PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Over 400 earthquakes have been detected near Mount St. Helens since mid-July, but the United States Geological Survey says that it isn’t something to worry about.
According to the USGS, while the seismic activity near the volcano has been elevated, it remains consistent with background seismicity and all the earthquakes have been too small to be felt at the surface.
During August, around 40 to 50 earthquakes were sensed per week and more recently that number has decreased to about 30 a week.
Compared to 2008 when there was an average of 11 earthquakes per month, there has been a definite increase, but the USGS said that short-term increases in earthquakes are common near Mount St. Helens.
This current period of seismic activity is the largest short-term increase in earthquakes since the last eruption ended in 2008, but the USGS said that longer duration sequences occurred several times in the 80s and 90s, and none of those led to eruptions.
All of this is to say, that the USGS isn’t worried about an eruption happening any time soon and that Mount. St. Helens has remained at a normal background level of activity.
High rates of seismicity have been seen near other volcanoes as well, the USGS said but can continue for many years without any eruptions.