Yellowstone Close to Eruption

Quick Takes

on January 1, 2018
Featured in Answers Magazine

The magma under Yellowstone National Park is much closer to an eruption than scientists realized. When you assume geologic formations have been around for millions of years, as evolutionists do, you expect things to remain stable for eons. So evolutionary geologists were shocked to learn how quickly conditions can change inside the earth. The process of magma buildup, which they thought would take centuries, can happen in mere decades or even years.

In 2013, scientists discovered that the magma reservoir beneath Yellowstone is two-and-a-half times as big as previously thought. With that discovery came the realization that the reservoir already contains as much magma as the volcano spewed in its last monster eruption. That eruption, which occurred sometime before any human records in the Americas, spewed 240 cubic miles’ worth (1000 km3) of rock and ash across most of the western half of the United States.

Volcanologists think such big eruptions empty the magma chamber, requiring a long time to refill it. However, a recent analysis of ash from the last giant eruption showed that the minerals in the magma must have built to critical pressure and temperature in mere decades (otherwise they would have different properties).

Researcher Hannah Shamloo told the New York Times, “It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption.” Thankfully, they still don’t think another explosion is imminent.

The idea that geologic processes of such magnitude can take place quickly is not shocking for biblical creationists. Geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling explains, “Because we believe in a much shorter history and a global cataclysmic Flood only about 4,500 years ago, we would expect geologic processes to occur much more rapidly than is believed by those scientists who think in terms of millions of years.” Dr. Snelling adds, “We have less to fear than these geologists believe. The evidence shows volcanic activity has been waning and eruptions are becoming less fearsome as the earth recovers from the Flood cataclysm.”

Related Downloads

Science in Perspective: Quick Takes

Audio Download

Answers Magazine

January–February 2018

When winter arrives, this fox puts on his new wardrobe just for the ocassion.

Browse Issue Subscribe


Get the latest answers emailed to you.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390