Experiment designed to Know more about St. Helens’ Volcano

Thirty-four years ago, Mount St. Helens' disastrous eruption took place. Since then, researchers have been trying various measures to know the working of the volcano.

Scientists want to have greater clarity of the details including how molten rock makes it way in the volcano's crater from the area where collision of tectonic plates takes place and the magma is created. They would be using techniques being used by the oil industry to achieve the goal.

They would set off explosive charges buried in at least two dozen deep wells drilled around the mountain. By doing the same, they will note down the seismic energy of the explosions on thousands of mobile seismometers.

Seth Moran, a seismicity expert with the U. S. Geological Survey's Cascade Volcano Observatory in Vancouver said the explosive experiment scheduled to take place this summer forms as a part of multidisciplinary imaging experiments collectively called iMUSH (Imaging Magma Under St. Helens).

The collective is considered to be one of a kind experiment ever being carried out on any volcano in the world. The $3 million project is majorly funded by the National Science Foundation.

The explosive research will cost around $1 million and will be carried by a team of experts from Rice University headed by earth science professor Alan Levander. Many other reputed organizations are associated with the project.

There are many theories with regard to what is going on beneath the volcano down. But none has been able to prove one. Researchers think knowing the answers is important. The things that will be revealed through the experiment would not only help to have an idea about eruptions at St. Helens but also at other volcanoes across the world.