Geology And Geophysics
Mount St. Helens is brewing again

Magma increase at Mount St. Helens could be a cause for concern



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Mount St. Helens is brewing again
John Atchison's image for:
"Magma increase at Mount St. Helens could be a cause for concern"
Caption: Mount St. Helens is brewing again
Location: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MSH82_st_helens_plume_from_harrys_ridge_05-19-82.jpg
Image by: Lynn Topinka
© Public Domain - USGS http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MSH82_st_helens_plume_from_harrys_ridge_05-19-82.jpg
Not many people want to consider the end of the world. While there are scientists and prophets of doom who believe the end is near, the majority of people on the Earth think what is going on is just the natural order of things. No one knows who is right or wrong, but boy there are some ominous signs out there.
 
Global warming seems to be on the rise. Murders and war seem to be breaking out all around the world. All it takes is one nut case (see North Korea and Kim John-Un) to press the wrong button and this planet could be reduced to nothing more than a nuclear wasteland.

All of these factors though are not taking into account the one thing that humans cannot control. That is the world of natural disasters. Every day, there appear to be more of these phenomenon taking place. The weather seems to be changing, and not for the better. Dry spells seem to be longer, and winters seem to be longer and colder.

Just in the United States, tornadoes and earthquakes seem to be arriving at a greater pace. The effects of flooding can be seen in many parts of the country. Ah, and then there is the occasional return of an old problem. Remember Mount St. Helens, nestled up in the Pacific Northwest? Back in the 80s and early 2000s, it made big news with its eruptions.

It was a big story in the continental United States because this part of the world simply does not see much volcanic activity. According to recent reports, Mount St. Helens is on the verge of becoming news again. Now, before everyone in that part of the country begins to panic, it is not because there is a pending eruption coming.

Mount St. Helens is in the news because the magma inside the mountain is starting to rise. While that sounds full of doom, it really is not, says volcanic researchers. According to a CBS News report, "Scientists at the Cascades Volcano Observatory and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network have been monitoring the subtle inflation of the ground surface and minor earthquakes -- just like the ones seen after the 1980 eruptions."

While the U.S. Geological Survey says this is not an indication of a near eruption, it has to be disconcerting to people in the region. That is because the buildup of additional magma is viewed as a type of recharging station for this tremendous volcano. Scientists call this event a repressurization of the magma river underneath the mountain. They estimate that an additional 2.5 to 5 miles of magma have amassed in the area.

With mounting evidence that things are occurring inside Mount St. Helens, why should people in that vicinity not be worried? Well, the mountain has always been good at giving people an indication of a pending eruption. Data from previous eruptions of Mount St. Helens had shown that activity level  increased dramatically before the explosion occurred.

This means that residents should keep an eye on the mountain, and monitor announcements of any kind. However, the mountain has been equipped with plenty of sensors and other machinery that will give the USGS and other scientists plenty of warning that trouble is coming.


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