Mount St. Helens Signals Its Revival with Hundreds of Quakes

Patti MayonnaiseMay 10, 20161,009 Views
Photo Courtesy of Crytomundo.com Photo Courtesy of Crytomundo.com

The latest data filtering in from your favorite active volcano indicates that Mount St. Helens is once again filling up with magma. According to reports by the U.S. Geological Survey, there have been approximately 130 small earthquakes beneath the volcano in the last two months alone. In fact, this seismic activity seems to have been on an incline since March meeting a current average of 40 temblors weekly.

Is an eruption imminent?

There’s no need for locals to pack up and run just yet though, as the rush of quakes doesn’t necessarily mean an eruption is looming. The earthquakes are actually quite small and not all that alarming as they range in magnitudes between of 0.5 and 1.3. Plus, these quakes are occurring fairly deep beneath the surface as low as 1.2 to a whopping 4 miles down into the depths of the Earth. Due to these factors, the survey has noted that each earthquake is so small that one couldn’t even be felt if you were standing right above it on the surface.

 

Photo Credit: Komonews.com

Photo Credit: Komonews.com

 

 

What is volcanic recharging?

The recent quakes at Mount St. Helens have reportedly been caused by “recharging.” Recharging simply means that magma flows upward toward the volcano. When the molten rock squeezes through breaks and cracks within the rock, it produces small earthquakes.

 

Photo Courtesy of Oregonlive.com

Photo Courtesy of Oregonlive.com

 

 

Could it happen again?

It is important to note that Mount St. Helens is one of the best monitored volcanoes in the world ever since its devastating eruption on May 18th, 1980 which proved to be the worst in U.S. history. On the date of that dreadful event, a swarm of 10,000 earthquakes had preceded the eruption. However, those were considerably larger triggering a 5.1 magnitude temblor by consequence.

Other than the earthquakes, no agency has detected any signs often associated with the precession of eruptions. Some of these include volcanic inflation and anomalous gases. The USGS released a statement in regards to the concern: “There is absolutely no sign that it will erupt anytime soon.”

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