The other lens to view and interpret the earth around us through is that of a catastrophe that dramatically shaped the earth's surface in a very short period of time. This fits exactly with the young earth, eye-witness account of Creation and a global flood given in Genesis. (Eye-witness because God was there and He recorded what happened!) In this model the earth's surface was dramatically ruptured and uplifted and scarred during the global flood of Noah and the period following it.
I believe the earth was probably a lot gentler in contour prior to the flood. This makes sense to me since God gave us the earth for our use and to take dominion over, and we can't do either to parts of it we can't access or live in. Then, when God had had enough, He judged the world with a global flood. I have read that if the earth's land was flat the oceans would cover it by over 8,000 feet, so there is clearly enough water on the earth to cover the land even with some contour.
Genesis tells us the earth was flooded for an extended time, and at 8 lbs/gallon that weight alone would have tremendously impacted the earth's surface and plates. Add that the fountains of the deep opened up and you have splitting and rupturing below. Then add the effect of the runoff of water as it first sheeted, then, as mountains rose out of it, started to narrow (which would accelerate its flow), and you have tremendous gouging and cutting and sediment moving.
Then we have Psalm 104. Some people say this describes Creation but I don't think that is possible because it talks about the waters never again covering the earth. The Bible makes it clear the water covered the earth in Noah's flood, so it has to be talking about that flood. It gives us a tremendous window into what the earth endured in the flood and shortly after. The specific section of verses I am referencing say:
He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. (Psalm 104:5–9) ESVMountains rising, valleys sinking, flood waters receding. Could this explain what we see? Absolutely! And it is what God said happened and, when the presuppositional bias of science that there is no God is removed, it is what true science supports! No, the present is not the key to the past, and we don't need to buy the old earth view. It is completely incompatible with the Gospel, it destroys the words of Jesus and other New Testament books, and it erodes faith in the Bible as a whole. God formed the earth, then He judged the earth, and He provided an ark in which safety was found until He said "enough" and closed its door. Inside the ark it was safe, and outside it was death, as the ark rose and left the earth behind. Nothing has changed. Our ark is Jesus. And the door is open until God shuts it, but then it will be too late. The same Bible that tells us how the earth was formed is the same Bible that tells us that as well. May we believe it, live it, and trust it until that day comes!