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Mount St. Helens

Scientists to set off explosions

24 May, 2014

A seismicity expert at the Cascades Volcano Observatory says that this summer a Rice University research team will set off 24 explosive charges that have been buried in 80-foot-deep wells drilled around the volcano.   The seismic energy from the explosions will be measured on thousands of portable seismometers brought into the field by volunteers traveling on foot, by horseback or via car.  The scientists will then be able to use the data to get a better idea of what is happening about 60 miles underground where two tectonic plates are colliding and magma is forming.  Seth Moran, a seismicity expert at the Observatory says:

We’ve been looking at what’s beneath the volcano through very fuzzy glasses. This still won’t give us anything like 20/20 vision, but it should make things quite a bit clearer.