Earth scientists want to take a better look at Mount St. Helens' plumbing.
University of Washington Professor Kenneth Creager is leading a two-year study of the geology of southwest Washington that aims to identify the volcano's magma supply.
The study will use solar-powered seismometers at 70 sites and monitoring at 150 other sites of fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field.
In addition, next summer the researchers plan to use explosives to approximate small earthquakes of magnitude 1 or 2. They'll detonate 1,000 to 2,000 pound charges in 24 boreholes, 80 feet deep. They would be located in areas such as quarries and forest clear-cuts.
Oregon State University, Columbia and Rice as well as the U. S. Geological Survey are participating in the study funded by the National Science Foundation.