Sunday, 2 February 2014

How Long Does It Take to Make a Mountain? The Case of Parícutin

Parícutin in 1943. Image courtesy of K. Segerstrom, U.S. Geological Survey.

Joel Kontinen

According to conventional wisdom, it takes millions of years to form mountains. However, this assumption might not be true, as the origin of the Mexican volcano Parícutin shows.

Some time ago, Creation magazine featured an article on the birth of this mountain. Parícutin began as a small fissure in a field in 1943 and it grew 100 metres (330 feet) in height in a single week.

Parícutin continued growing. It reached the height of 336 metres (1,102 feet) within a year. Eventually, it attained the height of 424 metres (1,391 feet) above the field where it was born.

Rising to 2,800 metres (9,186 feet) above sea level, Parícutin is one of the natural wonders of the world.

And it took just one year to build it.


O’Brien, Jonathan. 2013. Parícutin - A Mountain in a Year. Creation 35 (1):32–33.