Mount St. Helens Is "Recharging" With Magma

That half-mountain you see off in the distance is slowly refilling with liquid hot magma.

Apologies to everyone who was just finally getting to a point of managing their earthquake-based anxiety, but it might be time to start spending sleepless nights planning your volcano evacuation route.

On Thursday, Wired posted a story called "Mount St. Helens Is Recharging Its Magma Stores, Setting Off Earthquake Swarms," all about how, deep below the non-Mount Hood mountain that you see not far off in the distance on a sunny day, Mount St. Helens is refilling with the liquid hot magma.

"As the magma intrudes, it imparts pressure on the rock around it and it heats up water/releases gases that can add to that pressure," explains Wired. "This generates small earthquakes as the rocks shift in response to that stress."

Are you scared? Don't be scared!

"If you look at the compilation of earthquakes from St. Helens over its periods of repose since 1988, you can see that it has had a lot of recharge events—and most of these don't directly lead to an eruption," Wired say. "These are all normal behavior for a volcano as active as St. Helens."

Apparently, the USGS says "there are no other signs of potential eruption right now."

Let me post a gif to remind you that this is a story that should make you feel nostalgic for the Austin Powers, not terrified. Not terrified. Not terrified.


Still, the article ends with a reminder. Volcanologist don't know what might cause the next big eruption of Mount St. Helens. "However," writes Wired, "what we can say is that no volcano is truly 'dormant' when it's not erupting. It's just that most of the action is happening far beneath our feet."

Might want to get that evacuation plan worked out, just in case.