(Associated Press) Washington’s volcanoes are getting some enhanced — and high-tech — scientific scrutiny this summer.
This weekend, about 75 geophysicists from around the world are
gathering at Mount St. Helens to bore 23 holes into the mountain so they
can create seismic waves with small explosions equivalent to a
magnitude 2 earthquake.
They also will be locating some 3,500 new seismic sensors all around the volcano.
The new measuring devices mark the final preparation for a big
volcano mapping project that scientists say will enable the equivalent
of an ultrasound and CT scan of the volcano’s internal plumbing.
“Mount St. Helens and other volcanos in the Cascade Range threaten
urban centers from Vancouver to Portland, and we’d like to better
understand their inner workings in order to better predict when they may
erupt and how severe those eruptions are likely to be,” said Alan
Levander of Houston’s Rice University, lead scientist for the
Meanwhile, a study of Mount Rainier’s internal plumbing system was published this past week in the science journal Nature.
Researchers from Utah, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Norway used
seismic imaging as part of an effort to look at the ways rocks and
liquids affect magnetic fields in the Cascade Range, Seattlepi.com
The “images” they made captured the way magma is fed into a reserve 5
miles under Mount Rainier that will be tapped eventually for eruptions,
said geophysicist Phil Wannamaker of the University of Utah. Read More