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Scientists solved a long-standing magma mystery of one of the most dangerous volcanoes

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Scientists solved a long-standing magma mystery of one of the most dangerous volcanoes

WATCH: For years, scientists have been perplexed about Mount St. Helens, one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the country.  

Magma came from the east 

Seth Moran, scientist in chief with the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, wondered why St. Helens doesn't line up with others in the Cascade mountain range which extended from southern British Columbia all the way to northern California.

The results of a two-year study could help explain the reason, which showed that magma came to St. Helens from a source to the east, unlike Mount Hood which Moran says likely gets its magma from directly below. 

This is how science progresses, it answers one question and it raises a number of others.
Seth Moran- USGS Chief scientist

This is how science progresses 

Exactly how far the magma travels is a factor that still needs to be determined, along with the future of Mount St. Helens.  Nothing recently discovered has caused scientists like Moran to expect the volcano to become more or less active.

Post-eruption earthquakes explained 


The study did help explain the past. After the eruption in 1980 there were a series of earthquakes east of the mountain in an area where the magma may be coming from.

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