A team of scientists say they have evidence that a "super volcano" may be brewing underneath Mount St. Helens, NewScientist.com reports.
Researchers say indicators suggest Mount St. Helens and other northwest volcanoes are plugged into a huge subterranean pool of magma that could one day burst to the surface in a "super" eruption.
If what they believe is true, the structure beneath the mountain would be comparable in size to the biggest magma chambers ever discovered, such as the one below Yellowstone National Park.
Scientist Graham Hill led a team of researchers that set up magnetotelluric sensors around Mount St Helens. The measurements revealed a column of conductive material that extends downward from the volcano which they found to connect to a much bigger zone of conductive material.
Not all scientists are convinced that Mount St. Helens may be capable of a giant eruption.
Magnetotellurics specialist Gary Egbert of Oregon State University in Corvallis says he's cautious over the idea of that a super volcano sits under Mt. St. Helen.
"It seems likely that there's some partial melt down there," given that it is a volcanic area, he told NewScientist.com. "But part of the conductivity is probably just water."