One of the few things most people can agree on is just how dangerous and primal nature actually is. With all of our centuries of technological development, and we’re still left battered and bruised (in the best case scenario) when nature decides to unleash its mighty forces upon our lands.
From earthquakes to tsunamis, from volcanoes to storms, nature is undoubtedly the superior contestant. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll take whatever it wants to serve us without attempting to resist. Fighting back isn’t really an option, so all we can do is to try to do our best to survive.
Activity at Mount Saint Helens
Over the past eight weeks, one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the country has been observed to suffer from more than 130 small earthquakes. There is no sign that the volcano will erupt soon, but the collected data suggests that it still very much active. Instead of erupting, it seems like the volcano is… recharging.
So how is this uncanny activity concerning Mount Saint Helens manifesting? Well, primarily through a large number of small, frequent earthquakes. These earthquakes were measured to have a magnitude ranging between 0.5 and 1.3, and were measured some 1.2 to 4 miles underneath the surface.
But while the depth and small magnitude make the earthquakes at Mount Saint Helens unable to be felt at the surface, there’s another thing that has experts interested – the frequency of the quakes. Ever since March 14th, they have been getting increasingly frequent, reaching some forty located earthquakes per week.
It still poses no real threat, as the only thing happening is for the volcano to get pressurized again. The scientists claim they are convinced that there is no reason to worry, even though they are unsure of why the frequency of the earthquakes has increased so much. Still, they advise people not to worry.
Hopefulness and history
Since the only thing happening with the volcano is for its magma to replenish and repressurize, scientists are hopeful that it will take years, if not decades without any possible eruptions. Similar activity, although with a smaller rate of earthquakes, was noticed in 2014, 2013, and even in the 1990s.
And hope is very welcome in this case, seeing what happened the last time Mount Saint Helens erupted, back on the 18th of May of 1980. When the volcano erupted, it blew off more than 1,000 feet from the top, spewing hot ash across the Northwest, leaving a huge crater, and killing 57 people. Forests caught fire and the melted snow caused flash floods. This left Mount Saint Helens as one of the most closely monitored volcanoes on the planet.
Image source: Wikimedia