Mount St Helens is RECHARGING: Swarm of earthquakes detected deep below the volcano nearly 40 years after deadly eruption

Thursday, May 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

Scientists first began detecting earthquakes beneath Mount St Helens April 21
Largest so far was a magnitude 1.3, and have been spotted over 3 miles below
The activity lines up with magma recharge, thought to be underway since 2008
But, scientsts say there are no signs yet of an imminent eruption at the volcano

18 May 2017

Since mid-April, small earthquakes have been cropping up deep beneath Mount St Helens at ‘relatively high rates,’ bringing roughly one tremor every few hours.

In the last 30 days, scientists have located 55 seismic events in the vicinity, and say there may be well over 100 earthquakes linked to the swarm so far.

The activity falls in line with magma recharge thought to be underway since 2008.

But, don’t start panicking just yet – for now, scientists say there’s no sign of ‘imminent eruptive activity.’

Scientists with the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) first detected the earthquakes on April 21, according to the USGS.

Deep snow this past winter left the monitoring sites buried, and knocked out telemetry and power.

But, once everything had been restored to nearly full capacity, the network immediately began picking up signs of small earthquakes at a rate of one quake every few hours.

The scientists have found ‘good evidence’ to suggest this swarm began as early as April 16, and was definitely underway by the 18th.

The largest so far was a magnitude 1.3, and most have occurred between sea level and 3 mi (5 km) below sea level (approximately 2-7 km below the surface), according to USGS.

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