PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State University scientists may have the answer to why Mount St. Helens is out of line with other major volcanoes on the Cascade Range.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports university geophysicist Adam Schultz and his team think a giant subsurface rock formation diverted magma, causing Mount St. Helens to form west of the Cascadia Arc.
The team of researchers layered together different imaging studies of the volcano to give a clearer picture of what’s below the surface. Their work is being published this week in the peer-reviewed journal “Nature Geoscience.”
The team’s research indicates the Spirit Lake batholith served as a plug in the Earth’s crust, diverting the magma.