Evidences for Catastrophism at Mount St. Helens
1. Quickly formed stratification—Glowing “rivers” of volcanic ash moved at speeds up to 100 miles per hour (162 kilometers per hour). Thin layered strata were deposited. These resemble strata which might be supposed to require many thousands, even millions of years to form.
2. Rapidly eroded canyons—Canyons were eroded through solid rock. A new system of canyons forms the upper drainage basin of the North Fork of the Toutle River. It might seem that slow erosion formed these during countless thousands of years.
3. Upright deposited logs in Spirit Lake—Tens of thousands of logs, eroded from slopes around Spirit Lake, have been “replanted” in standing position on the bottom of the lake. These might seem to be a succession of forests grown during many thousands of years
4. Rapidly formed peat layer in Spirit Lake—Sheets of conifer bark have accumulated in the lake as layered, coarse, textured peat. The deposit has significant similarity to the composition and texture of coal. Coal is usually assumed to be a slowly formed swamp deposit.
5. Quick recovery of ecosystem in blast zone—Living things survived in the most severely devastated areas and are flourishing in the adverse conditions. The extraordinary response of living things to catastrophe has caused textbooks on ecosystem recovery to be rewritten
John Morris/Steven A Austin, Footprints in the Ash, Masterbooks 2003, pp.111-17