"The comparison between a recent volcanic eruption and the Flood may seem tenuous, until one realizes that the Flood, while dominantly a hydraulic cataclysm, was also triggered and energized by a tectonic convulsion of earth's surface. The first mechanism God used to judge the earth was when "all the fountains of the great deep [were] broken up" (Genesis 7:11), sending tsunamis and mudflows across the continents, no doubt accompanied by mega volcanic eruptions. This was followed by an upwarping of the ocean bottom, spilling its contents onto the continents. Then came the months-long downpour of rain.
"Consider that most of the damage done by the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption was water related, not volcanic. The glacier on the mountain's summit suddenly melted, sending avalanches of water and debris cascading down the mountainside, depositing thick, water-saturated sediments on the lower slopes and throughout the drainage basin."
"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."
"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.
"At MSH the massive landslide carried huge amounts of ice and snow with it, burying them in the deep valley to the north. Throughout the day 30' of 550 degree F. ash was also deposited, which quickly melted that ice, causing it to "flash" to steam. This is the same energy process that caused the explosions up in the mountain throughout the day. Water expands 1700 times when it turns to steam. When this happens instantaneously, it is an explosion. Eventually through similar explosions all the water was used up.
"When the red hot ash covering the buried ice and snow in the valley caused that ice to melt and "flash" to steam, something called "steam explosion pits" (up to 125' deep) were formed. They had nearly vertical sides until gravity collapsed them to produce a "rill and gully" effect, one of the features of badlands topography. (Rills are small gullies). The great badlands features in the US could also have been produced by catastrophic forces and some by volcanic action."
"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. "
"A million trees were washed into Spirit Lake the day of the main eruption. As the years go by one by one they become waterlogged and sink to the bottom. Dense root wood is still a part of 10% of the logs. Those logs sink to the bottom in an upright position and their roots quickly become covered by the continuing sedimentation washing into the lake. They give the appearance they grew and died where they are deposited, one forest on top of another over long periods of time.
"Such formations are found in other places, including Specimen Ridge in Yellowstone National Park. There, geologists found forests "rooted" in 27 different layers in the ridge and concluded they were observing 27 successive forests. The interpretive sign at Specimen Ridge expressed their error. It read: "Buried within the volcanic rocks that compose the mountain are twenty-seven distinct layers of fossil forest that flourished 50 million years ago."
"Today the truth is out and the sign is gone. Scientists realized that the Spirit Lake phenomena explains Specimen Ridge. The trees floated on a lake, became waterlogged and sank to the bottom over a period of time, giving the appearance of multiple forests that grew one on top of another. The 50 million year formation could have formed in just a few years plus the time necessary for petrifying the logs (100 to 1000 years)."