Skip to content

Eruption imminent? Mt. St. Helens quakes as magma rises

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
5/9/2016 (11 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Earthquake swarm under study by scientists.

Over the past month, we've warned about volcanoes, earthquakes, and what feels like a sudden uptick in global activity.  Although all of the activity seems to fall within "normal" levels, it is still above average and making people uneasy. Now, new reports show that Mt. St. Helens is recharging with magma.

Mt. St. Helens steams in this image showing the new dome within the crater.

Mt. St. Helens steams in this image showing the new dome within the crater.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/9/2016 (11 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Mt. St. Helens, volcano, magma, earthwuake, swarm, eruption


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Mt. St. Helens is one of the most active volcanoes in North America, and in 1980, it literally blew its top, blasting half of an upper slope across pristine woodland, killing 57 people, including a USGS scientist.

The volcano last erupted in 2008, but nothing has rivaled the catastrophic 1980 event. But one thing is certain, if Mt. St. Helens could blow itself up once, it can do so again. This is why the public is alarmed to know that a swarm of earthquakes reveals the volcano is awakening once more.


Several small quakes have been detected between 1.2 and 4 miles beneath the volcano. The quakes measure a mere magnitude of 1.3 or less, and are too small to feel at the surface. However, the pattern of the quakes makes it clear to scientists, magma is rising within the volcano.

As the magma rises, it squeezes through cracks and tunnels beneath the volcano, forcing the rock to expand and fracture. This fracturing causes small quakes which are detected at the surface and can be mapped.

Does this mean Mt. St. Helens is ready to blow?

Actually, it does not. Before volcanoes erupt, there are unmistakable signs. Commonly, the volcano will bulge, the quakes will become larger and more frequent, and gasses will vent. None of those signs have been detected at Mt. St. Helens.

Recharging can also take years. Even after the magma chamber that feeds the volcano fills with lava, and molten rock fills in every gap under the surface, the volcano is not certain to erupt right away. The process of eruption can take place at any time, moving swiftly, or very slowly.

Should we be worried about all of the seismic and volcanic activity around the world?

That depends on what you mean by worried. Should we expect the end of the world to come, that this is a sign of the last days? Not necessarily. Should we be worried enough to prepare kits and store food and supplies in case of a disaster, then yes.

In the wake of a major earthquake or volcanic eruption, it is possible people will have to quickly relocate, or shelter in place for an extended period without help from the outside world. In either case, it helps to have an emergency suitcase handy along with some extra food and water that can be quickly grabbed.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People.
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.


Comments


More Green

Report claims extreme weather on DECLINE - but is someone lying? Watch

Image of The dispute over methodology could be killing us all.

There are claims that extreme weather is on the decline, in spite of claims that global warming is on the rise. The suggestion is global ... continue reading


Decades-old conundrum solved by chance - Can one of nature's squiggly insects change the fate of the world? Watch

Image of Are wax worms the answer to our plastic waste problem?

What if one of the world's more significant issues can be corrected with help from one of the smallest, seemingly insignificant of ... continue reading


Oroville Dam Breach? DWR Investigating Leaking - Hasn't Revealed this to the Public Watch

Image of The green area on the face of the dam suggests water is seeping though the dam.

A Leak in the core of an Earthen Dam is known to trigger catastrophic failure within hours.  Oroville's Earthen Dam has a persistent ... continue reading


Scientists discover a scary Antarctic mystery - how worried should we be? Watch

Image of Antarctica is melting, but without more data, it's too soon to worry.

Antarctica may be melting faster than thought, according to a new study. Antarctica is a region of concern because its ice, if melted, ... continue reading


The Arctic is drowning in plastic, and it could kill us all Watch

Image of A sea lion is tangled in a net, the result of decades of human disregard for the environment.

Our planet is drowning in plastic, and this is becoming obvious, even in the pristine Arctic. Researcher now estimate that up to 1,200 tons ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.