 The top of the trough cools because it's
10:33 closest to the surface, but the rest of the lava keeps flowing.
10:36 The top hardens and a lava tube forms.
10:40 Eventually, the lava stops flowing and a cave is left.
10:44 The upper Ape Cave is around 1.5 miles long
10:47 and climbs up 400 feet were cavers hike over 27 boulder
10:51 piles and scale an eight foot high lava fall.
10:55 This tunnel is about 2,000 years old.
10:58 But around 500 years ago, a mud flow
11:00 came through here and laid down a new floor.
11:04 Researchers think it is unusual for Mount St. Helens
11:07 to have produced a lava tube like this one,
11:09 because the mountain usually produced much thicker
11:12 lava with, potentially, explosive eruptions,
11:15 like the 1980 blast.
11:17 But this lava tube does exist.
11:20 And its features are good confirmation of the power
11:24 and awesomeness of God.
11:26 The lava tube also helps us understand
11:29 the formation of Mount St. Helens right after the Flood.
11:32 If this lava tube had been around for millions of years,
11:36 it would have eroded away or collapsed long ago.
11:39 Because it's so close to the surface,
11:41 and the tremendous amounts of water seep
11:43 in through cracks above, it's pretty amazing
11:47 to think you can hike down the same path
11:49 that lava once flowed.
11:50 Now this is a place where you can explore and see
11:54 God's handiwork.
11:57 The eruption on May 18th, 1980, at Mount St. Helens
12:02 was impressive.
12:03 When the north side of the mountain slid into the valley
12:05 below, it created a gold mine of research material for creation
12:10 scientists like Dr. Steve Austin who studied
12:12 many of these formations.
12:14 The valley below was covered with 600 feet
12:17 of landslide deposits.
12:19 The nine hour eruption laid huge deposits of ash and pumice
12:23 on top of the landslide.
12:24 But the mountain was not done yet.
12:27 On June 12th, not more than a month later,
12:30 another major eruption put an additional 25 feet of deposits
12:33 on Earth's newest landscape.
12:37 For almost two years, the mountain went quiet.
12:41 Then in March 1982, there was another major eruption
12:45 which melted ice and snow that had collected in the crater.
12:49 Large amounts of water, mixed with the ash and pumice,
12:52 this lahar, or mud flow, came down off the mountain
12:55 and laid another layer on top of the past layers.
12:58 The strata, layers of deposits, were forming quickly.
13:03 As the mud floor reached the north side of the blast zone,
13:06 the water came to an obstacle and began to pool.
13:10 The dammed water eventually eroded through the obstruction
13:13 and carved some amazing canyons on the valley floor.
13:17 As they looked at the layers in the canyon walls,
13:20 they saw what could have been interpreted
13:21 as individual volcanic events based
13:24 on the way the layers appeared.
13:25 Scientists call this building a sequence.
13:28 Secular scientists have held that geologic layers take
13:32 long ages to form because they hold
13:34 to the idea of uniformitarianism,
13:37 which means little change over a long period of time.
13:40 But here at Mount St. Helens, these layers
13:43 formed in a matter of hours.
13:45 And there was direct observation to their formation.
13:48 For example, the 25 foot June 12th layer
13:52 was formed in just three hours.
13:55 The layer was formed when the mountain erupted
13:57 and the hot pyroclastic flow rushed down
14:00 the northern flanks of the mountain at an amazing speed.
14:04 Because of the erosion, we can see this layering
14:07 in the canyon walls today.
14:10 If one were to explore these canyons,
14:12 they would have no idea how quickly
14:14 these layers were formed.
14:17 A uniformitarian scientist might have
14:19 guessed that there were many eruptions over long ages,
14:22 because that's the main idea which has been
14:24 taught over the last 100 years.
14:27 And the layers look similar to the rock
14:29 layers they assume took long ages to form.
14:32 Catastrophism is roughly the opposite of uniformitarianism
14:36 and was considered dead by the secular scientific community.
14:40 This was mainly because it was too closely tied
14:43 to Noah's Flood, a major catastrophe/ and the long ages
14:46 was a proven fact.
14:48 Not so.
