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Volcano may be erupting off Oregon, Washington coast

  • One of three bottom-pressure/tilt instruments in the summit caldera at Axial Seamount that is connected to the OOI Cabled Array network. (National Science Foundation/Ocean Observatories Initiative, University of Washington, Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility)

PORTLAND, Ore. » Geologists say a volcano may be erupting 300 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast.

The Oregonian reports that Oregon State University scientist Bill Chadwick predicted the Axial Seamount would erupt this year, and though he won’t be able to confirm that it has until he makes the trip out to the seamount, all signs point to an eruption on April 24.

On April 24 there was a spike of nearly 8,000 quakes at Axial Sea, normally there are about 300. The seafloor level dropped and temperatures rose. Chadwick and his team measured the changes with sensors laid on the seafloor last year.

Officials say an eruption is not a threat to coastal residents because the earthquakes are small and seafloor movements are gradual, so they won’t cause a tsunami.

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