Only recently, Creation magazine reported that ages up to 3.5 million years were obtained for lava flows that erupted in New Zealand from 1949 to 1975.2 One sobering example comes from the Grand Canyon in Arizona (see diagram, left).The Cardenas Basalt in the bottom of the canyon is an igneous rock layer suitable for radioisotope technology.
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It is a different story when the same rubidium-strontium method is used to date lava from volcanoes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.
We know these volcanoes are some of the youngest rocks in the canyon, because they spilled lava into the canyon after it had been eroded.
One of the most consistently active volcanoes in the world, Sicily’s Mount Etna has a historical record of eruptions dating back to 1500 BC.
This astronaut photograph captures plumes of steam and possibly ash originating from summit craters on the mountain: the Northeast Crater and Central Crater, which includes two secondary craters (Voragine and Bocca Nuova).
Although Etna’s current explosive eruptions tend to occur at the summit, lava flows generally erupt through fissures lower down on the flanks of the volcano.