Close Window
Magma Pressure Building Inside Mount St. Helens Volcano May 9, 2014
Satellite Image
Plume of steam rising from the crater of Mount St. Helens as magma rises within the volcano.
Washington state’s Mount St. Helens volcano is showing signs that magma is rising deep inside, but geologists say that an eruption is still not likely anytime soon.

The volcano erupted violently on May 18, 1980, killing 57 people and altering the landscape for miles around.

“The magma reservoir beneath Mount St. Helens has been slowly re-pressurizing since 2008,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.

“It is likely that re-pressurization is caused by (the) arrival of a small amount of additional magma 2.5 to 5 miles beneath the surface.”

But seismologist Seth Moran at the Cascades Volcano Observatory told CBS News that the volcano could accumulate pressure inside for a long time before it starts to erupt.

“The reassuring thing is: when it’s really ready to erupt, it gives lots and lots of signs,” Moran told the broadcaster.

Photo: USGS