Mount St. Helens Has A Cold Heart

Posted: Nov 2 2016, 10:37am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Mount St. Helens has a Cold Heart
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  • Mount St. Helens has a Frigid Core
 

Mount St. Helens has a frigid core as has been revealed by explosives that have blasted the exterior to reveal the interior environment.

Mount St. Helens is a volcano with a cold core. Instead of resting atop a boiling cauldron of magma, this volcano has a cold stone slab for a foundation. It actually seeks its source of magma from a nearby site.

The magma started to leak into Mount St. Helens long before its sudden outburst in 1980. Geology experts noticed the tremors in the region before the explosion.  

As the magma began to pour into the by-ways of the volcano, steam escaped from its mouth. This opening consisted of an icy cap. A protuberance formed on the northern side of the acme.

The pressure built up until there was no way out and a mighty explosion occurred. A cascade of landslides went down the slopes of the volcano and 520 million tons of ash were also released into the atmosphere.

However, even in the 30 years that have passed since that awful day in the past, the scientists are unable to explain how the magma reached the volcano in the first place. 

The volcano is a part of a series of Cascade Volcanoes. These strange phenomena are spread throughout the Pacific Northwest and Upper California.

The great majority of them form an arc that is known a a volcano-birthing avenue and it sits atop tectonic plates. In case of Mount St. Helens, an oceanic plate called Joan de Fuca slips beneath the North American plate.

This creates the Cascadia Subduction Zone. A continental arc is extant close to this and it causes high temperatures and extreme pressures. These force the magma into the outer world. The resultant geological scenario is a string of volcanoes. 

However, Mount St. Helens is a weird volcano. That is because its topmost portion sits 30 miles west of the continental arc. In 2014, a $3 million project was spearheaded by a group of geologists.

Explosions around volcanoes were set up to test the geology of the area. The seismic readings were recorded and analyzed by the experts. The Mount St. Helens slab was colder than the rest of the volcanoes that were in the adjacent area.

This cooler temperature was due to oceanic water pouring into the volcano. So the question remains where exactly Mount St. Helens gets its magma from.

It is still a mystery. It may siphon off magma from Mount Adams. However, this may not be so due to the fact that both volcanoes have different chemical profiles.

The findings of this research got published in the journal Nature Communications.

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