Exploring Geology – Sarah’s Creation AdventureOct 27th, 2011 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Sarah's Creation Adventure
Field Trip to Yellowstone Park
Guest blog post by: Sarah Klase
Hello Everyone! This month was so packed; I hardly know where to begin! The focus over the last few weeks was geology. We spent a total of 10 days touring significant geological sites – many of which were in National Parks. I had been looking forward to these field trips since we first arrived. I really didn’t know what to expect since I never experienced anything like this before.
Our first field trip was to Yellowstone, right here in Wyoming. It was established as our nation’s first National Park in 1872. I was shocked to discover that Yellowstone is the site of massive volcanoes! The park service actually established an observatory to monitor volcanic activity within the park. The park has experienced many eruptions in the past. It is estimated that the last eruption would have been 280 times the size of Mt. Saint Helens and the results would have cooled global temperatures for about 2 years! Though the visitor’s center indicates this volcanic activity occurred many millions of years ago, our professor outlined the scientific evidence that points to these volcanoes erupting only about 4,000 years ago, after Noah’s Flood.
The next segment of our class was a 9 day road trip up through Montana, Washington, and Oregon. We spent approximately 36 hours on the road, and I can assure you it was an adventure to be up close and personal with 30 other people in one bus! We made so many stops, I can’t even begin to tell you about each one, but I’ll give you a few highlights.
The first part of the road trip focused on an event known as “The Missoula Flood.” This flood occurred towards the end of the Ice Age. Yes you heard me right – I said Ice Age. Previous to this class, I had only heard the evolutionist’s theory that there were multiple Ice Ages millions of years ago. Since I believe the earth was created less than 10,000 years ago, I assumed an Ice Age was not possible. Our professor cleared this up for me as he outlined how Noah’s Flood created the perfect environment for one 700 year long ice age that would create much of the geological features we saw on the trip.
The Missoula Flood occurred at the end of this Ice Age when the ice sheets in Canada were melting. Some of this ice created a dam, which backed up the melting water into a huge lake. When the dam finally burst, the water rushed out into Montana, Washington, and Oregon at incredible speeds, creating all sorts of geologic features.
We saw amazing evidence of a huge amount of water rushing through the land in the form of canyons, sediment formations, and huge boulders carried far distances. Dry Falls is an amazing cliff that was at one time a 4 mile wide waterfall. Picture Niagara Falls, but MUCH larger! All that is left from this waterfall are the plunge pools that were dug to 100 feet in depth as the water from the top of the falls plunged 600 feet to the bottom! Another very interesting feature we saw were ripple marks in farm fields. From the ground, the fields are beautiful rolling hills, but from the air, these marks look just like rippled sand at the beach. As the water drained quickly it left behind huge ripples of sediment. We also saw “shorelines” along high hills where the water left its mark as it receded.
All these major changes to the region were created by this localized flood. It was astounding to realize this is only a tiny fraction compared to the damage Noah’s Global Flood would have done to our planet! Our professor lead us to use the evidence we saw in this local flood to identify similar features on a greater scale worldwide.
The second major highlight of our trip was Mt. Saint Helens. Though the major eruption was on May 18, 1980, six other eruptions occurred over the next 2 years before the mountain settled down. This is a fairly consistent volcano as it erupts every 100-120 years. The damage done to the surrounding area was just astounding! The whole topography of the land changed as hundreds of layers of strata were laid down in hours. A completely new river was formed, and a layer 20 feet thick of mud was deposited. Though it has only been 30 years since the devastating eruption, I was amazed at how quickly God’s creation renewed life in the area. Trees and plants reseeded and even large game such as elk returned to the area within 2 years! Again, we analyzed this evidence and compared it to the condition of the earth after Noah’s global flood, which would have responded in a similar fashion.
By the time we arrived back on campus we were exhausted. It will be a long time before I get excited about seeing basalt cliffs or dig for petrified tree fragments again – but it was definitely worth it! This class was unforgettable and I am so glad I was able to get a small glimpse into the fascinating world of geology.
About the Author, Sarah Klase
Sarah Klase is an Advisor Assistant at Bridgeway Academy and has decided to embark on a 1-year creation studies adventure at Jackson Hole Bible College in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Sarah, 27, holds an Associate’s degree in Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute and fell in love with JHBC 3 years ago when she visited the campus with one of her sisters. This year Sarah and her two younger sisters decided to take a year out of their lives to experience an amazing adventure complete with cross-country driving, interesting field visits, archeological digs and more! Tune in each month as Sarah blogs about her travels, experiences and learning’s.