BEND, Ore. (AP) -- Scientists say the bulge in the earth near the South Sister volcano west of Bend has almost stopped growing.

The bulge was spotted more than a decade ago and led scientists to wonder if volcanic activity was ahead. Geologists tell The Bulletin newspaper of Bend ( that an eruption is unlikely.

They say such bulges are common around volcanoes, and most stop growing after a few years.

Scientists say their measurements now show the uplift of the South Sister bulge has been slowing since scientists announced its discovery in 2001.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the bulge probably started in late 1997, pushed by magma four miles below the surface. The ground has risen about 9 inches in all. The bulge is about 10 miles in diameter.

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