Mount St. Helens is refueling itself to erupt, says USGS

Mount St. Helens is refueling itself to erupt, says USGS

The Associate Press has reported that almost ten years ago this week, Mount St. Helens showed some signs of awakening after 18 years of sleep. Scientists believe that the volcano is refueling itself and is expected to erupt in near future.

Since the Mount St. Helens, an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, has shown signs of being active again, scientists have been keenly monitoring the area to find out when the eruption would take place.

USGS seismologist Seth Moran stated that is it very difficult to predict when this giant volcano would erupt. But it seems that Mount St. Helens is preparing itself to erupt and the eruption can happen anytime in coming years or decades.

USGS confirmed that on the volcano watch page, the gigantic volcano has a renewed potential for the eruption. It asserted that Mount St. Helens' high frequency eruption ability during the past eruptions indicate higher possibilities of renewed eruptive activity.

During the past five centuries, the volcano has produced four large explosive eruptions. These eruptions affected the Pacific Northwest region and spread large amounts of volcanic ash around the area with the flowing wind, said USGS.

Keeping in mind the above points, the USGS has created a robust monitoring program at the volcano in order to detect signs of future eruptions. USGS along with Federal, State and local agencies is working to formulate some crisis plans and risk-mitigation strategies.

Moran said though Mount St. Helens has pointed some signs of eruption, this does not mean that the volcano is completely ready to erupt.

Scientists at the USGS believe that even if the volcano has not erupted since 2008, its shape is still changing. They said that almost 5 miles below the Mount St. Helens, there are certain signs that the magma chamber of the volcano is refueling itself.

Dan Dzurisin, a USGS geologist, said, "As it cools, it fractures and settles and falls apart". Dan said presently the USGS is completely focusing on the rate at which the volcano is recharging.

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