The U.S. Geological Survey says the magma reservoir about five miles beneath the volcano has been slowly re-pressurizing since 2008.
Volcano seismologist Seth Moran said Wednesday that scientists have known that fresh molten rock has been recharging the volcano since its last eruption, which lasted from 2004 to 2008. But Moran says they’ve only recently confirmed it.
He says the uplift is subtle, measuring about the length of a thumbnail in the past six years. Scientists have been able to detect it through a vast monitoring network.
The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens killed 57 people and filled the sky with volcanic ash.
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