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Mount St. Helens Just Had Another Big Earthquake Swarm, But it’s No Big Deal – Probably

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I have good news and bad news about Mount St. Helens. The bad news? The volcano just experienced another massive swarm of earthquakes. The good news? It’s probably nothing to worry about – maybe.

For fun, I like keeping tabs on volcanoes on the USGS website. Over the weekend, I noticed that the USGS had issued a statement about a series of earthquakes on Mount St. Helens that they’re keeping an eye on. Here’s what they said:

As of May 5, the PNSN has located 47 earthquakes near Mount St. Helens since the seismic network was restored on April 21.

I forgot to mention that the last part of their statement is also bad news. As it turns out, heavy snowfall on Mount St. Helens caused their monitoring system to fail. They didn’t get it turned back on until April 21. So, there’s that.

But, the USGS says that this is probably no reason to worry.

There are several reasons why it is very unlikely that this swarm is a precursor to imminent eruptive activity at Mount St. Helens—it is similar to ones in the past that did not lead to surface activity; it consists of very small earthquakes occurring at relatively low rates; there are no other geophysical indicators (deformation, tilt, gas) of unrest.

I’ll translate. They don’t know. But, the volcano hasn’t blown up yet, so it probably won’t. Maybe.

My theory is that Mount St. Helens realized that May is Volcano Preparedness Month and it didn’t want to be left out of its own party.

Yes, I need a new hobby.

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