14:49 If secular scientists admitted to a global flood of Genesis,
14:53 then that would mean that God is alive
14:55 and His judgement is sure.
14:57 Why would men who had rebellion in their hearts
15:00 want to admit this?
15:02 They wouldn't.
15:03 So the idea of uniformitarianism has
15:06 dominated the study of geology for the past 150 years
15:09 as God's word has been rejected.
15:12 As scientists looked closer at the June 12th layer,
15:15 they discovered fine and coarse materials
15:17 had been lain down as separate layers, called lamina.
15:21 What was amazing, was these lamina
15:23 had been formed in the pyroclastic flow in winds
15:26 moving over 100 miles per hour.
15:29 It would be logical to assume that catastrophic processes
15:33 would just mix up all the material into one
15:35 big homogenized deposit with no distinct layers.
15:39 But here at Mount St. Helens, just the opposite
15:42 has been observed.
15:44 In these layers, there's a feature
15:45 called micro thin lamination where
15:48 there are coarse and fine layers just centimeters
15:51 from each other.
15:52 This amount of detail is remarkable
15:54 because it has been proposed by secular scientists that
15:57 features like these take long ages to form, not minutes
16:01 or seconds.
16:03 Yet, this is what has been observed to have
16:05 happened at Mount St. Helens.
16:08 In other canyons across the earth,
16:10 we can observe many similar features
16:12 such as in the lower sandstone layers at the Grand Canyon.
16:16 Secular scientists have proposed that all sedimentary layers
16:20 in the Grand Canyon were formed by seas coming and going
16:23 over millions of years.
16:26 As the seas persisted, sediments from the waters
16:29 made the layers as particles settled out of the water.
16:32 Eventually, the seas left and the land was pushed up
16:35 to its current elevation.
16:37 There are many evidences that we can look at
16:40 to show that these layers were not made
16:42 by seas over millions of years.
16:44 Indications are that these layers
16:46 were formed very quickly by water during the year of Noah's
16:49 Flood.
16:51 As the flood waters moved around the earth,
16:53 large amounts of sediment settled out,
16:55 forming layers of sediment.
16:58 When the flood waters were receding,
17:00 they continued to dump sediments on the landscape
17:02 in very short order.
17:04 With the observable evidence left
17:06 after the eruption of Mount St. Helens,
17:08 we now realize how quickly fine and coarse layers can form,
17:12 given the right conditions.
17:14 It doesn't take millions of years
17:16 to form these types of layers, just
17:18 the right catastrophic conditions,
17:20 such as what we would expect during the Flood.
17:24 Mount St. Helens provides a miniature laboratory
17:26 for the study of particle stratification.
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18:25 As the landslide fell into the Toutle River Valley,
18:28 over 25 square miles of new landscape was developed,
18:32 some places, up to 600 feet thick.
18:37 On top of the debris field, layers of ash and pumice
18:40 were deposited.
18:41 The lush valley became a gray wasteland, similar to the moon.
18:46 After the major volcanic activity in 1980,
18:49 the mountain went quiet for a couple of years.
18:52 During this time, snow and ice accumulated in the crater.
18:56 Then, in March of 1982, the mountain came alive again.
19:01 The large amount of snow and ice melted in the creator
19:05 and broke through the fresh landscape.
19:08 It carved two huge canyons, Loowit Canyon and Step Canyon,
19:12 with depths up to 600 feet.
19:15 Not only did it erode through the ash deposits,
19:18 but also through 100 feet of solid rock from lava
19:21 flows thought to be about 500 years old.
19:25 The water then came cascading down the flanks of the mountain
19:28 and into the valley.
19:31 When it reached a large pit left from a glacier steam
19:34 explosion the, water pooled and was dammed up
19:37 to a depth of 125 feet across the valley floor.
19:41 The mudflow eventually broke through the dam hand
19:44 kept flowing to the west, down the Toutle River Valley,
19:47 carving canyons as it went.
19:51 What the mudflow left behind stunned scientists
19:54 around the world.
19:55 Just like a dam you might build at the beach, when
19:58 a dam breaks, there's soft soil like sand or ash.
20:02 The water carves through these materials very quickly leaving
20:05 canyons and channels.
20:07 As scientists went into these canyons,
20:09 they studied the newly formed strata and were amazed.
