It appears that Mount St. Helens, one of the world’s active volcanoes, has increased its seismic activity, and it’s expected to erupt in the future. The latest shallow earthquakes caused magma to ascend meaning that the magma chambers under the volcano have started to fill up with fresh magma.
This hot rock creates tension on the cold rock around it because its bulk causes fractures and strain, and due to the heating groundwater and released gasses, much more pressure is concentrated on the surrounding rock. Small earthquakes result from this process, but too small for us to feel, maybe only by some animals, such as rats and mice.
Even so, scientists do not underestimate the power of the volcano. They developed a comprehensive seismic network so accurate that can detect even a moose which happens to walk over the surface. According to the experts, such a process usually takes at least a few years before resulting in an eruption. Another seismic activity, but this time a little bit stronger, was registered in 2013 and 2014.
Before that, the last one occurred way back in the late 1990s. Compared to this statistics, the present seismic activity is not something people should worry about because it is a lot less energetic than the other recharge events.
Inhabitants who live downstream of the volcano can rest assured as the volcano needs many years from now until it is ready to erupt again. Plus, the ones that live in the path of the winds coming from the volcano also have nothing to worry. This weak seismic activity is not able to provoke a strong eruption.
Last but not least, no interruptions will occur in the aviation schedule. This measure of precaution is taken only when huge clouds result from a powerful eruption. Furthermore, no prediction can be made regarding the future seismic activity.
However, scientists are always aware of unpredictable situations and therefore ready to help communities with valuable information in case an immediate evacuation is needed. Volcanoes are one of the earth’s strongest forces and are not to be taken lightly especially by the people living in the surrounding areas of Mount St. Helens.
Image Source: Media Bovolenta Bedita