A mountain is a land formation extending far above its surrounding terrain. Mountains can be made of rock, earth or ice, or a combination of the three.
Uniformitarian geologists assert that mountains took millions of years to form, and also that mountains can be dated based on observed erosion tendencies. These uniform assumptions of erosion are a staple of old-earth assumptions in determining the age of mountains. However, in some cases, the data does not fit the assumption. For example, researchers from Berkeley found evidence of catastrophic erosion in mountain ranges of Idaho, based on cosmogenic radionuclide measurement. A hydrologist from the U.S. Geological Survey doubted their conclusions because they required "truly extraordinary erosional events, and I don’t know where the evidence for that is in the geologic record."
Calculations about mountain growth are often inconsistent if the growth is assumed to be steady over the presumed age of the mountain. For example, Mount Everest, now 29,035 feet high (8850 meters) is believed to be growing at the rate of 2.4 inches per year (6.1 centimeters), and is thought to be about 40,000,000 years old . Interestingly, the rate of 2.4 inches per year works out to about 20 feet per century, so its 29,000 feet of height could have happened in 145,000 years. There are of course uncertainties about what height (or ocean depth) was the starting point and what the true rate of growth was. Creationists point out that a faster rate of growth is very possible in flood geology, especially catastrophic plate tectonics and is not a great problem for recent creation.
Because of scenarios showing a great deal of mountain building after the flood, most creation geologists don't believe that the flood had to rise as high as present day mountains in order to cover the mountains that then existed.
Mountains are important for weather because they deflect moving air masses, and make a great difference in rainfall patterns. Some people mistakenly argue against Noah's flood because the thin atmosphere at the level of mount Everest does not have enough pressure for long term survival, and so think that the flood, if it raised Noah to that height, would not allow anyone to survive. They make two mistakes. First, they have forgotten that if a flood came that raised sea level to any height, it would also raise the atmosphere so that sea level pressure (approximately) would be available at the surface of the flood. Second, many who accept the flood believe that mountains were not originally as high as now, so that the level the flood reached would not need to be the full six miles of Mount Everest.
- Mountains Crumble Fast, Catastrophically ScienceNOW 22 June 2001: 1
- World Famous Extremes Extreme Science accessed 27 March 2009