20:14 The forces of erosion carved a series of canyons
20:17 up to 140 feet deep, all in just hours.
20:22 One formation has been called the Little Grand Canyon because
20:26 of its similar features.
20:28 It is about a 140th scale model of the Grand Canyon.
20:32 Secular scientists point to the canyons around the world,
20:36 like the Grand Canyon and Zion Canyon,
20:39 and say that the small rivers in the bottoms of these canyons
20:42 carved what we see today over millions of years.
20:46 There are many reasons to suggest
20:48 this is just not the case.
20:50 A proper understanding of the evidence
20:52 after actual observation of rapid canyon formation at Mount
20:56 St. Helens led many researchers to conclude
20:59 that to carve canyons of large magnitude,
21:01 you need a lot of water in a short period of time,
21:04 not the small rivers over millions of years.
21:07 Contrary to what most scientists think,
21:10 it isn't the river that carved the canyon.
21:12 It was the canyon that formed and provided
21:14 a passageway for the river to flow through.
21:18 If one were to walk through this canyon using the uniformitarian
21:22 model of long ages, they would imagine
21:25 it took tens of thousands to millions of years
21:28 for the north fork of the Toutle River to carve this canyon.
21:31 Yet, we know from eyewitness accounts
21:33 that it happened very rapidly.
21:36 We don't have direct eyewitness accounts
21:39 to how the canyons around the world were formed,
21:41 but we have "The Bible," God's eye witness testimony, that
21:45 gives us a framework by which we can look at these other canyons
21:48 and features.
21:49 The biblical record, and subsequent models,
21:52 based on what we have observed from events we did witness
21:55 are the key to understanding these other canyons.
21:59 Here at Mount St. Helens, we were
22:01 able to see the landscape before these canyons were here.
22:05 And we know the events and mechanisms
22:08 which laid down the strata and carved the canyon through them.
22:12 Because of the events at Mount St. Helens,
22:15 even many secular geologists are junking
22:18 the idea of millions of years for the formation of the Grand
22:21 Canyon, and are thinking in terms of catastrophe.
22:26 But what type of catastrophe would
22:28 have cut the Grand Canyon and other canyons around the world?
22:32 We would have needed a lot of water
22:34 over a short period of time.
22:36 There is only one event recorded in human history that
22:39 is the key to accomplish this, the Flood of Noah's day
22:42 as recorded in "The Bible."
22:46 Just to the south of Mount St. Helens
22:48 is a fascinating feature called the Trail of Two Forests.
22:53 Around 2,000 years ago when the lava flow came through here,
22:57 there was a tree standing right in this exact place.
22:59 As the lava flowed around it, it hardened
23:02 enough against the cool wood to make a form right there.
23:05 And then the wood vaporized through the heat,
23:08 and whatever was left just rotted away, leaving a hole.
23:12 Since that time, a new forest has
23:15 grown on top of the lava flow.
23:17 Hence, the Trail of Two Forests.
23:20 An easy to use walkway has been built for us
23:23 to see this great volcanic feature.
23:26 Not all the trees were upright.
23:28 Some of them fell down and created these lateral tunnels
23:31 all across the area.
23:32 Who wants to see me go down one of these right now?
23:34 Show of hands, anyone?
23:36 [applause]
23:37 All right, your vote wins.
23:38 Here I go.
23:41 Are you certain my insurance covers this?
23:44 Oh well.
23:49 Wow.
23:55 [laughing]
23:59 That was cool.
24:00 Science, it's awesome.
24:05 It doesn't take millions of years
24:07 to form canyons, stratified layers, and petrified forests,
24:11 only days, weeks, and months.
24:14 Secular scientists have their own ideas
24:17 about how the earth was formed over billions of years.
24:20 But they leave out God's supernatural touch
24:23 and judgement.
24:24 Many of the evidences they use to support evolutionary ideas,
24:28 are better interpreted when looking at them
24:30 through the truth of scripture.
24:31 Mount St. Helens was truly God's gift
24:34 to creationists by showing us catastrophic processes that
24:37 occurred during and after the Flood 4,300 years ago.
24:42 Science, it's awesome.
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Revised 2018-01-30