Magma stores are recharging inside Mount St. Helens, setting off a swarm of small earthquakes since last month, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Since the catastrophic eruption of May 18, 1980, scientists have been conducting research and collecting data on the volcano to learn more about its typical behavior.
Starting on March 14, a number of small earthquakes have occurred beneath the volcano, at a depth between 1.2 to 4 miles. The earthquakes have low magnitudes of 0.5 or less with the largest a 1.3.
Over the last 8 weeks, there have been more than 130 earthquakes located by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network and many more that are too small to be located.
The USGS says the earthquake rates have been steadily increasing since March, reaching nearly 40 located earthquakes a week, but there are no signs an imminent eruption.
The quakes are too small to be felt, even if you were standing on the surface directly above.
No anomalous gases, increases in ground inflation or shallow seismicity have been detected with the swarm, and there are no signs of an imminent eruption.
As was seen at Mount St. Helens between 1987 and 2004, recharge can continue for many years beneath a volcano without an eruption.
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