Massive Pool of Magma May Feed Three Washington Volcanoes
A new study suggests there's a vast pool of magma beneath southwestern Washington State that supplies Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. The study was published yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience, hints that the setup could be akin to the known supervolcano at Yellowstone.
"If confirmed by additional methods, this could be one of most widespread magma-bearing areas of continental crust discovered thus far," the journal concludes in a summary of the research, led by Graham Hill of GNS Science in New Zealand.
Hill and colleagues measured the electrical conductivity in the rocks under the northern Cascade Mountain range, where the three mountains sit. Their data confirmed previous hints that there is a widespread layer of material with low conductivity below the range.