SEATTLE — A study of Mount St. Helens aims to look deep — all the way down to the zone where tectonic plates collide and magma rises.
One of the researchers, University of Washington Professor John Vidale (vih'-DAHL'-eh), says the study is one of the first to look that far below a volcano. The results could indicate how the magma plumbing works at volcanoes around the world. The information could help in prediction eruptions.
Work is beginning now on the four-year study funded by a $3 million National Science Foundation grant. In addition to the university in Seattle, the study includes the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Oregon State University, Rice University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.
Work by Rice Professor Alan Levander will involve setting off underground explosions.