Friday, January 18, 2008

Mount St. Helens Steaming

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Steam seeping from a fracture atop the lava dome in Mount St. Helens' crater and the mountain's first noteworthy seismic activity since 2004 have caught scientists' attention this week as signs that something is moving inside it.

While the likelihood of a major eruption seemed low, scientists have quit venturing into the volcano's crater and are checking the monitoring equipment along St. Helens' flanks.

"We're just being cautious. It's not that we're anticipating any activity," Cynthia A. Gardner, scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory, said Wednesday.

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